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Types of Scientific Flowers

 

  • Names like rose or orchid are commonplace knowledge with regard to flowers. Less common, however, is the knowledge of floral scientific names. Scientific names act as a way for scientists to classify flowers based on characteristics such as growth requirements, habitat and general appearance. Scientists place flowers into larger flowering plant families, then further break the families up into subfamilies, genera and species. According to Palomar College's online textbook Wayne's Word, 437 flowering plant families exist. The larger families, however, dominate a lot of scientific floral knowledge.

Asteraceae

  • The Asteraceae family contains sunflowers.

    The aster or sunflower family, known scientifically as Asteraceae, represents the largest flowering family group. Asteraceae consists of 1,100 genera and around 24,000 species, according to Wayne's Word. Asteraceae flowers bear leaves in either alternate or opposite positions. Helianthus annus, the giant sunflower, represents one of the larger flowers within Asteraceae, while Conyza floribunda, the fleabane, represents one of the smallest. Other members of this family include Solidago missouiensis or goldenrod, chrysanthemums and Gaillardia aristata or blanket flowers.

Orchidaceae

  • Orchids make up the Orchidaceae family.

    The second-largest flowering plant family, Orchidaceae, or orchids, come in a wide array of species. About 20,000 species reside in the Orchidaceae family. Orchids prove popular with gardeners because of the challenge of growing some of them and the unique blooms produced. In Belize, Encyclia cochieatum, or black orchid, is the national flower. Orchids, specifically Dendrophylax lindenii, the ghost orchid, plays prominently in the book "The Orchid Thief" and the film version called "Adaptation." Other orchids include Epidendrum ibageunse, the buttonhole orchid; Goodyera pubescens, the rattlesnake orchid; and Cypripedium acaule, the pink lady's slipper orchid.

Fabaceae

  • Sweet pea flowers belong in the Fabaceae family.

    About 400 genera and 18,000 species make up the Fabaceae family, known commonly as legumes or peas. These flowers often produce a fruit in the form of a legume. Erythrina variegata, or tiger's claw, classifies as a Fabaceae plant. Commonly seen in grassy yards and fields is Trifolium repens, or white clover. The butterfly pea plant, known scientifically as Clitoria ternatea, represents an important Asian vine, as the flowers are used in rice and cloth dyeing. Alysicarpus vaginalis, or Alyce clover; Pueraria lobata, or kudzu; and Wisteria frutescens, or American wisteria, all belong in the Fabaceae family.

Liliaceae

  • The Liliaceae family contains day lily species.

    The Liliaceae, or lily, family consists of around 280 genera and 4,000 species of flowering plants. Several perennial herbs, such as onions and garlic within the Allium species, and flowers such as tulips, known scientifically as Tulipa, belong in this group. Crinum amabile, the giant spider lily, features long petals that give the appearance of spiders' legs. Day lilies, Hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus, and Hosta species belong in the Liliaceae family as well.

Rosaceae

  • Apple trees belong to the Rosaceae family.

    Made up of around 3,000 species of flowering plants, Rosaceae, or rose, plants consist of a wide array of flowering plants. Apple trees, Malus domestica, belong to Rosaecae family. This family also contains the Rosa genus, the genus of flowers many people think of with regard to the Rosaceae family. Rosa multiflora, or multiflora rose; Rosa woodsii, or mountain rose, and Rosa arkansana, the wild prairie rose, all belong to this family.

 

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