to italicize or not to italicize...

Jennifer Hildebrand
Mon, 15 Sep 2008 06:14:02 PDT
Hi everyone,
Marguerite and I are proofreading the next editioni of The Bulb Garden, so it should be in your hands relatively soon.  But we've stumbled across a question that we're hoping some of our experts can answer.  When should be use italics?
The two general rules that I've seen are as follows: 1) A family name is not italicized, while a species name is.  2) Common names are not italicized.  
One of the articles that you'll soon be enjoying is by Leo Martin; he discusses his attempts to garden with bulbs in the Sonoran desert.  But this article has raised this dreaded italicizing question.  He refers to Bearded Iris and Oncocyclus Iris.  Are these considered scientific names or common names?  I did not italicize hybrid tulips, hyacinths, and crocus - should I have?  Meanwhile, I did italicize Lilium, Muscari, and Tigridia.  Right or wrong?
Any suggestions that would stop your editors' heads from spinning would be appreciated!


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