P. M. Eckel
Missouri Botanical Garden
Res Botanica Web Site
January 27, 2015

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by P. M. Eckel


The Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin is intended to help taxonomists prepare Latin diagnoses and descriptions of new taxa, and to read certain published Latin scientific literature, primarily in botany. It is a compendium from many sources of botanically useful words, enhanced with examples of usage, and interspersed with annotations, explanations, observations, and grammatical guides. The Dictionary is also freely available to the botanical community online as a searchable database. It is presently only partially finished.

The search page is at http://www.mobot.org/mobot/LatinDict/search.aspx

The Dictionary also supports the present requirement of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature to provide a Latin diagnosis or description for new taxa for most plant groups. This legislated requirement is considered a less onerous task for the specialist than would be perusing the literature in all the major scientific languages for information on newly described taxa. In addition, even partial facility in the Latin language opens a portal to a vast cultural and scientific literature.

The Dictionary was originally compiled as a personal resource by P.M. Eckel, Missouri Botanical Garden, and is here shared with other taxonomists. The sections of the Dictionary are being added to the online database in reverse alphabetic order (Z to A) for good and sufficient reasons, including ease in cross-referencing. Users of the Dictionary are encouraged to contact Web editor Richard Zander (richard.zander@mobot.org)  with any comments or to report any errors or misapprehensions in the work. This Missouri Botanical Garden Web site was designed and is maintained by Myriam Fica, Associate Web Programmer, Information Technology, MBG, and her work is gratefully acknowledged. The Dictionary is here presented as a very large work-in-progress mounted online in fascicles to give taxonomists access as soon as possible.

A suggested citation for this online resource is: 
Eckel, P.M. 2011. A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin. Missouri Botanical Garden. 
URL: http://www.mobot.org/mobot/LatinDict/search.aspx

Users are encouraged to use the % wildcard in searches because Latin is an inflected language, and word endings may be various. The wildcard may be at one or the other ends or at both ends of a string of letters, or in the middle of a word: e.g. %um, um% %um%, u%m.

P. M. Eckel