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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
catharticus is derived from Greek cathartico- meaning ‘purging or cleansing’. [See Bromus catharticus.]

cattleianum commemorates an English horticulturist, William Cattley (1788-1835) who imported exotic plants (especially from the Americas). It seems that his interest in these particular orchids was accidental. The story goes that a plant hunter called Swainson sent a consignment of tropical plants from Brazil to England packed in indiscriminate organic material to try and keep them moist during the voyage. When Cattley received the shipment in 1818 some say he threw out the packaging but noticed that some of it was actually sprouting, while others suggest he thought the extraneous organic matter was needed to grow his new American acquisitions. Whichever, he salvaged the secondary plants and later that year, no doubt to his delight, was rewarded by a fragrant, spectacular bloom. He suspected it was an unknown type of orchid and in 1820 he employed a young Englishman to catalogue and illustrate his plant collection, a man who was destined to become a highly respected English botanist, horticulturist, orchid specialist, botanical artist and author, John Lindley (1799-1865). In 1832 Lindley received his doctorate from the University of Munich and published the first scientific description, illustration and classification of Cattley's plant (which was probably Cattleya labiata) naming the new Cattleya genus after his old employer. [See Psidium cattleianum subsp. lucidum.]

Caucalis [genus name] is for some authorities a name from classical times. [See Caucalis.]

caucasica means ' of or from the Caucasus'. [See Arabis caucasica, Scabiosa caucasica.]

caudatus is derived from Greek caudati- meaning 'tail, tailed or slender tailed'. [See Amaranthus caudatus, Raphanus caudatus.]

cauliflora is derived from Greek caulo- (stem) and Latin -flora (flowered) components meaning 'bearing flowers on the stem or trunk'. [See Myrciaria cauliflora.]

Caulophyllum [genus name] is derived from Greek caulo- (stem) and phyllo- (leaf) components. [See Caulophyllum.]

cava means 'hollow or cave-like'. [See Corydalis cava.]

Cecropia [genus name] honours an early ruler of Athens, Cecrops I. He was an earthborn creature, half man and half snake, sometimes referred to as 'son of Gaia' or 'son of the soil'. There is debate among classicists about who first ruled the Greek peninsular known as Attica (of which Athens was the principal city) but it was during Cecrops' reign that Athena (goddess of wisdom) and Poseidon (god of the sea) are supposed to have vied for the privilege of bestowing patronage upon that kingdom. The competition was eventually won by Athena with her gift of the olive tree and this led to its being re-christened Athens. [See Cecropia.]

cecropiifolia is made up of the genus name Cecropia and Latin -folia (leaved) components meaning 'with leaves similar to those of that (trumpet wood) genus'. [See Pourouma cecropiifolia.]


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