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.
"Mr. Meehan, in his Gardener's Monthly, objects to these, on the score of there being more than one applied to the same plant, but this seems to us no reason whatever why people should not aim at having English names for their plants, any more than the fact that we use and prefer one Latin name, while reference to a dictionary of plants or botanical book will show that it is only one of eight or nine different names applied by botanists to the plant. We rather take an interest on the opposite side of the question, and enjoy a variety of English names for a plant, not necessarily that we should use them, but as illustrating its history and character. For instance, in Mr. Sargent's catalogue of trees he gives, and very wisely, the English names applied by the settlers to different species in different States and districts, a plan that is interesting to us, and very often one gets from these English names some idea of the use or beauty, or situation in which the tree grew. The favor which The Garden has shown towards English names seems to irritate a little the botanical mind; we are very sorry, but we feel assured that, no matter what difficulties are in the way, the future will see a recognizing nomenclature of plants and all beautiful living things in our own tongue, which now is used by so large a number of people in many lands, and bids fair to be the most universal of languages."
[The Garden mistakes the position of the Gardener's Monthly. We have no objection to popular names. We expect to use "Sweet William," "Pansy," and hosts of other good old names to the end, and have no doubt we shall just as acceptably use many a name not yet born. Our objection is to the forcing of them before they grow naturally, - the insisting on making a "popular" name, which the popular mind will probably reject for one of its own. The Garden might christen Myosotis palustris as "Swamp Scorpion Grass," but this will not stand a moment longer than some touching story comes along and insists that the flower shall be "Forget-me-not." The trouble with this forcing of common names is that there is no authority for any. The Garden may insist that a certain plant shall be called "Butter and eggs;" the Chronicle, that it shall be "Curds and whey;" the Gardener's Magazine, that it shall be "Scollop'd oysters," and the Journal of Horticulture that it shall be "Pussy in a corner." But after all these officials have had their say, Dame Gander down in Goose's Hollow calls it the "mouse in a rat trap," and somehow the name goes in spite of the doctors.
The point in the number of Latin names is not well taken. We all agree to stand by the original name. When we have a dozen of them we do not "take our choice," but we take the right one, and we know how to take it.
We repeat, there is no objection to common names. We like common names. But they must become common before they are entitled to that character. True common names grow - they are not made. - Ed. G. M.]