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Common names

Common names rule OK, or do they?

Some customers called in this week looking for a rex begonia vine and because I have a begonia nursery this would be just the place, wouldn't it? Oh oh, common name trap! They were under the impression that a rex begonia vine is a type of begonia which it isn't at all. That particular plant is a Cissus sp. and not a begonia. So here is one example where the common name used by gardeners and horticulturists alike creates confusion. Now, I like to use common names for plants whenever I can because it suits my clientele and it takes the "snobbiness" out of the interaction and puts us all on the same level of discussion. But sometimes, just sometimes I have to name drop a little just to clarify a point. This is why the scientific name is so important, because we know precisely which plant we're talking about when we use it. It needn't just be in the realm of horticulturists, botanists and taxonomists but anyone can understand and get used to using scientific (botanic) names for plants when the purpose is for clarification.

So the scientific name for rex begonia vine is Cissus discolor.

The plant pictured above is one of my rhizomatous begonia cultivars called Begonia 'Baby Blush'.


This post was posted in Shade Plants


Posted on September 26, 2012 by admin There have been 0 comments