A botanical name consists of a genus name and a species epithet. The genus name must begin with a capital letter and be followed by all lower case letters. Species epithets are to be all lower-case letters. Both the genus and species should be italicized.
When a botanical name contains a subspecies component the abbreviation "ssp." or "subsp." is inserted before the subspecies in a non-italicized font.
When a botanical name contains a variety component the abbreviation "var." is inserted before the variety in a non-italicized font.
When a botanical name contains a cultivar component the name is surrounded by single quotes and is displayed in a non-italicized font.
The International Association for Plant Taxonomy has prescribed the following rules for formatting plant names:
To be validly published, a botanical name must include its author. The Compleat Botanica's checklist of botanical names includes the author in most cases. Nevertheless the author's name is not shown on-screen or on reports because it is not of interest to the non-scientific community.
Understanding how the botanical name spell-checker works
All about family names
Family name endings
The Uncertain taxonomy checkbox
Spell-checker and formatting rules
Last reviewed March 25, 2004