When I took the Master Gardener classes last fall the “professors” mentioned that when you are looking for a particular flower, make sure that you have the scientific name. Some people call the same flower by different common names, but they would all have the same scientific name. For example, a couple of weeks ago my husband and I had dinner at our friends’ house. They have a great shade garden while we are working with a mainly full sun garden. While they were giving us the tour, I mentioned that they should have some Trillium. They didn’t know what that was, so I tried to explain what it looked like. We continued with the tour and then had dinner. While we were digesting, one of our friends mentioned that she would love to have some Deer’s Tongue in her garden. She went on to explain that it had three kind-of-heart-shaped leaves that were dappled with white and the flower was made up of dark red petals and pointed upward and met at the top. It sounded exactly like what I have in my garden as Trillium. We looked it up in a garden book and they are the same flower.
So when you go to the garden center and ask for a vinca or trillium, don’t be surprised when you end up with something different than you pictured.