Plant Taxonomy

IMG_1165The nursery is bustling with activity. Every day we are out potting up plants and filling the rows in the nursery. It’s still early for some plants, many are just beginning to emerge.The daytime and nighttime temperatures continue to fluctuate. Yesterday? It was a bit chilly! Thank goodness for the greenhouse!
One yearly task is labeling our plants. We prefer to stay with the latin name in order to ensure accuracy.If you’ve been to the nursery and ‘talked plants’ with Rick, you know that he almost exclusively refers to each plant by its latin name using the genus and species. In fact, because of his lifelong relationship and experience with plants and his work in propagating and sourcing out specific species, he rarely even knows the general or common name that most of us may apply to a plant. Many common names are used to describe more than one plant and this can be confusing when trying to refer to a specific variety. When wanting to key out a plant to accurately identify it, the latin is essential. However, often enough, as we continue to research a plant’s genetic origin and understand its relationship within a genus, the latin application itself may get changed. For example, Cimicifugas has been moved to Actaea, and Senecio aurea is now Packera aurea. To try and explain the reasoning behind all of this name changing I will include an informative article from Pacific Horticulture.
In the meantime, we’ll be outdoors sticking labels into plant pots and hoping the names don’t change before we’re through!