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.
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Persoonia levis, commonly known as the broad-leaved geebung, is a shrub native to New South Wales and Victoria in eastern Australia. It reaches 5 m (16 ft) in height and has dark grey papery bark and bright green asymmetrical sickle-shaped leaves up to 14 cm (5.5 in) long and 8 cm (3.2 in) wide. The small yellow flowers appear in summer and autumn (December to April), followed by small green fleshy fruit, which are classified as drupes. Within the genus Persoonia, it is a member of the Lanceolata group of 58 closely related species. P. levis interbreeds with several other species where they grow together.
Although B. cuneata was first collected before 1880, it was not until 1981 that Australian botanist Alex George formally described and named the species. There are two genetically distinct population groups, but no recognised varieties. This Banksia is classified as endangered, surviving in fragments of remnant bushland in a region which has been 93% cleared for agriculture. As Banksia cuneata is killed by fire and regenerates from seed, it is highly sensitive to bushfire frequency—fires recurring within four years could wipe out populations of plants not yet mature enough to set seed. Banksia cuneata is rarely cultivated, and its prickly foliage limits its utility in the cut flower industry. (Full article...)
Bunch of durian
The durian (/ˈdjʊəriən/) is the edible fruit of several tree species belonging to the genusDurio. There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit, with over 300 named varieties in Thailand and 100 in Malaysia, as of 1987. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. It is native to Borneo and Sumatra.
Named in some regions as the "king of fruits", the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and thorn-covered rind. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 inches) long and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs 1 to 3 kilograms (2 to 7 pounds). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species. (Full article...)
A small prickly leaved shrub between 0.2 and 3 m (8 in to 10 ft) high, G. juniperina grows generally on clay-based or alluvial soils in eucalyptwoodland. The flower heads, known as inflorescences, appear from winter to early summer and are red, orange or yellow. Birds visit and pollinate the flowers. Grevillea juniperina plants are killed by bushfire, regenerating afterwards from seed. Grevillea juniperina adapts readily to cultivation and has been important in horticulture as it is the parent of many popular garden hybrids. (Full article...)
Salvia yangii, previously known as Perovskia atriplicifolia (/pəˈrɒvskiəætrɪplɪsɪˈfoʊliə/), and commonly called Russian sage, is a flowering herbaceousperennial plant and subshrub. Although not previously a member of Salvia, the genus widely known as sage, since 2017 it has been included within them. It has an upright habit, typically reaching 0.5–1.2 m tall (1.6–3.9 ft), with square stems and grey-green leaves that yield a distinctive odor when crushed. It is best known for its flowers. Its flowering season extends from mid-summer to late October, with blue to violet blossoms arranged into showy, branched panicles.
It is native to the steppes and hills of southwestern and central Asia. Successful over a wide range of climate and soil conditions, it has since become popular and widely planted. Several cultivars have been developed, differing primarily in leaf shape and overall height; 'Blue Spire' is the most common. This variation has been widely used in gardens and landscaping. S. yangii was the Perennial Plant Association's 1995 Plant of the Year, and the 'Blue Spire' cultivar received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. (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...)
Adenanthos cuneatus, also known as coastal jugflower, flame bush, bridle bush and sweat bush, is a shrub of the family Proteaceae, native to the south coast of Western Australia. The French naturalist Jacques Labillardière originally described it in 1805. Within the genus Adenanthos, it lies in the sectionAdenanthos and is most closely related to A. stictus. A. cuneatus has hybridized with four other species of Adenanthos. Growing to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) high and wide, it is erect to prostrate in habit, with wedge-shaped lobed leaves covered in fine silvery hair. The single red flowers are insignificant, and appear all year, though especially in late spring. The reddish new growth occurs over the summer.
