A common name is the term used to describe traditional regional species names. As they can differ by country or region, a common name for a plant in one place can refer to an entirely different species in other. Some common names such as Apple or Cabbage are widely used and recognised, but can nonetheless be confusing. The Cane Apple, for example, is not a cultivar of Malus domestica (commonly named Apple) as one might expect but rather a common name for Arbutus unedo. Arbutus unedo is also known by the common name Strawberry Tree but is genetically distinct from species of the Fragaria genus which are more commonly collectively known as Strawberry.


As these examples make clear, common names can cause great confusion. As such binomial nomenclature is used to provide a name unique to each species. Nonetheless, common names such as apple, cucumber, potato, and so on, remain ubiquitous.


A-Z of common names

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