EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2014 Num. article: 2014/043

Giving common names to invasive alien plants

There is no clearly defined process for devising common names for invasive alien species (IAS). Pseudo-scientific names such as ‘lantana’ for Lantana camara carry no ‘common meaning’, and create communication barriers with non-scientists and the general public when using such names. Furthermore, invasive alien plants are also often named with names of indigenous plants and mistaken with them.
A working group in KwaZulu-Natal is running a pilot study for naming invasive alien plants in Zulu. The objective of this project is to correct the inappropriate use of naming invasive alien species to create Zulu names that describe the bad image of these plants to get public involvement when combating them. The end product of the project shall be a booklet with the Zulu names.


Invasive Species South Africa Website, Naming invasive alien plants in isiZulu. http://www.invasives.org.za/item/551-naming-invasing-alien-plants-in-isizulu.html
Sithole HJN, Macdonald IAW (2013) What’s in a name? Directing the ‘common naming’ of invasive alien species. Abstract. Book of abstract of the EPPO/CoE/IUCN ISSG International Workshop ‘How to communicate on pests and invasive alien plants?’ Oeiras (PT), 2013-10-08/10. http://archives.eppo.int/MEETINGS/2013_conferences/communication_pt.htm