Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic; the state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated. The first European visitor to Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616; the first European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government.
He established a convict-supported military garrison at King George III Sound, at present-day Albany, on 21 January 1827 formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth. York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. Situated 97 kilometres east of Perth, it was settled on 16 September 1831. Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890 and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today, its economy relies on mining, agriculture and tourism; the state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports. Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world. Western Australia is bounded to the east by longitude 129°E, the meridian 129 degrees east of Greenwich, which defines the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory, bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and north.
The International Hydrographic Organization designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean. The total length of the state's eastern border is 1,862 km. There are 20,781 km including 7,892 km of island coastline; the total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2. The bulk of Western Australia consists of the old Yilgarn craton and Pilbara craton which merged with the Deccan Plateau of India and the Karoo and Zimbabwe cratons of Southern Africa, in the Archean Eon to form Ur, one of the oldest supercontinents on Earth. In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits uncovered in the Pilbara craton. Because the only mountain-building since has been of the Stirling Range with the rifting from Antarctica, the land is eroded and ancient, with no part of the state above 1,245 metres AHD. Most of the state is a low plateau with an average elevation of about 400 metres low relief, no surface runoff.
This descends sharply to the coastal plains, in some cases forming a sharp escarpment. The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils are remarkably infertile and laterised. Soils derived from granitic bedrock contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus and only half as much nitrogen as soils in comparable climates in other continents. Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone are less fertile, nearly devoid of soluble phosphate and deficient in zinc, copper and sometimes potassium and calcium; the infertility of most of the soils has required heavy application by farmers of fertilizers. These have resulted in damage to bacterial populations; the grazing and use of hoofed mammals and heavy machinery through the years have resulted in compaction of soils and great damage to the fragile soils. Large-scale land clearing for agriculture has damaged habitats for native fauna; as a result, the South West region of the state has a higher concentration of rare, threatened or endangered flora and fauna than many areas of Australia, making it one of the world's biodiversity "hot spots".
Large areas of the state's wheatbelt region have problems with dryland salinity and the loss of fresh water. The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate, it was heavily forested, including large stands of karri, one of the tallest trees in the world. This agricultural region is one of the nine most bio-diverse terrestrial habitats, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current, the area is one of the top six regions for marine biodiversity and contains the most southerly coral reefs in the world. Average annual rainfall varies from 300 millimetres at the edge of the Wheatbelt region to 1,400 millimetres in the wettest areas near Northcliffe, but from November to March, evaporation exceeds rainfall, it is very dry. Plants are adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils; the central two-thirds of the state is sparsely inhabited. The only significant economic activity is mining. Annual rainfall averages less than 300 millimetres, most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer.
An exception to this is
A shrub or bush is a small- to medium-sized woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs have persistent woody, they are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height, are under 6 m tall. Plants of many species may grow either depending on their growing conditions. Small, low shrubs less than 2 m tall, such as lavender and most small garden varieties of rose, are termed "subshrubs". An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or a garden is known as a shrubbery; when clipped as topiary, suitable species or varieties of shrubs develop dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together. Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning, in which hard cutting back to a "stool" results in long new stems known as "canes". Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their character. Shrubs in common garden practice are considered broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as mountain pine and common juniper are shrubby in structure. Species that grow into a shrubby habit may be either evergreen.
In botany and ecology, a shrub is more used to describe the particular physical structural or plant life-form of woody plants which are less than 8 metres high and have many stems arising at or near the base. For example, a descriptive system adopted in Australia is based on structural characteristics based on life-form, plus the height and amount of foliage cover of the tallest layer or dominant species. For shrubs 2–8 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-shrub mid-dense foliage cover — open-shrub sparse foliage cover — tall shrubland sparse foliage cover — tall open shrublandFor shrubs less than 2 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-heath or closed low shrubland— mid-dense foliage cover — open-heath or mid-dense low shrubland— sparse foliage cover — low shrubland sparse foliage cover — low open shrubland Those marked with * can develop into tree form
The brown honeyeater belongs to the honeyeaters, a group of birds found in Australia and New Guinea which have developed brush-tipped tongues adapted for nectar feeding. It is a medium-small brownish bird, with yellow-olive panels in the tail and wing and a yellow tuft behind the eye. Widespread across western and eastern Australia, the brown honeyeater occupies a range of habitats from mangroves to eucalypt woodlands, it is seasonally nomadic within its local area, following flowering food plants. While it forages alone, it feeds in small groups, or flocks of mixed honeyeater species. Nectar and insects form its diet, it occupies the same breeding territory each year, lays two or three eggs in a cup-shaped nest woven from grass and soft bark. Both sexes contribute to nest feeding the young, it has a loud, musical song, described as the best of all the honeyeaters. While the brown honeyeater is declining in some areas such as the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, overall its population levels and distribution are sufficient to have it described by the IUCN as being of least concern for conservation.
