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I came across a species name that contains "x" in its name, namely Miscanthus × giganteus. What does this symbol stand for and is it commonly used in taxonomic nomenclature?
It means that the plant is a hybrid. Having it in the middle means that it is between species of the same genus, else the × (it's not the letter x but the multiplication symbol ×) would have been in front.
It is very commonly used in taxonomic nomenclature, namely every time you have a hybrid. This means you'll usually see it with plants, as animals very rarely interbreed.
Wikipedia says that your plant is a hybrid from Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus. It is an easy place to look up most hybrids you might encounter.