The Art of Naming

Nomenclature refers the process of naming things. It stands to reason then that botanical nomenclature would be the process of giving names to plants. It is a separate and distinct process from taxonomy but the two are related.

Technically taxonomy is the forming of groups; the identification and classifying of organisms into units referred to as taxa. The resulting "taxonomy" is a particular classification arranged in a hierarchical structure. Remember "High School Biology" : Kingdom, Phylum (Division for plants), Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Plant taxonomy being concerned with grouping and classifying plants; botanical nomenclature then provides names for the results of this process.

The rules and regulations governing botanical nomenclature are determined by the International Botanical Congress. Since the early 1980's the congress has issued a new code ( the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants) every six years. Each issue supersedes its predecessor. The story is not quite as universal or straight forward for taxonomy.