The plant that was once called papa originated from the Andes Mountains of Peru. It has been brought to far away places throughout the world. In France, this same plant is called pommes de terre, in India it is called aloo, in the Philippines it is patatas, and so on. You can see how this can be very confusing when we read literature.
Carolus Linnaeus thought of a very good way to solve this problem. He proposed and started a naming system known as binomial nomenclature. This eventually became the standard for naming all species. Binomial nomenclature is like giving first and last names for all species of organisms. This is the latinized name given to plants also known as scientific name. Let's look at the following name for example:
Scientific Name: Solanum tuberosum L.
Common Name: Potato
Solanum is the generic (genus) name. Genus is the name given for a group of plants/organisms with physical characteristics that are similar and permamnent. It always start with a capital letter. Solanum describes a group of plants that have the following characteristics: lightly to heavily toxic; clammy to hairy plants; star to bell shaped flowers with five lobes; and fruit is always a berry. Examples of plants in this genus are potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes.