Posts tagged "botanical plant names"

Learn Botanical Plant Names!

Do you know botanical latin

Do you prefer to use common names for plants or are you a botanical Latin maven?

As a professional landscape designer and garden communicator who does a lot of public speaking and television, I HAD to learn botanical Latin.

It’s the universal language of horticulture!

Do you see a “creeping fig” vine or a Ficus repens clinging to this wall?


When I was in landscaping school,  I enjoyed the field trips to the botanical gardens to discover new plants until the teacher starting using botanical plant names.

My eyes crossed at the confusing Latin words.

Every plant name sounded like a medical term or disease!

To make matters worse, our teacher got a kick out of   drilling us on  the proper pronunciation of plant names, which took some of the fun away.

Since I speak Spanish, I was guilty of over-pronouncing the letter “r” in words such as “gregii,” or names such as “Sarcococca“, or “Cupressus,” the latin  name for  Italian cypress trees.

My teacher’s patience with my “rolling r’s” was wearing thin until one day he let me have it!


“For a Latina, you sure can’t speak Latin,” he exclaimed.

Duh, I was born in Los Angeles in the 20th century!



Do you say “rosemary” or “Rosmarinus” when referring to the potted plant?


I knew it was important to learn botanical Latin since I was a  fledgling professional, but the way he presented it was sooooo boring and forgettable that I was discouraged.

Now that I produce garden videos, I got the idea to create a fun and entertaining  series that teaches  gardeners how to pronounce botanical plant names!

I’m so excited to share it with you.

The series is called, “Say it in Botanical Latin.”

The segments are short, (50-seconds) and not only do you learn how to pronounce the plant’s name, you also learn the meaning of the plant’s name!

Very interesting stuff and entertaining. I promise!

Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia teaches us how to pronounce the name of a very popular and gorgeous shrub , “Chinese fringe flower” in this series premiere!


Watch Nicholas now.

Enjoy and please leave me a comment about “Say it in Botanical Latin.”

I recommend David Beaulieu, Landscape Guide at’s article on the importance of Botanical Latin and learning plant names.