Month: January 2020

Burro’s Tail

Oh, joy! My leaf cuttings of Sedum morganianum, commonly known as Burro’s Tail, have grown. All three leaf cuttings do not anymore just have a little bump at the attachment area, but now have leaves—proper, tiny leaves! It took them about five weeks to go from having just a bump to this stage.

Funny how people name things. Or, plants, in this case. Burro’s Tail. Today, seeing that the leaf cuttings have thrived, I googled to know more about this particular succulent. I learned that this succulent is also called by other common names, among them: Donkey’s Tail, Horse’s Tail, and Lamb’s Tail. It seems people (the ones who have given this succulent its name) are quite agreed that the trailing stems of Sedum morganianum look like some kind of tail; they are just not sure what kind of animal’s tail it is.

Sedum morganianum mature plant grows trailing stems, 30cm or longer, densely packed with globules of fleshy blue-green leaves. The one I took the cuttings from must be a young plant, its unpruned stems not even reaching 10cm yet. I am looking forward to seeing these three plantlets grow. Hopefully in six to eight weeks time, their leaves will have grown more substantial and I can already transfer them to their own pots. For now, all that’s needed—aside from ensuring they don’t dry out—is to be patient.

Rosemary Gets A New Name

Our favourite aromatic herb, rosemary, is not Rosmarinus officinalis anymore. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), latest scientific findings show that the rosemary is actually a sage. Hence, officially—scientifically, as of November last year, Rosmarinus officinalis will now be known as Salvia rosmarinus.

~ Rosemary’s new name is Salvia rosmarinus. ~
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.

Advancements in science and technology have now made it possible for us to look deeper into, and understand more, the world of plants. A downside to discovering many things about a plant is that it may ultimately lead to something like a plant name change. For a plant that has been called Rosmarinus officinalis since the 18th century, the change to Salvia rosmarinus can be annoying and inconvenient. But I am of the opinion that science, not history, should have the last say on this issue—for how are we going to understand more the world of plants if we do not classify plants properly?

Despite the official, scientific name change, keep calm: we can still call rosemary as rosemary. Rosemary has been its common name throughout history and in everyday garden talk, we can just call it by its common name.