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Arbutus unedo (fruit)

Arbutus unedo

This area is reserved for the names, scientific, common and the synonyms of the plant being profiled.

For articles about people, gardens or institutions, this where additional note of interest will be included. >  Articles  >  Quick Facts

Quick Facts:

( Explained not so quickly )

On each of the Article pages you will see 'Quick Facts' about the plant that gives you the basic information you need. The explanation behind some of these facts follows.

Scientific Name - The Genus and species names

The scientific name of the plant is the most important, and easiest, way to identify a plant you are looking for. Although the full name of a plant, if you include Kingdom, Phylum and Family, might seem long enough to put most European royalty to shame, the real core of the plant's identity is its 'binomial' name. That refers to the two most important names, which are Genus and species. This is based on the system developed by Carl Linnaeus for naming all living things in a logical way. The names are often written in italics to distinguish them from the surrounding text. For a more detailed look at plant Classification.

Although the scientific names can be changed from time to time, see Synonyms below, it is still much easier to use the scientific name when you want look up information on a certain plant. We have also included a separate index of common name s to help you find information on your favourite plant, even if you don't know the scientific name.

Synonyms - Alternate scientific names

Occasionally there may be more than one scientific name for a plant. This is usually because the plant has become better understood over the years and has been reclassified. Another reason for a change of name is when a plant has been named more than once by different botanists. The earliest species name is given preference.


Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons now known as Eudicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae -- Aster family
Genus Helianthus L. -- sunflower P
Species annuus L. -- common sunflower

neat, huh?

Common Names - The Local 'Whatchya-macallit'

Common names are easy to remember, and can be wonderfully imaginative and even descriptive. We have included an index of common names to help you find the plants you are looking for, but be forewarned; not all plants have a common 'common' name, while others may have many.

Common names tend to differ greatly depending on the language, region, country or continent where the plant is growing. This makes it very hard to distinguish it from other plants that may share the same name elsewhere. 'Moon Flower' is used to describe at least ten different plants that are completely unrelated species - The only thing they have in common is that they generally have white flowers and bloom at night.


Annual, Perennial, Evergreen, Deciduous, Tree, Bulb etc.

Native Region:

This refers to the region of the world where the plant is believed to have originated from. There is a current trend to grow only 'native plants', and this information should help you select plants native to your part of the world. Some plants that have been in cultivation for many centuries may have died out in the wild, or so ancient that no records exist of where they were originally found. Our information is based on the best available from a number of leading authorities.


This is offered only as a guideline, referring to what is generally considered to be the average size of the plant when it matures in average to optimal conditions.

Zone Range:

Climate Zones are hard to explain, or justify for that matter. However, they do have their uses. The zone numbers used in this site are similar to those used by the US Department of Agriculture, and those used by the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK. These numbers are based solely on the average minimum winter temperature a region might be reasonably expected to experience in any given year. They are as follows;

Preferred Conditions:

This will give you a much more detailed explanation of what the individual needs of the plant are. Some of the terms used here are:

  • Climate:
    • Arctic - Few plants can survive these harsh conditions. Most plants from these regions tend to be annuals that grow and bloom during the brief arctic summer.
    • Continental -
      • Cold -
      • Moderate -
      • Hot -
    • Desert -
      • Cold -
      • Moderate -
      • Hot -
    • Temperate - Temperate region tend to be by the shores of large bodies of water that retain heat and regulate the average temperatures, reducing the occurrence of extreme highs and lows.
      • Cold Temperate - Northern coastal Europe, Sweden, Norway, Finland - Canadian East coastal regions, Alaska, Russian East Coast.
      • Cool Temperate - Central North American Coast British Columbia to Washington. European coast
      • Warm Temperate
      • Hot Temperate
    • Tropical -
  • Environment:
  • Soil:


Extra information of interest


These notes included information you should consider before obtaining the plant. There may be problems with invasiveness in some regions, or the plant may be susceptible to certain diseases in other regions. This is designed to keep you informed about possible problems, but remember, that a plant that may have terrible problems in one part of the world, may be an ideal garden plant else where. Rose bushes that suffer from mildew in the rain-forest of the pacific north-west coast of North America will thrive in the Mediterranean.


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