The databases iNaturalist uses as sources, like GBIF and ITIS, are well known to suffer from the problem of GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. This also means that errors from one propagate to others, making it look like something is common when it actually stems from one mistake.
I mention this because I found that Lobelia monostachya is listed with the common name “Waianae Range lobelia”, despite the fact that it is a narrow geographic endemic to the Koolau range (there are two mountain ranges on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, the Koolau in the east and the Waianae in the west, and a number of species are found in only one). When I flagged it, it was pointed out that the name is in “wide usage”, which in this context means the USDA plant index, ITIS, and NatureServe. It seems to have originated with the USDA site, and then propagated to the others. Probably someone was tasked with making up common names for species that didn’t have any (the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as endangered with “no common name” in 1996) and accidentally put down the wrong mountain range.
I get that there’s a lot of gray, but how do we deal with cases like this where it’s obviously wrong? Do we just leave it wrong?