Acacia pycnantha, most commonly known as the golden wattle, is a tree of the family Fabaceae native to southeastern Australia. It grows to a height of 8 m (26 ft) and has phyllodes (flattened leaf stalks) instead of true leaves. Sickle-shaped, these are between 9 and 15 cm (3+1⁄2 and 6 in) long, and 1–3.5 cm (1⁄2–1+1⁄2 in) wide. The profuse fragrant, golden flowers appear in late winter and spring, followed by long seed pods. Plants are cross-pollinated by several species of honeyeater and thornbill, which visit nectaries on the phyllodes and brush against flowers, transferring pollen between them. An understorey plant in eucalyptus forest, it is found from southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, through Victoria and into southeastern South Australia.
Explorer Thomas Mitchell collected the type specimen, from which George Bentham wrote the species description in 1842. No subspecies are recognised. The bark of A. pycnantha produces more tannin than any other wattle species, resulting in its commercial cultivation for production of this compound. It has been widely grown as an ornamental garden plant and for cut flower production, but has become a weed in South Africa, Tanzania, Italy, Portugal, Sardinia, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, as well as Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. Acacia pycnantha was made the official floral emblem of Australia in 1988, and has been featured on the country's postal stamps. (Full article...)
Banksia dentata, commonly known as the tropical banksia, is a species of tree in the genusBanksia. It occurs across northern Australia, southern New Guinea and the Aru Islands. Growing as a gnarled tree to 7 m (23 ft) high, it has large green leaves up to 22 cm (8.7 in) long with dentate (toothed) margins. The cylindrical yellow inflorescences (flower spikes), up to 13 cm (5.1 in) high, appear over the cooler months, attracting various species of honeyeaters, sunbirds, the sugar glider and a variety of insects. Flowers fall off the ageing spikes, which swell and develop follicles containing up to two viable seeds each.
Banksia dentata is one of four Banksia species collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770, and one of the four species published in 1782 as part of Carolus Linnaeus the Younger's original description of Banksia. Within the genus, it is classified in the seriesSalicinae, a group of species from Australia's eastern states. Genetic studies show it is a basal member (early offshoot) within the group. Banksia dentata is found in tropical grassland known as savanna, associated with Pandanus and Melaleuca. It regenerates from bushfire by regrowing from its woody base, known as a lignotuber. (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.
Cucurbita fruits come in an assortment of colors and sizes.
Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of herbaceousvines in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae (also known as cucurbits or cucurbi) native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their edible fruit, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd, depending on species, variety, and local parlance, and for their seeds. Other kinds of gourd, also called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria, which is in the same family and subfamily as Cucurbita, but in a different tribe. These other gourds are used as utensils or vessels, and their young fruits are eaten much like those of Cucurbita species.
Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils, but non-vining "bush" cultivars of C. pepo and C. maxima have also been developed. The yellow or orange flowers on a Cucurbita plant are of two types: female and male. The female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. Many North and Central American species are visited by specialist beepollinators, but other insects with more general feeding habits, such as honey bees, also visit. (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.
Telopea oreades, commonly known as the Gippsland-, mountain- or Victorian waratah, is a large shrub or small tree in the family Proteaceae. Native to southeastern Australia, it is found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest on rich acidic soils high in organic matter. No subspecies are recognised, though a northern isolated population hybridises extensively with the Braidwood waratah (T. mongaensis). Reaching a height of up to 19 metres (62 feet), T. oreades grows with a single trunk and erect habit. It has dark green leaves with prominent veins that are 11–28 centimetres (4.3–11 in) long and 1.5–6 cm (0.6–2.4 in) wide. The red flower heads, known as inflorescences, appear in late spring. Each is composed of up to 60 individual flowers.
In the garden, T. oreades grows in soils with good drainage and ample moisture in part-shaded or sunny positions. Several commercially available cultivars that are hybrid forms with T. speciosissima have been developed, such as the 'Shady Lady' series. The timber is hard and has been used for making furniture and tool handles. (Full article...)
Banksia aemula, commonly known as the wallum banksia, is a shrub of the family Proteaceae. Found from Bundaberg south to Sydney on the Australian east coast, it is encountered as a shrub or a tree to 8 m (26 ft) in coastal heath on deep sandy soil, known as Wallum. It has wrinkled orange bark and shiny green serrated leaves, with green-yellow flower spikes, known as inflorescences, appearing in autumn. The flower spikes turn grey as they age and large grey follicles appear. Banksia aemula resprouts from its woody base, known as a lignotuber, after bushfires.
