Aristotle divided all living things between plants (which generally do not move), and animals (which often are mobile to catch their food). In Linnaeus' system, these became the KingdomsVegetabilia (later Metaphyta or Plantae) and Animalia (also called Metazoa). Since then, it has become clear that the Plantae as originally defined included several unrelated groups, and the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms. However, these are still often considered plants in many contexts, both technical and popular. Indeed, an attempt to perfectly match "plant" with a single taxon is problematic, because for most people the term plant is only vaguely related to the phylogenic concepts on which modern taxonomy and systematics are based.
One of the most recently described Banksia species, it was probably seen by Edward John Eyre in 1841, but was not collected until 1973, and was only recognised as a distinct species in 1988. There has been very little research on the species since then, so knowledge of its ecology and cultivation potential is limited. It is placed in Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis, alongside its close relative, the well-known and widely cultivated B. media (southern plains banksia). (Full article...)
Banksia sphaerocarpa, commonly known as the fox banksia or round-fruit banksia, is a species of shrub or tree in the plant genus Banksia (family Proteaceae). It is generally encountered as a 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) high shrub, and is usually smaller in the north of its range. This species has narrow green leaves, and brownish, orange or yellow round flower spikes which may be seen from January to July. It is widely distributed across the southwest of Western Australia, growing exclusively in sandy soils. It is usually the dominant plant in scrubland or low woodland. It is pollinated by, and is a food source for, birds, mammals, and insects.
Many species of bird, in particular honeyeaters, forage at the flower spikes, as do native and European honeybees. The response to bushfire varies. Some populations are serotinous: they are killed by fire and regenerate from large stores of seed which have been held in cones in the plant canopy and are released after a fire. Others regenerate from underground lignotubers or suckers from lateral roots. Although it has been used for timber, Banksia marginata is most commonly seen as a garden plant, with dwarf forms being commercially propagated and sold. (Full article...)
Banksia canei inflorescence
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...)
The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 15 m (50 feet) in 25 years. While the species rarely lives more than 50 years, some specimens exceed 100 years of age. Its suckering ability makes it possible for this tree to clone itself indefinitely. It is considered a noxious weed and vigorous invasive species, and one of the worst invasive plant species in Europe and North America. (Full article...)
Banksia blechnifolia is a species of flowering plant in the genusBanksia found in Western Australia. It was first described by Victorian state botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1864, and no subspecies are recognised. It gained its specific name as its leaves are reminiscent of a fern (Blechnum). B. blechnifolia is one of several closely related species that grow as prostrate shrubs, with horizontal stems and leathery, upright leaves. The red-brown flower spikes, known as inflorescences, are up to 20 centimetres (8 in) high and appear from September to November in the Australian spring. As the spikes age, each turns grey and develops as many as 25 woody seed pods, known as follicles.
Insects such as bees, wasps, ants and flies pollinate the flowers. Found in sandy soils in the south coastal region of Western Australia in the vicinity of Lake King, B. blechnifolia is non-lignotuberous, regenerating by seed after bushfire. The plant adapts readily to cultivation, growing in well-drained sandy soils in sunny locations. It is suitable for rockeries and as a groundcover. (Full article...)
Florida strangler fig in Deering Park, Florida
Ficus aurea, commonly known as the Florida strangler fig (or simply strangler fig), golden fig, or higuerón, is a tree in the family Moraceae that is native to the U.S. state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama. The specific epithet aurea was applied by English botanist Thomas Nuttall who described the species in 1846.
Ficus aurea is a strangler fig. In figs of this group, seed germination usually takes place in the canopy of a host tree with the seedling living as an epiphyte until its roots establish contact with the ground. After that, it enlarges and strangles its host, eventually becoming a free-standing tree in its own right. Individuals may reach 30 m (100 ft) in height. Like all figs, it has an obligate mutualism with fig wasps: figs are only pollinated by fig wasps, and fig wasps can only reproduce in fig flowers. The tree provides habitat, food and shelter for a host of tropical lifeforms including epiphytes in cloud forests and birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. F. aurea is used in traditional medicine, for live fencing, as an ornamental and as a bonsai. (Full article...)
Insects such as bees, wasps and even ants can pollinate the flowers. B. petiolaris is nonlignotuberous, meaning it regenerates by seed after bushfire. B. petiolaris adapts readily to cultivation, growing in well-drained sandy soils in sunny locations. It is suitable for rockeries and as a groundcover. (Full article...)
Banksia lemanniana, commonly known as the yellow lantern banksia or Lemann's banksia, is a species of flowering plant in the familyProteaceae, native to Western Australia. It generally grows as an open woody shrub or small tree to five metres (15 ft) high, with stiff serrated leaves and unusual hanging inflorescences. Flowering occurs over summer, the greenish buds developing into oval flower spikes before turning grey and developing the characteristic large woody follicles. It occurs within and just east of the Fitzgerald River National Park on the southern coast of the state. B. lemanniana is killed by bushfire and regenerates from seed.
