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Funniest or strangest cultivar name?

18 years ago

What's the funniest or weirdest or most intriguing/creative cultivar name you've ever come across? (Gotta wonder what the hybridizer was thinking of sometimes!) It can be anything: tree, shrub, perennial, bulb, rhizome, corm, or annual!

(no fair making any up! ;-)

I'll start. My vote goes to Hosta 'Outhouse Delight' which appears in Tony Avent's 'Plant Delights' catalog. Description: "H. 'OutHouse Delight' (the ugliest hosta in the history of hostas) is a breeding breakthrough. The narrow, upright 6" long x 1" wide leaves emerge white, then assume a green stippling in the center. The color holds during the summer on this slightly stoloniferous hosta. The 12" wide clump is topped with ugly lavender flowers in midsummer."

(honorable mention goes to Ranunculus 'Brazen Hussy'. Described as having "rich bronze foliage and shockingly bright golden flowers." Back in the 1980s I saw this mentioned in a British gardening book and was to intrigued by the name that I determined to track the plant down. Ended up having to import it from the UK. When it finally made it to my garden, I was disappointed that it was not only so small flowering, but that the leaves so precisely matched the color of soil or damp mulch that they were hardly visible. The plant grew at a snails pace for several years and then finally expired. Brazen Hussy, indeed; she was more like a Shrinking Violet or a Wallflower!!)

Comments (45)

  • Nigella
    18 years ago

    Hi GG, intriguing subject, lol. My sister has a gorgeous purple daylily called "Little Wart".

  • GibsonGirl
    Original Author
    18 years ago

    I just thought of another one. In a former garden I had an evergreen azalea called "I'll Be Damned" which I mailordered from a big rhody specialist somewhere in the Northwest (and I'll be ...well, you know.... if I can remember the name of the nursery!). Anyway I do remember that the flowers were very variable, some pink some white, some striped both colors, some with picotee edges, all on the same shrub. Maybe that's why the name...???

    Come to think of it, it was really pretty. I wonder if it's still being sold somewhere... hmm...

  • bamboogrrrl
    18 years ago

    The climbing rose called "Golden Showers" usually makes me titter.

  • Toba
    18 years ago

    Clitoria vine drives my friend crazy when she says it. I just tell her to call it Blue Pee (oops) I mean Blue Pea vine.

  • Wendy_the_Pooh
    18 years ago

    I like Hosta 'Pineapple Upside Down Cake'. Very descriptive, too.

  • GibsonGirl
    Original Author
    18 years ago

    Wendy, I just Googled that hosta and sure enough, as I suspected, it's offered by Plant Delights too. (figures that any nursery that would offer 'OutHouse Delight' and 'Elvis Lives' would have a hosta named after a dessert, right?!) Great photo of it... wow, that really IS yellow!! Do you have it in your garden? And if so, it is really as yellow as it looks in the picture?

    I have stayed away from golden hostas because so many of them are creamy rather than yellow, but if that's really the color... hmmm.... yummy! (but maybe I'll wait till the price comes down a teeeny bit)

  • woodviolet
    18 years ago

    I always thought "fothergilla" was a poor choice for a name. Sounds like a monster in some B movie.

    Astilbe is another one.

  • Wendy_the_Pooh
    18 years ago


    I'm sorry to say that I don't have Hosta 'Pineapple Upside Down Cake' in my garden (yet). I've just ogled it for a while in magazines and on the web. I wonder if it really is as yellow as it looks in the photos.


  • rross
    18 years ago

    On the annuals forum I just read about a plant called Lobelia siphilitica. I call that pretty strange.

  • alcam
    18 years ago

    A rhododendron hybrid grown in the Seattle area has the name 'Woody's Friggin Riggin', I think that's an odd choice.

  • NorCalMom
    18 years ago

    I just adore the rose named "Tipsy Imperial Concubine" - this rose is flat-out gorgeous and she really does look a bit tipsy :)

  • JoBloominGardens
    18 years ago

    Daylilies have a corner on the market for strange names:

    ode to happiness
    cheers for now
    old time rock n roll
    rooster rush
    honey bee good
    carrots forever
    do my best
    new clown face
    help other people
    ruffles ah go go

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • aka_peggy
    18 years ago

    Howsabout "Conocarpus erectus". Ewww, sounds like a dreadful disease of the ewwwww!;)

    Then there's the didymocarpus and the streptocarpus, ewwww.

  • cajunbarry
    18 years ago

    Hosta 'Outhouse Delight', bred by Tony Advent of Plant Delights - warning, it ain't too pretty :-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: out house delight

  • cajunbarry
    18 years ago

    oops - I hadn't noticed the previous post on outhouse delight...the picture's worth the repeat, though...

  • cajunbarry
    18 years ago

    How about Salvia guaranticia "black and blue" - Tony Advent got some slack from catalogue readers about this one sometime back...

    Here is a link that might be useful: black and blue sage

  • cajunbarry
    18 years ago

    Although a common name rather than a cultivar name, "TEXAS MUD BABY" (ECHINODORUS CORDIFOLIUS RADICANS) has always made me chuckle.

  • sylviatexas1
    18 years ago

    rosa crepuscule.

    sounds like a sore.

  • akebono
    18 years ago

    Heronswood lists a spotted-leaf Arum called 'Dick and Dot.' I have no intention of being thrown off GW by elaborating any further!

  • moogies
    18 years ago

    I bought Naked Ladies (Belladonna lily) just because someone on the forum said their husband loved to look out the window in the morning and announce, "I see the naked ladies out by the pool."

