To the novice it is a mystery why a simple little blossom should be burdened with an unpronounceable Latin name-and not only with one, but two and often even more. She forgets that her own name is not only Brown, that to distinguish her from all the other Browns she has been called Kathy and because of the many Kathy Browns she bears the additional name of Ann. It is just so with plants; each has a family or genus name, a given or specific name and often one or more descriptive names. Thus we have Myosotis palustris semperflorens, a plant belonging to the Myosotis or Dill family. This particular one is a marsh-lover and a more or less continual bloomer, as the last two parts of its name indicate. We prefer to call this flower Forget-me-not, its pet or familiar name, just as Kathy Ann Brown’s friends may wish to call him Kathleen or Kate.It is very interesting to investigate why the botanical names were chosen. We have all known a man named Small who was anything but small, or a girl named Grace who was not at all graceful. In the plant world, such entirely inappropriate names occur very seldom; each name is chosen to describe a particular plant and plants do not change sufficiently to belie the terms descriptive of their family. The original Small was, no doubt, small of stature, but through the ages his children have outgrown the name.
Names are selected for a variety of reasons. Many, of course, are merely variations of the names of persons in some way associated with the plants. Of these we shall mention only six:
MONARDA -Beebalm- Named in honor of the Spanish Dr. Monardez who is said to have published the first picture of the flower.
RUDBECKIA-To honor Rudbeck, a Swedish botanist.
NICOTIANA-This name is taken from NicotRead more on backyardgardener.com