official site to look up the scientific names of plants

Is there an official site to look up the scientific names of plants?
I looked up oregano on the Internet and got as many different opinions as sites I visited.
I wanted to establish the scientific name for the culinary variety (which I believe might be the "Greek Oregano").
Got official sounding instructions but they do not agree with each other.
Thanks
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wrote:

http://www.ipni.org/index.html
might help
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That's a database of names that have been used. It doesn't tell you what is the current opinion on the bounds and name of a species.
I believe that you have the problem that there is more than one culinary variety.
--
Stewart Robert Hinsley

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Active said:

May be the largest online plant database: www.davesgarden.com
They also have a plant ID forum, if you've got a pic. As a non-member, I believe you can make 3 posts per day, but don't quote me. =)
HTH
--

Eggs

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On 8/22/2007 12:20 PM, Active wrote:

Also try the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's <http://plants.usda.gov/ .
One problem is that distinguishing species is not always easy. Often, the distinction relies on subtle differences in tiny flower parts.
Also, international botanical organizations tend to reclassify plants quite often (moving a species to a different genus or even to a different family), thus rendering even recent publications obsolete. However, this never results in an existing botanical name being reused for a different plant. Lately, reclassification has become more intense as the relationships between species are determined by DNA analysis instead of physical structures.
--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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That's probably the best place to start, in general. It mostly just covers plants which are found in the U.S. (native, introduced, or in cultivation).
Dave's Garden's plant files at http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/ are pretty comprehensive.
Sometimes there will be issues such as the horticulturalists using one name (often an older one) and the scientists using another.
Even something like whether the cultivated plants are all from the same species, or from several different species, may require research (there are a number of species of thyme which are cultivated, for example).

I'm not sure there is just one species which is in culinary use (varieties, being subdivisions of species, would complicate matters further). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano mentions at least three (which are said to have similar flavors). Greek Oregano, at least according to http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAFR10 is in the genus Salvia (better known for a number of ornamental flowers and also Salvia officinalis, the well-known culinary herb). It isn't clear to me what Greek Oregano tastes like and whether much of anyone uses it for culinary purposes.
It can be hard to get to the bottom of this kind of thing. For example, there's the whole "cinnamon" vs "Cassia" issue (with the more expensive one having the more highly prized flavor, and the terminology in the marketplace being rather confused/inconsistent, perhaps because a lot of customers won't know the difference or won't care).
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wrote:

I entered "scientific names of plants" into a browser and got quite a few hits, of which this is one:
http://www.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/life/warp/plants-index-a.html
Good hunting.
Persephone

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On 10/17/2007 3:52 PM, Persephone wrote:

That page does not list Westringia species. <http://www.ipni.org/index.html lists several Westringia species. Why would I be interested in Westringia? Several W. fruticosa were just planted at the top of the slope in my back yard.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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