Interesting, funny, weird, e.t.c. plant names

I want to start a band called Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule). Super common, non-native, one of the first city weeds I learned, and still one of my favorite plant names.


I always think this is a mouthful:
Turkey Tangle Frogfruit Phyla nodiflora
Who came up with that? ;)

@connlindajo I’ve never heard of Obi-Wan Conobea but I think it just became my new favorite plant :)


The most interesting one I found out recently: gale of the wind

Prior to that, I was struck by the ones with medieval-sounding names:

And of course

  • wolfsbane – necessary for driving away werewolves. What gothic monastery garden would be complete without it?

@threeagoutdoors Turkey tangle frogfruit was my second choice. I remember being annoyed when they changed it from Texas frogfruit sometime after I joined iNat. It was a perfectly perfect common name.

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Here’s a few that almost tell a story:

Touch Me Not (balsam )
Virgin’s Bower (clematis)
Forget Me Not (myosotis)

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Can’t leave out Psychotria elata also known as Hooker’s Lips.
Though iNat has chosen the less comedic common name.

Oh, and Clitoria, that always gets a chuckle.


Just fun to say: Polygala polygama (racemed milkwort)

Crippled Cranefly (Tipularia discolor)
Nits and Lice (Hypericum drummondii)
Scrambled Eggs (Corydalis aurea)
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)

These three all have a similar shaped single clapping leaf. “Ophioglossum” means snake tongue.
Green Adder’s Mouth (Malaxis unifolia)
Snake-mouth Orchid, Adder’s Mouth (Pogonia ophioglossoides) aka rose pogonia
Adder’s Tongue ferns (Ophioglossum spp.)


Lesser Weasel Snout (Misopates orontium)


Going further (culled from list o’ flower names)

Maiden Hair
Sweet William
Love in a Puff
Passion Flower
Bridal Veil
Naked Lady
Baby’s Breath

I wanted something funny yet nature related in Latin for my user name. There are a lot of names related to what’s going on at that time. Mine’s seasonal related - Ba_humbugi - it’s a snail🤣


Am I allowed to reply to my own post???

I was looking up “Plant” on the Explorer page and this showed up…



you are most welcome, so long as it doesn’t become spammy :)

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Thank! I wasn’t actually on purpose looking for this. I was replying to the Display Genus along with Subgenus thread and trying to see how many different levels of taxa are displayed from the typed text. I wonder if this would be a good way to find strange names for these interesting taxa name forum threads?

tbh I’ve found that the autocomplete / suggestions for search to be… a bit erratic. Top results can be a) popular taxa b) common name close match c) partial scientific name match in seemingly random order. sometimes more common taxa are suggested, other times eg a section will be suggested when a genus or species would be far more useful and more used for IDs and search. it baffles me.

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Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill

Maltese Fungus – which is not a fungus but a plant, presumably why iNat calls it Red Thumb.

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi — because the scientific name means “bear-grapes grape-bear.”


Heavenly bamboo is particularly strange since it’s not a bamboo and doesn’t really strike me as “heavenly”


The same can be said of Lucky Bamboo. I would say that it is especially unlucky because it led to the introduction of an invasive mosquito.


Toquilla Palm – because, first, it isn’t a palm. Second, because I first knew it as Panama Hat Palm, and “Panama” hats are from Ecuador. Third, the genus name Carludovica means Charles-Louise, as it was named after King Carlos IV of Spain, and his queen Luisa.