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Flora Etymology ( A )
 
 
   
Flora Etymology Explanation Source(s)
Abelmoschus Describing how some members of the genus are cultivated for their musk-scented seeds, which are used in perfumes and medicines http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?619
Acalypha Named by a Greek physician (ca. 460 - 370 B.C.), who was known as the 'father of medicine' and gave the name 'acalephe' to a nettle he described. It was then transferred by latter-day botanists to this group of plants in the spurge family, which means 'a stinging nettle', in reference to the irritating sap produced by plants of this genus
Acerifolius Describes the lobed, maple-like leaves http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?101972
Acetosella “Vinegary, slightly acid”, likely in reference to the sour taste of the plant’s edible parts
Acoelorrhaphe Greek words a 'without', coelos'hollow' andraphe 'seam', which refers to the lack of an impressed seam on the seed http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?1326
Acrotrema Refers to how young leaves and inflorescences emerge from the apical aperture at the top of the plant http://www.tfbc.frim.gov.my/asp/detail.asp?key=1951
Actinorhytis Derived from the Greek 'actino' 'radiating from the centre' and 'rhytos' 'wrinkled', in reference to the seeds
Acuminata Tapering into a long point' in Latin, in probable reference to its long, thin, slender look
Acutangula Having sharply-pointed angles', a reference to the tree's ribbed fruits http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?6511 
Adenanthera Tree's flower anthers being tipped with sticky glands http://www.butterflycircle.com/checklist2/index.php?page=plant_details&plant_id=49
Adenia A small seaport near the Red Sea, from which the type species originated http://www.tropicos.org/Name/24201150
Adiantum Comes from the Greek adiantos meaning "unwettable", referring to the water-repellent fronds
Adonidia Named after the Roman sun god, Adonis. It was named Manila Palm, because it is often used in Manila (capital of the Philippines) for landscaping
Aegyptiaca “From Egypt” or “Egyptian”, in reference to the Old World origins of the plant
Afgekia Derived from the name initials of Irish medical doctor and plant-collector Arthur Francis George Kerr (1877-1942), who worked on the taxonomy of Thai flora (1925-1931) http://www.ildis.org/LegumeWeb?version~10.01&LegumeWeb&tno~16562 
Agave Derived from Greek term Agavos (meaning 'admirable', 'noble' or 'splendid'), which in turn was inspired by the Greek mythological figure Agaue -- daughter of Cadmus (founder-king of the Greek city of Thebes) and goddess Harmonia http://www.magnoliagardensnursery.com/productdescrip/Agave_DwarfVariegated.html
Aglaonema Derived from Greek terms 'aglaos' (bright) and 'nema' (thread), likely a reference to the brightly-coloured flower stamens of some members of this genus http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?accepted_id=4728&repSynonym_id=28979&name_id=4728&status=true
Alba White in Latin
Albivenis White veined', a reference to the net-variegated leaves http://www.rhs.org.uk/databases/HortDatabase.asp?ID=267059
Alexandrae Honours Princess Alexandra of Denmark
Allagoptera  Derived from two Greek words, 'allagos', alternate, on the opposite side, and 'pteron', a wing, in reference to the plumose appearance of its fronds
Allium Latin for garlic
Alocasia Derived from Greek terms 'a' (not) and 'kolokāsiā' (lotus root), alluding to its similarity toColocasia, a closely-allied genus http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?accepted_id=-9999&repSynonym_id=-9998&name_id=6792&status=false
Aloe Derived from the Arabic ('Alloch') and Greek ('Aloe') names for plants from this genus, referring to the bitter juice obtained from the leaves http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?accepted_id=298050&repSynonym_id=-9998&name_id=298050&status=true
Alopecuroides Similar to theAlopecurus genus, whose name is derived from the Greek terms for fox and tail, again alluding to the inflorescence shape. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?27168 
Alpinia Named after Prospero Alpino, a botanist from Italy (1553-1616). The specific epithet "vittata" is derived from the Latin word "vittatus" which means banded, referring to the striped leaves
