Common Names please?

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Sun Oct 4 23:05:20 EDT 1998

Just an observation:

Consider the following list of common garden plants: Aster, Zinnia,
Petunia, Hydrangea, Delphinium, Buddleia, Azalea, Geranium, Gardenia,
Lantana, Cosmos, Rhododendron, Hibiscus, Chrysanthemum, Celosia, Forsythia,
Spiraea, Nasturtium, Narcissus, Iris, Phlox, Impatiens, Coreopsis,
Gaillardia, Portulaca, Ageratum, Dahlia, Alyssum, Gloxinia, Philodendron,
Nicotiana, Sedum, Monarda, Begonia, Wisteria, Yucca, and Cleome (just off
the top of my head, from my own households over the years). All scientific
names, all of which have been in common use for decades.

Given this example, I think it's obvious that there is nothing inherently
difficult about people learning or using scientific names, but that it's
rather a matter of tradition. If we simply train the next generation of
lep-lovers to use scientific names, then they will be comfortable with
them, just like the gardeners are now...but that's our choice, isn't it?


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 31-499-2579, fax: 31-499-2567  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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