• Click Genus name to view all species in that genus.
Genus: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
CAESIA
Blue Grass Lily (Le)
Family: HEMEROCALLIDACEAE
For Federico Cesi (Fridericus Caesius) (1585-1630).**
(Ch)
calos, = beautiful, fair; -opsis, = aspect, appearance, hence ‘resemblance’.
(LS, BL)
CAMPYLOPUS (G)
Moss()
Family: DICRANACEAE
campylos, = bent, curved; pous, podos, = a foot.
(LS)
ccampylos, = bent, curved; stachys, = ear of corn. (in modern botany, ‘spike’)
(LS, BL)
canna, = a reed, cane; -omoios, = -like, resembling.
(LS)
CAPELIO (La)
Fire Daisy(Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
capelio, = of the Cape. (An anagram of Alciope)
(Le, Cl)
capos,= a garden, an orchard, pot plant; bolos, = a lump or mass of anything. (tufted growth form - resemblance to the genus OREOBOLUS.)
(LS, Le)
Cape, = the Cape; chloa, chloe, = the tender shoot of plants in spring, the blade of young corn or grass. (The name refers to the geographical center for the genus, as characterisitic of the Cape flora)
(LS, Mgb)
carex, = reed-grass, rush or sedge. (Latin name for sedge) (In some species the upper florescent spikes are without seeds because the spikes are male)
(ld, Le, Cl)
CARPACOCE (G)
Stinkbossie (Sw)
Family: RUBIACEAE
carpos, = fruit; acoce, = a point, edge. (fruit ends in a sharp point)
(LS, Le)
CARPANTHEA (G)
Woolly Socks (Wf) Vetkousie (Le)
Family: AIZOACEAE
carpos, = fruit; anthos, = flower. (allusion rather vague) (referring to the open fruit which looks like a star-shaped flower when open)
(BL, Le, Cl)
carphos, = any dry particle, a dry stalk or chip; dry twigs, straws, bits of wool, such as birds make their nests of; husks or chaff.
(LS)
CARPOBROTUS (G)
Sourfig (Wf) Hottentot Fig(Le) Suurvy
Family: AIZOACEAE
carpos, = fruit; brotos, = blood from a wound, gore; brota, =edible things (fruit can be eaten)
(LS, Le)
qurtun, = to paint. (saffron dye extracted from C. tinctorius, 'safflower' or 'bastard saffron'); carthamus is a small genus of annual composite plants cultivated from Europe to China, the flowers of which yield red and yellow dyes, and as a drug.
(Le, Ox)
CASSINE
Cape Saffron (Le)
Family: CELASTRACEAE
cassis, = a helmet, commonly of metal. From Timucua tribe of Florida Indians applied to some species of Ilex, which the local Cassine resembles. (also ILEX, especially Ilex vomitaria)
(ld, K3)
CASSYTHA (Sem, G)
False Dodder(Le) Devil's TressesNooienshaar
Family: LAURACEAE
Of Semitic origin; cassuo, = to stitch, to sew together; to stitch up. (Greek name for parasitic plant known as dodderlaurel).
(Le, LS, K3)
CELTIS (La)
White Stinkwood(Le) Witstinkhout
Family: CELTIDACEAE
celtis, = stone-chisel, sculptor’s chisel; celtis, = an African species of lotus.(Pliny)
(Ox, ld)
CENTELLA (G, La)
Pennywort(Le) Varkoortjies
Family: APIACEAE
kenos, = empty, fruitless, bereft of; -ella, = diminutive; slightly. (origin uncertain) (probably alluding to the small, pointed styles)
(LS, BL, Le, Cl)
CERASTIUM (G)
Mouse-ear(Le) Chickweed
Family: CARYOPHYLLACEAE
ceras, = horn; -ium, = 'characteristic of'. (horned capsules)
(LS, BL, Le)
CERATANDRA (G)
Shield Orchid (Le)
Family: ORCHIDACEAE
ceras, = a horn; aner, andrus, = man, of a man. aner, andros, = male stamen. (refers to the two projecting, horn-like rostellum arms that bear the pollinaria in C. atrata)
(LS, BL, Co)
ceras, = a horn; -atus, = indicates possession or likeness. caryon, = the nut; -ium, = ‘characteristic of’, hence indicates connection or resemblance. (the fruit)
(LS, BL, Le)
CERATODON (G)
Moss()
Family: DITRICHACEAE
ceras, = a horn; -atus, = indicates possession or likeness. odon, ontos, odons, = a tooth.
