In yesterday's Telegraph gardening section Mary Keen describes how, in 1987, she sent a copy of her new book to the late, great plantsman Graham Stuart Thomas. He returned it, covered in red biro (!) with a note saying that there were 'errors of nomenclature on every page'. She goes on to say that the publication, in the same year, of the first edition of The Plant Finder, could have saved her a lot of trouble.
It is an invaluable, annual publication but don't think it protects you from botanists. The Telegraph story reminded me of something that happened years ago. I had written an article for The Journal of The Hardy Plant Society about North American woodland plants I was growing in the garden. Imagine my horror on receiving later a forwarded letter from an American professor demanding to know 'the basis of your contributor's assertion that' plant x was called plant x. (Too lazy to look it up now but I think it was Mertensia virginica.) I wrote to the chap saying that I was an amateur gardener and that the nomenclature in my article was based on The Plant Finder. Whether this satisfied him or not I don't know but I heard no more about it.
We all owe Linnaeus a debt and it's obviously a good thing that plant names should be standardised but really, these chaps are
Perhaps the botanists are right after all.