Flower Genus, Species and Common Names
People create systems of taxonomy to help them identify and talk about plants. Most of the systems of taxonomy started by rule of thumb where people separated plants by given attributes. Every culture has its own unique method for naming plants. These localized systems are often referred to as the common name of a plant. A plant may have more than one common. For example the term maize and corn refer to the same basic plant.
Identifying and naming plants is an extraordinarily complex task. The actual division between groups is often quite arbitrary, and it is common to find taxonists disagreeing about classifications of plants.
The Linnaean system of taxonomy uses a hierarchical system for classifying plants. This system separates names into Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.
When identifying plants, the most important parts of the name are the last two elements: genus and species. The genus refers to a group of plants which are similar. Species refers to an actual group of plants that can interbreed. When identifying wildflowers, I find that I can usually identify the species. In many cases, identifying a species would require watching the plants for a year, or doing detailed tests. People use the code spp. for species unknown.
The goal of ProtoPhoto is simply to show things I find in the world around me. In this project, I chose to group photos of plants by Kingdom. The kingdom generally has an interesting diversity of similar plants. Grouping by kingdom makes for a more interesting photo gallery.
In some cases I want to look at a type of plant in greater detail; so I decided to add a classification on this site for genera. Most of the photos listed in the gallery below also are in the Kingdom galleries.
In this section of galleries, I will use the common name of the flower.
Arrowleaf Balsam Root ( 9 pictures): Pictures of Arrowleaf Balsamroot ... Balsamorhiza sagittata
Penstemon ( 46 pictures): Pictures of the Penstemon Genus.
Thistles ( 25 pictures): Pictures of Thistles.
Total Pictures: 80