Plant Database forum→Not sure about this...

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Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
Köppen climate classification Cfa
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scvirginia
Jul 15, 2018 11:20 PM CST
Missouri Botanical Garden states that Syringa reticulata is the Chinese Tree Lilac, while S. reticulata ssp. reticulata is the Japanese Tree Lilac. In the NGA Plants Database, Syringa reticulata is given the common name of Japanese Lilac, which is a conflict.
http://www.missouribotanicalga...

GRIN calls S. reticulata simply Tree Lilac, but like the Missouri Botanical Gardens, they also call S. reticulata ssp. reticulata Japanese Tree Lilac.

Charles Sargent's S. japonica = S. reticulata ssp. reticulata.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure I've ever even seen a lilac of any kind...?
Virginia
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jul 16, 2018 1:00 AM CST

Plants Admin

Thank you for your proposals adding Chinese Tree Lilac to S. reticulata and Japanese Tree Lilac to S. reticulata subsp. reticulata. I've removed Japanese Tree Lilac from the list of S. reticulata's common names.
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 16, 2018 5:54 AM CST
Who would have thought a common name could be 'wrong'... But, carry on.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Virginia
Charleston, SC (Zone 8b)
Köppen climate classification Cfa
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scvirginia
Jul 16, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Who would think that a plant that's apparently so RARE would need a COMMON name? Oh, but I guess it's us who are the commoners...? Shrug!
Virginia

Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 16, 2018 1:50 PM CST
LOL, I noticed a few S. reticulata subspecies with the common name of "Pekin Lilac" and I thought it was a misspelling of Peking. One variety is spelled "Peking" while the others are "Pekin": https://garden.org/plants/sear... but it's apparently spelled both ways.

People sometimes stick the exact same common name on plants that come from entirely different parts of the world; plants that have totally different care and culture requirements. Common names may not be "wrong" but they can be extremely confusing, especially for those new to gardening.
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jul 16, 2018 1:56 PM CST

Plants Admin

I removed the G in that one peking as it's wrong.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 24, 2018 7:57 PM CST
scvirginia said:Missouri Botanical Garden states that Syringa reticulata is the Chinese Tree Lilac, while S. reticulata ssp. reticulata is the Japanese Tree Lilac. In the NGA Plants Database, Syringa reticulata is given the common name of Japanese Lilac, which is a conflict.
http://www.missouribotanicalga...



Yet the top of that same Mobot page gives Japanese tree lilac as the common name for Syringa reticulata. Most articles I've seen do the same.

Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 25, 2018 1:56 PM CST
I'm confused why we are spending any time debating common names. My experience is these change often, usually regionally. A common name has no particular validity in my mind, we should just stick with being sure the latin name is correct. I do often give a thumb to a common name, particularly when the 'chosen' one is not how I think of a plant. At the same time, I am curious at how others refer to the plant. Why not simply include all variations of a common name?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 25, 2018 2:34 PM CST
Ordinarily I'd agree, Deb, but Japanese tree lilac is pretty universal as the common name for Syringa reticulata and not just in North America, see the RHS UK page for it.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/...

But now only the cultivar 'Ivory Silk', the subspecies and some other cultivars come up on a search for Japanese tree lilac in the NGA database.
[Last edited by sooby - Jul 25, 2018 2:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Jul 25, 2018 2:48 PM CST

Plants Admin

I've added it back to the species entry.
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 25, 2018 2:54 PM CST
So if I understand correctly, all the S. reticulata should (or could) have a common name of Japanese tree lilac? Wouldn't that work for search purposes? And for those who think of any of them as a Chinese tree lilac, let that stand?

Sticking with lilacs, the 'preferred' common name for S. vulgaris was 'Common Lilac.' I've never thought of it as such. It also lists 'French lilac' as a common name, which also does not resonate with me. My impression of French lilacs are the much shorter, not so blowsy, cultivated lilacs. I'd never heard the term 'common lilac.' I thumbed simply 'lilac' for a common name which moved that up to 'preferred' and to me are the regular white and light purple lilacs growing in grandma's yard. Anyone could just as easily thumb either 'common lilac' or 'French lilac' to change that yet again. No harm, no foul.

I just don't think we should negate anyone's common name. It's like saying a person is wrong for saying 'pahTAHto' rather than 'pahTAYto.'
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 25, 2018 2:56 PM CST
Cross posted with Zuzu. Thanks. (Not even my battle, but still...)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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