First described by the botanist Robert Brown in the early 19th century, it derives its specific name "similar" from its resemblance to the closely related Banksia serrata. No varieties are recognised. It was known for many years in New South Wales as Banksia serratifolia, contrasting with the use of B.aemula elsewhere. However, the former name, originally coined by Richard Anthony Salisbury, proved invalid, and Banksia aemula has been universally adopted as the correct scientific name since 1981. A wide array of mammals, birds, and invertebrates visit the inflorescences and are instrumental in pollination; honeyeaters are particularly prominent visitors. Grown as a garden plant, it is less commonly seen in horticulture than its close relative B.serrata. (Full article...)
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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...)
Commelina communis flowers
Commelina communis, commonly known as the Asiatic dayflower, is an herbaceousannual plant in the dayflower family. It gets its name because the blooms last for only one day. It is native throughout much of East Asia and northern parts of Southeast Asia. In China, the plant is known as yazhicao (simplified Chinese: 鸭跖草; traditional Chinese: 鴨跖草; pinyin: yāzhīcǎo), roughly translating to "duckfoot herb", while in Japan it is known as tsuyukusa (露草, tsuyukusa), meaning "dew herb". It has also been introduced to parts of central and southeastern Europe and much of eastern North America, where it has spread to become a noxious weed. It is common in disturbed sites and in moist soil. The flowers emerge from summer through fall and are distinctive with two relatively large blue petals and one very reduced white petal.
The Asiatic dayflower plant serves as the type species for its large genus. Linnaeus picked the name Commelina in honour of the two Dutch botanists of the Commelijn family, using the two large showy petals of Commelina communis to symbolise them. Linnaeus described the species in the first edition of his landmark work, Species Plantarum, in 1753. Long before the plant was studied in Europe, however, it had been used for generations in traditional Chinese medicine. The flowers have also been used in Japan to produce a dye and a pigment that was used in many world-renowned Ukiyo-ewoodcuts from the 18th and early 19th centuries. In the modern era the plant has found limited use as a model organism in the field of plant physiology due to its complex pigment chemistry and the ease of viewing its stomata. (Full article...)
The age of the tree was determined by carbon dating of genetically matched plant material collected from under the tree, as dendrochronology does not work for clonal trees. The trunk itself is estimated to be only a few hundred years old, but the plant has survived for much longer due to a process known as layering (when a branch comes in contact with the ground, it sprouts a new root), or vegetative cloning (when the trunk dies but the root system is still alive, it may sprout a new trunk). (Full article...)
A portrait of Christian Ramsay, beside a watercolour of a flower and a bird.
The taxonomy of Liliaceae has had a complex history since the first description of this flowering plantfamily in the mid-eighteenth century. Originally, the Liliaceae or Lily family were defined as having a "calix" (perianth) of six equal-coloured parts, six stamens, a single style, and a superior, three-chambered (trilocular) ovary turning into a capsule fruit at maturity. The taxonomiccircumscription of the family Liliaceae progressively expanded until it became the largest plant family and also extremely diverse, being somewhat arbitrarily defined as all species of plants with six tepals and a superior ovary. It eventually came to encompass about 300 genera and 4,500 species, and was thus a "catch-all" and hence paraphyletictaxon. Only since the more modern taxonomic systems developed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) and based on phylogenetic principles, has it been possible to identify the many separate taxonomic groupings within the original family and redistribute them, leaving a relatively small core as the modern family Liliaceae, with fifteen genera and 600 species.
Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally, apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a wide range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and use, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production. (Full article...)
Roystonea regia, commonly known as the Cuban royal palm or Florida royal palm, is a species of palm that is native to Mexico, parts of Central America and the Caribbean, and southern Florida. A large and attractive palm, it has been planted throughout the tropics and subtropics as an ornamental tree. Although it is sometimes called R. elata, the conserved nameR. regia is now the correct name for the species. The royal palm reaches heights from 50 to over 80 feet tall. Populations in Cuba and Florida were long seen as separate species, but are now considered to belong to a single species.
