What’s in a Name? Where in the World

Asarum europaeum with Iris pallida 'Argentea Variegata' and Euonymus 'Frosty Pearl'

Asarum europaeum (European wild ginger) with Iris pallida ‘Argentea Variegata’ (white-variegated sweet iris) and Euonymus ‘Frosty Pearl’ (wintercreeper)

The yearly arrival of the Chiltern Seeds catalog, with its hundreds of pages filled with tiny type and thousands of intriguing plant names, never fails to re-ignite my fascination with botanical nomenclature. So, I’m continuing my What’s in a Name series by finally tackling the abundance of names related to places. I’ll admit that geography isn’t one of my strongest subjects, so if you catch any mistakes, feel free to comment with corrections or clarifications. And I’ll warn you now that this is a very long post, so if you’re not into botanical trivia, feel free to just scroll down and enjoy the pictures.

Now, imagine that you have the exciting opportunity to choose a name for a new species of plant. You’re stuck with existing genus name, but you can pick pretty much anything you like for the specific epithet (the second part of the two-part botanical name). You might choose a word that describes some physical feature of the plant or what it’s used for, or the name of the person who actually discovered it. Or, you might go another route and select an epithet that indicates where the plant comes from.

Belamcanda chinensis seeds

Belamcanda chinensis (blackberry lily): native to China, yes, but also to many other parts of Asia

A place-related epithet may not be especially creative, but other gardeners might appreciate your choice, because looking at the name alone can give them some idea of where the plant might grow best. To be fair, this doesn’t always work: maybe, for instance, someone made a mistake about where the plant came from, or somehow they found it growing in a place far away from the plant’s natural habitat. Well, as with many other quirks of nomenclature, some gardeners will find a mistake like that annoying and others will think it makes a good story. The botanical name alone can’t possibly tell you everything you need to know about a plant, anyway; that’s what Google is for, right?

Phytolacca americana 'Silberstein'

Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed) – shown here in the variegated form usually sold as ‘Silberstein’

Sometimes, place-related epithets are blindingly obvious: you win no points for guessing where americanus and asiaticus refer to, for instance. In other cases, you need to know history as well as geography (or at least spend some time poking around Wikipedia) to figure out the origin from the name. One example is the botanical name of cheddar pink: Dianthus gratianopolitanus. That epithet doesn’t tell you anything unless you know that there used to be a place called Gratianopolis, after the Emperor Gratian, and that it’s now known as Grenoble, and that Grenoble is a city in southern France. Imagine how clever your friends would think you if you came up with an epithet like that for your plant! They’d never challenge you to a game of Trivial Pursuit, for sure.

Let’s say that you aren’t interested in getting quite that precise when choosing the name for your new plant: You want to get the job done and get back out in the garden. Maybe the general hemisphere is good enough? For the northern hemisphere, you might pick boreale or borealis, as in Phlox borealis (northern phlox) – or as in aurora borealis, which my mom insists on using any time someone asks her a plant’s botanical name, even though she knows perfectly well that it’s another name for the Northern Lights and not a botanical name. Septentrionale and septentrionalis, as in Aconitum septentrionale, also indicate “from the north.” If your plant’s from the far north, you might go with hyperboreus, as in Platanthera hyperborea (a terrestrial orchid first collected in Iceland, though it’s also native to many parts of North America), or for the more obvious arcticus, as in Salix arctica (arctic willow).

For a plant from the Southern Hemisphere, or from an area south of you, you could choose australe or australis. Or you might go for meridionale or meridionalis, as in Alonsoa meridionalis (mask flower), a beautiful annual that’s native to several South American countries.

Baptisia australis

Baptisia australis (blue false indigo) is native to North America, not Australia, as you might reasonably guess from the sound of its specific epithet. That’s not the only confusing part of its name, though: the species range includes areas from Canada all the way down to Texas – not just the southern U.S..

If you divide the planet the other way, the naming options are even simpler, though equally imprecise. For “eastern,” there’s orientale or orientalis, which might indicate East Asia (the Orient, as in Papaver orientalis [Oriental poppy]) or simply some location east of where you are (as in Helleborus orientalis [Lenten rose], from areas of southern Europe and Eurasia, not East Asia).

Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' with Allium sphaerocephalon, Veronicastrum virginicum, and Physocarpus opulifolius 'Center Glow'

Pennisetum orientale (Oriental fountain grass) – shown here as the pinkish selection ‘Karley Rose’ – paired with Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick chives), Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver’s root), and Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Center Glow’ (ninebark)

And then there’s occidentale and occidentalis, for “western”; in nomenclature, that usually refers to Europe and the countries of the Western Hemisphere (a.k.a. the Occident), as in Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore).

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush), a deciduous shrub native to many parts of North America

Want to be a little more precise in your naming? Consider an epithet that will indicate a particular continent, region, or country. If your species is from somewhere in Europe and you don’t want to go with the simple europaeus, there are lots of more specific names to choose from. Some you may guess right away, such as italicus (as in Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’ [Italian arum]) or germanicus (as in Iris germanica [German bearded iris]).

Mespilus germanica fruit

Mespilus germanica (medlar) fruit

Others may take a little thought to puzzle out, and some you’d probably not guess at all if you didn’t know much ancient history. Here’s just a sampling:

  • anglicus: England (as in Sorbus anglica [English whitebeam])
  • hibernicus: Ireland (as in Hedera hibernica [Irish ivy])
  • scoticus: Scotland (as in Levisticum scoticum [Scotch lovage])
  • cambricus: Wales (as in Meconopsis cambrica [Welsh poppy])
  • helveticus: Switzerland (as in Salix helvetica [Swiss willow])
  • gallicus: France (as in Rosa gallica [French rose])
  • graecus: Greece (as in Trigonella foenum-graecum [fenugreek or Greek hay])
  • hispanicus: Spain (as in Sedum hispanicum [Spanish stonecrop])
  • lusitanicus: Portugal (as in Prunus lusitanica [Portuguese laurel])
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Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Alba’ (white Spanish bluebell) with Thymus vulgaris (common thyme)

It can be hard to keep track of the many place names used in Eastern Europe, so you’d probably have to do some research to pick out the appropriate historical or current name. A few you may have already come across include:

  • moldavicus: for Moldavia (as in Dracocephalum moldavica [Moldavian dragonhead])
  • transylvanicus: for Transylvania, now the central part of Romania (as in Salvia transylvanica [Transylvania sage])
  • macedonicus: for Macedonia (as in Knautia macedonica [crimson scabious])
  • bulgaricus: for Bulgaria (as in Nectaroscordum siculum var. bulgaricum)
Knautia macedonica with Eucomis comosa ‘Oakhurst’ and Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’

Knautia macedonica (crimson scabious) with Eucomis comosa ‘Oakhurst’ (pineapple lily) and Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’ (corkscrew hazel)

Heading even further east, you’re moving into the area between Europe and Asia. Botanists have had a field day here, so you’ll probably recognize some of the names that relate to this region.

  • ponticus: from the Black Sea (as in Artemisia pontica and Rhododendron ponticum)
  • colchicus: from the eastern shore of the Black Sea (as in Hedera colchica [Colchis ivy])
  • caucasicus: from the Caucasus mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (as in Scabiosa caucasica [pincushion flower])
Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' with Spodiopogon sibiricus

Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’ (Oriental fountain grass) in front of Spodiopogon sibiricus  (Siberian graybeard or frost grass)

Need to go even further east? Asia’s a big place, so here are some options to pin down a plant’s origin:

  • sibericus or sibiricus: from Siberia, in northern Asia (as in Scilla siberica [Siberian squill] or Iris sibirica [Siberian iris])
  • russicus: from Russia (as in Echium russicum)
  • tataricus or turkestanicus: from central Asia (as in Aster tataricus [Tatarian or Tartarian aster] or Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica [clary sage])
Goniolimon tataricum with Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Pink'

Goniolimon tataricum (sometimes called Tartarian statice but better known as German statice) with Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Pink’

  • mongolicus: from Mongolia (as in Kalimeris mongolica [orphanage plant])
  • himalayense or himalayensis: from the Himalayas (as in Geranium himalayense [Himalayan cranesbill])
  • tanguticus: as far as I can tell, this means from Tibet or northwest China (as in Clematis tangutica [golden clematis])
  • tibetanus/thibetanus or tibeticus/thibeticus: from Tibet (as in Rubus thibetanus [Tibetan or ghost bramble])
Rubus thibetanus with Rubus rolfei (R. calycinoides)