The brown honeyeater was described by Nicholas Aylward Vigors and Thomas Horsfield in 1827 as Meliphaga indistincta. The species name indistincta is from the Latin word meaning "obscure". Vigors and Horsfield were working from the bird collection of the Linnean Society in London, they said of the brown honeyeater specimen, "It is however in bad condition, scarcely admits of a description." Included in the "catch-all" genus Gliciphila, the brown honeyeater is now classified as a member of the genus Lichmera, from the Greek word meaning "to lick" or "to dart the tongue", following Schodde and Monroe and Christidis and Boles. As well as the nominate race Lichmera indistincta indistincta, a number of other subspecies are recognised: ocularis, melvillensis and nupta; the Indonesian honeyeater Lichmera limbata is treated as a subspecies of L. indistincta by some taxonomic authorities. A 2017 genetic study using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA confirms the close relationship between the two, their lineages having diverged recently.
Molecular analysis has shown honeyeaters to be related to the Pardalotidae and the Maluridae in a large Meliphagoidea superfamily. The brown honeyeater is a medium-small, plain grey-brown honeyeater with a body length of 12–16 centimetres, a wingspan of 18–23 centimetres, an average weight of 9–11 grams; the female is smaller than the male, but the sexes differ only in appearance. The head, back and upper tail-coverts are brown, the wings a darker brown; the only distinguishing features are a small yellow patch behind the eye, indistinct in some birds, dull yellow-olive panels in the folded wings and tail. The brown honeyeater’s sexual dimorphism is slight; the adult male has crown, contrasting with a brownish nape. The forehead and crown of the adult female is a similar olive-brown to the rest of the upper body. A juvenile bird is similar to the female, but may lack or show only a trace of the yellow tuft behind the eye; the bill is black, is long and curved downwards, well adapted for probing deep tubular flowers.
The gape in the male is black when breeding, pale yellow at other times. The gape of the female is always pale yellow, in the juvenile bright yellow and swollen; the iris is brown, the feet and legs grey-black. The appearance of the various subspecies is uniform, with other races similar in size and plumage to the nominate race with slight variations in degrees of colouration and small differences in the length of the bill and the tail. Compared with L. i. indistincta, the male L. i. occularis has darker feathers on the top of the head with a greater contrast between crown and nape, a longer bill. L. i. melvillensis has a moderately darker throat and breast than indistincta, the female has a shorter tail. In L. i. nupta the differences between the sexes are slighter than in the nominate race. The nondescript brown honeyeater has a noteworthy song described in superlatives. "A glorious voice the best songster among Australian honeyeaters," is how one study of West Australian birds noted. "As a singer it has no superior among the honeyeater family, or for that matter, among Australian birds," said another report.
It has a clear, musical call, rendered as sweet-sweet-quarty-quarty, loud for the size of the bird. Both sexes call early in the morning, though the male calls throughout the day during the breeding season; the alarm call is a harsh ke-ke given several times at short intervals. The brown honeyeater is found in a wide range of wooded habitats, is widespread across Australia; the nominate race ranges across a broad band from Newcastle on the New South Wales coast north and west to Queensland and the Top End to south-western Western Australia. It is seen in Sydney, where populations have declined since the late 1950s, though it is being recorded in suitable habitats such as Homebush Bay and Kurnell in small numbers, is a vagrant to the Illawarra region, it is rare in South Australia, not present in Victoria and Tasmania. Population densities range from 2.3 birds per 1 hectare in the Kakadu National Park, t
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.04 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp; the first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port both founded downriver. Perth was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, it gained city status in 1856 and was promoted to the status of a Lord Mayorality in 1929. The city inherited its name due to the influence of Sir George Murray Member of Parliament for Perthshire and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies; the city's population increased as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century.
During Australia's involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre, a US Navy Catalina flying boat fleet was based at Matilda Bay. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Greece and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth; this was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for several large mining operations located around the state. As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are located within the city, as is Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia. Perth came seventh in the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2016 list of the world's most liveable cities and was classified by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2010 as a Beta world city; the city hosted the 1962 Commonwealth Games.
