vernacular names

veldkamp Veldkamp at NHN.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Thu Jul 24 14:08:57 CDT 2003

Dear all:

Many plants have been named with epithets derived from local names.
However, there is a nearly two century old rumour that some of these
actually meant 'no idea', 'I don't know, 'what do you mean', 'good for
firewood', no-good weed',  and so on, which were dutifully copied by the
collector, who didn't know the local name.

But are there any examples of these, or is this an urban botanical story?


NB: Kalanchoe mitejea Alice leBlanc & Raym.-Hamet is not a vernacular, but
an anagram!
Dr. J.F. Veldkamp
Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Universiteit Leiden branch
POB 9514
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
e-mail: veldkamp at
tel.: + 31 0715 27 35 49
fax: + 31 0715 27 35 11
home tel.: + 31 0715 15 32 87

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