Common Names


This topic contains the following sections:

    I. Group Names

    II. Guidelines for Hyphenation of Group Names

    III. General Guidelines for Group Names

    IV. Modifiers

    V. General Guidelines for Modifiers

    VI. Fanciful Phrases as Common Names

    VII. General Guidelines for Spelling

    VIII. General Guidelines for Capitalization

    IX. True Group Names


The following information was originally published in:  Kartesz, J.T. and J.W. Thieret. 1991. Common names for Vascular Plants: Guidelines for Use and Application.  Sida 14(3): 421-434 and is included within the Synthesis with permission.

For each of the fully recognized families, genera, and species found within the TDC, a common name is provided.  These common names were selected using criteria listed below.  Although some individuals may disagree with these selections, they have been reviewed by numerous individuals and groups who now use them.  However, as with all other aspects of the data, I welcome any suggestions.

Common names for plants are generally composed of two parts: the first is referred to as the modifier, the second as the group name. The modifier, usually quite variable, provides the uniqueness to each common name at the species level.  Conversely, the group name is quite constant, establishing the identity of taxa above the species level, i.e., families, genera, subgenera, tribes, etc.  Group names may not necessarily require a modifier. In some cases, for example (usually in small genera), a single word or fanciful phrase is all that is necessary to constitute a group name.



I. Group Names


Group names are often composed of a single word describing a particular family, genus, subgenus, tribe, or section.  These names are of three basic types:


1.  SIMPLE GROUP NAMES:  Simple group names are represented by a single word, e.g.

ash                                           aster

clover                                       fern

grass                                        lily

mallow                                      mustard

orchid                                       pine

rose                                          rush

sedge                                       stopper

tulip                                           willow


2.  SINGLY-COMPOUND GROUP NAMES:  These are group names composed of two root-words or elements that are connected as one.  Names of this type are composed of a pair of single-syllable wordsor of both a single- and a double-syllable word. For these names, both words or elements should be joined to form a single word (unless the words or elements begin and end with the same letter, e.g. saw-wort, cat-tail), e.g.

bloodleaf                                  chickenthief

goldenrod                                 hawkweed

hawthorn                                   lousewort

mousetail                                  nipplewort

quillwort                                     rockcress

sneezeweed                             waternymph


3.  DOUBLY-COMPOUND GROUP NAMES: Doubly-compound group names represent the most complex type. These are names composed of two or more distinct words or elements totaling four or more syllables. Each word or element of this type is separated from the others by a hyphen. These names may be subdivided into the following four categories:


a. Doubly-compound group names with two words, each word having two or more syllables, e.g.

Kenilworth-ivy                           monkey-flower

morning-glory                           popcorn-flower

pygmy-melon                            roving-sailor

treasure-flower                         trumpet-creeper

water-horehound                      yellow-saucers


b. Doubly-compound group names with two words, one word with three or more syllables, the other word with a single syllable, e.g.

butterfly-weed                           burr-cucumber

pincushion-plant                       rattlesnake-root

strawberry-tree                         scorpion-tail

unicorn-plant                             vegetable-sponge


c. Doubly-compound group names with three or more words, e.g. 

pale alpine-forget-me-not (alpine is part of the group name, not a modifier)

arctic sweet-colt’s-foot (sweet is part of the group name, not a modifier)


NOTE: In the above examples, since the words alpine and sweet precede taxonomically incorrect group names, they are set off by hyphens. These examples differ from the two that follow, which include taxonomically incorrect groups (see Section IX for a discussion of true groups), e.g.


d. Doubly-compound group names similar to those of category c, but differ by having a "false modifier" as part of the group name, e.g.

fringed yellow star-grass (yellow is part of the group name "yellow star-grass," and is not a true modifier)

Sonoran false prairie-clover (false is part of the group name "false prairie-clover," and is not a true modifier) 

In these cases, neither the modifier nor the "false modifier" should be connected by a hyphen to what follows.



II. Guidelines for Hyphenation of Group Names


Group names should be hyphenated only under the following conditions:


1. when the group name is composed of two words or elements, with each word or element beginning and ending with the same letter, e.g.

cat-tail                                      desert-thorn

five-eyes                                  saw-wort

trumpet-tree                             yellow-wood


2. when the group name is doubly-compound, i.e., when each word or element of a pair has two or mote syllables, or when either element of the pair has three or more syllables (see I-3a and I-3b above).


