Banksia canei, commonly known as the mountain banksia, is a species of shrub that is endemic to southeastern Australia. It is generally encountered as a many-branched shrub that grows up to 3 m (10 ft) high, with narrow leaves and the yellow inflorescences (flower spikes) appearing from late summer to early winter. The old flowers fall off the spikes and up to 150 finely furred follicles develop, which remain closed until burnt in a bushfire. Each follicle bears two winged seeds. Response to fire is poorly known, although it is thought to regenerate by seed. Birds such as the yellow-tufted honeyeater and various insects forage among the flower spikes. It is frost tolerant in cultivation, but copes less well with aridity or humidity and is often short-lived in gardens. One cultivar, Banksia 'Celia Rosser', was registered in 1978, but has subsequently vanished.
Although no subspecies are recognised, four topodemes (geographically isolated populations) have been described, as there is significant variation in the shape of both adult and juvenile leaves between populations. Although superficially resembling B. marginata, it is more closely related to another subalpine species, B. saxicola. (Full article...)
Banksia verticillata, commonly known as granite banksia or Albany banksia, is a species of shrub or (rarely) tree of the genus Banksia in the family Proteaceae. It is native to the southwest of Western Australia and can reach up to 3 m (10 ft) in height. It can grow taller to 5 m (16 ft) in sheltered areas, and much smaller in more exposed areas. This species has elliptic green leaves and large, bright golden yellow inflorescences or flower spikes, appearing in summer and autumn. The New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) is the most prominent pollinator, although several other species of honeyeater, as well as bees, visit the flower spikes.
A declared vulnerable species, it occurs in two disjunct populations on granite outcrops along the south coast of Western Australia, with the main population near Albany and a smaller population near Walpole, and is threatened by dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi) and aerial canker (Zythiostroma). B. verticillata is killed by bushfire and new plants regenerate from seed afterwards. Populations take over a decade to produce seed and fire intervals of greater than twenty years are needed to allow the canopy seed bank to accumulate. (Full article...)
Banksia serrata, commonly known as the saw banksia, the old man banksia, the saw-tooth banksia or the red honeysuckle and as wiriyagan by the Cadigal people, is a species of woody shrub or tree of the genus Banksia, in the family Proteaceae. Native to the east coast of Australia, it is found from Queensland to Victoria with outlying populations on Tasmania and Flinders Island. Commonly growing as a gnarled tree up to 16 m (50 ft) in height, it can be much smaller in more exposed areas. This Banksia species has wrinkled grey bark, shiny dark green serrated leaves and large yellow or greyish-yellow flower spikes appearing over summer. The flower spikes, or inflorescences, turn grey as they age and pollinated flowers develop into large, grey, woody seed pods called follicles.
Banksia prionotes, commonly known as acorn banksia or orange banksia, is a species of shrub or tree of the genus Banksia in the family Proteaceae. It is native to the southwest of Western Australia and can reach up to 10 m (33 ft) in height. It can be much smaller in more exposed areas or in the north of its range. This species has serrated, dull green leaves and large, bright flower spikes, initially white before opening to a bright orange. Its common name arises from the partly opened inflorescence, which is shaped like an acorn. The tree is a popular garden plant and also of importance to the cut flower industry.
Banksia menziesii, commonly known as firewood banksia, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Banksia. It is a gnarled tree up to 10 m (33 ft) tall, or a lower spreading 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) shrub in the more northern parts of its range. The serrated leaves are dull green with new growth a paler grey green. The prominent autumn and winter inflorescences are often two-coloured red or pink and yellow, and their colour has given rise to more unusual common names such as port wine banksia and strawberry banksia. Yellow blooms are rarely seen.
Persoonia linearis, commonly known as the narrow-leaved geebung, is a shrub native to New South Wales and Victoria in eastern Australia. It reaches 3 m (9.8 ft), or occasionally 5 m (16 ft), in height and has thick, dark grey papery bark. The leaves are, as the species name suggests, more or less linear in shape, and are up to 9 cm (3.5 in) long, and 0.1 to 0.7 cm (0.039 to 0.276 in) wide. The small yellow flowers appear in summer, autumn and early winter (December to July), followed by small green fleshy fruit known as drupes. Within the genus Persoonia, it is a member of the Lanceolata group of 58 closely related species. P. linearis interbreeds with several other species where they grow together.
