Changing Plant Names Jacksonville NC

Sometimes as I read my gardening books and magazines I come across a Latin plant name followed by a parentheses that says another name the plant was formerly known by people in Jacksonville as - which is often more familiar to me. Why do the plant namers do this to us?

Pollard Enterprises, Inc.
(910) 455-5552
2695 Richlands Highway
Jacksonville, NC
Products / Services
Groundcovers, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

Data Provided by:
Brynn Marr Village
(910) 353-2024
301 Village Dr
Camp Lejeune, NC
 
Redfearn's Nursery Inc
(252) 393-8243
1018 Cedar Point Blvd
Cedar Point, NC

Data Provided by:
North Carolina Baptist Hospital
(336) 716-9287
300 Medical Center Blvd
Winston Salem, NC

Data Provided by:
Sandra's Garden
(252) 221-8238
446 Gliden Rd
Hobbsville, NC
Products / Services
Annuals, Cactus / Succulent, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Perennials, Plants, Seed, Shrubs, Wildflower Seed

Data Provided by:
Mainscape Inc
(910) 353-4293
2045 Lejeune Blvd
Camp Lejeune, NC
 
China Garden
(910) 353-8858
120 Western Blvd
Camp Lejeune, NC
 
Chattooga Gardens
(828) 743-1062
91 Valley Road
Cashiers, NC
Products / Services
Annuals, Artisan Crafts, Bulbs, Chemicals, Conifers / Evergreens, Crop Protection, Garden Center Marketing, Garden Centers / Nurseries, Garden Ornaments, Gardening Supplies, Groundcovers, Horticulture Companies, Mulch, Perennials, Plants, Roses, Seeds, Shrubs, Statues / Sculptures, Trees

Data Provided by:
Dewayne's Home & Garden Showplace
(919) 202-8471
1575 Industrial Park Drive
Selma, NC
Products / Services
Annuals, Aquatics, Arrangement Accessories, Bath & Personal Care Products, Bird Feeders, Bird Houses / Nest Boxes, Boots / Clogs, Bulbs, Candles & Holders, Ceramic, Terra Cotta & Stone Containers, Chemicals, Christmas Lighting, Christmas Ornaments & Decorations, Christmas Trees, Christmas Trees, Wreaths & Greens - Permanent, Clothing, Coconut / Moss Liners, Collectables & Figurines, Conifers / Evergreens, Containers, Containers - Decorative, Crop Protection, Decorative Planters & Urns, Door M…

Data Provided by:
Ray's Greenhouse
(828) 586-5830
250 Marsh Lily Dr.
Sylva, NC
Products / Services
Groundcovers, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Changing Plant Names

Provided by:

Sometimes as I read my gardening books and magazines I come across a Latin plant name followed by a parentheses that says another name the plant was formerly known as—which is often more familiar to me. Why do the plant namers do this to us?



Answer: Changes in long-established names are a nuisance for everyone and may seem difficult to justify—especially where a familiar name changes to something that is hard to remember and to spell, and even more difficult to pronounce. However, there are usually good reasons for the change.



The “principle of priority,” as it is known, has established that the first written description of a plant is taken as its valid name. Familiar names can therefore sometimes fall from grace as new information comes to light from ever more obscure places around the globe. Herbaria in libraries in the former Soviet Union are now being studied by experts and we are having to accept earlier names for some plant familiar to generations of gardeners. The “new” name may mean nothing to us and may be very hard for some of us to pronounce—try saying Allium przewalskianum quickly.



Another reason for name changes is that modern scientists are able to detect ever more minute differences (and similarities) in plant characteristics. This means that sometimes new plants must be separated into a new genus: our old friend Senecio ‘Sunshine’ became Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’, while the once-familiar genus Cimicifuga has disappeared into another genus, Actaea. As for the florists chrysanthemum, it was Dendranthema only to be returned to Chrysanthemum a few years later. Occasionally taxonomists run out of names and resort to using an anagram of an existing one: the genus Saruma has been created from the closely related Asarum.



Read more Q&A

From Horticulture Magazine