What's in a Name?

Botanists name, or classify, plants by categories. These are hierarchical. They descend from the general to the specific, from the superior to the subordinate.

A plant can thus be classified by its class, order, family, genus, and species.

Many plants also have familiar names - like the monkey puzzle tree, also known as the Chile pine. Botanically, it is usually enough to give the monkey puzzle just its genus first and then its species names. These are: Araucaria araucana. The family to which it belongs is Araucariaceae.

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