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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
Gratiola [genus name] is derived from Latin gratia (agreeableness, pleasantness) with reference to the medicinal uses of these species. [See Gratiola.]

greggii commemorates the name of an American, intellectual frontiersman and plant collector, Josiah Gregg (1806-1850) after whom quite a few plants have been named. Despite ill health (and single-mindedness to the point of unsociability from many accounts) he was a man of varied interests, a trader, historian, surveyor, doctor, interpreter, naturalist and author, who was especially remembered for his account in The Commerce of the Prairies of his time trading on the Santa Fe Trail (an important caravan route in the western United States, about 780 miles long). During his short and demanding life he managed to collect many plants notably in Mexico and the American south-western state of New Mexico. He also met members of the Academy of Science at St. Louis, including two German-born botanists and physicians, Frederick Adolph Wislizenus (1810-1889) and Georg Engelmann (1809-1884) and sent plant specimens back east to several noted botanists, Engelmann especially. [See Acacia greggii.]

Grevillea [genus name] commemorates an English patron of botany, The Honourable Charles Francis Greville (1749-1809) who was the second son of the Earl of Warwick. He was a Lord of the Admiralty, founder of the Horticultural Society of London, a Vice-President of the Royal Society and a friend of Sir Joseph Banks, a celebrated English botanist. He also developed the town of Milford Haven so that it became an important Welsh port. Fourteen of the exotic plants in his London garden at Paddington Green were illustrated in Curtis's Botanical Magazine. In his younger days his mistress was Emma Hart, the future wife of Lord Nelson, and society appears to have treated him roughly after he effectively abandoned her when he sent her to his uncle, Sir William Hamilton who was then British Envoy in Naples, and then did not follow her. His enthusiasm for natural history was wide-ranging and not confined to plants. He built a significant mineral collection that was eventually acquired by the Natural History Museum. [See Grevillea.]

Grewia [genus name] commemorates an English physician, botanist and microscopist, Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) who published the highly respected Anatomy of Plants in 1682 which includes a detailed study of bean seeds and a theory on the sexual structure of flowers which would eventually lead to greater understanding of plant reproduction. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society, was Secretary from 1677 and edited Philosophical Transactions from 1678-1679. There is an unusual stained-glass window in the Library of his old college, Pembroke (Cambridge), which depicts a page of his work. Apart from the foregoing his published works also included Seawater made Fresh, Tractatus de salis and Cosmologia Sacra. [See Grewia.]

Grindelia [genus name] commemorates a Latvian pharmacist, chemist, physician and botanist, David Hieronymus Grindel (1776-1836) who was a professor at Tartu University for ten years from 1804 and was the University's Rector from 1810-1812. He then returned to his home town of Riga and renewed his studies. Now, after qualifying as a physician in 1822, he set up practice in Riga and also opened a pharmacy there. He studied Baltic flora and founded Riga Pharmaceutical Society. In addition too to writing many articles he published a pharmaceutical journal, Russisches Jahrbuch der Pharmazie. [See Grindelia.]

Groenlandia [genus name] means 'of or from Greenland'. [See Groenlandia.]

groenlandicum means 'of or from Greenland'. [See Rhododendron groenlandicum.]

grossum means 'very large'. [See Capsicum annuum var. grossum.]

grusonii commemorates a German engineer, inventor and entrepreneur, Herman Gruson (1821-1895), who built up a huge collection of cacti and other exotic plants. One year after becoming Technical Director of United Hamburg-Magdeburg Steamboat Shipping Association he established his own engineering business (with its own factory, foundry and wharf) in 1855, H. Gruson Buckau-Magdeburg. This gave him the freedom to invent new civil and military applications for the cast iron improved by his own techniques and his company became one of the largest German armament producers, eventually being taken over by the Krupp family in 1893. Gruson's wealth enabled him to further his great enthusiasm for sub-tropical and tropical plants. His initial greenhouse had become eleven by the time he died and these were given to the people of Magdeburg, the city he had lived and worked in all his life. The greenhouses are still maintained and open to the public today, and contain cacti, ferns, orchids, water lilies, palms and other plants (as well as exotic birds), many of which are endangered. [See Echinocactus grusonii.]

Guaiacum [genus name] is a corruption of Spanish guayacan, itself a derivation of a local Mexican name for these plants hoaxacan. [See Guaiacum.]


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