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1st formal Edition of the CD of Plant Biographies (or Plant's Eye View of the Planet and Man). About 1000 extra pages which include a dramatic expansion of R genera plus other additions and changes.


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.



There are 213 records that match.


sieboldii commemorates a German physician and naturalist, Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866), who was one of the first Europeans to teach Western medicine in Japan, especially ophthalmic practices. After joining the Dutch army as a medical officer in 1822 he was sent to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). He then became resident physician and scientist in 1823 at the Dutch island trading post (originally run by the Dutch East India Company) at Nagasaki, a posting which would end in his expulsion by the Japanese in 1829 for treasonable acts after discovering accidentally that he had acquired maps of Japan and had also mapped parts of northern Japan. In the intervening years he and his Japanese partner had a daughter (the first Japanese woman known to have trained as a physician), and he established a medical school, treated Japanese patients in the area, studied Japanese flora and fauna, developed a botanical garden in which he nurtured over 1000 native plants for Dutch cultivation, accummulated a large ethnographic collection of Japanese everyday artefacts and illustrations of flora, fauna and Japanese activities, obtained specimens of rare animals, sent three shipments of herbarium specimens to Europe, and smuggled viable tea plant seeds to the Javan Buitenzorg Botanical Garden (now Bogor, Indonesia). He left Japan for Batavia with the bulk of his remaining collections (still thousands of plants, animals, artefacts and papers) and reached Europe in 1830, eventually settling in Leiden. His living plant collection ended up at the University of Ghent but the other massive collections were bought by the Dutch Government who put them on public display. William II (1792-1849) appointed him Adviser to the King on Japanese Affairs (a role which he would assume for several other governments in the following years) and, as an adviser too, he returned to Japan in 1859 only to be recalled by the Dutch Government in 1863 (cultural exchanges between Japan and Holland were not considered appropriate then). He was a member of the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences which ceased in 1962. His published works included Flora Japonica written in collaboration with a German botanist, Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini (1797-1848). [See Stachys sieboldii var. sieboldii.]

siliqua is Latin meaning 'husk, pod or shell'. [See Ceratonia siliqua.]

siliquastrum is derived from Latin siliqua (husk, pod, shell) meaning 'like a siliqua, a fruit pod found in a different family'. [See Cercis siliquastrum.]

Silphium [genus name] is derived from a Greek name silphion, originally of a completely different plant. [See Silphium.]

Silybum [genus name] is derived from a Greek name silybon used for a different but thistle-like plant. [See Silybum.]

simia is Latin (monkey) with reference to the alleged appearance of the flower. [See Orchis simia.]

Simmondsia [genus name] commemorates an English physician and naturalist, Thomas William Simmonds (1767-1804), who died when exploring in Trinidad. [See Simmondsia.]

Sinapis [genus name] is derived from a Greek name for mustard sinapi. The Latin name is sinapi or sinape. [See Sinapis.]

sinensis means 'of or from China'. [See Angelica sinensis, Camellia sinensis, Celtis sinensis, Citrus sinensis, Nyssa sinensis, Wisteria sinensis.]

Sinningia [genus name] commemorates a German botanist and horticulturist, Wilhelm Sinning (1794-1874) who was Garden Supervisor of Bonn University's botanical garden from 1818-1846. He then lectured on botany from 1847-1857 and on horticulture from 1852-1874.

Authorities note that the familiar cultivated varieties of garden gloxinias were actually misnamed as they come from this genus not from the Gloxinia genus in the same Gesneriaceae family. [See Sinningia.]

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