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Colloquial Plant Names

Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,592
What's your favorite common/colloquial plant name.

I saw a nice row of Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon (Tragopogon pratensis) outside a building today.. the name always makes me smile, every time I see them.  
Utah, USA.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,052
    We have a nice wild plant called Jack-by-the-hedge or garlic mustard. Quite a few Jacks in the plant world.
    Pee-the-bed,  or dandelion.
    Sticky willy,  or goosegrass.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • B3B3 Posts: 16,586
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234
    I've only ever known Galium aparine (sticky willy) as 'Robin run the hedge' until I came onto this forum.
    My garden chappy has all sorts of weird and wonderful names for things so now we just hold them up to see. He calls bindweed, bell vine. That sounds too nice for such a pernicious git!
  • The Bald GardenerThe Bald Gardener South West ScotlandPosts: 212
    We have pee the beds and sticky wullie (note the subtle change in pronunciation around here), goosegogs and gudgies (gooseberries), witches thimble (foxglove), and also oven chips (salad crops).  

    Ok, I made the last one up.  :D
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 67,459
    Cuckoo Pint (pint not being a liquid measure but a name for the 'male member')
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Isn't Cineraria maritima called Dusty Miller in America, who I like to think is a long lost brother of Windy Miller from Camberwick Green.
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 8,278
    Enchanters' nightshade, bastard balm, eggs and bacon, old man's beard, granny's bonnet, queen Anne's lace, love in the mist, lady's bedstraw, Dutchman's pipe... so many names that fire the imagination. They send me off to find out which queen Anne, why the enchantment. I love also finding out the names of the plants in other countries and other languages.  I have a particular affection for the 'herbs' - herb bennet, herb robert (stinking bob), herb Paris (true lovers' knot) and the others.

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    I'd love to know how mind your own business came to be called so.  And its scientific name is just as good, Soleirolio soleirolii.  Visiting family in California, I bought a wildflower guide which includes such delights as fairy duster, pussy paws, Kinnikinnick, farewell to spring, northern inside-out flower, purple Chinese houses, and maiden blue-eyed Mary.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,841
    Pee the bed is pissenlit in French apparently. The word dandelion is also from the French dent-de-lion or lion's tooth.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,592
    What fun.. I've done a bit of searching for some, to see why they have that name.. but not much luck.  Some are obvious due to the nature of the plant or it's looks.. but others are a real mystery.  

    When we were kids we used to hold a dandelion under eachothers chins to see if that person 'was in love with someone'.  If their skin reflected yellow, they were.
    Utah, USA.
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