specific epithet

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specific epithet ‎(plural specific epithets)

  1. (taxonomy, botany) The second (uncapitalized) word in the scientific name of a species, following the name of the genus.
    In Cannabis sativa the word sativa is the specific epithet.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term specific epithet usually refers to the second element in the formal name of a plant, fungus, or bacterium. The corresponding element in the formal name of an animal is normally called its specific name.

Related terms[edit]