Plant Database forum: Confusion about d'base entries

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Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
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CarolHB
Jun 4, 2016 10:43 AM CST
I've added both centaurea cineraria dusty miller 'Colchester White' and artemisia stilleriana Wormwood 'Silver Brocade' to my plant list, because I have them both. In the centaurea entry I find only one example of Colchester White. In the artemisia entry I find the wormwood also referred to as duty miller, and a few photos of 'Colchester White' being shown as artemisia 'Silver Brocade'. Or at least that's what I think I'm seeing. The most sophisticated reference I have is the Sunset Western Garden Book, and it clearly shows the two genus (pl?) as separate plants altogether. I'm just not plant-educated enough to figure it out for myself. Should dusty miller be considered an artemisia as well as a centaurea? Can someone explain, please?
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Jun 4, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Common names are not reliable, and may change from region to region. If you just do a search for 'dusty miller' several different plants pop up. One should always go with the botanical name, if known. That said, I'm sure one of the moderators will weigh in with a good explanation for your particular question.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jun 4, 2016 11:04 AM CST
I agree with Deb. Common name are unreliable for plant identification. Plants can be completely unrelated and look nothing alike and still carry the same common name. In the case of your two, they look so much alike, it's easy to see why they would go by the same common name.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
Jun 4, 2016 11:45 AM CST
So, how accurate is the database if contributors use common names? These two don't look alike to me, but I'm on top of them every day. Not the best pics - there was too much sun around.

centaurea cineraria:
Thumb of 2016-06-04/CarolHB/504b7f

artemisia stelleriana:
Thumb of 2016-06-04/CarolHB/7c12bf

Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Jun 4, 2016 11:55 AM CST
It is very accurate because both these plants are listed under there correct botanical name. Although they do not look exactly alike they are very similar. The common name is undoubtedly derived from the "dusty" appearance of the leaves which the both have, hence the same common name. Not to mention they have similar (but not identical leaf shapes). Any accurate plant database is going to be base on the binomial (scientific name) not common names and this database is base on the binomial names. We try to include all the common names for information purposed and to aid in searching.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
Image
CarolHB
Jun 4, 2016 1:22 PM CST
Thank you Jay, I get it.
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.

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