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That’s Hackenackaloa to you!


I am not one of those people who insists on using Latin names for plants, but I understand there is value to knowing them (since there are a lot of plants with similar common names). But this weekend, as I was in the nursery butchering the pronunciation of “Hakonechloa macra Aureola,” I was thinking it would be nice to just know what it’s supposed to sound like sometimes.

Well of course Google had an answer for that. Here’s a link to Fine Gardening magazine’s pronunciation guide, with RECORDED plant names. Hallelujah!

Check it out!

4 Responses

  1. You’re lucky to have a son to help you out, Debbie! I was always told it’s better to TRY to say a work, but trust me, I’ve seen the look on people’s faces when I attempt to say these things and it’s not good.

  2. Erin,

    I love checking out the pronunciation of latin names on Fine Gardening. Sometimes I am so far off of the actual pronunciation that I just have to laugh. Although I must admit I’ve gotten a bit better since my son started taking latin classes in high school – he gives me general pronunciation tips like ‘ch’ sounds like ‘k’.

  3. Latin AND greek, huh? Nothing like confusing the issue.

    I think I’d use botanical names more often if I didn’t feel like such a clod trying to pronounce them (feels similar to trying to order dinner in France). I’m going to try to make an effort to go listen to the pronunciations when I have a question and try to use them more often.

  4. LOL. I love that feature on FG. I also have a really cool book on gardener’s latin that is great for teaching pronunciation.

    You want to get really nitpicky? In horticulture school, we were taught to call them botanical names instead of latin names because they are actually a combination of latin and greek, with some people and place names thrown in for good measure.

    Yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m a geek. I love this stuff. Botanical names are like poetry to me, and I have trouble remembering the common names.

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