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Common Name

Last updated: February 6, 2017

What Does Common Name Mean?

The common name for a plant is the local or regional name it is identified as. This common name can be based upon many factors including, bloom color, growth habit, bark texture, and more.

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Maximum Yield Explains Common Name

Because the common name for a plant is so localized, it may change from region to region. What is known as “Mahonia” in one region is known as “grape ivy” in another.

This is why most horticulturists and encyclopedias will most often always refer to the botanical name, which does vary, when mentioning a specific species.

While most common names for plants vary widely, some do not. An apple for example, is known as an “apple” practically everywhere. However, when referring to a specific kind of apple, the individual botanical name will be used.

A lot of perennials and houseplants also have fairly universal common names. Practically everywhere a “black-eyed Susan” or a “spider plant” are widely understood as the same two species.

For some plants, the botanical name is also recognized as the common name. Hydrangea is an example of this, although the specific variety common name may vary.

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