Gardeners often lament that they feel intimidated about pronouncing the Latin names of plants. Keep in mind that pronunciation in any language is not always a hard-and-fast matter. If you can’t remember the preferred pronunciation of a plant name, just do your best—and say it with conviction!
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Bambusa
(bam-BOO-sah)
Banksia spinulosa
(BANK-see-ah spin-yew-LOW-sah)
Baptisia
(bap-TIZ-ee-ah)
Baptisia australis
(bap-TIZ-ee-ah oss-TRAL-iss)
Baptisia sphaerocarpa
(bap-TEE-zsah sfay-roe-KAR-pah)
Baptisia X variicolor
(bap-TEE-zsah ex var-EYE-ih-kul-or)
Basella
(bah-SEL-lah)
Bauhinia
(bow-HIN-ee-ah)
Beaucarnea recurvata
(bo-KAR-nee-ah ray-kur-VAY-tah)
Begonia
(bah-GO-nyah)
Begonia boliviensis
(bah-GO-nyah bol-iv-ee-EN-sis)
Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana
(bah-GO-nyah GRAN-dis subspecies eh-vanz-ee-AY-nah)
Begonia luxurians
(bah-GO-nyah lug-ZSUR-ee-anz)
Begonia parviflora
(bah-GO-nyah par-vih-FLOOR-ah)
Begonia semperflorens
(bah-GO-nyah sem-per-FLOOR-enz)
Begonia X corallina
(bah-GO-nyah ex kor-all-LEE-nah)
Begonia X hiemalis
(bah-GO-nyah ex hy-MAL-iss)
Belamcanda
(bel-am-KAN-dah)
Belamcanda chinensis
(bel-am-KAN-dah chin-EN-sis)
Belamcanda flabellata
(bel-am-KAN-dah flab-el-LAY-tah)
Bellis
(BELL-iss)
Bellis perennis
(BELL-iss per-EN-nis)
Bellium minutum
(BELL-ee-um my-NU-tum)
Berberis
(BER-ber-iss)
Berberis thunbergii
(BER-ber-iss thun-BER-jee-eye)
Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea
(BER-ber-iss thun-BER-jee-eye forma at-tro-per-per-EE-ah)
Berberis X stenophylla
(BER-ber-iss sten-oh-FIL-lah)
Bergenia
(ber-GEN-ee-ah)
Bergenia ciliata
(ber-GEN-ee-ah sil-ee-AY-tah)
Bergenia cordifolia
(ber-JEE-nee-ah kor-dih-FOE-lee-ah)
Berlandiera lyrata
(ber-lan-dee-ERR-ah ly-RAY-tah)
Beta
(BAY-tah)
Beta vulgaris
(BAY-tah vul-GAR-iss)
Beta vulgaris ssp. cicla
(BAY-tah vul-GAR-iss subspecies SIK-lah)
Betula
(BET-choo-lah)
Betula nigra
(BET-ew-lah NY-grah)