Page:An introduction to physiological and systematical botany (1st edition).djvu/404
GENERIC NAMES IN
Arenaria, a plant that inhabits sandy places; and Gypsophila, one that loves a chalky soil. Such as mark the botanical character of the genus, when they can be obtained for a nondescript plant, are peculiarly desirable: as Ceratopetalum, from the branched hornlike petals; Lasiopetalum, from the very singularly woolly corolla; Calceolaria, from the shoe-like figure of the same part; Conchium, from the exact resemblance of its fruit to a bivalve shell.
In all ages it has been customary to dedicate certain plants to the honour of distinguished persons. Thus Euphorbia commemorates the physician of Juba a Moorish prince, and Gentiana immortalizes a king of Illyria. The scientific botanists of modern times have adopted the same mode of preserving the memory of benefactors to their science; and though the honour may have been sometimes extended too far, that is no argument for its total abrogation. Some uncouth names thus unavoidably deform our botanical books; but this is often effaced by the merits of their owners, and it is allowable to model them into grace as much as