Rubus thibetanus (Tibetan or ghost bramble), underplanted with Rubus rolfei (a.k.a. R. calycinoides; creeping bramble)

  • nepalense or nepalensis: from Nepal (as in Lilium nepalense [Nepal lily])
  • sikkimense or sikkimensis: from northern India (as in Euphorbia sikkimense)
  • indicus: from India (as in Azadirachta indica [neem])
Maackia amurensis

The silvery new shoots of Maackia amurensis (Amur maackia), an adaptable small tree

Moving back north, there are loads of names to choose from for plants originating in East Asia, besides the orientale or orientalis mentioned earlier:

  • amurense or amurensis: from the Amur Valley, between Russia and northeastern China (as in Phellodendron aurense [cork tree] or Adonis amurensis)
  • chinense/sinense or chinensis/sinensis: from China (as in Astilbe chinensis [Chinese astilbe] and Camellia sinensis [tea])
Cercis yunnanensis

Cercis yunnanensis (Yunnan redbud)

  • yunnanense or yunnanensis: from the Yunnan province, in southwest China (as in Cercis yunnanensis [Yunnan redbud])
  • hupehense or hupehensis: from the Hubei province, in central China (as in Anemone hupehensis [Chinese anemone])
Viola koreana (Viola grypoceras var. exilis) with Hosta venusta ‘Masquerade’ and Asplenium platyneuron [Cady's Falls]

Formerly known as Viola koreana, but now Viola grypoceras var. exilis: Korean violet (here with Hosta venusta ‘Masquerade’ and Asplenium platyneuron [ebony spleenwort])

  • koreanus, koraiense, or koraiensis: from Korea (as in Abies koreana [Korean fir] and Pinus koraiensis [Korean pine])
  • japonicus: from Japan (as in Primula japonica [Japanese primrose])
Rosa New Lonicera japonica 'Aureoreticulata' with Rosa 'New Dawn'

The yellow-netted selection of Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) – ‘Aureoreticulata’ – mingling with ‘New Dawn’ rose

  • yedoense/yezoense or yedoensis/yezoensis: from Hokkaido, formerly known as Yezo, an island in northern Japan (as in Prunus x yedoensis [Yoshino cherry] or Polemonium yezoense)
  • yakushimanus: from Yakushima, an island in southern Japan (as in Rhododendron yakushimanum)
  • formosanus: from Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa (as in Lilium formosanum [Formosa lily])
Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata'

Dianella tasmanica (Tasmanian flax lily), from Tasmania and southeastern Australia, shown here in its white-striped version, ‘Variegata’

Traveling south, you have a couple more names to choose from. For New Zealand, there’s novae-zelandiae, as in Geranium sessiliflorum subsp. novae-zelandiae ‘Nigricans’, a lovely little dark-leaved geranium. For Australia, there’s antipodeus, as in Geranium x antipodeum. (There must be others, as well – anyone know any?) And for Tasmania, the island off the southern coast of Australia, there’s tasmanicus, as in Dianella tasmanica (Tasmanian lily).

Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears' with Persicaria affine, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Rheum rhabarbarum, Calamagrostis brachytricha, and Acer palmatum

Originally from Turkey and neighboring areas, Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ears) now thrives in gardens all over the world. Above, the selection ‘Big Ears’ grows with Persicaria affine (dwarf knotweed), Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster), Rheum rhabarbarum (rhubarb), Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean feather reed grass), and Acer palmatum (a Japanese maple).

Heading back west, we’ve already done India, so we can move on to the Middle East and Africa, with lots of names based on both historical and current countries. Here are just a few:

  • persicus: from Persia, now Iran (as in Parrotia persica [Persian ironwood])
  • byzantinus: from Byzantium, now Constantinople, in Turkey (as in lamb’s ears [Stachys byzantina])
  • libanus or libani: from Lebanon (as in Cedrus libani [cedar of Lebanon])
  • syriacus: from Syria (but ah ha: Hibiscus syriacus [rose-of-Sharon] is in fact native to eastern Asia, not Syria – another case of mistaken origin)
Asclepias syriaca (Milford Township, PA)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) is a familiar sight in many parts of the U.S. but not in Syria, despite what the specific epithet indicates about its origin – oops!