Perth is divided into 30 local government areas and 250 suburbs, stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Singleton in the south, east inland to The Lakes. Outside of the main CBD, important urban centres within Perth include Joondalup. Most of those were established as separate settlements and retained a distinct identity after being subsumed into the wider metropolitan area. Mandurah, Western Australia's second-largest city, has in recent years formed a conurbation with Perth along the coast, though for most purposes it is still considered a separate city. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Perth area for at least 38,000 years, as evidenced by archaeological remains at Upper Swan; the Noongar people lived as hunter-gatherers. The wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain were important to them, both spiritually and as a source of food; the Noongar people know the area. Boorloo formed part of the territory of the Mooro, a Noongar clan, which at the time of British settlement had Yellagonga as their leader.
The Mooro was one of several Noongar Indigenous clans based around the Swan River known collectively as the Whadjuk. The Whadjuk themselves were one of a larger group of fourteen tribes that formed the south-west socio-linguistic block known as the Noongar sometimes called the Bibbulmun. On 19 September 2006, the Federal Court of Australia brought down a judgment recognising Noongar native title over the Perth metropolitan area in the case of Bennell v State of Western Australia FCA 1243; the judgment was overturned on appeal. The first documented sighting of the region was made by the Dutch Captain Willem de Vlamingh and his crew on 10 January 1697. Subsequent sightings between this date and 1829 were made by other Europeans, but as in the case of the sighting and observations made by Vlamingh, the area was considered to be inhospitable and unsuitable for the agriculture that would be needed to sustain a settlement. Although the Colony of New South Wales had established a convict-supported settlement at King George's Sound on the south coast of Western Australia in 1826 in response to rumours that the area would be annexed by France, Perth was the first full-scale settlement by Europeans in the western third of the continent.
The British colony would be designated Western Australia in 1832 but was known informally for many years as the Swan River Colony after the area's major watercourse. On 4 June 1829, newly arriving British colonists had their first view of the mainland, Western Australia's founding has since been recognised by a public holiday on the first Monday in June each year. Captain James Stirling, aboard Parmelia, said that Perth was "as beautiful as anything of this kind I had witnessed". On 12 August that year, Helen Dance, wife of the captain of the second ship, cut down a tree to mark the founding of the town, it is clear that Stirling had selected the name Perth for the capital well before the town was proclaimed, as his proclamation of the colony, read in Fremantle on 18 June 1829, ended "given under my hand and Seal at Perth this 18th Day of June 1829. James Stirling Lieutenant Governor"; the only contemporary information on the source of the name comes from Fremantle's diary entry for 12 August, which records that they "named the town Perth according to the wishes of Sir George Murray".
Murray was born in Perth and was in 1829 Secretary of State for the Colonies and Member for Perthshire in the British House of Commons. The town was named after the Scottish Pert
Swan River (Western Australia)
The Swan River is a river in the south west of Western Australia. Its Aboriginal Noongar name is the Derbarl Yerrigan; the river runs through Western Australia's capital and largest city. The Swan River estuary flows through the city of Perth, its lower reaches are wide and deep, with few constrictions, while the upper reaches are quite narrow and shallow. The Swan River drains the Avon and coastal plain catchments, which have a total area of about 121,000 square kilometres, it has the Avon River, Canning River and Helena River. The latter two have dams which provide a sizeable part of the potable water requirements for Perth and the regions surrounding; the Avon River contributes the majority of the freshwater flow. The climate of the catchment is Mediterranean, with mild wet winters, hot dry summers, the associated seasonal rainfall and flow regime; the Avon rises near Yealering, 221 kilometres southeast of Perth: it meanders north-northwest to Toodyay about 90 kilometres northeast of Perth turns southwest in Walyunga National Park – at the confluence of the Wooroloo Brook, it becomes the Swan River.
The Canning River rises not far from North Bannister, 100 kilometres southeast of Perth and joins the Swan at Applecross, opening into Melville Water. The river narrows into Blackwall Reach, a narrow and deep stretch leading the river through Fremantle Harbour to the sea; the Noongar people believe that the Darling Scarp represents the body of a Wagyl – a snakelike being from Dreamtime that meandered over the land creating rivers and lakes. It is thought; the estuary is subject to a microtidal regime, with a maximum tidal amplitude of about 1 metre, although water levels are subject to barometric pressure fluctuations. Before the Tertiary, when the sea level was much lower than at present, the Swan River curved around to the north of Rottnest Island, disgorged itself into the Indian Ocean to the north and west of Rottnest. In doing so, it carved a gorge about the size of the Grand Canyon. Now known as Perth Canyon, this feature still exists as a submarine canyon near the edge of the continental shelf.