English botanist John Lindley had named material collected by Australian botanist James DrummondBanksia cylindrostachya in 1840, but this proved to be the same as the species named Banksia attenuata by Scottish botanist Robert Brown 30 years earlier in 1810, and thus Brown's name took precedence. Within the genus Banksia, the close relationships and exact position of B. attenuata is unclear. (Full article...)
Drosera regia, commonly known as the king sundew, is a carnivorous plant in the sundew genus Drosera that is endemic to a single valley in South Africa. The genus name Drosera comes from the Greek word droseros, meaning "dew-covered". The specific epithetregia is derived from the Latin for "royal", a reference to the "striking appearance" of the species. Individual leaves can reach 70 cm (28 in) in length. It has many unusual relict characteristics not found in most other Drosera species, including woody rhizomes, operculatepollen, and the lack of circinate vernation in scape growth. All of these factors, combined with molecular data from phylogenetic analysis, contribute to the evidence that D. regia possesses some of the most ancient characteristics within the genus. Some of these are shared with the related Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), which suggests a close evolutionary relationship.
The tentacle-covered leaves can capture large prey, such as beetles, moths, and butterflies. The tentacles of all Drosera species have special stalked glands on the leaf's upper surface that produce a sticky mucilage. The leaves are considered active flypaper traps that respond to captured prey by bending to surround it. In its native fynbos habitat, the plants compete for space with native marsh grasses and low evergreenshrubs. Of the two known populations of D. regia, the higher altitude site appears to be overgrown and is essentially extirpated. The lower altitude site is estimated to have about 50 mature plants, making it the most endangered Drosera species, since it is threatened with extinction in the wild. It is often cultivated by carnivorous plant enthusiasts, and a single cultivar has been registered. (Full article...)
The title page of the 1877 edition of Fertilisation of Orchids
Fertilisation of Orchids is a book by English naturalist Charles Darwin published on 15 May 1862 under the full explanatory title On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised by Insects, and On the Good Effects of Intercrossing. Darwin's previous book, On the Origin of Species, had briefly mentioned evolutionary interactions between insects and the plants they fertilised, and this new idea was explored in detail. Field studies and practical scientific investigations that were initially a recreation for Darwin—a relief from the drudgery of writing—developed into enjoyable and challenging experiments. Aided in his work by his family, friends, and a wide circle of correspondents across Britain and worldwide, Darwin tapped into the contemporary vogue for growing exotic orchids.
The book was his first detailed demonstration of the power of natural selection, and explained how complex ecological relationships resulted in the coevolution of orchids and insects. The view has been expressed that the book led directly or indirectly to all modern work on coevolution and the evolution of extreme specialisation. It influenced botanists, and revived interest in the neglected idea that insects played a part in pollinating flowers. It opened up the new study areas of pollination research and reproductive ecology, directly related to Darwin's ideas on evolution, and supported his view that natural selection led to a variety of forms through the important benefits achieved by cross-fertilisation. Although the general public showed less interest and sales of the book were low, it established Darwin as a leading botanist. Orchids was the first in a series of books on his innovative investigations into plants. (Full article...)
A rare plant, Banksia aculeata is found in gravelly soils in elevated areas. Native to a habitat burnt by periodic bushfires, it is killed by fire and regenerates from seed afterwards. In contrast to other Western Australian banksias, it appears to have some resistance to the soil-borne water mouldPhytophthora cinnamomi. (Full article...)
Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial grass (in the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae) that is used for sugar production. The plants are 2–6 m (6–20 ft) tall with stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. Sugarcanes belong to the grass family, Poaceae, an economically important flowering plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum, and many forage crops. It is native to the warm temperate and tropical regions of India, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea. The plant is also grown for biofuel production, especially in Brazil, as the canes can be used directly to produce ethyl alcohol (ethanol).
Grown in tropical and subtropical regions, sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity, totaling 1.9 billion tonnes in 2020, with Brazil accounting for 40% of the world total. Sugarcane accounts for 79% of sugar produced globally (most of the rest is made from sugar beets). About 70% of the sugar produced comes from Saccharum officinarum and its hybrids. All sugarcane species can interbreed, and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. (Full article...)
Like other members of the family Asteraceae, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. In part due to their abundance, along with being a generalist species, dandelions are one of the most vital early spring nectar sources for a wide host of pollinators. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant. (Full article...)
