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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
brevistylis is derived from Latin brevi- (short, low, small, tiny) and Greek stylo- (pillar, pole) components meaning ' with short styles (part of the female reproductive organs in the flower)'. [See Osmorhiza brevistylis.]

breweriana commemorates an American botanist, William Henry Brewer (1828-1910), who was the first professor of agriculture at the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University from 1864-1903 and a pioneer botanical explorer in California. In 1848 when studying soil analysis at Yale he became a founder member of the Berzelius Society there. From 1855 he studied for three years in Europe before returning in 1858 to the United States and a chemistry and geology professorship at the Jefferson and Washington College in Pennsylvania. From 1860-1864 he was chief botanist on the California State Geological Survey and his notes of the field parties led by him in virtually virgin territory were published (Up and Down California in 1860-1864) posthumously in 1930. He also took part in surveys in Greenland in 1869 and the Alaskan Expedition (the results of the latter are said to have contributed to its purchase by the United States). He took an active roll in the government of Connecticut and established there the first American agricultural experimental station. A mountain in the Sierra Nevada was named after him. [See Picea breweriana.]

Briza [genus name] is a Greek name for a food grain (probably rye, Secale cereale). [See Briza.]

Brosimum [genus name] is derived from Greek brosimo (edible). [See Brosimum.]

brunnescens means 'brown'. [See Epilobium brunnescens.]

bubalina means ‘buff’ (like an African gazelle). . [See Burchellia bubalina.]

buchananii commemorates a Scottish botanist, plant collector, artist and explorer, John Buchanan (1819-1898). He began his working life designing fabric and wallpaper patterns (often botanical) in Scotland but in 1852 emigrated to New Zealand and the goldfields in South Island. During his early years there he prospected for gold (eventually with some success) and also began collecting and recording native flora, as well as assisting in the provincial survey of part of the Otago region. He came to the attention of Sir Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), some say through his amateur botanist friend, Dr. John Ross, back in Scotland to whom he sent some of his plant collection, and others because he sent large numbers of dried specimens to Kew Gardens in England. Either way, Sir Joseph recommended Buchanan to Sir.James Hector (1834-1907), another Scottish-born botanist who had been appointed Director of the Geological Survey of Otago (especially in the high mountains of Fiordland) in 1862. As draughtsman and botanist to the Survey Buchanan was provided with an opportunity to build both a large plant collection and make many celebrated botanical sketches and notes which formed the basis of some of his published works. In 1865 he became responsible for the herbarium of the Geological Survey and Colonial Museum in Wellington. An act of Parliament in 1867 established the New Zealand Institute for the Advancement of Science and Art and Buchanan would not only contribute essays to its journal, Transactions, but was also artist and lithographer for the first 19 volumes. On his many botanical and geological trips throughout New Zealand, he continued to collect plants (duplicates of which he still sent to Kew sometimes) and produce reports, botanical drawings, paintings and sketches which can be found in New Zealand and Australian museums and libraries. He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Institute, a Fellow of the Linnean Society and from 1885 (when he retired from the Colonial Museum) a life member of Wellington Philosophical Society. His published works include The Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand and among his many botanical drawings and watercolour panoramas is the celebrated Milford Sound looking north-west from Freshwater Basin. [See Newtonia buchananii.]

Buchloe [genus name] is made up of Greek bou- (cow, ox) and -chloe (grass) components. [See Buchloe.]

bulbifera is derived from Latin bulbi- (bulb) and -fer (bearing, carrying) components meaning 'producing small bulbs'. [See Cardamine bulbifera, Dioscorea bulbifera.]

bulbiferum is derived from Latin bulbi- (bulb) and -fer (bearing, carrying) components meaning 'producing small bulbs'. [See Lilium bulbiferum.]


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