Common name plant capitalization?

Fixx starkravingmad at
Thu Jun 13 11:48:17 EST 2002

<kathy at> wrote in message news:KjUN8.1778$jB2.21722 at
> Hi -
> I got this email from a friend but I really don't know what to tell her.
> I've done some searching on the web to see if I could find out standards
> for common names without success.  I tend to capitalize common names
> myself,
> "I have a quick Botany question for you. When you are writing about a
> using its common name, do you capitalize it at all? For example, when I'm
> writing about poison ivy, I don't need to use a cap for the "p" do I? It's
> only when you're using the Scientific name? Genus is capitalized and
> species is not.  Am I right about this? We're working on replacing the
> signs out at Yankauer and I want to make sure we're accurate."
> Opinions regarding the answer to this q. would be appreciated.
> -- Kathy Bilton
> My address does not have an x in it.
> kathy
> at
> fred net

It seems after consulting several text books/reference books that no
capitalisation is necessary excepting common grammatical convention i.e. if
it starts at the beginning of a sentence then the first part of the name is
capitalised but the rest are not, or where the plants name contains a name
itself e.g. Japanese knotweed.  Hope that this helps...

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