(LS, BL)
chēn, = a gander, goose, named from its wide bill; chaino, = to yawn, gape, open wide; stoma, = the mouth.
(LS)
CHAMAREA (Ks)
Cape Caraway(Le) Vinkelwortel
Family: APIACEAE
chamere, = a kind of umbellifer. An 'umbel' is a flower cluster in which stalks nearly equal in length spring from a common centre and form a flat or curved surface such as in carrots. [Latin: 'umbella' = sunshade]
(J, K3, Ox)
CHARADROPHILA (G)
Cape Golxinia(St)
Family: STILBACEAE
charadra, = the bed of a stream, a deep gully, rift, ravine; philios, = loving, friendly, kind.
(LS)
CHASMANTHE (G)
Cobra Lily(Le) Kapelpypie
Family: IRIDACEAE
khasma, = a yawning hollow, a chasm, gulf; anthos, = a flower, the bloom of a flower. (shape of the corolla)
(LS, Le)
CHEILANTHES (G)
Lip Ferns (Le)
Family: PTERIDACEAE
cheilos, = a lip; anthos, = a flower, the bloom of a flower. (referring to the form of the indusium) [‘The ‘indusium’ is the membranous shield or scale covering the sorus or fruit-cluster *of a fern.] (*in this case the spore-cluster) ['The 'indusium' is the membranous shield or scale covering the sorus or fruit*-cluster of a fern.] (*in this case the spore-cluster)
(LS, Le, Ox, AB)
Resembling Chenopodium, weedy herbs from Europe and Asia. Chenopodium = chēn, = a gander, goose; pous, podos, = a foot; -opsis, = aspect, appearance, hence ‘resemblance’.
(Le, LS, BL)
chēn, = a gander, goose; pous, podos, = a foot; -ium, characeteristic of. (shape of the leaves)
(LS, BL, Le)
CHIONANTHUS (G)
Ironwood (Le)
Family: OLEACEAE
chion, = snow; anthos, = a flower, the bloom of a flower; (abundance of white flowers)
(LS, Le)
CHIRONIA
Centuary(Le) Bitterwortel
Family: GENTIANACEAE
After Chiron**the physician and botanist.
(ld, Le)
chondros, = a corn, grain, groat; like groats petalos, = spreadout, unfolded, broad, flat. petalon, = a leaf. (in modern botany, petal)
(LS, BL)
CHRYSANTHEMOIDES (G)
Tickberry (Wf) Bitou (Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
chrysos, = gold; chrys-, chryso-, = golden-; anthos, = a flower, the bloom of a flower. -oides, = like, resembling, having the form or nature of. (resembling characteristics of CHRYSANTHEMUM)
(LS, BL, Le)
chrysos, = gold; chrys-, chryso-, = golden-; thrix, = the hair both of man and beast; sheep’s wool.
(LS, BL)
CHRYSOCOMA (G, La)
Cowcud (Wf) Beesbos (Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
chrysos, = gold; chrys-, chryso-, = golden-; come, = the hair; the foliage, leaves of trees. coma, = the hair of the head. (tuft of hair) (terminal heads of golden hair)
(LS, BL, ld, Le)
CINERARIA (La)
Cineraria (Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
cinis, cineris, = ashes; cinerarius, = pertaining to ashes. -arius, = indicates connexion or possession. (leaf colour of first described species)
(ld, BL, Le)
CISSAMPELOS (G)
Davidjies (Le)
Family: MENISPERMACEAE
kissos, = ivy; ampelos, = a vine. (rambling habit and fruit resembling bunches of grapes)
(LS, Le)
clasma-, = that which is broken off, a fragment, piece, morsel; coleos, = a sheath or scabbard of a sword. (perianth and breaks off easily)
(LS, Cl)
kleros, = a lot; chance. -etum, = place dominated by a given plant. (a lot: twigs, potsherds, or even a clod of earth was used for the purpose. In Homer each hero marks his own lot, and they are thrown into a helmet; the first which came out was the winning lot.) (grows in disturbed sites)
(LS, BL, Le)
CLIFFORTIA
Cliffortia (Le)
Family: ROSACEAE
After George Clifford (1685-1760).**
(Ch)
CLUTIA
Bliksembos (Le)
Family: EUPHORBIACEAE
For Outgers Cluyt (Theodorius Angerius Clutius) (1590-1650).**
(Ch)
COLCHICUM (G)
Men-in-a-boat (Wf) Cup and Saucer(Le) Patrysblom
Family: COLCHICACEAE
Colchis, = a province in Asis, east of the Black Sea, celebrated on account of the golden fleece and Medea; -icus, = indicates ‘belonging to’. colchicum, = a plant with a poisonous root: C. acutumnale. The name Colchis had reference to the poisonous arts of the legendary Medea of Colchis**.
