Botany class: common names and botanical names

In the articles of plants you always see that I put the scientific or technical name, in addition to the common ones. Why? What is the difference between one and the other? Now is the time to answer those questions with a short botany class.

After reading what I am going to tell you, you will know the differences between names, which will be very useful to learn more about each of them.

Botanical name

Cycas rolledCycas rolled

Cycas revoluta, an evergreen shrub widely grown in temperate climates.

The botanical, technical or scientific name is one that is normally composed of two Latin words (from Latin). It is universal, that is, it is the same in all parts of the world and does not usually change unless it is discovered, after careful studies, that this particular plant really belongs to a different genus or that it is even a new species.

Examples: Cycas rolled, phoenix canariensis, Tiny refuse.

Common name

Chorisia speciosa, known as Palo borracho, among other common names. A tree of spectacular flowering.

The common, popular or vulgar name is one that is assigned by popular tradition. It can vary from country to country, between regions and even between nearby towns. For this reason, it is sometimes very difficult to know which plant you are talking about using just the common name.

Example: at Beautiful chorisia it is called by the common names of Drunk stick, Bottle tree, Wool tree, Pink stick and Samohu.

Thus, whenever possible it is better to have the plants identified by the scientific name, because thanks to it it will be much easier for us to know the characteristics and care of each one of them. But, yes, you don’t have to be overwhelmed with this either. There are countless species and it would be an impossible task for a human to know the name of all of them. The ideal is to learn only those who have those plants that we grow or want to grow, little by little, without haste.

In time we will realize that we have learned a lot.

Botany class: common names and botanical names

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