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...)
Banksia aquilonia, commonly known as the northern banksia and jingana, is a tree in the familyProteaceae and is endemic to north Queensland on Australia's northeastern coastline. With an average height of 8 m (26 ft), it has narrow glossy green leaves up to 20 cm (7.9 in) long and 6 to 10 cm (2.4 to 3.9 in) high pale yellow flower spikes, known as inflorescences, appearing in autumn. As the spikes age, their flowers fall off and they develop up to 50 follicles, each of which contains two seeds.
Isopogon anethifolius, commonly known as narrow-leaf drumsticks or narrow-leafed drumsticks, is a shrub in the family Proteaceae. The species is found only in coastal areas near Sydney in New South Wales, and to the immediate west. It occurs naturally in woodland, open forest and heathland on sandstone soils. An upright shrub, it can reach to 3 m (10 ft) in height, with terete leaves that are divided and narrow. The yellow flowers appear from September to December and are prominently displayed. They are followed by round grey cones, which give the plant its common name of drumsticks. The small hairy seeds are found in the old flower parts.
Isopogon anethifolius regenerates after bushfire by resprouting from its woody base, known as a lignotuber, as well as from seed. It was described by Richard Salisbury in 1796, and was first grown in the United Kingdom the same year. One of the easiest members of the genus Isopogon to grow in cultivation, I. anethifolius grows readily in the garden if located in a sunny or part-shaded spot with sandy soil and good drainage. (Full article...)
Banksia caleyi, commonly known as Caley's banksia or red lantern banksia, is a species of woody shrub of the family Proteaceae native to Western Australia. It generally grows as a dense shrub up to 2 m (7 ft) tall, has serrated leaves and red, pendent (hanging) inflorescences which are generally hidden in the foliage. First described by Scottish naturalist Robert Brown in 1830, Banksia caleyi was named in honour of the English botanist George Caley. No subspecies are recognised. It is one of three or four related species with hanging inflorescences, which is an unusual feature within the genus.
Aiphanes is a genus of spinypalms which is native to tropical regions of South and Central America and the Caribbean. There are about 26 species in the genus (see below), ranging in size from understorey shrubs with subterranean stems to subcanopy trees as tall as 20 metres (66 ft). Most have pinnately compound leaves (leaves which are divided into leaflets arranged feather-like, in pairs along a central axis); one species has entire leaves. Stems, leaves and sometimes even the fruit are covered with spines. Plants flower repeatedly over the course of their lifespan and have separate male and female flowers, although these are borne together on the same inflorescence. Although records of pollinators are limited, most species appear to be pollinated by insects. The fruit are eaten by several birds and mammals, including at least two species of amazon parrots.
The species was originally described as a pitcher plant with close affinities to extant members of the familySarraceniaceae. This would make it the earliest known carnivorous plant and the only known fossil record of Sarraceniaceae, or the New World pitcher plant family. Archaeamphora is also one of the three oldest known genera of angiosperms (flowering plants). Li (2005) wrote that "the existence of a so highly derived Angiosperm in the Early Cretaceous suggests that Angiosperms should have originated much earlier, maybe back to 280 mya as the molecular clock studies suggested". (Full article...)
Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. The alternate definition of the term is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, flowers, nuts, and cereal grains, but include savoury fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes, flowers such as broccoli, and seeds such as pulses.
Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first, plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, and crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations. China is the largest producer of vegetables, and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing, processing, and marketing. (Full article...)
An engraving of Parkinson from his monumental work Theatrum Botanicum (1640), reprinted in Agnes Arber's Herbals (1912).
John Parkinson (1567–1650; buried 6 August 1650) was the last of the great English herbalists and one of the first of the great English botanists. He was apothecary to James I and a founding member of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in December 1617, and was later Royal Botanist to Charles I. He is known for two monumental works, Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris (Park-in-Sun's Terrestrial Paradise, 1629), which generally describes the proper cultivation of plants; and Theatrum Botanicum (The Botanical Theatre or Theatre of Plants, 1640), the most complete and beautifully presented English treatise on plants of its time. One of the most eminent gardeners of his day, he kept a botanical garden at Long Acre in Covent Garden, today close to Trafalgar Square, and maintained close relations with other important English and Continental botanists, herbalists and plantsmen. (Full article...)
The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow cultivars exist. They are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and was originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The most commonly eaten part of the plant is the taproot, although the stems and leaves are also eaten. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged, more palatable, less woody-textured taproot.
The carrot is a biennial plant in the umbellifer family, Apiaceae. At first, it grows a rosette of leaves while building up the enlarged taproot. Fast-growing cultivars mature within three months (90 days) of sowing the seed, while slower-maturing cultivars need a month longer (120 days). The roots contain high quantities of alpha- and beta-carotene, and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6. (Full article...)
It is found in many consumer products including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics, ointments or in the form of gel for minor burns and sunburns. There is little clinical evidence for the effectiveness or safety of Aloe vera extract as a cosmetic or medicine. (Full article...)
