I find myself getting caked in the pasty makeup that is the jargon and lingo of plant nerdery, and often find myself being painfully not understandable while I rattle on to the innocent bystander. This nasty disease is terminal and too late for me, I suppose, but here is a quick immunization injection to help the reader survive botanical abbriviation used lightly in this blog, but relied upon heavily in plant literature.
They aren't all that bad; go kiss a botanical term today.
germplasm =refering to a plant as its genetic makeup, its personal entourage of DNA. Often, we talk about a particular garden plant being of germplasm from a certain place.
ssp. =subspecies. A subspecies is simply a separation between living things that is smaller than species. For instance, Wolves are all called "Canis lupus." But the Arctic Wolf is "Canis lupus ssp. arctos," usually written"Canis lupus" arctos, or abbreviated "C. lupus arctos"
spp. =species, in plural. Multiple species. "There are more Astragalus spp. than Penstemon spp."
cult. = cultivation. Scientifically refering to an organism in domestication.
aff. =affinity. This is what we tag a name with when something looks like a thing we know, but we cannot prove it. Example: Campanula aff. betulifolia. It is definately a Campanula, and it just looks strongly like the Birch-leaf species.
sp. =species. The "sapien" in Homo sapien, the "biloba" in Ginkgo biloba.
var. =variety. When a plant is different enough to notice but not different enough to be its own species.
ex. =from (latin). For instance, seed packets may have written "ex cult," meaning "from a garden"
(Please mail/comment if there are others that deserve inclusion)