Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Nov 3, 2022

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but some of the common names we use for plants downright stink! In this episode, we're diving into problematic colloquial names. Some common names are geographically misleading (“Jerusalem artichoke”); others are xenophobic, racist, or antisemitic ("wandering Jew"); while still others are an unfortunate combination of both (“Turk’s cap”). 

While it's probably too much to expect everyone to start using Latin names for plants, we can adapt new common names that are more culturally sensitive and accurate. Like the plants themselves, common names are organic, living things that need to evolve over time. 

First up, some armadillo drama and an update on Colleen's super-low-maintenance front yard renovation inspired by the writing of Roy Diblik (here's our original episode about that.)


Great at Procreate, an online digital drawing course from instructor Amy Fedele; "Problematic Common Names" (House Plant Hobbyist, 2021); How Plants Get Their Names by L.H. Bailey (Macmillian, 1933); Native Flora of Texas by the Texas Highway Department (undated, ca. 1960); The Better Common Names Project of the Entomological Society of America; and Potentially Problematic Common Names, a study by the American Public Gardens Association (2021). 

Like the show? Please support us on Patreon!