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Handbook for the Baffled Gardener:

What Those Plant Names Mean
1996 54 pages


Fay Clayton ,

Handbook for the Baffled Gardener

What those plant names mean

Those plant names are so difficult!

Forget me not

What do they mean, anyway?

How can we remember them?

This book makes things easier, cracking open the meanings.

Let’s see now:

Myosotis — what a word! — Most of us know this as forget-me-not; but myos is mouse, and otis is ear, so Myosotis, mouse-ear, it is! Take a look at the leaves, soft, furry and pointed. Description or insult! Make up your own mind.

Coprosma — A real insult this time — This genus of small trees and shrubs, native to Australasia, with ‘headquarters’ in New Zealand, so to speak, is well known to many local gardeners. While Diosma means scent of the gods (we often call it ‘breath of heaven’) sadly Coprosma means scent of dung — Of the ninety species there is one mildly offensive species - but the whole genus is dubbed with this title!

Let’s seek out a name with a really good reason for being.

Philodendron — lover of trees

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