The Meaning of Some Latin Words

Learn the meaning behind some common Latin plant names.

All plants have a Latin name. This is to distinguish between plants that have many common names. The Latin name describes plant characteristics or attributes. Below are some Latin words and their meanings. There are certain Latin words that have a meaning of colours:

  • album – white
  • atropurpureum – dark purple, purplish red or purplish black
  • aureum – golden – yellow
  • caeruleum – sky blue
  • coccineum – scarlet
  • flavum – pale yellow
  • purpereum – purple
  • roseum – pink or also rose
  • rubrum – red
  • sulphureum – sulpher yellow
  • variegatum – variegated leaves such as marks, stripes, blotches with then green

There are also certain Latin words for the growth of plants:

  • acaulis – stemless flowers meaning resting in the center of a clump of leaves
  • alpinus – usuallly a low growing plant that is native to the Alps or other mountain regions
  • cordifolia – often wide leaves but have the heart shape leaf
  • flora – pena-meaning double flowered
  • paniculata – open flower cluster
  • repens – creeping habit
  • spicata – spiked flowers

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