  • damascenus: from Damascus, the capital of Syria (as in Nigella damascena [love-in-a-mist])
  • arabicus: from the Arabian Peninsula (as in Coffea arabica [coffee])
  • aethiopicus or africanus: from Africa (as in Zantedeschia aethiopica [calla lily] or Agapanthus africanus [African lily])
  • canariense or canariensis: from the Canary Islands, off the northern coast of Africa (as in Hedera canariensis [Canary Island or Algerian ivy])
  • mauritanicus: from Mauritania, in northwestern Africa (as in Convolvulus mauritanicus [ground morning glory)]
  • capense or capensis: could refer to any cape but usually means the Cape of Good Hope, or more broadly South Africa (as in Phygelius capensis [cape fuchsia])
Verbena bonariensis with Pennisetum alopecuroides, Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' , and Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Alma Potschke'

Whether you know this lovely purple vervain as Verbena bonariensis or Verbena patagonica, the name tells you that it is native to South America.

Westward ho – on to South America we go! Lots of no-brainer choices for names here, among them amazonicus, boliviense or boliviensis, brazilensis or braziliense, chilense or chilensis, and peruvianus. A few that are less obvious include:

  • bonariense or bonariensis: from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina (as in Verbena bonariensis [Brazilian vervain])
  • chiloense or chiloensis: from Chilo, an island off the coast of Chile (as in Fragaria chiloense [beach strawberry] or Geum chiloense)
  • patagonicus: from the southern part of South America (as in Sisyrinchium patagonicum [yellow blue-eyed grass])
  • magellanicus: from the Strait of Magellan, or rather, southernmost South America (as in Fuchsia magellanica [hardy fuchsia])
Elymus magellanicus with Geranium 'Gerwat' (Rozanne')

Elymus magellanicus (Magellan wheatgrass) with Geranium ‘Gerwat’ (Rozanne)

While we’re down here…if you happen to have one of the very, very few flowering plants native to Antarctica, antarcticus would be an appropriate specific epithet for its botanical name (as in Deschampsia antarctica [Antarctic hair grass]). Most of the plants with that epithet aren’t currently growing there, though: Cissus antarctica (kangaroo vine), for instance, is native to Australia.

Salvia mexicana 'Kelsi'

You’d normally grow Salvia mexicana for its intensely blue flowers, but ‘Kelsi’, a variegated selection of this Mexican native, is eye-catching in leaf as well.

Heading back north, there’s mexicanus, of course, for Mexico (as in Agastache mexicana). Oh, and quitense/quitoense or quitensis/quitoensis, for Quito, the capital of Ecuador (as in Solanum quitoense [bed-of-nails or naranjilla]).

Solanum quitoense with Zinnia angustifolia and Amaranthus 'Hopi Red Dye'

Solanum quitoense, perennial in its native range  of Ecuador and Columbia, makes a stunning annual in colder climates.

Finally, we’re up to North America. There are some regional names, such as novae-angliae for New England (as in Symphyotrichum novae-angliae [New England aster]); novi-belgii for the region between Virginia and New England (as in Symphyotrichum novi-belgii [New York aster]); and canadense or canadensis, which may refer to Canada proper or more broadly to northeastern North America. Another somewhat confusing epithet is columbianus – as in Lewisia columbiana (Columbian lewisia) – which doesn’t refer to the country of Columbia but to the Columbia River region, or more broadly to western North America.

Lilium canadense (Milford Township, PA)

Lilium canadense (Canada lily) grows in the wild here in southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as in many other areas, from eastern Canada down into the southeastern U.S..

Then, there’s the wealth of state-based names. Don’t get too hung up on these meaning that the plant’s native to just that state; they’ll give you a general idea of where the plant grows, though. As with countries, many of these state-based names need no thought to figure out: californicus, carolinianus/ carolinensis, floridus, marilandicus, pensylvanicus, texense/texensis, virginianus, and so on.

