Page:An introduction to physiological and systematical botany (1st edition).djvu/403

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373
GREEK OR LATIN NAMES.

dang. Still I can only barely tolerate such names out of deference to the botanical merits, not the learning, of their contrivers; and I highly honour the zeal and correctness of Mr. Salisbury, who, in defiance of all undue authority, has ever opposed them, naming Aucuba, on account of its singular base or receptacle, Eubasis. I know not how Pandanus escaped his reforming hand, especially as the plant has already a good characteristic Greek name in the classical Forster, Athrodactylis.

Excellent Greek or Latin names are such as indicate some striking peculiarity in the genus: as Glycyrrhiza, a sweet root, for the Liquorice; Amaranthus, without decay, for an everlasting flower; Helianthus, a sunflower; Lithospermum, a stony seed; Eriocalia[1], a flower with a singularly woolly base or cup; Origanum, an ornamental mountain plant; Hemerocallis, a beauty of a day;

  1. When I named this genus in Exotic Botany, I was not aware of its having previously been published by M. Billardiere under the name of Actinotus; a name however not tenable in Botany, because it has long been preoccupied in Mineralogy.