3. when the final word or element of the group name is taxonomically misapplied (unless historically spelled as a single word, e.g., buckwheat, toadflax), e.g. 

star-grass (not a grass of the Poaceae)

poison-oak (not an oak of the genus Quercus)

water-lily (not a lily of the genus Lilium)


NOTE: See extended listing below for taxonomically true groups (Section IX).


4. when three or more words or elements comprise the group name (see I-3c above).


5. when a word or element of a group name includes an apostrophe, e.g.

adder's-mouth orchid               bishop's-cap

Jacob's-ladder                          mare's-tail

Solomon's-seal                         St. John's-wort


NOTE: Hyphens should never be used for a group name to set off the words false, mock, wild, or true, since the status is already suggested by the existing modifier. Nor should the unconventional use of hyphens be included in canonizations or in titles of individuals, e.g.

Aunt Lucy (not Aunt-Lucy)

Good King Henry (not Good-King-Henry)

Maid Marian (not Maid-Marian)

St. John's-wort (not St.-John's-wort)


NOTE: Hyphens are also discouraged when separating proper names such as geographic place names or when setting off directions (northern, eastern, southern, and western) from other associated adjectives, e.g.

Blue Ridge gayfeather (not Blue-Ridge gayfeather)

eastern fringed catchfly (not eastern-fringed catchfly)

Great Plains bladderpod (not Great-Plains bladderpod)

Gulf Coast searocket (not Gulf-Coast searocket)

northern marsh yellowcress (not northern-marsh yellowcress)

southern Sierran pincushion (not southern-Sierran pincushion)



III. General Guidelines for Group Names


Group names should:

1. be as concise as possible;

2. never repeat the generic name except when steeped in tradition (e.g., aster, iris, mimosa);

3. reflect official state tree, shrub, and wildflower names when possible;

4. follow long-standing tradition;

5. follow names in popular use (e.g., field guides and conservation literature);

6. be unique for each genus. Understandably, this may not always be possible, e.g., when similar and well-established group names exist for different genera, e.g.

Huperzia - club-moss

Lycopodiella - club-moss

7. reflect as much ethnobotanical heritage as possible, and commemorate aboriginal usage           (e.g., pawpaw, a Native American name);

8. be easily understood by avoiding or minimizing the use of technical or unfamiliar terminology;

9. avoid the word "weed" for plant genera with rare species;

10. provide unique common names for well-defined subgenera or subgroups within genera;              e.g.

Erythronium:      white or pink flower - fawn-lily

                             yellow flower - trout-lily 

Ribes:                  spineless plants - currant

                              spiny or thorny plants - gooseberry


NOTE: Occasional departure from the accepted group name is also encouraged in the case of more fanciful, descriptive, or traditional common names, e.g. 

camphor-daisy (for Machaeranthera phyllocephylla; departs from the group name tansy-aster)

dunedelion (for Malacothrix incana; departs from the group name desert-dandelion)

shieldplant (for Streptanthus tortuosus; departs from the group name jewelflower)

whip-poor-will-flower (for Trillium cernuum; departs from the group name wakerobin)

(Also see Section VI, Fanciful Phrases as Common Names)

11. be used in the possessive when using animal parts, e.g.

adder's-tongue                        bird’s-foot-trefoil

crane's-bill                                hound 's-tongue

ladies’-tresses                         mate's-tail

pheasant's-eye                        stork's-bill

12. when using animal names, group names should not be used in the possessive, and the policies governing group names should be followed, e.g.

chickweed (not chick's-weed)                                     dog-fennel (not dog's-fennel)

dog-mustard (not dog's-mustard)                               rat-apple (not rat's-apple)

thin-leaf owl-clover (not thin-leaf owl's-clover)



IV. Modifiers


Modifiers are used to establish uniqueness for the group name. Mostly adjectival, they are of four basic types:


1. Those that provide description of plants or animal parts, size, shapes, colors, fragrances, number, and textures, e.g.

hare-foot locoweed                  hay-scented fern

long-leaf pine                            sharp-keel milk-vetch

single-leaf pinyon                      red-seed plantain


2. Those that provide descriptions for plant habits or habitats, e.g.

annual hedge-nettle                      bottom-land post oak

coastal-plain mountain-mint         granite stonecrop

vernal-pool snake-lily                    water-thyme


3. Those that commemorate individuals, e.g.

Douglas-fir                                Gray’s lily

Johnson grass                          Thieret’s skullcap


4. Those that describe geographic locations, e.g.

African basil                                Blue Ridge horsebalm

Caribbean hair-sedge               Carolina hemlock

eastern white pine                      Ozark spiderwort



V. General Guidelines for Modifiers


The following guidelines apply to the use of modifiers.


