Portal:Plants

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Diversity of plants image version 5.png
Plants are a major group of life forms and include familiar organisms such as trees, herbs, shrubs, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. About 350,000 species of plants, defined as seed plants, bryophytes, ferns and fern allies, are estimated to exist currently. As of 2004, some 287,655 species had been identified, of which 258,650 are flowering and 15,000 bryophytes. Green plants, sometimes called metaphytes, obtain most of their energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis.

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 Kingdoms Vegetabilia (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.

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Ailanthus altissima1.jpg
Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as tree of heaven, ailanthus, or in Chinese as chouchun, is a deciduous tree in the quassia family (Simaroubaceae). It is native to northeast and central China as well as Taiwan. Unlike other members of the genus Ailanthus, it is found in temperate climates rather than the tropics. The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 15 metres (49 ft) in 25 years. However, the species is also short lived and rarely lives more than 50 years. Other common names include China sumac, copal tree, stink tree and ghetto palm.

In China the tree of heaven has a long and rich history. It was mentioned in the oldest extant Chinese dictionary and listed in countless Chinese medical texts for its purported ability to cure ailments ranging from mental illness to balding. The roots, leaves and bark are still used today in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as an astringent. The tree has been grown extensively both in China and abroad as a host plant for the ailanthus silkmoth, a moth involved in silk production. Ailanthus has become a part of western culture as well, with the tree serving as the central metaphor and subject matter of the best-selling American novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

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Blessed milk thistle
Cscr-featured.svg Credit: Fir0002

The flower of a Blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world and considered an invasive weed. Thistles can be toxic to cattle and sheep, but their extract can be used to cure amanita poisoning. A different extract can also be found in Rockstar Energy Drink.

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    1. Describe all families, genera and species of the kingdom Plantae.
    2. For species, describe botanical properties, distribution, multiplication, usage (medicine, food, etc.), botanical history, cultivation information.
    3. Develop and implement a robust method of naming plant article for the ease of navigation and searching for Wikipedia users.
    4. Maintain Category:Plants and its subcategories.

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