All this is a convincing argument never to use the popular names of plants, but what is one supposed to do when the scientific names are capriciously swapped around on botanists whims? Sometimes, when dealing with alecost for instance, the popular name is more readily understood than one of a plethora of botanic names. That said, it is imperative to use scientific names in the context of medicinal herbs, how many different plants on either side of the Atlantic share a popular name?
We use the RHS Plantfinder as the standard reference when compiling the catalogue, but often find that a name has been changed behind our backs and I have told more than one customer that I have never heard of a plant that has been sitting here for years under a different name. Then we get ratty notes from the RHS about listing plants that we allegedly dont stock.
The trade is inclined to continue using obsolete names because they are the names the customers have grown up with and understand. I was told that the names Lavandula officinalis , Vera and spica were rendered obsolete in 1929 but we and virtually everybody else still sell Lavandula spica alba because thats what people want and ask for.
I accidentally tripped across rather a good web site on this subject last weekhttp://digital.lib.ecu.edu/exhibits/lawson/nat3.html