Understanding Our Plant Labels

Display Labels

Display labels are generally three lines long.  The first line contains the plant's common name.  The second line contains the scientific name which includes the generic name and the specific epithet.  The third line contains either (1) cultivar name or (2) the nativity of the species and the common family name separated by four spaces.

Four black plant labels containing common name, scientific name, cultivar, nativity, and family information

Special Cases

If a plant is listed as having a subspecies, variety, or form, this information goes on the third line, and a fourth line is added which includes either (1) cultivar name, or (2) nativity and family information. For those plants that have a trade or “sold as” name, this name goes on the fourth line in parentheses.

For orchids, the common name is omitted and the scientific name is on the first line. The second line is reserved for the grex or the family and nativity or the cultivar name for the species. In some cases, the grex will also have a cultivar name with it, and this would go on the third line.