Tulips (Tulipa), a popular species of bulbous plant
Ornamental bulbous plants, often called ornamental bulbs or just bulbs in gardening and horticulture, are herbaceousperennials grown for ornamental purposes, which have underground or near ground storage organs. Botanists distinguish between true bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers and tuberous roots, any of which may be termed "bulbs" in horticulture. Bulb species usually lose their upper parts during adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat or winter cold. The bulb's storage organs contain moisture and nutrients that are used to survive these adverse conditions in a dormant state. When conditions become favourable the reserves sustain a new growth cycle. In addition, bulbs permit vegetative or asexual multiplication in these species. Ornamental bulbs are used in parks and gardens and as cut flowers. (Full article...)
The Yecoro wheat (right) cultivar is sensitive to salinity, plants resulting from a hybrid cross with cultivar W4910 (left) show greater tolerance to high salinity
Plant breeding is the science of changing the traits of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. It has been used to improve the quality of nutrition in products for humans and animals. The goals of plant breeding are to produce crop varieties that boast unique and superior traits for a variety of agricultural applications. The most frequently addressed traits are those related to biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, grain or biomass yield, end-use quality characteristics such as taste or the concentrations of specific biological molecules (proteins, sugars, lipids, vitamins, fibers) and ease of processing (harvesting, milling, baking, malting, blending, etc.).
Plant breeding can be performed through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to methods that make use of knowledge of genetics and chromosomes, to more complex molecular techniques (see cultigen and cultivar). Genes in a plant are what determine what type of qualitative or quantitative traits it will have. Plant breeders strive to create a specific outcome of plants and potentially new plant varieties, and in the course of doing so, narrow down the genetic diversity of that variety to a specific few biotypes. (Full article...)
Mendel worked with seven characteristics of pea plants: plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color. Taking seed color as an example, Mendel showed that when a true-breeding yellow pea and a true-breeding green pea were cross-bred their offspring always produced yellow seeds. However, in the next generation, the green peas reappeared at a ratio of 1 green to 3 yellow. To explain this phenomenon, Mendel coined the terms "recessive" and "dominant" in reference to certain traits. In the preceding example, the green trait, which seems to have vanished in the first filial generation, is recessive and the yellow is dominant. He published his work in 1866, demonstrating the actions of invisible "factors"—now called genes—in predictably determining the traits of an organism. (Full article...)
Pollen is a powdery substance produced by seed plants. It consists of pollen grains (highly reduced microgametophytes), which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the gametophytes during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants, or from the male cone to the female cone of gymnosperms. If pollen lands on a compatible pistil or female cone, it germinates, producing a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte. Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology, paleontology, archaeology, and forensics. Pollen in plants is used for transferring haploid male genetic material from the anther of a single flower to the stigma of another in cross-pollination. In a case of self-pollination, this process takes place from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same flower.
Pollen is infrequently used as food and food supplement. Because of agricultural practices, it is often contaminated by agricultural pesticides. (Full article...)
Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines, foods, intoxicants and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes, often referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way:
Ethnobotany simply means ... investigating plants used by societies in various parts of the world.
Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from simply acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society, primarily in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany. (Full article...)
Cornus kousa var. chinensis
Cornus is a genus of about 30–60 species of woody plants in the familyCornaceae, commonly known as dogwoods, which can generally be distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark. Most are deciduoustrees or shrubs, but a few species are nearly herbaceous perennial subshrubs, and some species are evergreen. Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large, typically white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers. The various species of dogwood are native throughout much of temperate and boreal Eurasia and North America, with China, Japan, and the southeastern United States being particularly rich in native species.
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term (per- + -ennial, "through the years") is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth (secondary growth in girth) from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.
Perennials—especially small flowering plants—that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock or other overwintering structure, are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigours of local climate (temperature, moisture, organic content in the soil, microorganisms), a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings, or from divisions. Tomato vines, for example, live several years in their natural tropical/subtropical habitat but are grown as annuals in temperate regions because their above-ground biomass doesn't survive the winter. (Full article...)
Nectar is an economically important substance as it is the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of some predatory insects feed on nectar. For example, a number of parasitoid wasps (e.g. the social wasp species Apoica flavissima) rely on nectar as a primary food source. In turn, these wasps then hunt agricultural pest insects as food for their young. (Full article...)
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry and jackfruit family (Moraceae) believed to be a domesticated descendant of Artocarpus camansi originating in New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines. It was initially spread to Oceania via the Austronesian expansion. It was further spread to other tropical regions of the world during the Colonial Era. British and French navigators introduced a few Polynesian seedless varieties to Caribbean islands during the late 18th century. Today it is grown in some 90 countries throughout South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, Central America and Africa. Its name is derived from the texture of the moderately ripe fruit when cooked, similar to freshly baked bread and having a potato-like flavor.
