As a preface, one can read Bill Bittle justified comments. His comments however can apply to any group of popular plants. See for example our parallel effort with bamboos. We postulate that it is extremely useful to group together as many related names as possible (common, vernacular and botanical past or present) in order to cross-index them all as a first step. It then becomes easier to spot the inconsistencies, the sources of the spelling mistakes and the interesting linguistic parallels and plant paths during their migration from the centers of origin. Palms appear to have the particular characteristic of having plenty of local names and very few genuine names in their places of adoption. So we see a proliferation of made-up hybrid names, especially in English. Either a foreign name (from original source) will be combined with an English one, or a botanical generic name combined with an English name, or a botanical specific epithet combined with an English name. This is not a bad thing in itself and may be necessary but one should keep an eye on the overall picture or it could get out of control. An example that comes to mind is Sabal blackburniana. Generally "blackburniana" refers to an Anglo Saxon person called Blackburn and gives the English common name Blackburn xxxx or more correctly Blackburn's xxx. We found in the literature the name Black burn xxx, implying perhaps a burnt appearance ? This is the kind of mistake that leads a non Anglo Saxon person to naming the plant Black-burnt xxx or Burnt xxx. Later on it could easily lead some people to associating blackburniana to a burnt appearance. This is not far fetched in a world where commercial and scientific forces are in ever increasing synergy and at a time when "average" people begin to grasp the obscure language of "experts".
Original Thai script ? Nguay -> Calamus peregrinus Furtado
Original Thai script ? Paam khuat -> Roystonea regia (Kunth) O. F. Cook
Original Thai script ? Paam song tang -> Wallichia disticha T. Anderson
Is this Thai spelling correct ? Waai ..... -> Calamus floribundus Griff.
Waai chang -> Calamus ornatus Blume
Wai chaang -> Calamus ornatus Blume
In the above example is the Thai script correct ? If so should the romanised form be Waai chang or Wai chaang ? We know that Waai is correct but if chaang is correct either the Thai script should be changed or another Thai word corresponding to chaang should be added. Such subtle variations are common when moving from one part of a country to another.
Original Thai script ? Waai dam -> Calamus oxleyanus Teysm. & Binnend. ex Miq.
Original Thai script ? Waai khring -> Calamus palustris Griff.
Original Thai script ? Waai kuan -> Calamus javensis Blume
Original Thai script ? Waai kunun -> Calamus blumei Becc.
Original Thai script ? Waai maithao -> Calamus scipionum Lour.
Original Thai script ? Waai mon -> Calamus viminalis Willd.
Original Thai script ? Waai sam bai taw -> Calamus viminalis Willd.
Original Thai script ? Waai som -> Calamus viminalis Willd.
Original Thai script ? Waai ta kha thong -> Calamus caesius Blume
Original Thai script ? Waai tek -> Calamus javensis Blume
Is this also waai hin ? -> Calamus insignis Becc.
Is this also waai hin ? -> Calamus insignis Becc. var. insignis
Waai hin -> Calamus insignis Becc. var. longispinosus J. Dransf.
Is this also waai hin ? -> Calamus insignis Becc. var. robustus J. Dransf.
Date created: 12 / 04 / 2003
Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow
Last modified: 17 / 05 / 2003
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