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Inspiration Behind Plant Names

Plant names can be fun, descriptive or mystifying. Here is a bit of insight on plant names you may be familiar with.

Baby Tut, Prince Tut and King Tut are all varieties of papyrus.

The popularity of papyrus as a writing material in ancient Egypt inspired naming these varieties after Egypt’s most famous king, King Tut.

Growth habit and flower power were likely the inspiration for the wave petunia series. The original wave petunia was much larger than the existing petunias and required minimal grooming to produce large, flower-covered plants.  Tidal wave petunias are more upright forming undulating mounds of flowers like a tidal wave.

Some plants are named for plant explorers, family members or famous individuals. Jim Crocket boltonia is a compact cultivar of the North American native boltonia. It was named for the well-known past host of the Victory Garden TV show.

A bit more information:  Many new plant introductions are patented. This allows the company to protect and benefit from their initial investment in breeding of the plant. It is illegal to propagate and sell patented plants without from permission and paid licensing fee to the patent owner. Trademarks allow the breeders to build awareness to generate sales of their plant even after the patent expires.

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