Scientific names a selection of plants and birds whose common names begin with U or V. The illustrations of the Letter U-V are public domain and uploaded to Creative Commons Via Fae.

nifoliate=having a single leaf or leaf-like part. Derives from the Latin uni/unus-meaning one = folium a leaf.

uniflora-One flowered.                umbelltum-flowers in umbels.      ugli-of marshes

undulatum=wavy edged             unguivulata=clawed                    uro- "I burn" {sting]

ura/oura=of the tail.                   utriculus= a little bladder.

undatus/unda-indicates a wave                                                  unguis/unguinos=claw like

unijugate {of a cpmpound leaf} having a single pair of leaflets. 

ervain. Verbena officinalis

The common name of Vervain derives from Celtic ferfaen,from fer indicating to drive away +faen meaning stone. The plant was used medicinally against kidney and bladder stones.The genus name of Verbena is aa Roman name for alter plants. This is the only British genus.

Officinalis the scientific name indicates it was sold as a drug at the Apothercary.


Viper's bugloss. Echium vulgare

The common name is so called because in days gone by it was thought to cure snake bites.

Bugloss -derives from two Greek words which together mean ox-tongue,alludes to the shape and texture of the leaves

The genus name of echium derives from the Greek echis meaning a viper. The seeds were thought to resmble the shape of a viper's head.

The specific name of vulgare indicates it is common.


Valerian,Red. Centranthus ruber

The common name of Valerian is probably from Latin Valere ,meaning to be healthy.Alluding to the medicinal properties of some species.

The genus name of Centranthus derives from the Greek kentron meaning a spur +anthos -a flower. refers to the horn-shaped projection on the side of the flower tube.

The specific name of rubra is Latin for red. 


etch, Horse shoe.  Hippocrepis comosa

the common name derives from the fact that the plants fruits {seed pods} consist of many horse shoe-shaped segments. The flower head formation is also considered to be horse shoe shaped.

the genus name of hippocrepis also means horse shoe,it derives from the Greek hippos meanin a horse+krepis meaning a shoe.

The scientific name of comosa  means hairy or tufted.


Vernal grass ,Sweet scneted  Anthoxanthum odoratum.

The common name of Vernal indicates of or occurring in spring,from the Latin vernalis from ver meaning spring.

The genus name of Anthoxanthum derives from the Greek anthos meaning a flower +xanthos meaning yellow.

The specific name of odoratum alludes to the sweet scent or odour.


Violet,Dog. Viola canina.

The common name of Violet and the genus name of Viola derives from the Old French violete meaning a little violet flower from viole from Latin viola meaning violet.

The second part of the common name-dog alludes to it being inferior to other species of Viola such as the pansy.The specific name canina indicates of dogs. In this case meaning it is inferior  by having no scent.




Horse shoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa. Courtesy of Isidre blanc  CC BY-SA 4.0 international license

ireo,Red-eyed.  Vireo oliveaceus.

The common name and genus name of Vireo derives from the Latin virescere meaning to become green.

The specific name oliveaceus tending to be olive in  colouring.


 Velvet scoter. Melanitta fusca

The genus name of Melanitta derives from the Greek melas indicating black+netta a duck.

The specific name of fusca derives from the Latin fuscus meaning dusky.


Varied Thrush. Ixoreus naevius.

The genus name of Ixoreus derives from the Greek iox=mistletoe+orius indicates belonging to.

The specific name of naevius means spotted. 


Varied thrush. Courtesy of Noel Lee CC SA 2.0 generic license. {originally posted to Flickr.}

eery.  Catharus fuscescens.

The common name of Veery is probably imitative  of its note.

The genus name of Catharus derives from the Greek katharos indicating pure/clear.

the specific name of  fuscescens derives from Latin and indicates a brownish black colour ,from fuscus meaning dusky.


Vireo ,yellow throated. Vireo flavifrons.

The common name and the genus name derive from Latin virescere, indicating to become Green.

The specific name of flavifrons derives from Latin flavus=yellow + frons,meaning brow.

Vireo,yellow throated. Courtesy of Andy Reago & Chrissy McClaren CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic license. {originally posted to Flickr}

Other Latin names you may encounter when reading Plant/Bird books.

vacca=cow.                             valere-to be healthy                    vallis=a valley

variegare-variegated                  vera=true                                   vesca=little

vagans-wandering/spreading     verrucosa-warty                          vallecula=grooves {stem}

vespertinus=flowers open early                                                  vernalis=of spring.

veris/ver=of spring                   vernixia=varnished                       virgatum=wand-like

velutina=velvety                       vespa-a wasp                             venustum=handsome

venosa/vena/venosum=conspicuously veined.                             vigrata/virgata=twiggy

velox/velosis=swift                  vocosa /viscidius=sticky               vitellna=egg-yolk yellow

vincire =to twine                     variablilis- a variable                     ventralis-ventral-of the belly.

vincio-to bind                         viridis=green                                virosus -poison

versicolor-many coloured         volans-flying                                volubile- twisting

vulparia-of wolves                    volubilis twining                            vulnus=a wound

vulgare =common                  villosus-very hairy                          vernal=of spring

verrucous-covered by warty growths                                            vaginate-having a sheath

venidiumj-/vena- a vein or having prominent veins.                        vimer=flexible shoots


Associated pages. Click on the relevant content baner at the top  of this page.

This series of articles are in an A-Z format  Click on the relevant content banner on the right hand side of this page. { A selection of plants and birds whose common name begins with A B C etc.}

Many of the species that occur on this page have a page dedicated to them on the site or via Links banner. 

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