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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
Merremia [genus name] commemorates a German naturalist (with emphasis on ornithology), Blasius Merrem (1761-1824) who was a professor of mathematics, and physics from 1784-1804 at Duisburg in the Rhineland-of-North-Westpahlia, Germany. Some authorities note that he was professor of botany and political economy at Marburg from 1804-1821. His Tentamen Systematis Naturalis Avium on part of his bird classification is still highly regarded today. [See Merremia.]

Mertensia [genus name] commemorates a German philologist, botanist and algologist, Franz Carl Mertens (1764-1831), who taught theology and languages at a Bremen college but devoted the rest of his time to botany. He often collected plant specimens with the German botanist, Albrecht Wilhelm Roth (1757-1834), and he specialised in seaweed. He not only travelled all over Europe but also corresponded with leading European naturalists and much of the correspondence can be found in the library archives of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pennsylvania, USA. Mertens illustrated Roth's Catalecta botanica and also described some of the seaweed species it contained. [See Mertensia.]

Mesembryanthemum [genus name] was originally spelt Mesembrianthemum, by the Polish merchant and botanist, Jacob Breyne (1637-1697) in 1684, derived from Greek mesembria- (midday, noon) and -anthemon (flower) components meaning 'flowering at noon'. But a night-flowering species was then identified and in 1719 the German botanist, Johann Jakob Dillenius (1687-1747) proposed the revised spelling with a 'y' plus derivation from Greek meso- (middle, half), embryo- (embryo, unborn, unformed) and -anthemon (flower) components with reference to the plant's reproductive structure. [See Mesembryanthemum.]

Mespilus [genus name] is derived for some authorities from Greek meso- (middle, half ) and pilos (ball) components with reference to the shape of the fruit, and it is a classical Latin name (mespilum) for medlar (Mespilus germanica). [See Mespilus.]

Mesua [genus name] commemorates an Arab physician and botanist, Johannes Mesue (c.777-c.857) of Damascus, who was first physician to five caliphs and a hospital superintendent in Baghdad. He was a linguist, he oversaw the translation of many scientific works into Arabic and he also established a school of medicine. [See Mesua.]

Metasequoia [genus name] is derived from Greek meta- (akin, changed in nature, next to, among, after) and the genus name Sequoia (the Californian redwoods) components. It is related to the latter with which fossil specimens of this relatively recent new genus were originally compared.

It was first identified in 1941 by a Japanese palaeobotanist, Shigeru Miki (1901-1974). [See Metasequoia.]

metel is said to be a local Arabic name for the fruit of Datura metel (prickly bur). [See Datura metel.]

methysticum is derived from Greek methusis (drunkenness) with reference to the species' narcotic qualities. [See Piper methysticum.]

Metroxylon [genus name] is derived from Greek metra (centre, core, heart-wood) and -xylon (wood) components with reference to the pith in the trunk. [See Metroxylon.]

Meum [genus name] is derived from Greek meio- (less, smaller), and may be a Greek plant name meon (possibly for spignel, Meum athamanticum). [See Meum.]


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