By any other name would smell as sweet…”
– Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
Not knowing the botanical names of many plants, I’ve never thought that it lessened my enjoyment of them, and still don’t. A rose, by any other name, would still smell as sweet. Or, to use another cliché, a rose is a rose is a rose. By that, Gertrude Stein meant that things are what they appear to be. It is what it is.
On the flip side, from Anne of Green Gables:
“Well, I don’t know.” Anne looked thoughtful. “I read a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
I leave it to you to decide. :) In the meantime, I discovered a site that has been very useful and thought I would share the link for those who may also struggle with botanical names. This site will translate Latin plant names into their common names, and vice versa. I’m making an effort to learn as much as I can about the plants I love, but until I master those terms, I’ve found this site to be most helpful.
photo © Nancy Bond