What's in a name
Daisy is derived from day's eye a reference to a flower that opens in the day but closes at night. It's a common feature of many of our daisies that some creatures take advantage of, but more of that in a future blog.
Everlasting is used for flowers that retain their shape and some of their colour when cut and dried. Again more on that in a future blog. Immortelle is French for the same features but much more elegant.
Ephemeral simply means not permanent. In the plant world it is a reference to life span and is normally applied to those plants that avoid harsh summers or droughts by going to seed.
When it comes to individual plants we use scientific (botanic) names because they are precise, though a little hard to pronounce and spell at times. Scientific names often have a history behind them and sometimes are of assistance in identification. We also include synonyms, old scientific names, that were once applied to the species. These can be useful in looking up references and keeping track of name changes.
Most of our plants belong to the plant family ASTERACEAE, previously known as COMPOSITAE (some botanists still call it that).
A plant's scientific name consists of the genus and species and sometimes subspecies (ssp). We follow the normal convention by using italics and only beginning the genus with a capital letter. Varietal names are in normal font.
Here is a guide to names in our catalogue:
Angianthus refers to the cup shaped ring of pappus scales on the seed. tomentosus -woolly.
Bellida a reference to its resemblance to another group of plants, graminae - grass-like.
Cephalipterum a reference to the conspicuous bracts/petals, drummondii - after James Drummond an early WA plant collector.
Erymophyllum a reference to leafy bracts that surround the flower head, ramosum - much branched.
Gnephosis unknown derivation, arachnoidea - like a spider's web
Helipterum literally sun-feather, craspedioides - like a Craspedia (another genus in Asteraceae).
Lawrencella after Robert Lawrence, an early Tasmanian plant collector, rosea - rosy.
Myriocephalus countless or numberless heads, guerinae - unknown.
Podolepis a reference to the stalked involucre bracts, kendallii - after Francis Kendall who collected as he travelled working on the P & O Line. lessonii - after Rene Lesson, Chief Pharmacist with the French Navy.
Podotheca a reference to stalked seeds, gnaphaloides - like Gnaphalium (another genus in Asteraceae).
Rhodanthe literally rose flower a reference to the flower colour of some of the genus, charsleyae - after botanical artist Fanny Anne Charsley, chlorocephala - green head a reference to the green outer bracts on the flower head, manglesii - after James Mangles a captain in the Royal Navy, rubella - reddish, spicata - flower spike, stricta - straight or erect.
Schoenia after Johannes Schoen, early 19th century Hamburg eye specialist, cassinianum - after Alexandre Cassini, French botanist, filifolium - thread leaved.
Trachymene rough skin, coerulea - deep sky blue.
Waitzia after Karl Waitz privy-councillor to the duchy of Saxe-Altenberg, Germany. nitida - shiny or bright.
As to common names, well they are just that - common but at the same time variable depending upon location and who you ask. So feel free to give your plants any common name you like. Incidentally you will see that many plants in our range do not have a widely accepted common name. Feel free to make suggestions through our Contact page.