The Latin Series: B is for Buchananii

Are you ready to continue to the Latin series?  B is going to go quickly — unless you can spark me with another Latin ‘B’ — Buchananii is the only one I can come up with.

newtonia buchananii

Buchananii is one of the Latin naming conventions for a person — namely the person who discovered the plants.   John Buchananii was a Scottish pattern designer who sailed to New Zealand in 1852, bought a farm near Dunedin and  began collecting and recording the unfamiliar native flora.   His pattern making skills served him well as a botanist and he spent many years on expeditions around New Zealand collecting, drawing and documenting plants.

There are hundreds of plants — many of which are garden worthy favorites that bear the Buchananii name — one of my favorites is Carex Buchananii.   I set up a pinterest board with a bunch of ‘buchananii’ plants for you to see — but you really must click on Brachystelma buchananii it is one of the coolest plants I have seen in a while.

It should be noted however that not all plants with the name buchananii are for John Buchanan — there were other notable Buchanan’s in the botanical world.  Charles Buchanan is the namesake for Salvia Buchananii because he raised the rare plant from seed he collected in Mexico City.

Both images of Newtonia buchananii (a tree I would die to grow!) from from

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Brian Whyte Designs on August 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for the lesson. Love those buchananii’s!

  2. Jenn on August 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I looked for ‘b’s in my data base, and only came up with two.

    Ruellia brittoniana Katie’s Blue
    Huernia barbata

    Both of which also seem to be latinized last names.

  3. Chuck on September 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

    A favorite down here in on the Texas gulf coast: Salvia blepharophylla. Also Salvia buchananii and Justicia brandegeana-Shrimp Plant, 🙂

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