Posts tagged Plants

do broom rape and rapeseed come from the same root word? — Asked by Anonymous

A better etymologist would probably know more than me, but I don’t believe so.

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Rapeseed comes from the Latin Rapa/rapum, which means “turnip”. The family that rapeseed belongs to is the Brassicaceae, or turnip family, and the top of the plant (though not the root) resembles the turnip, so the name makes sense. It’s been known as “rapeseed” or “oilseed rape” in English since at least the 14th/15th century.

By the way, its oil is also known as canola oil in most English-speaking countries, since people don’t like seeing “rape” in a name…

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Broom rape, on the other hand, has a scientific name that means “strangling vetch”. The Broom family of plants was once known as “vetch”.

Given that the original definition of rape (from the Anglo-French rapir) was “to take by force, to abduct, to seize”, “Strangling vetch” can be reasonably transcribed to “broom rape”.

As such, I assume that “broom rape” really does mean a sort of terrible thing, even if that terrible thing is happening to a plant and doesn’t involve an actual broom, per se.

Some names are better than others…

The Broom rapes are members of the Orobanche genus, which is Greek for “Strangling bitter vetch”, which may or may not be better than the common name. The common name derives from the fact that the plant was originally described as a destructive parasite upon Broom plants (Cytisus spp.) in Southern England.

Broom rape is a holoparasitic angiosperm (flowering plants that are wholly - “holo” - parasitic upon their host) which has no chlorophyll, and no ability to make its own nutrients. Its leaves are often no more than minute scales, as they serve no purpose in a non-phtosynthesizing plant.

Since these species do not have chlorophyll, they usually have brownish or straw-colored stalks, with brown, yellow, or purple flowers.
The way that these plants get their nutrients is by directly tapping into the roots of their hosts by way of haustoria - a “root” tip that can dig into a host plant and siphon off the products of photosynthesis that the host tries to send down into its root system.

There are Orobanche species that parasitize almost every non-woody angiosperm native to Europe and the Near East, but they are currently found throughout the world. One of the most threatening species is Orobanche ramosa, branched broomrape, which parasitizes the Solinaceae family (including tomatoes, tobacco, potatoes, and eggplants) throughout Southwestern Europe.

Broom rape! Not a nice name for not a nice genus.

Images:

Flora Batava Vol. 12. Jan Kops, 1865.

Wild Greater Broomrape and Lesser Broomrape by Donkey Shot

Netted Iris - Iris reticulata
Though most irises flower through the late spring to mid-Autumn, the netted iris (more commonly known as Iris reticulata) is an early spring bloomer. It is smaller than most irises, reaching less than 6 inches (15 cm) at the tip of its leaves, but it is very hardy, assuming it’s not inundated with water during the summer.
These flowers are native to the Caucasus Mountains and Russia, and in addition to blooming earlier than other irises, are also native to a much wider range of elevations than other crocuses. On the mountainsides, above the range of the crocus or daffodil, Iris reticulata is often the first sign of spring.
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine Vol XXII, Third Series. Joseph Dalton Hooker, 1866.

Netted Iris - Iris reticulata

Though most irises flower through the late spring to mid-Autumn, the netted iris (more commonly known as Iris reticulata) is an early spring bloomer. It is smaller than most irises, reaching less than 6 inches (15 cm) at the tip of its leaves, but it is very hardy, assuming it’s not inundated with water during the summer.

These flowers are native to the Caucasus Mountains and Russia, and in addition to blooming earlier than other irises, are also native to a much wider range of elevations than other crocuses. On the mountainsides, above the range of the crocus or daffodil, Iris reticulata is often the first sign of spring.

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine Vol XXII, Third Series. Joseph Dalton Hooker, 1866.

biomedicalephemera:

Bottom: Short Beaked Echidna [right] (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and Western Long-Beaked Echidna [left] (Zaglossus bruijni)
Center Left: Starfish (Echinodermata spp.)
Center Right: Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Top: Echidna (mythological)

Originally, “Echidna” was a Greek mythological figure, a monstrous snake-like creature, and the mother of Cerberus, the Chimera, the Gorgon, and more. Her name roughly translates to “she-snake”, and the monotreme known as the echidna is cited in many sources as being named after her.

However, it is becoming more accepted these days that the echidna has the same etymological origins as the Greek term “ekhinus”, or “sea-urchin/porcupine [spine-skinned]”. Though similar-sounding, “ekhidna” and “ekhinos” have distinct etymological histories, and should be recognized as different terms.

