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Common Names of Plants

Database of Common Names of Plants: An Alphabetical Listing

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The common names of plants will, presumably, always be with us in some form or other, because they are easier to relate to and roll off the tongue better than the corresponding scientific names of plants. In an informal setting, who would be pedantic enough to prefer "Cerastium tomentosum" to the romantic "snow-in-summer"? In fact, some botanical names are downright ugly. "Pincushion" flower may not be the loveliest of monikers, but it sure beats "Scabiosa," which sounds like a medical condition.

Not that we don't occasionally encounter a role reversal. The common name of the plant, Coreopsis is "tickseed." While the former is reasonably melodious, the latter evokes rather disturbing images for someone who lives (as I do) not very far from the Lyme disease capital of the world, Lyme, Connecticut (U.S.).

The common names of plants may not be as highfalutin as their botanical counterparts, but they are not altogether lacking in scholarly interest, as many have fascinating historical tales to tell. Below is the index to plants I cover on this website, listed by section, alphabetically (note that in some cases, the scientific names of plants are so commonly used as to function essentially as alternative common names, in which case I include them in this database). For example, if you're searching for information on yarrow, scroll down to where you see "U-Z" and click the link. You'll be brought to a page with links for common names of plants beginning with one of those letters:

Database of Common Names of Plants

A-B From Adonis... To Butterfly Bush
C-D From Cactus... To Dogwood
E-F From Easter Lily... To Fringe Flower
G-H From Garden Phlox... To Hydrangeas
I-J From Ice Plant... To Juniper
K-L From Japanese Kerria... To Loropetalum
M-N From Magnolia... To Nora Leigh Phlox
O-P From Oak Trees... To Pussy Willows
Q-R From Quaking Aspen... To Russian Sage
S-T From Sage... To Tulips
U-Z From Vernal, Sweet... To Zebra Grass

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