creeping charlie

Stephen M Jankalski CEREOID at
Thu Oct 7 14:51:38 EST 1999

Dear Pam,

I agree completely. Common names are regional and often useless in
identifying plants. People who freely give plant advice based solely on the
common names are doing everyone a great disservice.

A description of the plant is much more useful. The problem is that most
people do not know how to effectively describe the plants before them or
what characters are significant. Just saying the flowers are yellow isn't
enough because of the many ways in which flower parts can be arranged. Many
people fail to recognise such simple things as whether leaves are in pairs
or spirally arranged.

But on the other hand, some fool saying something like Purslane looks like
a "Jade Plant" is equally doing everyone a disservice. 

The description should be of the plant in hand not some fanciful comparison
to something it may only remotely resemble, if at all. Often having a
little bit of knowledge is far worse than having none at all.

Cereusly Steve


Pam Sinclair <grdngal at> wrote in article
<37FCDF29.CFEA3A19 at>...
> Stephen M Jankalski wrote:
> > Dear Beverly,
> >
> > I know Lysimachia nummularia as "Creeping Charlie". A close relative,
> > Lysimachia congestiflora, is currently in the trade as a hanging basket
> > plant.
> >
> >
> > Still have no idea which plant Jerry is calling "Creeping Charlie".
> >
> > Cereusly Steve
> Lysimachia nummularia is sometimes known as "creeping Charlie", but is
> commonly known as "creeping Jennie".  "Creeping Charlie" is a common name
> applied to Glechoma hederacae (ground ivy),  Malva sylvestris (Cheeses or
> mallow), Pilea nummulariifolia, and Plectranthus (Swedish ivy) and
probably a
> few others. Common names seem to be a regional thing, often the same name
> referring to a different plant in a different area. Once again we see the
> advantages of the Latin binomial convention - botanical names are
invaluable in
> determining what to do about what.
> Pam - gardengal

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