Genus

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a taxonomic category containing one or more species

 

In the 18th century Carl Linnaeus devised a two-word or binomial system to name plants.  The botanical name of a plant belongs to a larger arrangement method or taxonomy, with genus ranking below family, but above species. Genus forms the first part of the botanical name of a plant. It is capitalised and written in italics. As such: Genus species

When you list multiple species within a genus, you can abbreviate the genus. As such: F. carica, F. religiosa, and F. benghalensis. The 'F.', in this case, stands for Ficus (fig). Genus is the singular form, and genera is the plural. A genus is a noun and has a gender—female, male, or neuter. The gender doesn't influence the spelling of the genus, but it does influence the spelling of the species name.

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Examples

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+ Acer - Maple - the presence of the species name transforms the generic into the specific. For example: Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple or Momiji), Acer saccharum (Sugar  Maple), Acer sempervirens (Cretan Maple).

+ Solanum - is a large and diverse genus, it contains several economically valuable food crop species. Such as Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), Solanum tuberosum (potato), and Solanum melongena (aubergine/eggplant).  

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Botanical Terms and Taxa mentioned

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Below are links to The Hungry Child's internal database on the terms and taxa that were used in this article, or might be useful alongside it. If you feel that something is missing or unclear, leave a comment or send me an email.

cultivar | epithet (related to species)

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More on Taxonomy

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Last modified on 2016, February 15th

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