Terms, Names and Classes



TREE a woody perennial which reaches 4.5 metres in height
FOREST a large uncultivated tract of land which is growing trees
WOOD a collection of growing trees, often ornamental in nature
GROVE a few trees
AVENUE trees which are lined along a roadway
SHRUB a woody perennial which is less than 4.5 metres in height

Scientific names

Species native to Saskatchewan
Common Name Abbreviation Botanical/Scientific name
white spruce wS Picea glauca (Moench) Voss
black spruce bS Piceas mariana (Mill.) BSP
tamarack larch tL Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Koch
jack pine jP Pinus banksiana Lamb
lodgepole pine lP Pinus contorta Dougl. Ex Loud.
balsam fir bF Abies balsamea (L.)

trembling aspen tA Populus tremuloides Michx.
black poplar bPo Populus balsamifera L.
black cottonwood Populus trichocarpa Torr & A. Gray
plains cottonwood Populus deltoides Bartr. Ex Marsh. ssp monilifera (Ait.) Eckenw.
Jack’s hybrid poplar Populus x Jackii Sarg..
white birch wB Betula papyrifera Marsh.

green ash gA Fraxinus pennsylvanica var subinterrima (Vahl) Fern
white elm wE Ulmus Americana L.
Manitoba maple mM Acer negundo L.
mountain maple Acer spicatum Lamb.
bur Oak bO Quercus macrocarpa Michx.

Species NOT native to Saskatchewan
Scots pine sP Pinus sylvestris L.
Siberian Larch sL Larix sibirica Ledeb.
Colorado Spruce cS Picea pungens Engelm.
Silver maple Acer saccharinum L.
Linden/Basswood Tilia Americana L.
Black walnut Juglans nigra L.


Taxonomy is (in part) the systematic classification of plants, under which similar plants are put into similar groups. Plants all have a local name, but this may be confusing, and the same name may be used in different countries for different plants; or different names for the same one. So there needs to be a common, scientific method to assign a name.

Botanists have agreed to use the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) in assigning names to plants.

The convention for describing a plant (the scientific name) is to include the Genus, and the species names. The Genus starts with a capital letter, and the species starts with lower case. In addition, the Latin words are italicized or underlined.

Such as tamarack larch: Larix laricina (Or Larix laricina)

After these, the author(s) who described the plant are recognized. In this case the full name being:

Larix laricina (Du Roi) K.Koch.

Johann Du Roi (1741-1785) was a German botanist who studied the flora of North America, and Karl Koch (1843-1907) was a professor in Botany in Berlin. Du Roi was the first to describe this species, and Koch later amended that description.