Definition - What does Genus mean?

Originating from the Latin term, genus, meaning origin or type, the genus of a plant is a taxonomic classification that names groups of organisms within the hierarchal system. The genus is the first part of the scientific names given to plants. For example, for grapevines, the genus it is the “vitis” part of the name vitis vinifera, which is a species of grapevine that includes cultivated grapevines used to make wine.

WineFrog explains Genus

The genus vitis, gives way to 79 species of grapevine plant, however, the vitis vinifera has over 5,000 different varieties. The genus is present within the family in taxonomic hierarchy and in the case of grapevines, the family is called Vitaceae, which includes vining flowering plants. The genus is comprised of species that are mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere, where grapes are grown more readily.

The name after the genus is the species (vinifera) and they must all have the specialized characteristics of the genus in common in order to be classified under the genus and family for that particular name. The criteria that makes up the genus should be compact, ancestral and distinct, so they are recognized as being the same type of plant. In this case, it is the edible grapes and their phenolic compounds.

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