This work brings together more than 18,000 common names used in Spanish to designate plants in Colombia, as well as some names in the Creole English of the Caribbean islands of San Andrés and Old Providence. It does not include names in the 64 Amerindian languages spoken in Colombia, as the appropriate documentation of those names requires detailed linguistic studies, and the use of specific writing systems, which in most cases are not yet standardized. On the other hand, available documentation on plant naming in many Amerindian groups is still scarce. Producing works similar to this one for aboriginal languages is a major task that should be undertaken as soon as possible.
This work is based on extensive field work, on abundant bibliographic references, and on herbarium specimens. It brings together the largest collection of Colombian plant common names ever documented.
All names recorded for each species are presented, providing information about the name’s origin, when known, and the regions where it is applied. For those species having several names, we have chosen one that is intended to serve as a national reference for the species. It is under that reference name that the description of the plant and its photographs are shown. These reference names are expected to facilitate the spread of plant knowledge across the country, while showing the diversity of names each species has.