An ethylene signal transduction pathway. Ethylene permeates the cell membrane and binds to a receptor on the endoplasmic reticulum. The receptor releases the repressed EIN2. This then activates a signal transduction pathway which activates regulatory genes that eventually trigger an ethylene response. The activated DNA is transcribed into mRNA which is then translated into a functional enzyme that is used for ethylene biosynthesis.
Ethylene (CH 2=CH 2) is an unsaturatedhydrocarbon gas (alkene) acting naturally as a plant hormone. It is the simplest alkene gas and is the first gas known to act as hormone. It acts at trace levels throughout the life of the plant by stimulating or regulating the ripening of fruit, the opening of flowers, the abscission (or shedding) of leaves and, in aquatic and semi-aquatic species, promoting the 'escape' from submergence by means of rapid elongation of stems or leaves. This escape response is particularly important in rice farming. Commercial fruit-ripening rooms use "catalytic generators" to make ethylene gas from a liquid supply of ethanol. Typically, a gassing level of 500 to 2,000 ppm is used, for 24 to 48 hours. Care must be taken to control carbon dioxide levels in ripening rooms when gassing, as high temperature ripening (20 °C; 68 °F) has been seen to produce CO2 levels of 10% in 24 hours. (Full article...)
The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm treefamily (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genusCocos. The term "coconut" (or the archaic "cocoanut") can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The name comes from the old Portuguese word coco, meaning "head" or "skull", after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. They are ubiquitous in coastal tropical regions and are a cultural icon of the tropics.
The coconut tree provides food, fuel, cosmetics, folk medicine and building materials, among many other uses. The inner flesh of the mature seed, as well as the coconut milk extracted from it, form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits because their endosperm contains a large quantity of clear liquid, called coconut water or coconut juice. Mature, ripe coconuts can be used as edible seeds, or processed for oil and plant milk from the flesh, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. Dried coconut flesh is called copra, and the oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking – frying in particular – as well as in soaps and cosmetics. Sweet coconut sap can be made into drinks or fermented into palm wine or coconut vinegar. The hard shells, fibrous husks and long pinnate leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decoration. (Full article...)
Foliage and fruit drawn in 1771
The fig contains the edible inflorescence of Ficus carica, a species of small tree in the flowering plant family Moraceae. Native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, it has been cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant. Ficus carica is the type species of the genus Ficus, containing over 800 tropical and subtropical plant species.
A fig plant is a small deciduous tree or large shrub growing up to 7–10 m (23–33 ft) tall, with smooth white bark. Its large leaves have three to five deep lobes. Its fruit (referred to as syconium, a type of multiple fruit) is tear-shaped, 3–5 cm (1–2 in) long, with a green skin that may ripen toward purple or brown, and sweet soft reddish flesh containing numerous crunchy seeds. The milky sap of the green parts is an irritant to human skin. In the Northern Hemisphere, fresh figs are in season from late summer to early autumn. They tolerate moderate seasonal frost and can be grown even in hot-summer continental climates. (Full article...)
Cirsium vulgare is a species of thistle in the plant family Asteraceae. Native to Europe and Western Asia, it has become naturalised in North America, Africa and Australia, and is an invasive weed in some areas. It is a ruderal species, able to colonise bare ground, but also persists well on pasture as its thorny leaves and stems make it unpalatable to most grazing animals. The flowers are rich in nectar, attracting bees and butterflies, and the seeds are a favourite with goldfinches, linnets and greenfinches. The downy pappus, which assists in wind dispersal of the seeds, is used by birds as nest-lining material.
These are good articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards..
Title page of the 1776 quarto edition of Characteres generum plantarum
Characteres generum plantarum (complete title Characteres generum plantarum, quas in Itinere ad Insulas Maris Australis, Collegerunt, Descripserunt, Delinearunt, annis MDCCLXXII-MDCCLXXV Joannes Reinoldus Forster et Georgius Forster, "Characteristics of the types of plants collected, described, and delineated during a voyage to islands of the South Seas, in the years 1772–1775 by Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster") is a 1775/1776 book by Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster about the botanical discoveries they made during the second voyage of James Cook.