It’s unknown if “ekhinus” originally referred to the sea-urchin or the hedgehog/porcupine, but the use of the term in reference to Echinaceae (coneflowers) is a direct reference to the spiny nature of the sea-urchin.

Hasselet’s Dendrobium - Dendrobium hasseletii
This orchid lives high in the hills and mossy, montane forests of the Malaysian peninsula, as well as in Sumatra and Java. It has sparse, thin leaves, on a sturdy bamboo-like stalk. The flowers bloom from leafless parts of the stalk, in late summer and early fall. Despite its elegance, this orchid is one of the more difficult keepers, and as such is not widespread in the gardening and botanical circles.
Collection d’orchidées: aquarelles originales. Unknown German author/artist, late 1800s.

Hasselet’s Dendrobium - Dendrobium hasseletii

This orchid lives high in the hills and mossy, montane forests of the Malaysian peninsula, as well as in Sumatra and Java. It has sparse, thin leaves, on a sturdy bamboo-like stalk. The flowers bloom from leafless parts of the stalk, in late summer and early fall. Despite its elegance, this orchid is one of the more difficult keepers, and as such is not widespread in the gardening and botanical circles.

Collection d’orchidées: aquarelles originales. Unknown German author/artist, late 1800s.

"Star of India" Clematis
The clematis flowers are members of the Ranunculaceae family, which also includes the buttercups and the Acontium (wolfsbane or monk’s bane) genus. There are hundreds of species, and over a thousand cultivars of Clematus spp.
Found in European gardens (by way of the Japanese) by the 18th century, and in the United States since the mid-19th century, clematis flowers are hardy and perennial, but solely ornamental. Despite having a “pepper-like” taste, the seeds, sap, and everything else from the plant, is highly toxic, causing intense abdominal pain and intestinal bleeding when consumed.
The Floral World and Garden Guide. Edited by Shirley Hibbard, Esq., 1871.

"Star of India" Clematis

The clematis flowers are members of the Ranunculaceae family, which also includes the buttercups and the Acontium (wolfsbane or monk’s bane) genus. There are hundreds of species, and over a thousand cultivars of Clematus spp.

Found in European gardens (by way of the Japanese) by the 18th century, and in the United States since the mid-19th century, clematis flowers are hardy and perennial, but solely ornamental. Despite having a “pepper-like” taste, the seeds, sap, and everything else from the plant, is highly toxic, causing intense abdominal pain and intestinal bleeding when consumed.

The Floral World and Garden Guide. Edited by Shirley Hibbard, Esq., 1871.

When is a pepper not a pepper?

Have you ever wondered what the relation between the ground black peppercorns in a pepper shaker is to the chili peppers and bell peppers on the plate? Turns out, they’re pretty much unrelated, aside from both being plants and from planet Earth.

Black (and white or green, for that matter) peppercorns (Piper nigrum) are a member of the Piper genus, and are native to South and South-East Asia. Peppercorns were one of the many luxury spices that came across the Eurasian continent on caravans, at least as far back as the Greek empire.

Like the other spices, they were relegated solely to the rich, and were used for medicinal purposes as well as in cooking. Black and long pepper (Piper longum) were used in treatments for diarrhea, cholera, constipation, hoarseness, gangrene, hernia, heart disease, insomnia, joint pain, sunburn, and tooth abscesses.

The active piquant compound in black pepper is called piperine, and while it is structurally and evolutionarily unique from the piquant compound in chili peppers (capsaicin), it interacts with the tastebuds in a way that triggers the same chemical pathways to the brain.

This similarity, in fact, is why chilies (Capsicum) are known as “chili peppers" - when Christopher Columbus brought the first chilies back to Europe in 1493, the warming, spicy taste that chilies imparted led to them being classified in the same group as black pepper. We now know that the "peppers" found in the New World belong to the family Solanaceae, and are related to deadly nightshade, potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco, among many other economically and pharmacologically important plants. Black pepper, meanwhile, is distantly related to magnolias, but otherwise in a group of relative-unknowns.

The sweet peppers or bell peppers are a close relative to the chili peppers, but are unique in the Capsicum genus in that they do not produce capsaicin, and as such are not “hot” like the others. By the way, what’s the difference between red and green bell peppers? Nothing but age! They’re the same species - a cultivar of Capsicum annum, which happens to be naturally somewhat hot. You won’t find a bell pepper in the wild, as they were developed by humans!