(Ox, BL, ld)
COLEONEMA (G)
Confetti Bush (Le)
Family: RUTACEAE
koleos, = a sheath or scabbard of a sword; nema, = that which is spun, thread, yarn, the thread of a spider’s web. (infertile stamens which are included in a sheath along the inside of the petals)
(LS, Le)
COLPOON (Was OSYRIS) (G)
Cape Sumach(Le) Pruimbas
Family: SANTALACEAE
colpos, = womb, the lap or fold; any lap or hollow. colpoo, = to form into a lap or fold; to make a sail belly or swell.
(LS)
COMMELINA
Wandering Jew (Le)
Family: COMMELINACEAE
For Jan or Johan Commelin (1629-1692), his nephew Caspar Commelin (1667/1668-1731), and possibly his son Caspar as well.**
(Ch)
CONICOSIA (G)
Goslings (Wf) Gansies(Le) Snotwortel
Family: AIZOACEAE
conos, = a pine-cone, a fir-cone; -icus, = indicates ‘belonging to’. (cone-shaped) -osus, = indicates abundance or full or marked development. (shape of the capsule)
(LS, BL, Le)
convolvo, = to roll together, roll up, roll round; to fasten together, interweave, interlace; -ulus, = diminutive. convolvulus, = a plant, bind-weed. (rolled up)
(ld, BL)
CONYZA (G)
Fleabane(Le) Skraalhans
Family: ASTERACEAE
konyza, = a fleabane. (plant believed to drive away gnats - a flea-bane)
(LS, Le)
coronos, = a crow or raven; pous, podos, = a foot. coronopus, = crow-foot; Plantago coronopus, buckshorn-plantain. (shape of the leaf)
(LS, ld, Le)
CORRIGIOLA (La)
Strapwort (Le)
Family: CARYOPHYLLACEAE
corrigo, conrigo, conrexi, = to make straight, set right, bring into order; -olus, = diminutive.
(ld, BL)
CORYCIUM (G)
Hood Orchid (Wf) Monkshood (Le)
Family: ORCHIDACEAE
korys, = a helmet, helm, casque; -ius, = means ‘characteristic of’, hence indicates connection or resemblance. (refers to the helmet shape of the hood formed by the fusion of the median sepal and the lateral petals)
(LS, BL, Co)
CORYMBIUM (G)
Swordweed (Wf) Heuningbos (Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
corymbos, = a cluster of the ivy flower; generally, a cluster of fruit or flowers; -ius, = means ‘characteristic of’, hence indicates connection or resemblance. (inflorescence is a corymb)
(LS, BL, Le)
COTULA (G)
Buttons(Le) Knoppies (Wf) Button Daisy
Family: ASTERACEAE
cotule,= a small cup or vessel; cotulis, = a small cup; (small cup, anything hollow)
(LS, BL)
COTYLEDON (G)
Cotyledon(Ma) Varkoor
Family: CRASSULACEAE
cotule,= a small cup or vessel; cotulis, = a small cup; (small cup, anything hollow) cotyledon, = a cup shaped cavity (also the sucker of an octopus). (leaf shape of some species) (referring to the base rosette of leaves often being cup-like)
(LS, BL, Ox, Le, M)
CRASSOTHONNA (La, G)
Babooncress(Wf.Le) Bobbejaankool
Family: ASTERACEAE
crassus, = solid, thick, dense, fat, gross, etc.; othone, = a sheet, linen, cloth. (Ancient Greek name, probably from othonne, linen, cloth; probably the soft texture of the leaves of some species)
(ld, LS, Le)
CRASSULA (La)
Stonecrop (Le) Crassula (Wf)
Family: CRASSULACEAE
crassus, = solid, thick, dense, fat, gross, etc.; -ula, = diminutive. (fleshy leaves)
(ld, BL, Le)
cryptos, = hidden, secret; caryon, = the nut. (fruit enclosed in an enlarged receptacle)
(LS, Le)
CULLUMIA
Bush Thistle (Wf) Steekhaarbos (Le)
Family: ASTERACEAE
For the Rev. Sir John Cullum (1733 - 1785) and his brother, Sir Thomas Cullum (1741 - 1831).**
(Ch)
For Jan Christiaan Cuno, (1708 - 1780).**
(Ch)
CURIO (G, La, Eng)

Family: ASTERACEAE
curio, curiosus, = meaning perhaps alluding to its peculiar morphology. curiosus, = enquiring eagery about a thing, inquiring into; curious, inquisitive; The genus Curio was named by P.V. Heath in 1997 to accommodate those species (about 15) with elongated, succulent leaves and of which the flowers are lacking ray florets. curio, = an abbreviation of a ‘curiosity’ (Latin curiositatem from curiosus) curious, = of materials, ‘fine, delicate’. kureo, = to light upon, find by chance, hit upon, win.
