How plants got their names - naming practices in botany
During colonial expansion, large amounts of plant material and associated local knowledge were brought to Europe from around the world. To make sense of this flood of material, the prevailing models for classifying the natural world in Europe were applied.1,2 Plants were placed in the system established by Carl von Linné in 1753 in his work Species Plantarum, which remains the basis for scientific naming today. Instead of using local names, it often honored ‘great men’ of European botany and other ‘heroes’.2
This system is essential in the scientific field. However, botanical names should not obscure the fact that many plants were known, named, and used by Indigenous long before their supposed ‘discovery’ by Europeans. Today, therefore, indigenous names are often taken up quite explicitly in new scientific descriptions of species.3
Even in the 19th century, native names were occasionally used for the scientific naming of plants. One example is Banisteriopsis caapi, the ayahuasca vine. The plant has recently gained popularity for its hallucinogenic properties.5 It first became scientifically known through the English botanist Richard Spruce, who collected in the Amazon lowlands for many years from 1849 and who also handed down the name, which was scientifically fixed by the German plant geographer August Grisebach.6,7
 Schiebinger, Londa (1997): Verlorenes Wissen, Systeme der Ignoranz und die Beschränktheit der Taxonomie dargestellt am Beispiel der Flos Pavonis, einem Abortivum. In: FKW // Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur (Hg.): Früchte der Kunst - Hybrides aus Natur Wissenschaft, Kunst und Geschlecht (Nr. 23): FKW // Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur.
 Schiebinger, Londa; Swan, Claudia (Hg.) (2007): Colonial botany. Science, commerce, and politics in the early modern world. University of Pennsylvania Press. First paperback edition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
 Gillman, Len Norman; Wright, Shane Donald (2020): Restoring indigenous names in taxonomy. In: Communications biology 3 (1), S. 609. DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-01344-y.
 Gosline, George, et al. (2022): Uvariopsis dicaprio (Annonaceae) a new tree species with notes on its pollination biology, and the Critically Endangered narrowly endemic plant species of the Ebo Forest, Cameroon. PeerJ 10:e12614 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.12614.
 Rätsch, Christian (2009): Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen. 9. Auflage. AT Verlag.
 Burkhardt, Lotte (2018): Verzeichnis eponymischer Pflanzennamen. Eine Sammlung eponymischer, biografischer und bibliografischer Angaben zu Ehrungen in der Pflanzenwelt. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin.
 Grisebach, August Heinrich Rudolph (1858): Malpighiaceae. In: Martius, C.F.P. de (Ed.) Flora Brasiliensis 12(1), S. 43.