“Taxonomy” (aka “Systematics) is the scientific classification of organisms that shows their relationships to one another.  It is based on physical and genetic characteristics and allows us to group / distinguish things following a hierarchy of broadest-to-most-unique features.  By assigning a unique scientific name, derived from Latin and Greek, we eliminate confusion from the use of “common names.”


For example, if you tell me you saw a “Bird of Paradise,” do you mean the plant from southern Africa or the bird that lives in Papau New Guinea?



Strelitzia reginae



Paradiasea raggiana



Kingdom:  Plantae




Kingdom:  Animalia

Division:  Vascular (has specialised tissues for conducting water)



Phyllum:  Chordata (has a spinal chord)

Class:  Angiospermae (flowering plant)


Class:  Aves (birds)

Order:  Zingiberales (large herbaceous

plants, all have leaves like banana plants)



Order:  Passeriformes (songbirds)

Family:  Strelitziaceae


Family:  Paradisaeidae

Genus:  Strelitzia


Genus: Paradisaea

Species:  reginae


Species: raggiana