Binomial Nomenclature

Introduction to Binomial Nomenclature

Botanical nomenclature is the system of naming the plants on a scientific basis.  This system is helpful in assigning the identity and relationship of the plants. Earlier than the middle of the eighteenth century, the names of plants were generally polynomials that are they were created of various words in series comprising more or less the explanation of the plant.   This can be demonstrated with the instance of Caryophyllum.  The name provided was Caryophyllum saxatilis folis gramineus umbellatis corymbis mean Caryophyllum growing on rocks, comprising grass such as leaves with umbellate corymbose inflorescence.

Because lengthy names are hard to remember and use, efforts were made to shorten these names.  Carolus  Linnaeus  recommended a system of binomial nomenclature.  Even though the binomial system was built up by Gaspard Bauhin  as early as in the year 1623, it had correctly been made use by Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum.

In binomial nomenclature, each species is provided a name of two words. For instance, the mango tree's binomial nomenclature is Mangifera indica. At this time the first word Mangifera considers to the genus and the 2nd term indica to the species.  The two terms in combination comprise the name of the plant.  So the binomial is a binary name.  Therefore, from the days of Linnaeus, two dissimilar kinds of plants could not comprise similar generic and specific names.

International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)

In the year 1930, the fifth International Botanical Congress was held at Cambridge, of England to frame rules and regulations for naming plants. The 12th meeting was held at Leningrad, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) in July 1975.  That relies on the resolutions of this meeting; the present system of International Code of Botanical Nomenclature was adapted from the year 1978.

Some of the salient features of ICBN (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature)

1. The generic name is a singular noun.  The generic name's first letter is all the time written in capital. The particular epithet is an adjective and is all the time written with small letters. It is come from several sources and may contain one or two words. Example- Oryza sativa and Oldenlandia albo- nervia.

2. The name have to be short, exact and simple to pronounce.

3. The binomials are printed in italics / underlined.   The generic and particular epithets are underlined separately. Example Abutilon neilgherrense or Abutilon neilgherrense

4. While new names are provided to any plant, after that the herbarium preparation of similar specimen along with its original description is maintained in any recognized herbarium.  This specimen is indicated as type specimen. It is to be maintained on herbarium sheet.

5. An author is the person who publishes the explanation of any plant for the first time or providing a new name to a plant.  The plant's name should bear the author's abbreviated name at the end of particular epithet.   This is termed as author citation.  Abbreviations were prepared for eminent taxonomists. The name Linnaeus was shortened to L. or Linn. Robert Brown to R.Br.  And Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker to Hook. Example Malva sylvestris Linn.

6. The original explanation of the plant should come with the latin translation.

7. If naming the plant is from a source of error, it is considered like an ambiguous name.   It is also termed as nomen ambiguum and is totally ignored from use.

8. If the generic and specific epithets are similar, it is termed tautonym. Example Sassafras sassafras.  Such types of names are not accepted in the system of nomenclature.

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