1. Modifiers composed of two words should be used in the nominative rather than the adjectival form (unless the modifiers are well established in usage, e.g., hay-scented fern), e.g.

broad-leaf lancepod (not broad-leaved lancepod)

little-tooth sedge (not little-toothed sedge)

long-leaf starwort (not long-leaved starwort)

slim-pod rush (not slim-podded rush)

tough-leaf dogwood (not tough-leaved dogwood)


2. Modifiers composed of one word should be used in the adjectival rather than the nominative form, e.g.

bearded jewelflower (not beard jewelflower)

crested wheat grass (not crest wheat grass)

jeweled rocket (not jewel rocket)

rusty lupine (not rust lupine)

spotted lupine (not spot lupine)

tufted bulrush (not tuft bulrush)


3. Modifiers should be hyphenated when describing plant or animal parts, shapes, colors, sizes, fragrances, or textures, except when referencing proper names (e.g., Ottertail Pass saxifrage), e.g.

bird-bill dayflower                      bird-eye speedwell

dog-tooth noseburn                   five-leaf cinquefoil

fox-tail prairie-clover                  shell-bark hickory

short-leaf cinquefoil                   hairy-seed crown grass


4. Modifiers describing color shades should be hyphenated, e.g.

midnight-blue clustervine

ocean-blue morning-glory

sky-blue scorpion-weed


5. When describing plant communities or plant habitats, two-word modifiers should be combined as one when both words are single-syllable (unless the first and last letters of each word are the same, e.g., sand-dune thistle), e.g.

oldfield milkvine                           pineland golden-aster

saltmarsh sandspurry                  seaside sedge

streambank leopard's-bane       roadside raspberry


6. When describing plant communities or habitats, two-word modifiers should be hyphenated when either word is composed of two or more syllables, e.g.

Arctic-tundra whitlow-grass        coastal-plain dawnflower

cold-desert phlox                         river-bar bird’s-foot-trefoil

sandy-plain clustervine                vernal-pool pincushion-plant


7. Independent, second-word modifiers should remain separated without a hyphen, e.g.

American water starwort (not American-water starwort)

dotted wild coffee (not dotted-wild coffee)

early blue violet (not early-blue violet)

leafless beaked ladies'-tresses (not leafless-beaked ladies'-tresses)

sticky purple crane's-bill (not sticky-purple crane’s-bill)


8. Independent, third-word modifiers should also remain separated without a hyphen, e.g.

lesser yellow-throat gily-flower (not lesser-yellow-throat gily-flower)

little red-stem monkey-flower (not little-red-stem monkey-flower)


9. When commemorating individuals, possessive modifiers should always be used (unless well established in tradition e.g., Douglas-fir, Johnson grass), e.g.

Britton’s skullcap (not Britton skullcap)

Gray's lily (not Gray lily)

Hall's rush (not Hall rush)

Small's skullcap (not Small skullcap)

Ward’s willow (not Ward willow)


NOTE: When both the given name and the surname of an individual are used, a hyphen is not required between the names, e.g.

Alice Eastwood's fleabane (not Alice-Eastwood's fleabane)

Carl Mason's ragwort (not Carl-Mason’s ragwort)


10. When describing plant or animal parts, modifiers (unlike group names) should not be used in the possessive, e.g.

fox-tail prairie-clover (not fox's-tail prairie-clover)

cat-claw mimosa (not cat's-claw mimosa)

stag-horn fern (not stag's-horn fern)


11. When designating national subdivisions (i.e., states, counties, and provinces), nominative rather than adjectival modifiers should be used, e.g.

