Kathy's Garden Diary
by Kathy Gray
Dahlia 'Twyning's After Eight'Photo: © Tony Gray
Dahlia 'Western Spanish Dancer'Photo: © Tony Gray
A rose by any other name...
or – a little bit on the naming of plants (and forgive me if you know all this already!)
Put simply, the first name of the plant i.e. Dahlia denotes the genus. The second name is often the species and is always shown in lower case italics so Leucanthemella is the genus and serotina is the species. These plants can come true from seed or produce good, viable alternatives. However, some plants are cultivars as in Erythronium ‘White Beauty’. Cultivars are always written with non-italic print and within inverted commas. These are plants that have been specially bred, perhaps by hybridisation, and cannot be grown from seed and given the cultivar name as they are unlikely to be true. Cultivars have to be propagated vegetatively if you want the same plant; this can be done by division or cuttings for instance. However, this is for the purists, collection holders where it is important to maintain the plant in its true form or for those in the nursery trade. As amateur gardeners we can grow what we like, how we like.