    Plus, they're beautiful!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Naked Ladies

  • Thirteensqirrlz
    18 years ago

    My boyfriend just asked if I was OK -- I was laughing so hard from reading this post! I always thought Voodoo lilies were a little odd, though I can't remember the proper name.... Then there's the rose called Voodoo.
    As for the clitoria vine... I had a friend suggest that we plant some by our pond.... One must understand, the pond is a work in progress, and at this point it is oval with a narrow channel (someday to be a stream bed) curving back and forth away from it, just like a giant ummm rhymes with worm....

  • beigestonehill
    18 years ago

    This thread had me laughing out loud! I just read somewhere that there is an Echinacea called 'Paranoia'. I could never bring myself to buy the rose Golden Showers because of the name. HMMMMM which came first the rose or the act?? I want a job naming paint colors, race horses and daylilies!!

  • abgardeneer
    18 years ago

    How about Tetrapanax "Steroidal Giant"?

  • hannahholly
    18 years ago

    One I saw somewhere on Gardenweb just the other day, someone looking for 'hoary puccoon'. Terrible name for a plant.

  • abgardeneer
    18 years ago

    If you don't like 'hoary puccoon', how about 'viper's bugloss'?

  • ocbird
    18 years ago

    LOL!! I loved that link to the Sparrow's Nest,had no idea there were so many names for daylilies!

    This isn't a "weird" name, but I like "Envy" for the green zinnias.

  • ninamarie
    18 years ago

    We used to sell a variegated thistle called 'Silybum marianum." Though I wrote the Latin name prominently on the sign, only children enjoyed its moniker as much as I did. And of course, once they figured out how to sound it out, you'd hear them shrieking the name all over the market. "Silly bum. Silly bum!"

  • nwroselady
    18 years ago

    How about the rose called "Happy Butt"?

  • anthirum
    18 years ago

    What about Virginia Creeper? An over -emphasis on one of the "i" and you have a whole new meaning!

  • heartsease
    18 years ago

    There's an iris named Baboon Bottom, a daylily named Crotchless Panties and a hosta named Bridegroom ... not so funny until you see the plant.

  • garden_nerd
    18 years ago

    Try looking at the Shady Deals nursery website. I had trouble keeping up with some of the American domestic politics humour but even so, it was funny!

  • CathyAnn7b
    18 years ago

    My grown daughters think my clethra has the funniest name and like to comment that I have a plethora of clethra.

  • Sachis2112
    18 years ago

    I can't believe I didn't see Wandering Jew in the whole list! It might just be particularly funny to me, living in a very Jewish neighborhood and with a Jewish boyfriend. I always get this image of some guy with the black pants, white shirt and yarmulke just kind of wandering the streets of LA aimlessly.

    I know that there is this whole tale about a Jew that Jesus cursed to wander the earth. But most people I know have never heard the story. Every time I offer a cutting of the plant to one of my co-workers (yes, she's jewish) we are reduced to giggles.

    I also think cheese plant is funny. I think the fact that it got it's name only because the seed pods look like cheese wheels is just... well... cheesy.

  • dirtmonkey
    18 years ago

    African violets and other gesneriads get some pretty odd names too:

    Achimenes 'Caligula'
    Aeschynanthus 'Hot Flash'
    Chirita 'Vertigo'
    Kohleria 'Ampallang' (I politely suggest you do not look up that word on the internet).
    Sinningia speciosa (florist gloxinia) 'Ugly Girl'
    Sinningia 'Sweet Patootie'
    Smithiantha 'Sassy Redhead'
    Streptocarpus 'Gator's Tail'
    Streptocarpus 'Purple People Eater'

    I'll leave the violets alone, they're just too weird :)


  • Minstrel
    18 years ago

    Three of my favorite rose names are Rosa Horrida, Rosa Foetida and the cultivar L'Ouch.

    I ask you ... would you buy based on those names? :-)

  • jkw7aj
    18 years ago

    Not really funny, but possibly the longest name in the history of plants: Rhododendron 'The Honorable Jean Marie de Montague'

    Lynn (BeigestoneHill), how about adding 'naming Championship Show Cats' to your future career? I like 'Mittenspaws Maxa-Milion of Karactorz'.

    Here is a link that might be useful: kitties

  • KITCHENplntr
    17 years ago


  • boisenoise
    17 years ago

    Klehm Nurseries came up with a peony cultivar (Wayside carried it for awhile) named "Shaggy Dog." It was pretty ugly, too, at least in my opinion.

  • qbirdy
    17 years ago

    There is a hosta called "Outhouse Delight"

  • mikeatle
    17 years ago

    I read somewhere that Hippeastrum (amaryllis) sounds like a hippo with a back end problem. I laughed quite a bit with that one.

  • sycamore_guy
    16 years ago

    It doesn't exist, but if anyone makes a cultivar of Penstemon whippleanus I sure hope they call it Charmin.

  • bonza40
    16 years ago

    I have an acer palmatum called 'Bloodgood', have to stop myself adding a 'y' after the Blood!!!

  • debraq
    16 years ago

    In the Michagen bulb catalog there is a"Purple People Eater", horrible name for a beautiful flower.
    Also, whenever I see Amaranthus Giangaticus with its one finger in the air ( finger ? ) pointing up and then Amaranthus Cruentus, same finger ( finger ? ) pointing down, I always have myself a good laugh.
    Before and After!

  • emoronjo
    16 years ago

    Rubus cockburnianus -- beautiful, thorny, white branches. Great plant for hedging, but a must-have for the name alone!

  • gardenjen_ca
    15 years ago

    I ordered "Phlox of Sheep" from T & M - that name just cracked me up!