This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
As already noted, the chief objection to common names comes from the fact that there is no recognized authority in naming them. Anybody may give the name he chooses, and scores of people do so choose until nobody knows what plant the other is talking about. Here is a correspondent, B. M. & Co., Philadelphia, who writes to us to know what is the " Sun-dial plant?" How can " we " or any other body tell him? As to the confusion, take for instance the common "Fennel-flower," which is probably the "commonest" name for Nigella damascena. There are plenty of people who would not know it as " Fennel-flower," but as "Love in a mist." Others will only know it as " Love in a puzzle," or more roughly as " Devil in a bush." Others, however, will not know it by any of these. We shall have to say "Bishop's wort" to one set; "Saint Catharine's flower" to another; to another " Venus' Hair;" " Spider's Claw" to another set; " Blue Beard" again to another. All these names have appeared in print in connection with this one plant.
How many more are yet in the unwritten language of everyday life we do not know, but there is enough here in the way of the use of common names until they really become common.