The book contains 78 plates, the majority of which depict dissections of flowers at natural size. The book introduced 94 binomial names from 75 genera, of which 43 are still the accepted names today. Many plant genera were named after friends or patrons of the Forsters. The book was published in a folio and a quarto edition and translated into German in 1779. It is an important book as the earliest publication of names and descriptions of the native species of New Zealand. (Full article...)
The tree has been dead since 1915 and is in poor structural condition, due in part to politically-motivated vandalism, but there is a very similar living tree a short distance away known as Pi jove de les tres branques ("the young three-branched pine"), which is regarded as its successor. Both are protected as "monumental trees" by the Catalan Generalitat. (Full article...)
The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum), also known as black currant or cassis, is a deciduous shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its edible berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia, where it prefers damp fertile soils. It is widely cultivated both commercially and domestically.
It is winter hardy, but cold weather at flowering time during the spring may reduce the size of the crop. Bunches of small, glossy black fruit develop along the stems in the summer and can be harvested by hand or by machine. Breeding is common in Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, and New Zealand to produce fruit with better eating qualities and bushes with greater hardiness and disease resistance. (Full article...)
Four subspecies of cowpeas are recognised, of which three are cultivated. A high level of morphological diversity is found within the species with large variations in the size, shape, and structure of the plant. Cowpeas can be erect, semierect (trailing), or climbing. The crop is mainly grown for its seeds, which are high in protein, although the leaves and immature seed pods can also be consumed. (Full article...)
Some authors prefer the term "protocarnivorous" because it implies that these plants are on the evolutionary path to true carnivory, whereas others oppose the term for the same reason. The same problem arises with "subcarnivorous". Donald Schnell, author of the book Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada, prefers the term "paracarnivorous" for a less rigid definition of carnivory that can include many of the possible carnivorous plants. (Full article...)
Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring flowering perennial plants of the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae. Various common names including daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white and yellow (also orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona.
Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically, but formally described by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum (1753). The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The number of species has varied, depending on how they are classified, due to similarity between species and hybridisation. The genus arose some time in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs, in the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of southwest Europe. The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection. The English word "daffodil" appears to be derived from "asphodel", with which it was commonly compared. (Full article...)
It grows up to 20 metres (66 feet) tall with a stout trunk and sword-like leaves, which are clustered at the tips of the branches and can be up to 1 metre (3 feet 3 inches) long. With its tall, straight trunk and dense, rounded heads, it is a characteristic feature of the New Zealand landscape. Its fruit is a favourite food source for the kererū and other native birds. It is common over a wide latitudinal range from the far north of the North Island at 34° 25′S to the south of the South Island at 46° 30′S. Absent from much of Fiordland, it was probably introduced by Māori to the Chatham Islands at 44° 00′S and to Stewart Island / Rakiura at 46° 50′S. It grows in a broad range of habitats, including forest margins, river banks and open places, and is abundant near swamps. The largest known tree with a single trunk is growing at Pakawau, Golden Bay / Mohua. It is estimated to be 400 or 500 years old, and stands 17 metres (56 feet) tall with a circumference of 9 metres (30 feet) at the base. (Full article...)
Dracophyllum arboreum, commonly known as Chatham Island grass tree and tarahinau (Moriori), is a species of tree in the heath family Ericaceae. Endemic to the Chatham Islands of New Zealand, it reaches a height of 18 m (60 ft) and has leaves that differ between the juvenile and adult forms.
D. arboreum has wide light green leaves in its juvenile form, which become thin needles as it gains maturity. Flowering occurs from November through to February, yielding small white flowers which later become tiny brown fruit. It inhabits many different types of vegetation communities from near sea level to 270 m (886 ft), including swamps, cliffs, bogs, and shrublands. It has a range restricted to three Islands some 800 km (497 mi) east of New Zealand: the Chatham, Pitt, and Rangatira Islands. (Full article...)
Rhinanthus minor, known as yellow rattle, is a herbaceous wildflower in the genus Rhinanthus in the familyOrobanchaceae (the broomrapes). It has circumpolar distribution in Europe, Russia, western Asia, and northern North America. An annual plant, yellow rattle grows up to 10–50 centimetres (3.9–19.7 in) tall, with upright stems and opposite, simple leaves. The fruit is a dry capsule, with loose, rattling seeds.
The preferred habitat of Rhinanthus minor is dry fields or meadows; it tolerates a wide range of soil types. It flowers in the summer between May and September. It is hemiparasitic, notably on Poaceae (grasses) and Fabaceae (legumes), and farmers consider it to be a pest, as it reduces grass growth. (Full article...)
