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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
aculeatus is derived from Latin aculeus (point, sting) meaning 'prickly' with reference to the ..... . [See Ruscus aculeatus.]

acuta is Latin (pointed, sharpened, acute) meaning 'pointed'. [See ... .]

acutangula is derived from Latin acuti- (pointed, acute, sharp) and anguli- (angle, corner) components meaning 'with sharp angles' with reference to the ..... . [See Luffa acutangula.]

acutangulum is derived from Latin acuti- (pointed, acute, sharp) and anguli- (angle, corner) components meaning 'with sharp angles' with reference to the ..... . [See Psidium acutangulum.]

acutifolius is derived from Latin acuti- (pointed, acute, sharp) and -folia (leaved) components meaning 'with sharply pointed leaves'. [See Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius.]

Adansonia [genus name] commemorates a French botanist and author, Michel Adanson (1727-1806) who promoted a classification of plants anticipating today's practices (one that authorities note was in some sympathy with views expressed by earlier naturalists such as the Englishman John Ray (1627-1705) and the Frenchman Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) but distinct from those being argued by his contemporary naturalist peers the Swedish, Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) and the French, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) from whom he met resistance. In 1748 he travelled to western Africa (Senegal) returning to Paris in 1754 with thousands of plant, animal and other specimens, as well as copious notes covering descriptions of flora and fauna, astronomical and meteorological observations, and maps drawn of the region, as well as grammatical descriptions of the regional languages and supporting dictionaries. In 1759 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences in Paris and in 1774 sought the Academy's approval for a massive work he had in progress (27 large volumes with 150 more to follow). Not only was that approval withheld but he also received unacceptable advice on publication and lost his membership of that scientific body. The magnum opus never saw the light of day and from then on he lived in poverty, while continuing his writing and research as possible. When later the French Institute indicated a wish to offer him membership he could not afford to take it up. His publications include Histoire naturelle du Senegal, Familles naturelles des plantes and a paper on baobab (Adansonia digitata). [See Adansonia.]

adhatoda is derived from Tamil or Sinhalese ada (goat) and thodai (not touching) components with reference to the bitter-tasting leaves that are avoided by goats. [See Justicia adhatoda.]

adiantum-nigrum means 'black maidenhair'. Adiantum is made up of Greek a (without) and diantos (dry, unwetted) components and is the genus name for plants known as 'maidenhair ferns'. Nigrum is Latin (black). [See Asplenium adiantum-nigrum.]

Adonis [genus name] is the Greek name for the plant. In some Greek legends the 'staining' of the flower's colouring is said to be the splashed blood of Adonis. Several Greek classical legends tell how Adonis enjoyed the hunt. Despite pleas from Aphrodite, who had fallen in love with him and feared that he would have a tragic accident, he continued the chase. According to some when eventually he was gored and killed by a bear or a wild boar he was transformed into one of the plants from the Adonis genus, while others say they sprang from his blood. Adonis (who was said to have been born of incest between father and daughter) was an agricultural divinity. Another of the legends tells how the gods resolved the wrangling over Adonis which went on between Aphrodite and Persephone (both loved him) by decreeing that Adonis must spend one half of the year on earth and the other half in the Underworld (thus it was believed that he disappeared in the Autumn and reappeared for the Spring rites). [See Adonis.]

Adoxa [genus name] is made up of Greek a (without) and doxa (repute, glory) components which for some authorities indicates 'inglorious' with reference to its humble growth, while for others it is a reference to its indistinct greenish flowers. [See Adoxa.]


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