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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
Plumeria [genus name] commemorates a French botanist, Charles Plumier (1646-1704) who was a member of the religious order of Minims (they forsook meat and dairy products). Commissioned by the French Government in 1689, he explored the Antilles in the Caribbean and made accurate drawings of many plants including ferns. On his return to France he was appointed as royal botanist to the Sun King, Louis XIV (1638-1715) who sent him on two further expeditions to the Antilles in 1693 and 1695, the latter including Central America. He was setting out on a fourth visit in 1704, this time to Peru, when he died from pleurisy in Spain (near Cadiz). He drew about 6000 flora and fauna (two-thirds of which were plants) and he described hundreds of them. His interests extended to physics, mathematics and turning and in his earlier years he made scientific instruments. A compilation of some of his works was published in 1703 entitled Filicetum Americanum and other works include L'Art de tourner.

All the species in this genus can cause dermatitis and blistering on the skin. Overdoses taken internally can cause gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. [See Plumeria.]

Poa [genus name] is an ancient Greek word (grass, fodder). [See Poa.]

Podocarpus [genus name] is derived from Greek podo- (foot) and carpo- (fruit) components with reference to the fleshy stalks bearing the fruit. [See Podocarpus.]

Podophyllum [genus name] is derived from Greek podo- (foot) and phyllo- (leaf)' components with reference to the shape of the leaf of the American mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum). [See Podophyllum.]

poeticus means 'of poets'. [See Narcissus poeticus.]

Pogonia [genus name] is derived from Greek pogon- (beard) with reference to the fringed lip of the petal seen in most species. [See Pogonia.]

Pogostemon [genus name] is derived from Greek pogon- (beard) and stemon (stamen) components.

There are 40 species of Pogostemon and today several provide a source for patchouli oil (although authorities note that consistent quality of oil cannot be assured). [See Pogostemon.]

polita is Latin (finished, polished, smooth) meaning 'elegant, neat, or polished'. [See Picea polita.]

polyantha is derived from Greek poly- (many) and -antha (flowered) components. [See Primula x polyantha.]

Polycarpon [genus name] is derived from Greek poly- (many) and carpo- (fruit) components. [See Polycarpon.]


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