Common names are nicknames used in a particular region (e.g. American elm, or marsh bellflower). Common names vary between regions and languages. Because there are no rules for assigning common names, they often cause confusion. Often they are not unique, and the same common name may be applied to very different organisms. On the other hand, the same organism may be given several common names even within a single, relatively small area such as the Chicago Region. For example, false bugbane and black cohosh both refer to Cimicifuga racemosa. Beware of relying on common names. It is always best to use scientific names because they provide a reference framework so we can clearly understand to which organism someone is referring.
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
Copyright © 2001–2009 The vPlants Project, All Rights Reserved.