5 min read
In this article, we are going to talk about:
- Many flower species
- Scientific name versus common name
- Most common flowers
Many Flower Species
Did you know that there are over 4 million flower species in the world? That’s a lot of flowers. The chances are that you might ever run into most of these. Some are found only in specific countries, remote locations, and in wild jungle areas. Flowers also thrive under different weather conditions. For some, the hot and humid climate conditions near the equator are the areas where they grow best. Who knows how many other flower species are still out there waiting to be discovered and named?
Because of travel, voyages of discovery, and scientific research, many flowers that were once found only in specific areas have been spread across the world. Flowers grow best in their regions of origin, but thanks to good cultivation methods, flowers can be grown with success in areas of varying weather conditions.
Scientific Name Versus Common Name
Flower names come from the scientific convention. Like all other living organisms such as animals, plants, and bacteria, flowers are classified in different groups, including family, genus, and species. Every unique flower variety is a species of flower. If you go one level up from there, you talk about the genus and then the family of flowers.
There is a difference between the scientific or botanical name of a flower and the common flower names. For the record, for academic purposes, and to make sure we are talking about the right flower, we can use the scientific or botanical name. For common everyday use, however, the common name is sufficient. It is usually easier to say and write, as well.
The botanical name of a flower is composed of two words, which are the genus and the species of the flower. The convention is for the first name to be capitalized and the second to be written in small letters. Both of these names are in Latin, and they are typically italicized in print form. This system is technically known as the binomial system of nomenclature. It has been around for a long time and was invented by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753. He was a Swedish naturalist. An example of this naming convention can be seen in the name for the common morning glory flower. The scientific name is Ipomoea purpurea. As you can see, there is a great benefit to having both a scientific name and a more common and easier name for one species.
Although having and using common flower names can make life easier for everyone, there are some concerns and considerations to be aware of. Firstly, common names are regional. They are created and uses in the countries or regions where a certain flower is common. This means that a flower with a common name in Australia may not be common in Canada. This makes the botanical name crucial for the proper identification of the flower. There isn’t much of a strict convention when it comes to giving common names. In many cases, flowers can have many common names from different regions where the flower is common.
Another issue with relying on common flower names is that common names can be in English, French, German, or other languages. We can only truly be on the same page when we use a name that transcends language barriers. By relying on the botanical name in Latin, we can also be sure that we are speaking about the same flower.
Most Common Flowers
As we mentioned earlier, not all flower varieties are as common as others. Many flower species are well-known and easier to recognize. Thanks to photography and media, some flower species are classics all around the world. In the U.S., there are an estimated 150 varieties of flowers, which we consider common.
Different flowers are also associated with different emotions and occasions. Here we look briefly at some of the most common flowers and what they are associated with.
- Roses- The rose is the national flower for the US. Roses are arguably the most common and most popular flower species in the world. These flowers belong to the genus Rosa, and there are at least 360 species under this. These flowers can be found naturally in different colors, such as red, pink, peach, and white. They can also be cultivated into other colors using specific techniques. Roses are associated with romantic love, especially red ones. These flowers are used for any and every occasion and often play a major role in the décor, be it a wedding or Valentine’s day.
- Lily- The lily is another common flower. It grows from a bulb into a large flower. The genus of this group is Lilium. There are over 100 species in this group. Lilies can be found all over the world, but they are native in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. This flower plays an important role in both literature and culture. Some of the associations made with the flower include affection for loved ones, love, and ardor. The orange lily is mostly associated with happiness and warmth.
- Violet- The violet is a flower indigenous to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, although some species come from regions as different as Hawaii. The genus of this group of bright flowers is Viola, and within this group, there are close to 600 species.
In this article, we looked at naming conventions for flowers. With millions of different flower varieties, it’s important to have an organized and universal system to name them. The botanical or scientific name is made up of two Latin names and is different from the common name, which varies by region and language. We also looked at three of the most common flower species—the rose, lily, and violet.