The Little Book of Common Names for Tasmanian Plants

Download the Little Book of Common Names for Tasmanian Plants
View the Addendum 2007
Download a companion booklet: Flora Names (2007)

Cover of the Little Book of Common Names
Common Names - Plants document cover.
Botany is of interest to a large number of people, the majority of them general field naturalists, people in the landcare movement, land managers such as foresters and farmers, or just people who like the bush and want to know the name of plants they find. They use common names because they can get their tongue around them. The world of botany cannot do without the professional botanists and taxonomists but it is also inhabited and enriched by a vast number of non-professionals for whom scientific plant names may appear intimidating.

A common name may apply to more than one species as is quite often the case when a species is split and the old common name is used for the new species as well. In some cases the same common name may apply to plants that are unrelated and do not even look similar.

The starting point for preparing this book has been that all plants deserve a common name. Almost by definition, a common name will only arise naturally for common plants not for uncommon plants that are only ever encountered or recognised by a handful of people. Other botanists feel that common names are confusing and people should be educated to use the precise scientific names.

The species listed in this checklist are in accordance with the 2005 edition of A.M. Buchanan. A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania, Tasmanian Herbarium, available from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery website at

Electronic Dictionary

A useful companion to the checklist is an electronic dictionary that can be downloaded. When installed on your computer, it will check and correct the spelling of scientific names in your documents. It also contains all common names that the more conservative dictionaries in your computer might flag as incorrect (e.g. riceflower). 


Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Phone: 03 6165 4319

Back Home