(ld, PSA, Ox, LS)
CURTISIA
Assegaai Wood(Le) Assegaaihout
Family: CORNACEAE
For William Curtis (1746-1799).**
(Ch)
cuscuta, = Latin for dodder; derived from Arabic.
(Le)
CUSSONIA
Cabbage Tree(Le) Kiepersol
Family: ARALIACEAE
For Pierre Cusson (1727-1783).**
(Ch)
CYANELLA (G)
Lady's Hand(Le) Raaptol
Family: TECOPHILAEACEAE
cyaneos, = dark blue: generally dark, dusky, murky; -ella, = diminutive.
(LS, BL)
CYATHEA (G)
Tree Ferns (Le)
Family: CYATHEACEAE
cyathos, = a cup; a cupping-glass (ladle, cup) -eus, = indicates material or colour or resemblance in quality. (referring to the shape of sori – the spore-bearing sacs on the surface of the fern leaf)
(LS, BL, Le, K3)
cyathos, = a cup; a cupping-glass (ladle, cup) come, = the hair; the foliage, leaves of trees. coma, = the hair of the head. (tuft of hair)
(LS, BL, Ws)
CYCLOPIA (G, La)
Honey Bush (Le)
Family: FABACEAE
cyclos, = a ring, round, circle; (circular) ops (ώψ), = the eye, face, countenance. Cyclops (κυκλώψ), = a Cyclops,** i.e. Round-eye. cyclopoieo (κυκλοποίέω), = to make into a circle, form like a circle. (circular base of the calyx)
(LS, BL, Le)
CYMBOPOGON (La, G)
Turpentine Grass(Le) Terpentyngras
Family: POACEAE
cymba, = a boat, skif; (the boat of Charon which transported the dead; pogon, = the beard. (boat-shaped floral parts)
(ld, BL, Le)
CYNANCHUM (G)
Buckhorn (Wf) Bokhoring (Le)
Family: APOCYNACEAE
kuon, = a dog (as a word of reproach); agcho, agchone, = to strangle, throttle; -um, = indicates possibility or result of action. (toxicity of some species)
(LS, BL, Le)
CYNODON (G)
Quick Grass(Le) Kweekgras
Family: POACEAE
kuon, = a dog (as a word of reproach); odon, ontos, odons, = a tooth. (sheathed tips of creeping rhizomes)
(LS, Le)
CYNOSURUS (G, La)

Family: POACEAE
kuon, = a dog (as a word of reproach); -urus, = -tailed, i.e. with an elongated or tail-like appendage. Kuonosoura, = dog’s tail; Ursa Minor.
(LS, BL, Ox, K3)
CYPERUS (G, La)
Matjiesgoed (Le)
Family: CYPERACEAE
kupeiron, kupeiros, , = a marsh-plant. (a rush or sedge)
(LS, Le)
CYPHIA (G)
Baroe (Le)
Family: LOBELIACEAE
cyphos, = bent or bowed forwards, stooping. (some species are twiners)
(LS, Le)
CYRTHANTHUS (G)
Fire Lily(Le) Brandlelie
Family: AMARYLLIDACEAE
cyrtos, = curved, bent, arched; (convex) anthos, = a flower, the bloom of a flower. (curved flower tube)
(LS, Le)
cyrtos, = curved, bent, arched; (convex) -ium, = ‘characteristic of’.
(LS, BL)
CYSTICAPNOS (G)
African Fumitory (Le)
Family: FUMARIACEAE
cystis, = the bladder; generally a bag, pouch; capnos, = smoke. (greyish bladder-like capsules)
(LS, Le)
CYTINUS (G)
Aardroos (Le)
Family: CYTINACEAE
kytos, = the body, the skin; -inus, = indicating material or colour, hence possession or resemblance. cutin, cutos, = the hyaline substance which forms the cuticle or cellular layers of plants; kytinos, = flower of the pomegranate. (resemblance of the flowers)
(LS, BL, Le)