The Swan River drains the Swan Coastal Plain, a total catchment area of over 100,000 square kilometres in area. The river is located in a Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters, although this balance appears to be changing due to climate change; the Swan is located on the edge of the Darling Scarp, flowing downhill across the coastal plain to its mouth at Fremantle. The Swan begins as the Avon River, rising near Yealering in the Darling Range 175 kilometres from its mouth at Fremantle; the Avon flows north, passing through the towns of Brookton, York and Toodyay. It is joined by tributaries including the Mortlock River and the Brockman River; the Avon becomes the Swan. More tributaries including Ellen Brook, Jane Brook, Henley Brook, Wandoo Creek, Bennett Brook, Blackadder Creek, Limestone Creek, Susannah Brook, the Helena River enter the river between Wooroloo Brook and Guildford. Between Perth and Guildford the river goes through several loops. Areas including the Maylands Peninsula and Burswood, through Claise Brook and north of the city to Herdsman Lake were swampy wetlands.
Most of the wetlands have since been reclaimed for land development. Heirisson Island, upon which The Causeway passes over, was once a collection of small islets known as the Hierrison Islands. Perth Water, between the city and South Perth, is separated from the main estuary by the Narrows, over which the Narrows Bridge was built in 1959; the river opens up into the large expanse of the river known as Melville Water. The Canning River enters the river at Canning Bridge in Applecross from its source 50 kilometres south-east of Armadale; the river is at its widest here. Point Walter has a protruding spit that extends up to 800 metres into the river, forcing river traffic to detour around it; the river narrows between Chidley Point and Blackwall Reach, curving around Point Roe and Preston Point before narrowing into the harbour. Stirling Bridge and the Fremantle Traffic Bridge cross the river north of the rivermouth; the Swan River empties into the Indian Ocean at Fremantle Harbour. Plant and animal life found in or near the Swan-Canning Estuary include: Over 130 species of fish including bull sharks, cobblers, pilchard, flatheads and blowfish Jellyfish including Phyllorhiza punctata and Aurelia aurita Bottlenose dolphins Crustaceans including prawns and blue manna crabs Amphipod Melita zeylanica kauerti described based on specimen, collected from under middle swan bridge.
Molluscs including Mytilidae, Galeommatidae Birds including the eponymous black swan, silver gull, twenty-eight parrots, rainbow lorikeet, red-tailed black cockatoo, Australian pelican, Australian magpie and ducks. The river was named Swarte Swaene-Revier by Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh in 1697, after the famous black swans of the area. Vlamingh sailed with a small party up the river to around Heirisson
The eudicots, Eudicotidae or eudicotyledons are a clade of flowering plants, called tricolpates or non-magnoliid dicots by previous authors. The botanical terms were introduced in 1991 by evolutionary botanist James A. Doyle and paleobotanist Carol L. Hotton to emphasize the evolutionary divergence of tricolpate dicots from earlier, less specialized, dicots; the close relationships among flowering plants with tricolpate pollen grains was seen in morphological studies of shared derived characters. These plants have a distinct trait in their pollen grains of exhibiting three colpi or grooves paralleling the polar axis. Molecular evidence confirmed the genetic basis for the evolutionary relationships among flowering plants with tricolpate pollen grains and dicotyledonous traits; the term means "true dicotyledons", as it contains the majority of plants that have been considered dicots and have characteristics of the dicots. The term "eudicots" has subsequently been adopted in botany to refer to one of the two largest clades of angiosperms, monocots being the other.
The remaining angiosperms include magnoliids and what are sometimes referred to as basal angiosperms or paleodicots, but these terms have not been or adopted, as they do not refer to a monophyletic group. The other name for the eudicots is tricolpates, a name which refers to the grooved structure of the pollen. Members of the group have tricolpate pollen; these pollens have three or more pores set in furrows called colpi. In contrast, most of the other seed plants produce monosulcate pollen, with a single pore set in a differently oriented groove called the sulcus; the name "tricolpates" is preferred by some botanists to avoid confusion with the dicots, a nonmonophyletic group. Numerous familiar plants are eudicots, including many common food plants and ornamentals; some common and familiar eudicots include members of the sunflower family such as the common dandelion, the forget-me-not and other members of its family, buttercup and macadamia. Most leafy trees of midlatitudes belong to eudicots, with notable exceptions being magnolias and tulip trees which belong to magnoliids, Ginkgo biloba, not an angiosperm.