Alaska-cedar                                Alberta spruce

Gila County live-forever               New Mexico milkwort

Utah juniper                                  Texasplume


12. When designating countries and continents, adjectival rather than nominative modifiers should be used, e.g.

American spurred-gentian          Brazilian peppertree

Canadian thistle                           European bellflower

Jamaican-broom                          Japanese honeysuckle

Mexican-orange                           Persian rye grass


13. When describing geographic direction, adjectival rather than nominative modifiers should be used, e.g.

northern silverpuffs                       southern threeawn

eastern teaberry                           western sea-purslane


14. When selecting modifiers for related species, parallel structure should be sought, e.g.

broad-leaf sand-verbena            narrow-leaf sand-verbena

false babystars                             true babystars

johnnynip                                       johnnytuck

king-of-the-meadow                    queen-of-the-meadow

northern adder’s tongue              southern adder’s-tongue

small-whorl mallow                       large-whorl mallow


15. For very wide-ranging species, use of local or provincial names should be avoided, e.g.

common St. John’s-wort (not Klamathweed, presumably a local name in the Pacific states)

common dandelion (not pee-da-bed, local name in northeastern U.S.)

lyre-leaf rockcress (not Kamchatka rockcress, local name in Pacific Northwest)

small cranberry (not wren's-egg cranberry, local name used mostly along the coast of Maine)


16. Modifiers should be concise, yet meaningfully descriptive, using the most colorful adjectives and reflecting uniqueness of habitat, geography, toxic or medicinal properties, and flower morphology, color, or fragrance.


17. When selecting modifiers, mere English translation of Latin or Greek epithets should be avoided. Avoid surnames of individuals as modifiers because such modifiers provide very limited information on properties, characteristics, and other features of a plant.


18. In selecting modifiers, the word "common" and other rather shallow descriptive adjectives should similarly be avoided except when steeped in tradition (e.g., common dandelion).



VI. Fanciful Phrases as Common Names


Fanciful phrases composed of two or more words or elements as common names are encouraged. They are often used as substitute names for group names, or they can be used as the accepted group names. Such names should be governed by the guidelines established for group names. Phrase names, especially lengthy ones, should be hyphenated between each word or element, e.g.

devil’s-darning-needles                     forget-me-not

herb-of-the-crown                               jack-in-the-pulpit

kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate          love-in-a-mist

old-man-in-the-spring                         midnight-horror


NOTE: Fanciful phrases, however, should be limited to five or six words or elements, thus avoiding excessively lengthy names such as welcome-home-husband-however-drunk-you-be.



VII. General Guidelines for Spelling


Consistency of spelling and form should be sought for both group names and modifiers. The following suggestions are provided for words with alternate spellings or forms:

burr (not bur)

coastal (not coast)

county should be spelled out (not abbreviated as co.)

forked (not forking)

gray (not grey)

gypsum (not gyp)

mountain should be spelled out and singular (not abbreviated as mt., mts., mtn, or mtns.; however, Mt. is preferred to Mount)

pygmy (not pigmy)

savannah (not savanna)

woolly (not wooly)

Allegheny for the mountain range (not Alleghany)

Great Smoky Mountain for the mountain range (not Smoky Mountain)

Guadalupe Mountain for the mountain range (not Guadeloupe)

Rocky Mountain for the mountain range (not Rocky Mountains)

Sierran for the mountain range (not Sierra nor Sierra Nevada)

Guadeloupe for the country (not Guadalupe)

Chihuahuan for the desert (not Chihuahua)

Mojave for the desert (not Mohave)

Sonoran for the desert (not Sonora)

St. (not Saint)

greater is preferred to larger

lesser is preferred to smaller

papery is preferred to membranaceous (and membranous)

pinewoods or pineland is preferred to pine

seaside is preferred to seabeach



VIII. General Guidelines for Capitalization


The following guidelines have been prepared to assist in the use of capitalization of proper nouns and adjectives for common names.


1. Capitalize surnames of individuals used in group names and modifiers, e.g.

Bradbury-bush                                 Douglas-fir

Engelmann’s flat sedge                  Gray’s lily

Johnson grass                                 Klein’s evening-primrose

Nuttall’s oak                                     Small’s ragwort


2. Capitalize names honoring nationalities and human races

Chinese hemlock-parsley              Italian lords-and-ladies

Hopi-tea                                           Norwegian whitlow-grass

New Zealand-flax                            Barbados aloe


3. Capitalize the names of gods, goddesses, and other religious figures, including names referring to the deity or holy works

Adam-and-Eve                                Adam's-needle

Christmas-rose                               Crucifixion-vine

Easter-bonnet                                 Joseph’s-coat

Hercules-club                                  Heart-of-Jesus

Holy Ghost skyrocket                     Joshua-tree

Our-Lord's-candle                           Venus’ flytrap


4. Capitalize names suggesting titles, canonizations, and ranks of honor, e.g.

Aunt Lucy                                         St. Catherine's-lace

Queen Ann's-lace                           St. John's-wort


NOTE: Capitalization should not be used when specific reference to an individual is not provided, e.g.

king orchid                                      kingdevil

madam-gorgon                              princess-of-the-night

princesstree                                   queen spleenwort


5. Capitalize international and national place names and national subdivisions such as continents, countries, states, counties, parishes, provinces, and territories e.g.

