The Pinky Purply Spiky Plant or Why Do We Give Flowers Such Big Names?

By Posted on 6 Comments 2 min read

Flower Naming

This is a photograph I took of a pinky purply spiky plant. I have no idea what it is. It maybe a weed or it maybe a cultivated plant, I don’t know. After a visit to a local park I was amazed at the amount of flora and fauna there is, I then realised I have no idea what any of them are called.

Trying to find the name just by searching Google is hopeless. I’m told there are apps that you can download to your phone that will tell you the name of any plant simply by looking at it. I have a feeling that it won’t tell me mine is a pinky purply spiky plant!

One thing I have noticed are the names of most plants are huge. Is Latin the language they use to name plants? On my Google travels yesterday, I was seeing names like Weigela Florida Variega and Lychnis Coronaria. What on earth does that tell you? At least my pinky purply spiky plant gives you a fairly decent clue to what the flower looks like.

Try This At Home

Try this simple test. If I say a plant has reddish bell shaped flowers on a stalk you would get a picture straight away of the sort of flower I’m describing. However, if I tell you the plant is called Veronica Spicata you wouldn’t have a clue, would you? I just don’t get it.

As a regular viewer of TV gardening programs, I love it when the presenter rolls off a list of flowers with names that must be genuine tongue twisters. For all I know, he might be making them up! Flora Borius Super Cactym! See, I just made that up. Just add water and sunshine. Not wanting to belittle the presenters, but I wonder if they spend sleepless nights rehearsing those awkward names?

Anyway, for me, I’m going to carry on with my simplistic plant naming system especially when it comes down to my photography. I hope you enjoy my pinky purply spiky plant.


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  • angloswiss
    July 25, 2017

    I get you well. After living in german speaking Switzerland I only get the german names, and most of them are nicknames in Swiss German which no dictionary would contain. so I have to translate it from swiss german to german and then eventually to english. You should really join in on our Flower of the Day in WordPress. It doesn’t have to be every day and you choose the flower you want to show with your photo – I am sure we would love your naming expertise. Up to now no-one has ever shown a Pinky Purple Spiky Plant – perhaps it is a new species.

    • Trev Jones
      July 25, 2017

      Thank you. I shall have to look into the flower of the day photograph. I take quite a few, especially this time of the year as the colours are beautiful including some of the weeds.

  • Leland Olson Hoel
    August 1, 2017

    Thanks. I thought I was the only one with an empty pot, when it comes to flowers.

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The Pinky Purply Spiky Plant or Why Do We Give Flowers Such Big Names?

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