Itea virginica fall color

The brilliant fall color of a lovely eastern and southeastern U.S. native: Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

A couple of the more obscure options include ludovicianus, meaning from Louisiana (as in Artemisia ludoviciana [Louisiana sage]), and noveboracense or noveboracensis, meaning from New York (as in Vernonia noveboracensis [New York ironweed]). Want to name a plant for New Jersey? As far as I can tell, that would be novacaesarea.

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erica’ with Vernonia noveboracensis

Naturally neighborly: Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Erica’ (Culver’s root) and Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)

If all of those choices aren’t good enough, you can get way more specific in the specific epithet. If your plant is native to a relatively limited area, you might name it after a mountain or river, or maybe even a country, city, or town. I’ll spare you any more examples, though!

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' with Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Harrington's Pink'

Well, just one more, this time a place-related genus name: Hakonechloa macra (Hakone grass), found near Mount Hakone on the island of Honshu, in Japan. Shown here is the selection ‘Aureola’, developing fall color that nicely echoes Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Harrington’s Pink’ (New England aster).

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy Shelly on January 31, 2012 at 8:28 am

    And it’s not just plants! My friend, Tina, was named “Quartina” because she was the fourth girl in her large Italian family. One of Tina’s brothers returned from WWII eager to name his first daughter for the city with a name that sounded like music on his tongue. Thus
    did Herzegovina Rigali come into being.

    What interesting names! The latter reminds me of the Bagnet children in Dickens’ Bleak House: Quebec, Malta, and Woolwich, named for the military bases where they were born.
    -Nan

  2. Posted by Lorraine Wallace on January 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Wow, Nancy! I certainly enjoyed the journey!

    It was a long one, but to be fair, there was a lot of ground to cover.
    -Nan

  3. Thanks for this very interesting post, I’ve enjoyed reading it.
    Best wishes, Katrin

    Thank you for taking the time to get through it, Katrin!
    -Nan

  4. Wow, that’s an amazing summation you have provided. I really enjoyed learning about this subject, but I think the enduring lesson from this entire post is that your mom is a witty lady and I am totally going to steal her “aurora borealis” joke next time someone asks me about a plant name.

    She does have a very good sense of humor, that mom. She actually does know some botanical names, but she pretends she doesn’t — I think so she doesn’t get trapped into geeky plant conversations with garden visitors.
    -Nan

  5. Posted by Kerry Sanders on January 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This post took me right back to uni days. Somehow it’s all much more interesting today – my mind was almost certainly elsewhere when I was a student!

    That ghost bramble is just superb! I’ve never heard of it ’til I found your website. I’d love to try it here but my husband would have a complete meltdown if I planted anything resembling a bramble as they’re a real pest weed here. Maybe I could rename it the Silver-leafed Berry Bush and see if he notices…

    We have our share of weedy brambles too, so I understand his feelings. I’ve never had fruit on this one, so I don’t know if you could get away with “berry bush.” But sometimes it’s sold as ‘Silver Fern’, so maybe “silver fern bush”?
    -Nan

  6. Posted by Katie on January 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for this post….fascinating!

    Glad you enjoyed it, Katie!
    -Nan

  7. I love it when you do these posts because language fascinates me. I skipped the photos for the words :-). Are you going to the Asheville fling?

    Thanks so much, Carolyn. No, I won’t be going to the event; not much for traveling. Sounds like it’ll be a great time, though.
    -Nan

  8. Nice lesson and pictures to go along with it. I spent about 7 months working in plant records so Botanical Latin always interests me.

    You’re so lucky – that sounds like a dream job!
    -Nan

  9. Thanks a lot for the whirlwind tour. I enjoyed it a lot (and learned a lot too).

    Great – then I’ve accomplished what I’d hoped for. Thanks for reading, Sharon.
    -Nan

  10. I love this sort of thing! Ever since I decided to not be scared of botanical Latin, I’ve been fascinated by it. I have to admit, I’m far from being any sort of expert…but each time I realize I’ve finally remembered a plants Latin name, I do get a little thrill of accomplishment! There’s something really wonderful about being able to “decode” these names…it’s amazing to think they can even tell us something about them beyond appearance. Thank you, especially, for clearing up my confusion of Baptisia australis…I was always confused why a N.A. native was labeled “australis”!