Best known as an ornamental, R. regia is also used as a source of thatch, construction timber, and in some forms of so-called traditional medicine, although there is currently no valid scientific evidence to support the efficacy or use of any palm species for medicinal purposes. The fruit is eaten by birds and bats (which disperse the seeds) and fed to livestock. Its flowers are visited by birds and bats, and it serves as a roosting site and food source for a variety of animals. Roystonea regia is the national tree of Cuba, and has a religious role both in Santería and Christianity, where it is used in Palm Sunday observances. (Full article...)
A mature Asplenium bradleyi growing in a crevice in schist
While A. bradleyi is easily outcompeted by other plants in more fertile habitats, it is well adapted to the thin, acidic soil and harsh environment of its native cliffs, where it finds few competitors. Its isolated situation on these cliffs protects it from most threats, but quarrying and mining of the cliffs, rock climbing, and other activities that disturb the cliff ecosystem can destroy it. (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...)
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...)
It is endemic to the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States, and occurs only at altitudes less than 620 metres (2,034 ft). P. bellidiflora is found chiefly on rocky, grassy areas. The conservation status of this species was, as of 1999, characterized by a declining population, with a severely diminished and fragmented range. The specific bellidiflora refers to the similarity of the flowers with those of common daisies (Bellis). (Full article...)
The leaflets of the plant are obovate-oblong and equal-sided, and of a silky texture. The fruits (legumes) are typically one to two inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) long and contain six or seven brownish seeds. The species typically grows in areas where the soils are relatively deep, especially in semi-arid and wadi areas, and on terraces and slight inclines and hills. (Full article...)
Aggressive mimicry is opposite in principle to defensive mimicry, where the mimic generally benefits from being treated as harmful. The mimic may resemble its own prey, or some other organism which is beneficial or at least not harmful to the prey. The model, i.e. the organism being 'imitated', may experience increased or reduced fitness, or may not be affected at all by the relationship. On the other hand, the signal receiver inevitably suffers from being tricked, as is the case in most mimicry complexes. (Full article...)
The Webster Sycamore (alternatively known as the Webster Springs Sycamore and the Big Sycamore Tree) was an American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Long recognized for its size, the Webster Sycamore was the largest living American sycamore tree in West Virginia until its felling in 2010. The tree stood approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east of Webster Springs in Webster County, in a moist flood plain along the banks of the Back Fork Elk River, a tributary stream of the Elk River.
The Webster Sycamore reached a tree height measurement of 112 feet (34 m), a tree crown measurement of 90 feet (27 m), and a circumference of 25.75 feet (7.85 m) at breast height. In 1955, the American Forests Association declared the tree the largest of its species in the United States. It only held the title for three weeks, before the association identified a larger American sycamore in Maryland. Despite losing its national title, the sycamore remained the largest American sycamore in West Virginia. Following a 1963 survey of large trees in West Virginia, the Webster Sycamore was named the second-largest tree after a white oak (Quercus alba) in Randolph County. (Full article...)
Immature cones of a Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), a species of spruce native to western North America. It is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 25 to 30 metres (82 to 98 ft) tall, exceptionally to 46 m (151 ft) tall, and with a trunk diameter of up to 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The cones are slender and cylindrical, 6–11 centimetres (2.4–4.3 in) long, and are reddish to violet in color, maturing to pale brown 5–7 months after pollination. The Blue Spruce is the state tree of Utah and Colorado.
Image 4The 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)
Image 15Transverse section of a fossil stem of the Devonian vascular plant Rhynia gwynne-vaughani (from Botany)
Image 161 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 17A botanist preparing a plant specimen for mounting in the herbarium (from Botany)
Image 19A 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 28A nineteenth-century illustration showing the morphology of the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of the rice plant Oryza sativa (from Botany)
Image 29Parker 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. (from Botany)
Image 37The Linnaean Garden of Linnaeus' residence in Uppsala, Sweden, was planted according to his Systema sexuale. (from Botany)
Image 38The 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)