Batman Universitesi Yasam Bilimleri Dergisi
www.yasambilimleridergisi.com
Cilt 1, Sayı 2  Ocak-Haziran 2012  (ISSN: 2147-4877, E-ISSN: 2459-0614)
Atalay SÖKMEN, Figen TOSUN

NO Makale Adı
1356037072 Culture And Scientific Nomenclature In Plants

Human being is the most advanced living thing, by thinking and defining
himself biologically, culturally and spiritually. This phenomenon that separates human
being from the rest of living organisms also establishes beliefs, traditions and
social life rules being called alltogether as culture.
Interaction with its environment, nature in broad sense, observations and experiences
also gave an important impact on scientific Latin binominal nomenclature. For
instance latin name of human being is Homo sapiensis defines an entity that having
“an humour” or “thinking”. These examples can also be found in plant nomenclature.
Primrose species acquire their generic name (Primula sp.) as early flowering
plant during springtime. Punica granatum (pomegranate) owes its name to the Phoenicians
who have commercial culture in antique era. Again, some thyme species,
Origanum, etymologically comes from the name “genus of the mountains”, “wild
thyme growing in mountains”. The name Salvia (sage) originally comes from the latin
name “salveo”, to heal or to cure as wounded Roman soldiers during the wars were
treated with the extracts obtained from Salvia species. Similarly, Achilea (yarrow) species
have its name from a mythological hero Achilles who was injured during the
Trojan war and has been believed to be treated with yarrow plants. In some cases,
indigenous people had established a link between morphological feature of a plant
or a particular plant part and its biological activities. This fact is also seen in scientific
nomenclature. In orchids, some plants belonging to the genus Orchis have corms that
resemble fox’s testicles and were thought to be aphrodisiac in ancient Greeks and the
name was therefore, given to the aforesaid genus. Origins (gene centers) of plants as
well as indigenous people of antique had exerted a great impact on the scientific nomenclature
of plants. The aim of this presentation is to address the cultural influence
on the scientific nomenclature by extracting etymological background.