Postelsia palmaeformis growing in its native habitat at low tide
Postelsia palmaeformis, also known as the sea palm (not to be confused with the southern sea palm) or palm seaweed, is a species of kelp and classified within brown algae. The sea palm is found along the western coast of North America, on rocky shores with constant waves. It is one of the few algae that can survive and remain erect out of the water; in fact, it spends most of its life cycle exposed to the air. It is an annual, and edible, though harvesting of the alga is discouraged due to the species' sensitivity to overharvesting. (Full article...)
Asa Gray (November 18, 1810 – January 30, 1888) is considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not necessarily mutually exclusive. Gray was adamant that a genetic connection must exist between all members of a species. He was also strongly opposed to the ideas of hybridization within one generation and special creation in the sense of its not allowing for evolution. He was a strong supporter of Darwin, although Gray's theistic evolution was guided by a Creator.
As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray regularly visited, and corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him. Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States. He also built an extensive network of specimen collectors. (Full article...)
Cultivar belonging to the Schlumbergera Truncata Group
Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with six to nine species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. These plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats that are generally shady with high humidity, and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cousins. Most species of Schlumbergera have stems which resemble leaf-like pads joined one to the other and flowers which appear from areoles at the joints and tips of the stems. Two species have cylindrical stems more similar to other cacti. Recent phylogenetic studies using DNA have led to three species of the related genus Hatiora being transferred into Schlumbergera, though this change is not universally accepted.
Common names for these cacti generally refer to their flowering season. In the Northern Hemisphere, they are called Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, crab cactus and holiday cactus. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. Most of the popular houseplants are cultivars of Schlumbergera, rather than species, with flowers in white, pink, yellow, orange, red or purple. The Easter cactus or Whitsun cactus, until recently placed in the genus Hatiora, is also called a holiday cactus and has flowers in red, orange, pink and white. (Full article...)
The Rose City Park neighborhood in northeast Portland was formed in 1907, the same year of the first annual Portland Rose Festival. During World War I, nursery owners in Portland began planning a large rose garden to protect European rose species from the war. The garden was established in Washington Park as the International Rose Test Garden in 1917. Today, the Portland Rose Festival takes place each June with a carnival, parades, and navy ships docked along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park to promote the city. The International Rose Test Garden is currently one of the oldest public rose test gardens in the United States, covering 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) with over 8,000 rose plants, and more than 550 different species. In 2003, Portland adopted the "City of Roses" as its official nickname. (Full article...)
Acer rubrum, the red maple, also known as swamp, water 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...)
Stylidium (also known as triggerplants or trigger plants) is a genus of dicotyledonousplants that belong to the family Stylidiaceae. The genus name Stylidium is derived from the Greek στύλος or stylos (column or pillar), which refers to the distinctive reproductive structure that its flowers possess. Pollination is achieved through the use of the sensitive "trigger", which comprises the male and female reproductive organs fused into a floral column that snaps forward quickly in response to touch, harmlessly covering the insect in pollen. Most of the approximately 300 species are only found in Australia, making it the fifth largest genus in that country. Triggerplants are considered to be protocarnivorous or carnivorous because the glandular trichomes that cover the scape and flower can trap, kill, and digest small insects with protease enzymes produced by the plant. Recent research has raised questions as to the status of protocarnivory within Stylidium. (Full article...)
Durio graveolens, sometimes called the red-fleshed durian, orange-fleshed durian, or yellow durian, is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae. It is one of six species of durian named by Italian naturalist Odoardo Beccari. The specific epithetgraveolens ('strong smelling' or 'rank') is due to the odor. Although most species of Durio (most notably Durio dulcis) have a strong scent, the red-fleshed type of D. graveolens has a mild scent. It is native to Southeast Asia.
D. graveolens is an edible durian, perhaps the most popular 'wild' species of durian, and it is sold commercially regionally. However, its congenerDurio zibethinus is the typical species eaten and dominates sales worldwide. (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 Pino joven de las tres ramas ("the young three-branched pine"), which is regarded as its successor. Both are protected as "monumental trees" by the Catalan Generalitat. (Full article...)
The branching pattern of megaphyll veins may indicate their origin as webbed, dichotomising branches.
A 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
Echeveria glauca in a Connecticut greenhouse. Botany uses Latin names for identification, here, the specific name glauca means blue.
Five of the key areas of study within plant physiology
A Late Siluriansporangium, artificially colored. Green: A spore tetrad. Blue: A spore bearing a trilete mark – the Y-shaped scar. The spores are about 30–35 μm across
The Linnaean Garden of Linnaeus' residence in Uppsala, Sweden, was planted according to his Systema sexuale.
1 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.
Parker Method also called the loop method for analyzing vegetation, useful for quantitatively measuring species and cover over time and changes from grazing, wildfires and invasive species. Demonstrated by American botanist Thayne Tuason and an assistant.