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Aboriginal Plant Names


Common Names That Are Potentially Offensive to Aboriginal People is pleased to join with Northern Ontario Plant Database to remove common plant names that are potentially offensive to Aboriginal People.  This effort has been initiated by, and recommend new plant names are recommended by, the Northern Ontario Plant Database.  For additional information about this initiative, please directly contact:

Susan J. Meades, Project Coordinator, Northern Ontario Plant Database Office at Great Lakes Forestry Centre Herbarium (SSMF), Herbarium (B103), 1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 2E5, Telephone: 705-541-5594, Email:


Scientific Name

New Recommended Name

Old Common Name that may be offensive to Aboriginal People

Arisaema triphyllum


Indian turnip

Medeola virginiana

Wild cucumber-root

Indian Cucumber Root 

Apocynum cannabinum

Hemp dogbane, Claspingleaf dogbane, Prairie dogbane, Velvet dogbane, Amy-root

Indian Hemp

Castilleja coccinea

Scarlet paintbrush, Scarlet paintcup

Indian Paintbrush 

Lobelia inflata

Wild tobacco, Inflated tobacco, Inflated lobelia

Indian tobacco

Mitchella repens

Partridgeberry, Two-eyed berry

Squawvine and other names containing the word "squaw"

Monotropa uniflora

Ghost pipe

Indian Pipe



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© 2007 Andy Fyon
Sudbury, Ontario

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Date last modified:

Andy Fyon

September 1, 2007

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