Category Archives: Nomenclature


How can you create patriotic plantings? You will find multiple options by looking at the Latin names of plants. The following tables list some of the Latin terms used in plant names that describe or refer to plant parts that are red, white, or blue. If you look for these terms when buying your plants you can design a patriotic red, white and blue flower bed or container.  


Cardinalis cardinal red, scarlet
Cruentus the color of blood
Ferrugineus rusty, rust-colored
Haemanthus with blood red flowers
Haemastomus with mouth a blood red
Haematocalyx with blood-red calyx
Haematochilus with blood-red lip
Haematodes blood red
Rubra red
Rubricaulis red stemmed
Rubropilosus red haired
Sanguinea blood red


Alba-us, -um  
Albescens whitish
Albicans off-white
Albicaulis white-stemmed
Albidus white
Albiflorus white-flowered
Albifrons with white fronds
Albiplenus with double white flowers
Albispinus with white thorns
Albocinctus with a white crown or girdle
Albomaculatus spotted with white
Albopilosus with white hairs, shaggy white
Albopleno with double white flowers
Albospicus white spiked
Albovariegatus variegated with white
Albulus Whitish
Candicans hairy or woolly white
Candidissimus very hoary or hairy white
Candidus Shining or pure white
Canescens With hairs of off-white or ashy-gray color
Lactatus milky
Lacteus milk-white
Lactescens containing milky sap
Lacticolor milk-color
Lactiferous producing milky sap
Lactiflorus milk white flowers
Leuc signifies white in compound words
Leucanthus white-flowers
Leucocarpa with white berries
Leucocaulis white-stemmed
Leucocephalus white-headed
Leucochilus white-lipped
Leucodermus white-skinned
Leuconeurus dusky-white
Leucophyllus white-leaved
Leucorhizus white-rooted
Leucostachyus white-spiked
Leucoxanthus whitish-yellow
Leucoxylon white-wooded
Nivalus Snow-white, growing near snow


Azureus sky-blue, azure
Caerulescens approaching dark blue
Caeruleus dark blue
Cyaneus blue
Cyananthus with blue flowers
Cyanocarpus with blue fruit
Cyanophyllus with blue leaves

Plants Called Mothers

Since I have a garden blog and have a passion for plant names, Latin and common, I thought I’d list some plants that are commonly called mother:

  • Mother-of-thyme, Thymus serpyllum
  • Mother spleenwort Asplenium bulbiferum aka mother fern
  • Mother-of-the-Evening – Hesperis matronalis aka dame’s rocket; more fragrant at evening
  • Mother of Thousands Kalanchoe daigremontiana
  • Mother of Millions, Mother of thousands Kalanchoe delagoensis (succulent)
  • Mother of thousands Saxifraga sarmentosa
  • Thousand mothers Tolmiea menziesii
  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Sansevieria trifasciata (aka snake plant)
  • Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca (mint family, grows wild in 46 states, considered weedy by USDA)

Do you grow any of these mother plants? What is your experience with them? Do you like them? Do you know other plants with mother in their name? Please let me know so I can add them to a database of common names I’m creating. Of course, the database is a work-in-progress too.