    Yeah, that one bugged me too for quite a while, Scott. I’m so happy that you and other plant geeks find this stuff interesting. I may indulge in one more name-related post this winter, once my brain recovers from this one.
    -Nan

  11. Posted by Sugel on February 1, 2012 at 2:57 am

    There are literally hundreds of cultivars of this wonderful roadside weed, which is also commonly known as Michaelmas daisy because it blooms around September 29, St. Michael’s Day, in the British Isles. The specific epithet, novi-belgii, arose because the state of New York was once known as New Belgium. The history of breeding of Michaelmas daisies is a who’s-who of horticulture including the Honorary Vickary Gibbs, Ernest Ballard, A.H. Harrison, and Alan Bloom.

    Thanks for sharing the additional information, Sugel.
    -Nan

  12. Always a pleasure to read your posts and learn more and more, Nan. Thank you !

    Nicole

    Kind of you to say so, Nicole. This one was a lot of fun to work on.
    -Nan

  13. I’ve followed you for a while now, Nan, but quietly and without the possibility of clicking LIKE or commenting, because I didn’t have an account here… but this was just brilliant, so I registered just to tell you that I love your writing and photography – in a word, the combination is exquisite. I’ll guess that you can’t work outside much these winter days, because this is a real gem of a post – so much research and care obviously went into it! I think it’s so generous of you to share your passion for plants and learning with all of us! Thank you!
    Clark

    Hi Clark! I’m pretty sure that anyone can comment, but I really appreciate you bothering to sign up to “like” the post too. Actually, I’ve spent the last few warm, sunny days working outside, emptying the manure bins and spreading the contents on the garden, and admiring all of the plants that are blooming here. But yes, the post did take a good bit of time: over a year of thinking and nearly a week of writing and researching. It was worth it, though, because now I can use that brain space for other stuff.
    -Nan

  14. Posted by Donna B. on February 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

    From someone trying to learn the proper names of plants by their genus, I found this post to be alarmingly educational! THANK YOU Nan!
    And may I add that the plant combination in the photo of the Viola Grypoceras, Hosta Venusta ‘Masquerade’, and the Asplenium platyneuron, that I had to take a step back! It’s such a powerful combination! ♥

    “Alarmingly educational” – I love that, Donna – thanks!
    -Nan

  15. Nancy, this is yet another inspiring and wonderfully written post. I always enjoy your writing and have, therefore, nominated you and your Blog for The Versatile Blogger Award. My post this week includes your nomination and a link to your writing. ~Debra

    I’m honored that you chose Hayefield, Debra; thank you so much.
    -Nan

  16. Posted by kate patrick on February 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    An absolutely fascinating post… I know I will be referring back to it in the future. I would be interested to find out how some of the misnamed plants got their names… Thanks for putting all the work into this post. It is a true labor of love! However, I guess I shouldn’t comb the catalogues looking for a specimen of “aurora borealis”! Your mom cracks me up!

    Guess what, Kate – there actually is a hosta named ‘Aurora Borealis’, and a strain of Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule), too!
    -Nan

  17. Nan,
    Another amazing post. I’m learning so much from you. Sharing you from my website and letting friends know on FB. Thank you! Sandi

    I’m delighted that you liked it enough to share it, Sandi – thanks!
    -Nan

  18. Really interesting, Nan. I enjoyed the plant combinations in the photos as much as the text. You always remind me how far I still have to go in this area of combining plants for maximum effect. There is an Australian native plant called Montia australasica, but I don’t know of any others with this specific epithet, or if it was named for “south” or for the continent itself.

    Brilliant, Lyn – I never thought to look for “australasiaca,” but that makes perfect sense. Thanks so much!
    -Nan

  19. What a great post. Many of the words are not to difficult to understand, some would make sense if we knew our geography better. Who gives a lot of thought to the Amur Valley? My husband is a geographer so we both enjoyed this post greatly.

    I appreciate your comment, Pat. Tracking down some of the less obvious epithets was a very interesting challenge. Thank goodness for Google!
    -Nan

Comments are closed.