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Look what I saw on a car near my place:

Clivia car license plate in Australia
Ken Smith, NSW Australia

Really Miniature Clivia

This is a really small clivia! Here is a 1-inch tall model for doll houses.
Marc Hamel, Barre, Massachusettes

Pronunciation of Clivia

From the name of this page, you can guess how I pronounce "clivia" -- to rhyme with "trivia". This is not the only way to prounounce it. Many English speakers pronounce it "CLI vee yah", with the first syllable rhyming with "eye", because the genus was named after a certain Lady Clive. A classical Latin pronunciation might be something like "KLEE vee ah". A French speaker would probably give it still a different pronunciation, and so it.

According to Sir Peter Smithers, "Botanical Latin is a written language, not a spoken one." Botanical Latin is intended to be an international language. When it comes to pronunciations, all are right, none is wrong. What matters is that the person you are speaking with understands what plant you are talking about. So don't let any language snobs bully you!

An excellent way to handle this is to immediately adopt, for the duration of that conversation, the pronunciation of botanical names used by the person with whom you are speaking. Of course if you both try to do this at once, it might become pretty amusing!

Jim Shields

Clivia on Stamps

It seems that many nations have issued postal stamps with clivias pictured on them. We have a page devoted just to that novel species, "Clivia philatelica."

Chinese medallions with clivias Chinese medallions with clivias
These are two Chinese Clivia medallions that Yoshikazu Nakamura sent to me.

Ken Smith


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Jim Shields <>, webmaster
Last revised on: 10 February 2003