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Browse the Botanical Definitions

In addition to searching through the individual botanical definitions you may now benefit also from browsing the extensive information gleaned through our research. This list has been compiled in alphabetic order according to the genus or species..

To browse the definitions please click on one of the buttons below to see the section under that letter. In some cases there may be no words under a particular letter.

 

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Definitions
balsamea is derived from Latin balsamum (sweet-smelling balsam gum) and -fer (bearing, carrying) components meaning 'balsam-bearing, balsamic or like balsam'. [See Abies balsamea.]

balsamifera is derived from Latin balsamum (sweet-smelling balsam gum) and -fer (bearing, carrying) components meaning 'balsam-bearing, balsamic or like balsam'. [See Amyris balsamifera, Blumea balsamifera, Populus balsamifera.]

Balsamita [genus name] is derived from Latin balsamum (sweet-smelling balsam) with reference to the aromatic leaves. [See ....]

balsamum is derived from Latin balsamum (sweet-smelling balsam gum) meaning 'balsam-bearing, balsamic or like balsam'. [See Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae.]

balticus means 'of or from the area of the Baltic Sea'. [See Juncus balticus.]

bambos is derived from a local Malayan name. [See Bambusa bambos.]

banksiana commemorates an English botanist, explorer and plant collector, Sir Joseph Banks (1744-1820). In 1766, as an independent naturalist, he collected plants, animals and rocks in Labrador and Newfoundland. Then he led a team of scientists who accompanied Captain James Cook on his 1768-1771 Expedition which, not only observed the transit of Venus across the sun in Tahiti but also circumnavigated the world, exploring the South Pacific via South America and Tahiti, and visiting New Zealand, Australia and Java (now part of Indonesia). This time he not only collected more specimens (including plants, insects, shells and artefacts) but also made equally extensive botanical and ethnographic observations and notes and compiled vocabularies, not leaast in anticipation of future European settlement and commerce. His accounts of the Expedition's exploits and sightings on his return, and his scientific approach, drew Europe-wide attention, while many of his latest plant specimens (about 110 new genera and 1300 new species) would expand his herbarium dramatically in his subsequent London home at Soho Square. Banks' third significant expedition, to Iceland (and the Hebrides and Orkneys), occurred in 1772 and he returned home with yet more specimens. 1773 saw him become unofficial director of the Royal Gardens at Kew and he sent plant collectors (the majority of eventual high repute) to most continents. As a Privy Councillor from 1797 he was involved in matters of state (including colonization and agriculture). It was he who suggested Botany Bay as a suitable site for a penal colony in Australia and later encouraged more examination of the natural history of the Sydney environs (as a result of which further specimens were shipped to England). He was also considered to be the authority, during his lifetime, on all matters relating to New South Wales. He served on various committees (some of which he chaired) and he became a Trustee of The British Museum. He helped organise or advised on most British voyages, was a patron of science, opened his ever-growing personal herbarium and library to known scientists and researchers, and corresponded worldwide. He was a Freemason and member of many other bodies, including the Dilettante Society, the Horticultural Society, the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Institution, Institut de France and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He became a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1766 and its President from 1778 to 1820. In 1781 he was made a baronet and in 1795 a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. His name has been given to several places in the world, including the Banks Peninsula in New Zealand and the Canadian Banks Island. [See Pinus banksiana.]

Baptisia [genus name] is derived from Greek bapto (to dye) with reference to the use of some of the species for dyeing.

Members of this family (Leguminosae) absorb nitrogen from the air. Through the bacterial nodules on their deep growing roots, they will introduce nitrogen to the soil (and aerate it) to the benefit of neighbouring plants and any following them in the same soil. [See Baptisia.]

barbadense means 'of or from Barbados (West Indies)'. [See Gossypium barbadense.]

barbata is Latin (beard) meaning 'bearded (with long weak hairs)'. [See Usnea barbata.]


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