American holly                               Asian sword fern

European mountain-ash               Florida bear-grass

Ohio buckeye                                New York fern

Shasta County leopardbane        Yukon lupine


6. Capitalize local place names, including the names of cities, parks, and other recreational areas, e.g.

Everglades palm                          Grand Canyon glow-weed

San Diego bear-grass                 Santa Fe phlox

Yosemite woolly-sunflower          Yellowstone rockcress


7. Capitalize geographic directions only when they designate specific areas or regions, e.g.

East Indian holly fern                    North Pacific whitlow-grass

North African knapweed              South American saltbush


NOTE: Mere directional adjectives should not be capitalized, e.g.

northern birch                                southern cat-tail

western Australian flooded gum western sand-parsley


8. Capitalize modifiers that comprise part of a proper name and are written in the singular, such as:

bay                                           basin

butte                                         canyon

cape                                        county

creek                                       delta

desert                                      flat

gap                                          glacier

gulf                                           harbor

head                                         island

lake                                          Mt.

mountain                                  ocean

pass                                         peak

peninsula                                 plain

plateau                                     point

range                                        ridge

river                                          sea

straight                                     valley


Examples of these modifiers include:

Blue Ridge bittercress                 Cape Thompson whitlow-grass

Grant's Pass willowherb              Great Basin tumble-mustard

Mt. Lassen fairyfan                       Rocky Mountain bluebells

Syes Butte plains-mustard          Wind River tansy-mustard



IX. True Group Names


The following genera and plant groups are listed with their "true group" names. All other genera referencing these common names should be considered misapplied.


