A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas & the Southern Great Plains
Castilleja coccinea Indian Paintbrush
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Castilleja, for Domingo Castillejo (fl. 1781), a Spanish botanist + coccinea, Latin for scarlet. Reference is to the color of the flowers.
COMMON NAME: Indian Paintbrush, from the appearance of the flowers that resemble a brush dipped in paint. American Indians obtained dye from this plant.
This typical entry from A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas and the Southern Great Plains illustrates the synthesis the book provides between scientific and common names of the plants. Intended as a companion to field guides of common flowers in the region, this dictionary offers an opportunity to reference both names. The scientific or binomial name, the genus and species, is translated from its Latin form and its original language—Latin, Greek, European, Oriental, American Indian, even a personal name—identified. The common names for flowers in this region are usually of English or Mexican Spanish origin, although many come from several American Indian languages.
The common names of some plants, like Indian paintbrush, are familiar to most residents of Texas and the Southern Plains. Others such as Tall Joe Pie-Weed, Clammyweed, or Sensitive Pea may come as a surprise. Dr. Holloway explains the reason for the common name in many cases. Sensitive pea, for instance, is named sensitive because the leaves curl when touched and pea because it produces a pod.
Thoroughly researched and current with contemporary botanical terms, this is a book that professionals will keep in their personal libraries as a reference tool and native plant enthusiasts will keep in their car for identifying flora along the road.
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achenes Agalinis Allium American angustifolia Aphanostephus appearance Argemone Asclepias Aster SCIENTIFIC NAME Astragalus Astragalus canadensis Baptisia bloom Blue botanist bracts canadensis canescens Cirsium Clover COMMON NAME Coneflower Croton Cryptantha Cuscuta Cuscuta cephalanthi Dalea Dandelion Desmodium drummondii Echinocactus texensis eidos Erigeron Eupatorium Euphorbia flower color Flower SCIENTIFIC NAME flower shape fruit Gaura genus name Goldenrod Greek growth pattern habitat hairs hairy Helianthus Indigo inflorescence Ipomoea Ironweed Latin for belonging Latin for pertaining leaf leaves Lespedeza Liatris Lily SCIENTIFIC NAME Linum Mallow Mentzelia Milk Vetch Milkweed SCIENTIFIC NAME milky sap Narrowleaf Oenothera Opuntia Palafoxia Penstemon pertaining to Texas petals Phacelia Phlox physician and botanist Polygonum Prairie Primrose SCIENTIFIC NAME Purple range Reference resembling Ruellia SCIENTIFIC NAME seed Slender Solidago Spanish species name Spiderwort stems Symphyotrichum boreale texana Thistle SCIENTIFIC NAME Thomas Drummond Thomas Nuttall Tickclover Tradescantia type of plant type specimen Verbena Vetch SCIENTIFIC NAME Viola Wild Woolly Yellow Yucca