NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR JUNE 25, 2005
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THAT PLANT? PART II
BY JUDY SHULL-HIEBENTHAL
writer today is Judy Shull-Hiebenthal, a Seward County Master Gardener.
We are delighted that she has agreed to share with us her research about
the names of some common plants. We are not able to do all of them in
one issue so parts III, IV and V will come later. Part I was published
about a month ago.)
to be readers. We peruse the catalogs that arrive
family of flowers is so named for the way their seeds pop out of the
seed pods....impatiently. Unless cut short by frost, impatien
seeds could take over our gardens. Germination is high. Jewel
weed is a member of the same family as is Busy Lizzie, common in
England. Touch-me-nots are too. Garden impatiens are highly
prized for ease of growing and willingness to thrive in shade. In
the mid 1800s these not-always-highly-regarded flowers were sent to
England from India and Zanzibar. The impatien family is vast!
originated in Mexico where they were raised and eaten by the Aztec
Indians. Once it was believed that the bulb had potential as a
substitute for potatoes. But its taste is peppery and repulsive.
Dahlias are known by two names...dahlia and "georginas".
In Eastern Europe this flower is still called georginas named for
Johann Georgi of Petersburg Russia. Linnaeus honored his pupil and
physician, Dr. Anders Dahl, by giving his name to the dahlia flower.
are also known as the beardtongues. Most of these herbaceous
perennials are native to America. The name comes from the Latin
penta, five and the Greek stemon, thread. They are related to
snap-dragons and come in many sizes ranging from two inches to three
feet in height. Their tubular flowers range in colors of white,
pink, red, and lavender. They make excellent cut flowers. Short
varieties do well along borders. The "Husker Red"
cultivar was developed by Dale Lindgren at the University of Nebraska
Research Center in North Platte. It has red leaves with a white flower.
Penstemons are good for rock gardens and do well with limited water.
violet also known as Johnny-jump-up is
the ancestor of our
pansy, or Pensee. This word originates from the
Iris was the
messenger of the Greek gods and keeper of the
This name comes
from the Latin Columba, meaning "dove." Hold one upside
down and it resembles a ring of doves drinking from a container.
One botanist said the leaves also look like doves. You can see
these birds again by removing one petal and its sepals. In old paintings
and tapestries, the columbine represented the dove of peace. Some
say it also resembles "granny's hat."