Team Latin, or Team Common?: Latin when possible

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Team Latin, or Team Common?

By Trish
October 2, 2011

Latin names and common names: In honor of our quickly growing ATP Database, today we're going to explore which side ATPers are on.

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 1, 2011 8:50 PM CST
I started out with knowing only what was told to me. Then I began buying natives, and the botanical names were the first I'd see on the tags. It's much easier to remember the botanical name if you've never heard the common one. That said, there are multiple ways to write the botanical name of a plant....caps, small letters, hyphens, etc.
[Last edited by Bubbles - Oct 1, 2011 4:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 1, 2011 9:16 PM CST
I used to be Team Common, but with the help of so many in Cubits and here at ATP, I am becoming Team Latin. I don't always know the correct pronunciation of some of the names, but I'm learning more every day. Thumbs up
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 1, 2011 9:31 PM CST
Latin, here.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Oct 1, 2011 9:39 PM CST

Plants Admin

Latin here too. I don't even know most of the common names, and some of them are downright ugly. Wouldn't you rather have Pulmonaria in your garden than Lungwort? Hilarious!
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Oct 1, 2011 11:12 PM CST
Latin, and no, it doesn't roll off my tongue but I have tons of references. And no, I mostly don't know how to pronounce all that Latin but at least I will know I'm talking about the right plant. Except around my friends, of course. Don't want to seem too stuffy. Hilarious!
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Oct 2, 2011 4:45 AM CST
When I first learned about Latin names, I would say both as a way of teaching myself.

I still tend to do that, starting with common and repeating in Latin.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Oct 2, 2011 5:06 AM CST
Team latin, especically when talking to gardeners. If setting up a plant trade or seed trade, it's the only way to make sure each party is on the same page. I don't want someone using a common name which might be the common name for 10 different plants.

I use common names when talking to non-gardeners. Most of my friends are non-gardeners. They refer to plants in terms like "that big purple thing growing beside my house".

Karen
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Oct 2, 2011 5:09 AM CST
Team Latin, because I have to for my job! And now I have found how much easier it is when you REALLY know what plant you are talking about.
Name: Sherry
Northern California
Sunset Zone 17
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter Region: California Plant Identifier
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wcgypsy
Oct 2, 2011 7:35 AM CST
Latin, for all the reasons given above. I wasn't even aware that I didn't know the common names until we started the database and it was hard to find anything because some of the plants were listed by common name first .....when someone would ask me if this or that plant was the one called 'Hummingbird Sage', I had to say that I didn't know, that I may have encountered others called Hummingbird Sage, but could tell him that is salvia spathacea.
I could be wrong...
and.....
"maybe I should have kept my mouth shut....."
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Lilies
Seller of Garden Stuff
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PollyK
Oct 2, 2011 8:08 AM CST
Definitely team Latin. Common names are way too confusing, for ex, blue flag iris refers to about five different irises in different parts of the country.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Oct 2, 2011 8:13 AM CST
I like the Latin names because they are more specific.
Common names may have several different plants associated with them.
Latin is especially useful in colder climates where some cultivars do not grow, and others are hardy here.
Name: Kelly
Simpsonville, SC
Charter ATP Member
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KLStuart
Oct 2, 2011 8:47 AM CST
Team Latin for sure. I started knowing some common names and some latin, but as soon as I started trying to organize seeds alphabetically I realized I had to choose, and as there are many common names for things, Latin just was the only choice there!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 2, 2011 8:49 AM CST
Ditto everyone above.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 2, 2011 3:35 PM CST
Latin for sure, although I'm off a lot of times on the correct pronunciation (possibly my southern accent) ... at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Smiling
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Dover AFB, Delaware (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
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JuneBug
Oct 2, 2011 6:10 PM CST
Team Latin as much as possible. The way that I move around; it is too confusing to try to learn the common names for every region. A bonus is that I may not speak much Korean, but I can go into a plant shop and buy the right stuff because Latin is Latin in every plant shop in the world Big Grin
I tried for the first few years to do the common names, but after 6 years of gardening without my parents and 3 states later, I moved to Germany and Latin was the only way to communicate.
I just wish that I could remember all of those names Rolling my eyes.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 2, 2011 6:34 PM CST
Hi, June! Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: June or Nancy-June o
Dover AFB, Delaware (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! Garden Art Roses Region: United States of America Container Gardener
Tropicals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Birds Orchids Region: Texas
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JuneBug
Oct 2, 2011 6:45 PM CST
HIya!
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Oct 2, 2011 7:53 PM CST
I'm on "team whichever name I happen to remember at the time". Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Oct 2, 2011 7:55 PM CST
KyWoods said:I'm on "team whichever name I happen to remember at the time". Rolling on the floor laughing


I am getting better at not having to switch. Hope I make it all the way before I leave this earth. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Oct 3, 2011 3:41 AM CST
Team Latin.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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