Happy new garden year!

Wishing all my garden friends a happy and healthy New Year and the best garden that you have ever grown in 2013!

Part of my daily reading includes a brief, local post called “Today in your garden” from MY Garden Nursery in Seattle.The culture advice is specific to Western Washington but today’s post applies to all gardeners and is worth sharing.

December 31, 2012

You don’t have to be a Latin scholar, but it helps to learn the basics of the scientific plant naming system. The first word (italic and always capitalized) is the genus, and the second word is the species. If there is another word set off by single quotation marks, then that is a specific variety sometimes called a cultivar.

I will share some examples from my favorite plant group, roses.
Species roses are wild roses that generally have single blooms. Think of Rosa banksiae or Rosa gallica versicolor also known as Rosa mundi
Both of these roses follow the genus rule above.

The rose ‘Randy Scott’ is signified by a single quotation marks where as a story about the person Randy Scott would not have quotation marks. The hybrid tea cultivar, ‘Randy Scott’ is a large, clear white rose that I added to my garden during 2012. (The word cultivar means cultivated variety, not a native or species rose such as Rosa gallica versicolor

I hope that helps you understand that the italics and quotation marks are not random in books. Many times these rules are not followed by people on the internet, which adds to the confusion.

This rose ‘Randy Scott’ was purchased from Wisconsin Roses


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