Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Using this website: Local Names page

Posted on by royvickery |

080Recently we have been asked about columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) about which the enquirer could find nothing on this website. If a search for ‘aquilegia’ or ‘columbine’ is made on the Home page nothing (apart from this note) will be found, but if a search is made on the Local Names page a list of local names a list of names comes up, and for some of these there is some explanation.
The state of the Local Names page is still not ideal, for example it is not possible to search for all the plants which have been given the name ‘bachelor’s buttons’, but it is possible to search under scientific/Latin names and English standard names.
When such a search is made the following information appears:
‘Plantname’ – a local name (in green)
‘Latin’ [name]
‘Standard’ [English Name]
‘Region’ – the area/s from which the name has been recorded.
‘Source’ – the publication or other source from which the name has been taken.

The major sources are:
J. Britten & R. Holland, A Dictionary of English Plant-names, London, [1878-]1886.
G. Grigson, An Englishman’s Flora, London, 1987.
A.S. Macmillan, Popular Names of Flowers, Fruits, etc., Yeovil, 1922.
Where the source is given as a place-name followed by a date, e.g. ‘Edinburgh, December 1991’, this indicates that the name has been supplied by a contributor to PL-A.

When a Plantname (given in green) in the list which comes up as a result of a search is clicked a table comes which often provides additional information. This table includes a number of fields the names of some of which are unhelpful and need explanation:
‘Plant ID’ – the local name
‘Scientific’ [Latin] ‘Name’
‘Typical name’ – standard English name (this field is currently blank)
‘Region’ – the area/s from which the name has been recorded; if this is blank it is deliberately so; the area is unknown
‘Source’
‘Citation’ – information giving additional area/s from which the name has been recorded, and additional explanations of the local name taken from other sources
‘Description’ – explanation of the local name, or additional information, taken from the original source.
When the final two fields – ‘Citation’ and ‘Description’ – are left blank no information is available.

Image: columbine; Tisbury, Wiltshire, May 2015.

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