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By Julien

Derbyshire, United Kingdom Gb

Have you noticed how many plants are being re classified? Eg, Asters, Senecio, and now I notice Dicentra has a new name.



Certainly have noticed it, been going on for a long time, but the pace seems to have hotted up in the last 2 or 3 years. Also I notice, generally, they're replaced by very unlovely and even harder to pronounce names than previously.... Dicentra's now Lamprocapnos or something similar.... sigh... Dicentra was much simpler... beginning to wonder if the names are deliberately selected for their lack of memorability and 'unsayability', never mind being able to spell them!

16 Apr, 2018


This might shed a little light on the subject:

I might have been involved in one of the more outre name changes that I have seen. In the late seventies, when I was in college, I noticed that the Aye-Aye--a really cool primitive primate from Madagascar--and the Scarlet Wisteria--a pretty flowering tree from Argentina--both had the same genus name: Daubentonia. I mentioned this to my zoology professor, and he said, "I'll have to look into that!" I did'nt hear anything more of that, but a year or two later, I learned that the Scarlet Wisteria and its kin were renamed Sesbania. On the other hand, the name change may have already been going through when I mentioned it--surely I wasn't the only gardening wonk taking zoology classes at the time! :)

17 Apr, 2018


you weren't the only one tug. My degree was a joint hons Botany/Zoology. Did the theory for both degrees and all the exams that went with them but no dissertation for either. At the time we found 4 such cases but didn't know the one about an owl with the same genus name as a pretty little plant Glaucidium japonicum. Only came across this a few weeks back when looking up Glaucidium japonicum.

The name changes are due to DNA analysis which allows a more accurate classification based on their evolution etc. I quite like Lamprocapnos and I can spell it , same with Hesperanthus I can say and spell that but not schystostylis[?]. the problem is when the growers don't change them or change them and don't put formerly..... after them.

17 Apr, 2018


Cacti keep changing their names and have done so for many years. I know they have reasons for doing it but I can't keep up with it. I get trouble remembering my own name the older I get ! so the plants have no chance.

17 Apr, 2018


I wouldn't worry about pronouncing Schizostylus coccinea Seaburnngirl - its changed its name to Hesperantha coccinea... hard to keep up!

17 Apr, 2018


Thats what I meant Bamboo, so much easier to say and spell Haha.

17 Apr, 2018


I'm with Hywel ....!

18 Apr, 2018


Me, too, Pennyfarthing, Hywel. Those that would merge genera together--such as merging Mammillaria, Coryphantha, Pediocactus, etc. into Escobaria--are called "lumpers". Those that would split up genera--such as splitting Opuntia into Platyopuntia, Nopalea, Cylindropuntia, Tephrocactus, etc.--are called "splitters". All claim to have good, scientific reasons, but sometimes it sounds more like politics than science!
It's not surprising, though: taxonomy can get hairy in rapidly evolving families like the Cactaceae. Eventually, DNA analysis will solve some of the disputes, but it may wind up opening other questions.

19 Apr, 2018


. . . and Stipa Arundinacea is now called Anemanthele lessoniana, but some garden writers are still using the old name - I don't blame them!

9 May, 2018

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