Friday, November 6, 2015

Bidens is a Genus

One of the more snark-worthy things that I learned in my trip down the wetlands remediation rabbit hole is that there is a Genus of wetland plants called "Bidens".

Scientific names are assigned to species because "common" names are unreliable.  The commonly used scientific name starts with the Genus (capitalized) and then the species (not capitalized.)  The convention is to use Italics as most scientific names are based on Latin or Greek root words.  Examples would be like Pinus strobus (Eastern White Pine) where Pinus tells us it is a pine tree and strobus tells us precisely which species of pine.

If you wear fleece or knit clothes and have been outside in the fall and winter, you have probably encountered, and cursed Bidens.  In fact, I brought some home with me this morning.

On my sock.
In my hand.
The flowers are not very showy.
The snarky part?  The common name for plants in this genus is "Beggar Ticks".  Joe Biden might not be a genius, but Bidens is a Genus...and a Beggar Tick.