Thank you, unp - as ever, admirable research and solid facts!unp wrote:Judging by what is shown here there are 22 common English names for 175 UK native Inocybe species.
There seems to be no logical pattern. Inocybe impexa (map is here) has been observed 8 times (Inocybe fraudans, 302 times) and has no common name while Inocybe fibrosa, only 7 but is known as Silky Fibrecap.
All hope is not lost though. Work is underway to give them all names. A delicate and awesome task.
A delicate and formidable task indeed. And less than successful names may come about - as the pretty bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, of British springtime bluebell woods, prosaically labelled "drooping pseudohyacinth" (longus ebahüatsint) in Estonian. - To avoid international diplomatic incidents it must be said that it does have the alternative name of "drooping blue lily" (longus siniliilia).
But is there less need of common names in English? Are some things in nature less talked about in English? A language has words for what people talk about, to some extent. Berry and mushroom collecting are certainly more northern European pastimes. Or - maybe there are more learned societies in English-speaking countries and the somewhat less "popular" creatures such as obscure fungi, minimal insects, night-time moths have been left to the members who are perfectly happy with the scientific ("Latin") names.
PS. Oh YES, Alice, they do change names. Throwing out all our laboriously learnt Latin names. The institute where I worked once shared buildings with molecular biologists. Their greatest joy was to reevaluate relationships, be it primulas or mammoths