Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by levitrain, Aug 22, 2008.
Could someone please help identify this plant/tree? Thanks!
Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" or Corn plant
Cultivar names are in single quotes.
Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana'
Not a corn plant (Zea mays). Better to call it a variegated "Dragon Tree". :-)
I thought Dragon tree was Dracaena marginata:
Dragon tree is any species in Dracaena. The 'original' (first-discovered) dragon trees were D. draco (Canary Islands Dragon Tree) and D. cinnabari (Socotra Dragon Tree).
the common name of this plant IS corn plant.
common names are just nicknames and usually have more to do with what's happening in general in the area where the common name originates rather than having any connection to the latin name. in this case, this draceana has leaves that look very similar to the plant that produces maize/corn...thus the moniker 'corn plant'.
there are many plants that have more than one common name and there are some plants that are completely different species that have the same common name in different parts of the country/world. for that reason, using the latin name is really the only way to be sure you're talking about the right plant.
and, if you REALLY want to get technical about the latin name, this is the correct way to show it:
dracaena fragrans 'massangeana' (documented species names are italized)
most people here aren't too concerned with being THAT particular about it...and it's not all that big a deal...as people learn, they do start to use the correct form...i rarely even mention it because i know that, if the person asking questions is more than just the casual gardener, they WILL do research and learn and pick up on it all on their own. no need for me to throw something in their face :)
levi, you've got a very healthy looking plant there!! good luck with it!
Lets not go there again. Maybe not everyone is interested in proper botanical nomencature but since you brought it up, let's give it another go around.
Call a Dracaena a "corn plant" in front of a farmer and he will laugh at you. The leaves of Dracaenas look nothing at all like Zea mays other than being flattened and green. (That doesn't even apply to all the species of Draceana because they vary widely in shape and coloration.) Next time you see a corn field, take a close look at the form and arrangement of the leaves on the plants. Its not the same at all. BTW, Zea mays is a man-made giant species of grass.
Common names for plants are far more worthless than nicknames. Many plants have more than one "common" name and the same names are often given to very different plants. They are a source for confusion and often convey a misleading impression of the plants and their proper care. They can be vulgar and sometimes even insulting. Common names should always be discouraged and the proper names should be given and encouraged whenever possible. BTW, the proper botanical names are Latinized names not classical Latin.
The names of genera always begin with a capital letter, the names of species are in lower case regardless of their origin and the names of cultivars are proper names beginning with a capital letter and in single quotes. That's the rules according to the ICBN and ICNCP codes.
Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana'
The genus Dracaena also now officially again includes all the species formerly placed in the segregate genus Pleomele.
The original Dragon tree is Dracaena draco.
common names exist because the majority of people couldn't give a hoot what the latin one is. nor are most people interested in remembering 2, 3 and even 4 or 5 words to call their plant by the proper name. so, the common names will stick around even if you don't like it. it's just a nickname.
get over it already.
it's proper to italize the genus and species...and yes, the genus should have a cap letter...i just don't use caps in casual conversations on the internet - and this and other forums qualify as casual.
So called "common names" exist because the average person does not know the correct name and they are desperate to call the plant something. If our intention is to educate and properly ID the plants people are requesting the proper ID for, then it is our responsibility to provide the the correct scientific name and not to perpetuate confusion. If one doesn't know the correct name, they should allow someone else who does to provide it and not make bad guesses and second guess simply to have something to say. That is completely missing the point. It is not for one to presume that the person asking doesn't care what the correct name is. If they didn't want to know what it really is, they would not be asking in the first place. There is no such thing as a "nickname" in horticulture or botany. Slang and the incorrect use of name should always be discouraged when discussing plants. Think about it.
my dear steve, i really don't understand just what you're going on about!! the very first reply to the query clearly gives the correct botanical name as well as the common name.
so, that person covered it very well...provided the correct botanical name as well as the common terminology - so all bases are covered for the one looking for the id - if they're more serious about it, they've got the botanical name and if they're a more casual type gardener, the common name will be sufficient for them (and they still have the proper name to be able to do some research on care).
i really just don't understand why you choose to be so argumentative all the time!
I've clearly been "bear baited" and fell for it.
The poster got the answer long ago and anything else is just moot.
Thanks for all your help!
yes, the first response provided the correct id. nothing further needed to be added other than an agreement of that id and i didn't even bother with that since the correct id had been provided.
the majority of posters here are just regular people looking for a proper id so they can research to find the correct care of their plant. very few are professionals and, as a result, they aren't concerned with the particulars you harp on.
yes, presenting the id's properly is important...the proper name; spelled correctly so that someone can google for care, is more than sufficient for most of the posters who are here looking for id's.
sometimes, even just the common name is enough info for the poster to use to get the care info that they're looking for as well as the correct botanical id. so, as much as the common name isn't the proper way to id a plant and as much as you dislike common names (especially the common name for this particular plant), it does actually come in handy sometimes and there's nothing wrong with that (google 'corn plant' and see what you come up with)!
although you can argue it to death all you want about how 'wrong' it is, the moniker of 'corn plant' for D. fragrans 'Massangeana' isn't going anywhere anytime soon. so, relax already, my dear!! it's really not all that big a deal :)