Data for this project

The plants and further information posted on this website were collected using the following sources and query strategies:


Query Strategy:

  1. Find all plants in having scientific names or synonyms ending with “ii”, together with the bibliography where they appear, the year they were first catalogued, their common names (not always available), and a link to a picture (not always available).
  2. Extract the root of each word ending with “ii”, which corresponds to the name of the honored male person.
  3. Use the following Wikipedia pages to build a dataset of botanists:
    a. List of Botanists.
    b. List of Botanists by Author Abreviation.
  4. Use the following Wikipedia page to build a dataset of female botanists:
    a. List of Women Botanists.
  5. Exclude female botanists from the dataset of botanists (step 3).
  6. Double check manually excluding “female names” and botanists names, for which no information was found on the English written internet (mostly names that are not common in western countries).
  7. Join plants dataset (from with male botanists’ dataset (from Wikipedia) on names derived from plants’ names and last name of botanists.
  8. Select only unique plants that have picture and for which at least one possible botanist name was found on Wikipedia.
  9. Search for plant distribution (geographic regions) in the PyKew API. Extend the dataset with information about where the plants are native to.
  10. For the 20 plants for which no distribution information was found, manually search for information on the internet.


A dataset of 1026 unique plants that were named after men (scientific name or synonym). Some of the plants were named after more than one man in their cataloguing history. Some names point to more than one botanist (Brown, i.g.). There is no guarantee that these men are the people the plants are named after, given that one can honor any person by naming a plant (relative, sponsor, famous personality, or even a fictional character).