Each scientific name is composed of two words, both italicized or
The first word is capitalized, and is also used as the genus name. The second
word is the species epithet. The two words
form the species name.
Bauhinia blakeana Dunn*
is chosen here as an example.
is the genus name, chosen by Linnaeus to honor two Swiss
botanists who are twin brothers, with reference to the
two equal lobes in leaves of this genus.
- The second word in the scientific
name, blakeana, is the species epithet,
chosen to honor Sir Henry Blake, Governor of Hong Kong from 1898-1903.
is the botanist who named this species.
*A recent molecular study (Am J Bot 2005;92:525-533) confirmed
that Bauhinia blakeana
is a hybrid between Bauhinia
purpurea and B.
variegata. It becomes necessary to call it
by a new hybrid name: Bauhinia