Acer rubrum, the red maple, also known as swamp maple, water maple or soft maple, is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern and central North America. The U.S. Forest Service recognizes it as the most abundant native tree in eastern North America. The red maple ranges from southeastern Manitoba around the Lake of the Woods on the border with Ontario and Minnesota, east to Newfoundland, south to Florida, and southwest to East Texas. Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. At maturity, it often attains a height of around 30 m (100 ft). Its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees. Among these features, however, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.
Over most of its range, red maple is adaptable to a very wide range of site conditions, perhaps more so than any other tree in eastern North America. It can be found growing in swamps, on poor dry soils, and almost anywhere in between. It grows well from sea level to about 900 m (3,000 ft). Due to its attractive fall foliage and pleasing form, it is often used as a shade tree for landscapes. It is used commercially on a small scale for maple syrup production as well as for its medium to high quality lumber. It is also the state tree of Rhode Island. The red maple can be considered weedy or even invasive in young, highly disturbed forests, especially frequently logged forests. In a mature or old growth northern hardwood forest, red maple only has a sparse presence, while shade-tolerant trees such as sugar maples, beeches, and hemlocks thrive. By removing red maple from a young forest recovering from disturbance, the natural cycle of forest regeneration is altered, changing the diversity of the forest for centuries to come. (Full article...)
Margaret Sibella Brown (March 2, 1866 – November 16, 1961) was a Canadian bryologist specializing in mosses and liverworts native to Nova Scotia. Although lacking formal scientific training, she has been recognized for her contributions to bryology and as an authority on the mosses and liverworts of Nova Scotia. Samples she collected are now housed at major herbaria in North America and Europe. (Full article...)
Piper cubeba, cubeb or tailed pepper is a plant in genusPiper, cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubeb consists of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached – the "tails" in "tailed pepper". The dried pericarp is wrinkled, and its color ranges from grayish brown to black. The seed is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubeb is described as agreeable and aromatic and the taste as pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.
Cubeb came to Europe via India through the trade with the Arabs. The name cubeb comes from Arabickabāba (كبابة) by way of Old Frenchquibibes. Cubeb is mentioned in alchemical writings by its Arabic name. In his Theatrum Botanicum, John Parkinson tells that the king of Portugal prohibited the sale of cubeb to promote black pepper (Piper nigrum) around 1640. It experienced a brief resurgence in 19th-century Europe for medicinal uses, but has practically vanished from the European market since. It continues to be used as a flavoring agent for gins and cigarettes in the West, and as a seasoning for food in Indonesia. (Full article...)
Cicuta, commonly known as water hemlock, is a genus of four species of highly poisonous plants in the family Apiaceae. They are perennialherbaceous plants which grow up to 2.5 meters (8 ft) tall, having distinctive small green or white flowers arranged in an umbrella shape (umbel). Plants in this genus may also be referred to as cowbane or poison parsnip. Cicuta is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, mainly North America and Europe, typically growing in wet meadows, along streambanks and other wet and marshy areas. These plants bear a close resemblance to other members in the family Apiaceae and may be confused with a number of edible or poisonous plants. The common name hemlock may also be confused with poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), or with the Hemlock tree.
Image 81 An oat coleoptile with the sun overhead. Auxin (pink) is evenly distributed in its tip. 2 With the sun at an angle and only shining on one side of the shoot, auxin moves to the opposite side and stimulates cell elongation there. 3 and 4 Extra growth on that side causes the shoot to bend towards the sun. (from Botany)
Image 10The evolution of syncarps. a: sporangia borne at tips of leaf b: Leaf curls up to protect sporangia c: leaf curls to form enclosed roll d: grouping of three rolls into a syncarp (from Evolutionary history of plants)
Image 11A banded tube from the Late Silurian/Early Devonian. The bands are difficult to see on this specimen, as an opaque carbonaceous coating conceals much of the tube. Bands are just visible in places on the left half of the image. Scale bar: 20 μm (from Evolutionary history of plants)
Image 24Echeveria glauca in a Connecticut greenhouse. Botany uses Latin names for identification; here, the specific name glauca means blue. (from Botany)
Image 25The Devonian marks the beginning of extensive land colonization by plants, which – through their effects on erosion and sedimentation – brought about significant climatic change. (from Evolutionary history of plants)