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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

nanus,-a,-um (adj.A): diminutive, dwarf, q.v.; “pure [i.e. not Greek or vulgar] Latin pumilio” (Lewis & Short); see pumilio; see pygmaeus,-a,-um (adj.A);

- statura nana, flore erecto, sepalis obtusioribus (DeCandolle), with the stature diminutive, with the flower erect, with the sepals more blunt.

- vexillum nanum v. angustum, the vexillum dwarfed or narrow.

- frutex v. suffrutex nanus, caule intus flavo(B&H), a dwarf shrub or subshrub, with the stem yellow inside.

- species unica nana cespitosa radice crassa (B&H), a single species, dwarf, cespitose with a thick root.

- ABUTILAEA, F. Muell. in Linneea, xxv. 379, est Abutili sp. A. leucopetalo, P. Muell., valde affinis, nisi ejus forma petalis nanis semiabortivis (B&H), Abutilaea, F. Muell. ... is strongly related to an Abutilon species: A. leucopetalum, except it is a form with the petals dwarf, half-abortive.

- petala 4, nana, circa basin tori inserta(B&H), petals four, diminutive, inserted around the base of the torus.

- styli 2, brevissime persistentes, altero nano.(B&H), styles 2, very shortly persistent, one [i.e. of the two] dwarfed [unusually short or reduced in size].

- drupa sicca, 3-gona et angulata, stylo fertili incurvo nanum obtegente coronata (B&H), drupe dry, trigonous and angular, crowned with the fertile style incurved, covering the dwarf [sc. style].

- statura nana (DeCandolle), with the size diminutive [i.e. dwarf]; scapo nano, with a dwarf scape.

- [Ranunculus SCLERATUS] var. minimus, “caule nano,” (DeCandolle), with a dwarf stem.

- Viola TRICOLOR var. nana, “caule brevissimo” (DeCandolle), with the stem very short.

- P. NANA, “caule simplici vix foiiis longiore.” (DeCandolle, P. nana, with the stem unbranched, scarcely longer than the leaves.

- var. nanus, “subacaulis” (DeCandolle), nearly stemless.

- var. minor, caule nano unifloro (DeCandolle), var. minor, with the stem dwarf, with one flower.

- A. nana, also A. muscoides, a plant with microphyllous leaves, “petalis vix longitudine calycis” with petals scarcely the length of the calyx; with semina minutissima, with the tiniest of seeds (DeCandolle).

Achillea nana, Agoseris nana, Baccharis nana, Doria nana; Amellus nanus, Aster nanus, Carduus nanus, Nabalus nanus

NOTE: any epithet with a neuter ending would be an adjective as no neuter noun existed in that gender in either Greek or Latin: Ageratum nanum, Blennosperma nanum, Chamaemelum nanum, Chrysanthemum nanum, Psacalium nanum, Tanacetum nanum, Taraxacum nanum.

Equisetum pratense Ehrh. fo. nanum Milde, a dwarf form 1-4 cm long, vs. the 1.5-5.25 dm. height of the typical plant; 'Rubus flavinanus Blanch. 'yellowish and small' (Fernald, 1950): 'flavi-nanus;' the moss Polytrichum nanum Neck., where the stems are very short, 1/4 - 1/2 inch, as is the capsule.

NOTE: in both classical Greek and Latin only the nouns nanus,-i (s.m.II) and nana,-ae (s.f.I) occurred, both meaning (male) dwarf and (female) dwarf. In medaeval Latin nanus,-a,-um (adj.A) was used (Latham 2008), hence the adjective can be assumed to be standard Latin, freely used by botanists (as the large list of epithets to generic names of all three genders attest). Occasionally a botanist, proud of an expertise in Classical Latin, may have used either nanus,-i (s.m.II) or nana,-ae (s.f.I) as a noun in apposition - which can be detected especially if the gender of the epithet does not match that of the genus, such as Neoromicia nanus, also Vespertilio nanus (TAXACOM discussion Jan. 13, 2014). Chrysoma nana Greene belongs to a genus which is considered to be feminine, according to its epithets (not a neuter, e.g. pl. Chrysomae, not pl. Chrysomata).
Nanus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. nano;, a dwarf; nana,-ae (s.f.I), a female dwarf.

NOTE: occasionally in non classical Latin nannus,-i (s.m.II) as in Greek has been written ‘nannos’ (s.m.II) ‘one whose limbs are too small for his body’ (Liddell & Scott).


A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2018

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