Plant names in the DataScape, LLC database are a synthesis of commercial and academic nomenclature. The DataScape nomenclature is used as the basis for the nursery crop insurance program provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


New plant names are constantly appearing in the market place and even the most up-to-date and respected reference books often fail to list commercially important cultivars. When the DataScape staff cannot find a reference that lists a particular plant, reputable nurseries are often consulted for advice on correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. In addition, horticulture experts and International Registrars are often consulted when there is disagreement among references.


Using the botanical name is the only accurate way to identify a plant. Following are definitions used by DataScape for the various additional names that may be used to identify a plant:


The Latin, scientific, or legal form of a plant name. Parts of the name may be genus, specific epithet (species), subspecies, variety, forma, and cultivar.


A botanical form of a plant name (often including trademarked and/or registered cultivar names) used in commerce and marketing. Plants may have several commercial botanical names.


A botanical form of a plant name that is incorrectly used to identify a plant.


The name by which a plant may be known in everyday commerce.


The name of a type of plant, usually derived from the common name, e.g., lilac, maple.

The invalid botanical names included in the database are botanical names that have been changed by modern taxonomists and there is often difficulty and confusion in identifying the plants under their newly accepted names. (For example, Thuja orientalis is now classified under the very different name of Platycladus orientalis.) All invalid botanical names are directed to the correct and current botanical name.

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