Abies - fir

Abutilon - velvetleaf

Achillea - yarrow

Achyranthes - chaff-flower

Actaea - bugbane

Aesculus - buckeye

Ageratina - snakeroot

Agropyron - wheat grass

Alisma - water-plantain

Allium - garlic, leek, onion

Alnus - alder

Alocasia - taro

Aloe - aloe

Amaranthus - pigweed, tumbleweed

Anchusa - bugloss

Andropogon - bluestem, broom grass

Antirrhinum - snapdragon

Apocynum - dogbane

Arachis - peanut

Arctostaphylos - manzanita

Aristolochia - birthwort, Dutchman's-pipe

Aster - aster

Bambuseae - bamboo

Brandegea - starvine

Brassica - cabbage, mustard, rape

Brickellia - brickellbush

bryophyte - moss

Buxus - box

Calluna - heather

Camassia - camas

Campanula - bellflower

Capparis - caper

Capsicum - pepper

Carex - sedge

Carum - caraway

Castanea - chestnut

Cedrus - cedar

Chrysolepis - chinkapin

Cichorium - chicory

Cinnamomum - cinnamon

Cirsium - thistle

Cissus - treebine

Citrus - orange, lemon, lime

Convolvulus - bindweed

Corallorrhiza - coralroot

Corchorus - jute

Corylus - hazel

Croton - croton

Cucumis - cucumber, melon

Cucurbita - pumpkin, squash

Cupressus - cypress

Cydista - withe

Cydonia - quince

Cynara - artichoke

Cytisus - broom

Dianthus - pink

Digitalis - foxglove

Diodia - buttonweed

Dioscorea - yam

Dodecahema - spinyherb

Dracocephalum - dragonhead

Drypetes - rosewood

Elymus - wild rye

Epilobium - fireweed, willowherb

Erica - heath

Eucalyptus - gum

Eugenia - stopper

Euphorbia - spurge

Fagopyrum - buckwheat

Fendlera - Fendlerbush

Ficus - fig

Foeniculum - fennel

Fragaria - strawberry

Fraxinus - ash

Gaylussacia - huckleberry

Gentiana - gentian

Geum - avens

Gnaphalium - cudweed

Gossypium - cotton

Helianthus - sunflower

Helleborus - hellebore

Hemizonia - tarweed

Houstonia - bluet

Humulus - hop

Hyacinthus - hyacinth

Hyssopus - hyssop

Ilex - holly

Indigofera - indigo

Ipomoea - morning-glory

Isoetes - quillwort

Jasminum - jasmine

Juglans - walnut

Juncus - rush

Lactuca - lettuce

Lagerstroemia - crape-myrtle

Laurus - laurel

Lavandula - lavender

Levisticum - lovage

Ligustrum - privet

Lilium - lily

Linaria - toadflax

Linum - flax

Liriodendron - tuliptree

Lithospermum - gromwell

Loeseliastrum - calico

Lomatium - desert-parsley

Lonicera - honeysuckle

Lychnis - campion

Lythrum - loosestrife

Malus - apple

Malva - mallow

Marrubium - horehound

Matthiola - stock

Mentha - mint

Mercurialis - mercury

Mesembryanthemum - iceplant

Mimulus - monkey-flower

Mirabilis - four-o'clock

Morus - mulberry

Musa - banana

Myosotis - forget-me-not

Myrrhis - anise

Myrtus - myrtle

Nelumbo - lotus

Nicotiana - tobacco

Obolaria - pennywort

Ocimum - basil

Olea - olive

Oryza - rice

Paeonia - peony

Panicum - millet, panic grass

Papaver - poppy

Pastinaca - parsnip

Penstemon - beardtongue

Petroselinum - parsley

Phaseolus - bean

Phoradendron - mistletoe

Phragmites - reed

Pimenta - allspice

Pinguicula - butterwort

Pinus - pine

Plantago - plantain

Polygala - milkwort

Pontederia - pickerelweed

Portulaca - purslane

Potamogeton - pondweed

Primula - primrose

Proboscidea - unicorn-plant

Prunus - almond, cherry, peach, plum

Psidium - guava

Pyrola - wintergreen

Pyrus - pear

Quercus - oak

Ranunculus - buttercup

Raphanus - radish

Rhamnus - buckthorn

Rheum - rhubarb

Rhus - sumac

Ribes - currant, gooseberry

Robinia - locust

Rosa - rose

Rosmarinus - rosemary

Rubia - madder

Rudbeckia - coneflower

Rumex - sorrel

Ruta - rue

Sabal - palmetto

Salix - willow

Salvia - sage

Sambucus - elder

Santalum - sandalwood

Sarcodes - snowplant

Satureja - savory

Saxifraga - saxifrage

Scirpus - bulrush

Scrophularia - figwort

Scutellaria - skullcap

Sedum - stonecrop

Selinocarpus - moonpod

Sequoia - redwood

Sideritis - ironwort

Solanum - nightshade

Solidago - goldenrod

Spinacia - spinach

Sullivantia - coolwort

Swertia - felwort

Swietenia - mahogany

Symphoricarpos - snowberry

Symphytum - comfrey

Symplocarpus - skunk-cabbage

Tagetes - marigold

Talinum - fameflower

Tamarindus - tamarind

Tanacetum - tansy

Taraxacum - dandelion

Teucrium - germander

Thalictrum - meadow-rue

Thuja - arborvitae

Thymus - thyme

Tillandsia - airplant

Tragopogon - salsify

Trichostema - bluecurls

Trifolium - clover

Tsuga - hemlock

Tussilago - colt's-foot

Ulmus - elm

Urtica - nettle

Vallisneria - eel-grass

Verbascum - mullein

Verbena - vervain

Vicia - vetch

Vinca - periwinkle

Viola - violet

Vitis - grape

Wolffia - watermeal

Zea - corn

Zingiber - ginger


All genera of the following plant families (or major plant groups) represent true types; thus, their group names should not be hyphenated:

Arecaceae - all names referencing palm

Cactaceae - all names referencing cactus

Cucurbitaceae - all names referencing gourd

Cyperaceae - all names referencing sedge

Orchidaceae - all names referencing orchid

Poaceae - all names referencing grass

Pteridophytes - all names referencing fern and "fern-allies"


The following words are of indeterminate application, not representing true groups, and thus can be used in various group names or fanciful phrases:

balm                                         balsam

bay                                           briar

creeper                                    cress

daisy                                        flag

haw                                          hedge

ivy                                             mampoo

mangrove                                osier

rocket                                       rodwood