The name "eudicots" is used in the APG system, of 1998, APG II system, of 2003, for classification of angiosperms. It is applied to a monophyletic group, which includes most of the dicots. "Tricolpate" is a synonym for the "Eudicot" monophyletic group, the "true dicotyledons". The number of pollen grain furrows or pores helps classify the flowering plants, with eudicots having three colpi, other groups having one sulcus. Pollen apertures are any modification of the wall of the pollen grain; these modifications include thinning and pores, they serve as an exit for the pollen contents and allow shrinking and swelling of the grain caused by changes in moisture content. The elongated apertures/ furrows in the pollen grain are called colpi, along with pores, are a chief criterion for identifying the pollen classes; the eudicots can be divided into two groups: the basal eudicots and the core eudicots. Basal eudicot is an informal name for a paraphyletic group; the core eudicots are a monophyletic group.
A 2010 study suggested the core eudicots can be divided into two clades, Gunnerales and a clade called "Pentapetalae", comprising all the remaining core eudicots. The Pentapetalae can be divided into three clades: Dilleniales superrosids consisting of Saxifragales and rosids superasterids consisting of Santalales, Berberidopsidales and asteridsThis division of the eudicots is shown in the following cladogram: The following is a more detailed breakdown according to APG IV, showing within each clade and orders: clade Eudicots order Ranunculales order Proteales order Trochodendrales order Buxales clade Core eudicots order Gunnerales order Dilleniales clade Superrosids order Saxifragales clade Rosids order Vitales clade Fabids order Fabales order Rosales order Fagales order Cucurbitales order Oxalidales order Malpighiales order Celastrales order Zygophyllales clade Malvids order Geraniales order Myrtales order Crossosomatales order Picramniales order Malvales order Brassicales order Huerteales order Sapindales clade Superasterids order Berberidopsidales order Santalales order Caryophyllales clade Asterids order Cornales order Ericales clade Campanulids order Aquifoliales order Asterales order Escalloniales order Bruniales order Apiales order Dipsacales order Paracryphiales clade Lamiids order Solanales order Lamiales order Vahliales order Gentianales order Boraginales order Garryales order Metteniusales order Icacinales Eudicots at the Encyclopedia of Life Eudicots, Tree of Life Web Project Dicots Plant Life Forms
Binomial nomenclature called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; the first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most known binomial; the formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici many names of genera that were adopted by Linnaeus; the application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants.
Although the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules. In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in writing, while that of the second part is not when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place. Both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text, thus the binomial name of the annual phlox is now written as Phlox drummondii. In scientific works, the authority for a binomial name is given, at least when it is first mentioned, the date of publication may be specified. In zoology "Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758"; the name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was that first published a description and name for this species of limpet. "Passer domesticus". The original name given by Linnaeus was Fringilla domestica; the ICZN does not require that the name of the person who changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although nomenclatorial catalogs include such information.
In botany "Amaranthus retroflexus L." – "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for "Linnaeus". "Hyacinthoides italica Rothm. – Linnaeus first named this bluebell species Scilla italica. The name is composed of two word-forming elements: "bi", a Latin prefix for two, "-nomial", relating to a term or terms; the word "binomium" was used in Medieval Latin to mean a two-term expression in mathematics. Prior to the adoption of the modern binomial system of naming species, a scientific name consisted of a generic name combined with a specific name, from one to several words long. Together they formed a system of polynomial nomenclature; these names had two separate functions. First, to designate or label the species, second, to be a diagnosis or description. In a simple genus, containing only two species, it was easy to tell them apart with a one-word genus and a one-word specific name; such "polynomial names" may sometimes look like binomials, but are different. For example, Gerard's herbal describes various kinds of spiderwort: "The first is called Phalangium ramosum, Branched Spiderwort.
The other... is aptly termed Phalangium Ephemerum Virginianum, Soon-Fading Spiderwort of Virginia". The Latin phrases are short descriptions, rather than identifying labels; the Bauhins, in particular Caspar Bauhin, took some important steps towards the binomial system, by pruning the Latin descriptions, in many cases to two words. The adoption by biologists of a system of binomial nomenclature is due to Swedish botanist and physician Carl von Linné, more known by his Latinized name Carl Linnaeus, it was in his 1753 Species Plantarum that he first began using a one-word "trivial name" together with a generic name in a system of binomial nomenclature. This trivial name is what is now known as specific name; the Bauhins' genus names were retained in many of these, but the descriptive part was reduced to a single word. Linnaeus's trivial names introduced an important new idea, namely that the function of a name could be to give a species a unique label; this meant. Thus Gerard's Phalangium ephemerum virginianum became Tradescantia virgi