Monday, 8 June 2015

"Looking after Tony Aster trees"

It always intrigues and amuses me to see what search terms have lead people here, and this is one that came up last week.

Yes, someone actually put the above phrase into google, and lo! and behold, this blog is third on the page, after something about bonsai trees, and a link to a poor chap who is actually called Tony Aster.

My blog came up third because I made a wrote an article about pruning a shrubby Cotoneaster a while ago, and in it I said "Which, to clarify, is pronounced K'tony-aster. Not cotton-easter!"

It's an excellent example of one of those horticultural names which is hard to pronounce, like hemerocallis (Heemer-O'callis). I am always careful not to laugh when working or teaching, if people pronounce things in a strange way. I always tell them how I think it is pronounced, but I always make a point of telling them that in most cases, no-one knows for certain, as most plant names are a mix of latin (dead language, no-one alive today knows how it was really pronounced) greek and other stuff all thrown together, so there is no shame in getting it wrong, if you have only ever seen it written down. However, there are some ways of pronouncing things which have become generally accepted, and I think it is only kind to point them out.

So I am very happy to think that someone out there, somewhere, who doesn't know a great deal about their plants, but is sufficiently interested to try googling what they sound like, has found the answer, found some information about the plant, and has found out how to pronounce it, and how to spell it properly, so that they can go on to look it up elsewhere.

*sighs happily*

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this signpost, I searched for tonyaster as had only heard the name before, and now learning more about Cotoneaster :)


Comments take 2 days to appear: please be patient. Please note that I do not allow any comments containing links: this is not me being controlling, or suppression of free speech: it is purely to prevent SPAM - I get a continual stream of fake comments with links to horrible things. Trust me, you don't want to read them....