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All plants have two separate names. The first name is their botanical name, which is derived from the latin name, this name is used to classify the plant. It is composed of two names; the genus (like a surname) and species (like a given name). For example, all Maple trees begin with the genus Acer while the Red Maple is called Acer rubrum. The term Red Maple is the common name. The common name is the name in which most people identify with.

Now comes the fun part. Some plant names have very interesting, fun or even funky names. Here are some of my favorite plant names:

Common name (Botanical name)

Devil’s Walkingstick (Aralia spinosa)

Devils Walking Stick

Also known as: Angelica-Tree, Prickly Elder, Hercules Club

Fun fact: The stems of the shrub have long “prickles” and it is not uncommon to see them grow 15 cm long!

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

Hen and Chicks

Also known as: House Leeks

I’m named this because… I form in a large cluster (the hen) surrounded by smaller patches (the chicks)

Fun Fact: Hen and Chicks were originally planted on roofs as protection against lightning because they are linked to Thor and Zeus, the two mythical gods of lightning.


Pig Squeak (Bergenia cordifolia)

Pig Squeek

Also known as: Bay Doll

The common name pig squeak was conferred because of the noise produced by rubbing a leaf between thumb and finger.

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susan

Also known as: Brown-eyed Susan or Yellow Daisy

The name speaks for itself.

Fun Fact: Can be used in a warm infusion as a wash for sores and swellings. The Ojibwa used it as a poultice for snake bites. Juice from the roots have been used as drops for earaches.

Mother-in-law Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-in-Law Tongue

Also known as: Snake Plant

It is commonly called the snake plant because of the shape of its leaves, or mother-in-law's tongue because of their sharpness.

Fun Fact: In Africa, the plant is used as a protective charm against evil or bewitchment.

For any plant related questions, please contact
Drew Hutchison, Owner / Designer
Tree Amigos Landscaping Inc.