I was taught that botanical names include a Genus and a species, and maybe a variety or cultivated variety name.
The Genus comes first and is capitalized, followed by the species which is not capitalized, then the variety or cultivated variety name.
If you are handwriting the botanical name as part a document, the Genus and species should be underlined. If you are typing it, then the Genus and species should be italicized. The variety name is also italicized and is preceded by “var”.
A cultivated variety name is always in single quotes, whether handwritten or typed, and is not underlined or italicized.
Those are the rules. I don’t make ‘em up, I just follow them.
Imagine my surprise, as a Botanical Name Rule Follower (BoNaRF) when I looked up the name of this little beauty of a species tulip that was blooming in my garden today. It is Tulipa humilis alba coerulea oculata.
Sputter, gasp, but… what? How’s come? Hey that’s more than one species name!
I did some online searching and found that some suppliers write this name as Tulipa humilis ‘alba coerulea oculata’. That’s a little better, but it still doesn’t seem quite right.
But for this little tulip, this pretty little rule-breaking tulip, I’ll get over it.