Alstonia Named after Scottish naturalist Dr. Charles Alston (1685-1760), who was professor of botany at University of Edinburgh, scientific writer and keeper of King's garden at Holyrood, and one of the few botanists who resisted the Linnaean taxonomic classification when it was introduced http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?accepted_id=7103&repSynonym_id=66154&name_id=7103&status=true 
Alternanthera Combination of 'alternans' (Latin for alternating) and 'anthera' (Greek for anthers), alluding to how alternate anthers of plants from this genus are sterile http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/floriculture/trialgardens/2006spring/htm/a02.shtm
Amaryllifolius To how its leaves are similar to those of plants in the Amaryllis genus. It is derived from the Latin words "amaryllis" and "folius" meaning leaves
Amboinicus Derived from Ambon, an island in the East Indies where Rumphius, a well-known botanist, is from
Amesiodendron Named after American botanist-orchidologist Oakes Ames (1874-1950), who was professor of economic botany at Havard University http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200013180
Amorphophallus Deformed phallus, an allusion to the shape of the inflorescence and tubers http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?102457
Ampullaria Flask-shaped', a reference to the pitchers http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?25149
Andersonii Named after plant collector Walter Birney Anderson (1856 - 1944) who also inspected Indian orchards for the British government
Angelonia Derived from Angelon, the plant's vernacular name in its native range http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?3428
Angustifolia Means 'narrow leaf', describing the plant's foliage http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?3428
Anisomeles Derived from Greek terms for 'unequal' and 'limb' or 'member', a reference to the unequally-sized petals, or describing the flower anthers (upper pair are single-celled, while lower pair are two-celled) http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?3464 
Annona  Latin American name for the harvest goddess
Aquatica Means water and refers to the plant’s ability to grow in water
Aqueum Refers to the juicy fruits of this species. It comes from the Latin word "aqueus" which means watery
Arachis  Greek term for legume http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/CoverCrops/perennial_peanut.asp 
Archonotophoenix Comes from the Greek as 'king' or 'chief', and 'date palm', and that all species in this genus share the common name king palm
Areca Derived from a name used by local people on the Malabar coast of India to describe one of the species of this particular genus
Areca Derived from a name used by local people on the Malabar coast of India to describe one of the species of this particular genus
Arenga Derives from the Javanese name aren, used for a palm of this genus
Argyreia Comes from the Latin word “argyraeus” which means silver-colored. It refers to the silver color of young stems and the underside of leaves
Arrhenatherum Derived from Greek terms 'arren' (male) and 'anther' (bristle), referring to the bristly awns on the male flowers. Species epithet'elatius' means 'tall', alluding to the foliage http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=ipm1007-92
Artocarpus  Comes from the Greek words 'artos', meaning bread and 'karpos', meaning fruit. The fruits of the related tree Artocarpus altilis are commonly known as 'breadfruit'
Arundina Derived from the Greek word, "Arundo" (αρυνδο), in reference to the reed-like stems of the plant http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?accepted_id=16436&repSynonym_id=22522&name_id=16436&status=true 
Asclepias Named after the Greek God of Medicine, Asclepios, due to the long regarded medicinal qualities of the plants in this genus
Asiatica Asian', a reference to the plant's natural geographic distribution, part of which lies over the Asian region
Atractocarpus Spindle fruit' in Greek, a reference to the shape of fruits -- broadest in the middle, tapering towards the ends
Atropurpurea Comes from the Latin words for black ("ater") and purple ("purpurea"). The reference is to the dark purple flowers
Atropurpureum Very purple', describing the plant's very dark red, almost blackish flowers http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?104905
Aurantiacum Derived from the Latin word for orange-coloured ("aurantiacus")
Auriculata Latin "auricula" meaning "ear", after the appendages at the base of each leaf which were deemed to be ear-shaped
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