Images:
Top: Spices, Their Nature and Growth. McCormick and Co., 1915. Depicting Capsicum, chilies, and peppercorn varieties.
Bottom Left: Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen mit kurz erläuterndem. 1885. Capsicum annum.
Bottom Right: Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen mit kurz erläuterndem. 1885. Piper nigrum.

Ways to Die: Poisonous Plants

Humans have been out to get each other since before we were even Homo sapiens sapiens. For the strong and the brash, there was always outright physical violence; a club to the head or a knife to the throat was a simple way to destroy an unsuspecting rival.

But humanity had more than just violence at its disposal. Those inclined to plan and use their brains over their brawn found that there was an easier way to kill, one that would not risk their own body in an attack, or let others know who killed their rival, or even if the rival was killed by another person in the first place.

Enter: POISONS. Historically largely derived from plants, humans have murdered each other, and at times themselves, using various species of plants. There is an expansive list of plants that can potentially kill a human, but a few have gained reputations over the millenia as premier agents of death…

  • Aconitum spp. - Wolfsbane or Monkshood: A genus of over 250 beautifully flowering plants, closely related to the buttercup. Grows throughout Eurasia, cultivated worldwide.

    Aconitum sp.
    was used by the Ainu of Japan to hunt bears, and A. napellus is used by the Minaro of Ladakhi to hunt ibex. A probable culprit in multiple Borgia murders. Large doses are almost instantaneously fatal. Causes poisoning similar to that of pufferfish - tetrodotoxin-sensitive channels are open, and flaccid paralysis will quickly ensue following exposure.

  • Cicuta maculata - Spotted Water Hemlock, Snakeweed, or Spotted Cowbane: The most deadly plant in North America, due to its roots occasionally being mistaken for wild parsnip.
    Ageratina altissima
    killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother, due to its ingestion by a cow whose milk she drank. A relative of C. maculata, Conium maculatum (poison hemlock) was used in the death sentence of Socrates.

  • Datura stramonium - Jimsonweed, Thorn Apple, or Locoweed: A member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Found mostly in North America, but other species of Datura exist in the rest of the Americas. Contains atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which lead to a complete inability to differentiate reality and fantasy (delirium - not hallucination as many people allege), tachycardia, hyperthermia, and bizarre/violent behavior patterns.

    Tea made from Datura plants is sometimes alleged by quacks to be medicinally beneficial. It is not. Multiple people have come very close to death, and two (known) people have died in the United States because they thought it would have some positive hallucinogenic or medicinal effect upon them. The very unpleasant taste of the beans leads to few accidental deaths due to ingestion.

  • Strychnos nux-vomica - Strychnine Tree: Ahh, strychnine. Used as a poison in India from ancient times, and the source of a most unpleasant and violent death (or near-death episode). Strychnine causes prolonged grand mal seizures, due to the entire motor ganglia of the spinal cord being stimulated at one time, once the toxin makes it to the bloodstream.

    Currently still used as a rodent poison in many parts of the world, but illegal in the United States. One of the most common agents of domestic murder in India and Pakistan today. Easily detected by mass spectroscopy, but despite several dozen murders in the US and Indoasian countries, specific testing for the agent is still not routine in those suspected to be poisoned.

  • Ricinus communis - Castor oil Plant: Indigenous to the Mediterranean, East Africa, and India. The attractive flowers have made this tree a popular installation in gardens throughout all tropical regions. This is where the toxic agent ricin comes from. This causes an extremely painful death, with convulsions, and intense conscious pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and spasms.

    While its use in Africa as a “trial-by-fire" agent (if one did not die from ingesting the beans, they were innocent) has been around for centuries, its emergence in the West is relatively recent. In 1971, Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was shot in the leg with a pellet of concentrated ricin from a weapon concealed inside an umbrella, and died four days later. Since then, over a dozen in the Western world have been convicted of murdering others with crushed castor beans, and several dozen other incidents are suspected.

Sources:

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

A Modern Herbal. Mrs. M. Grieve, 1931.

Plants and Civilization. Maintained by Prof. Arthur C. Gibson, from 1985 textbook.

Five Important Plants in Pharmaceuticals (in no particular order):
1. Papaver somniferum, the Opium Poppy: Gives us opiates such as morphine, thebaine, codeine, and heroin. All opiates are powerful analgesics and most derivatives of the poppy also have a strong sedative effect. The smooth muscle in the body is also relaxed by these substances.
2. Digitalis purpurea, Purple Foxglove: Gives us digoxin, one of the most important cardiac glycocides that exist. Causes the heart to beat more slowly and effectively at the correct dosages.
3. Filipendula ulmaria, Meadowsweet: Gives us salicin, and salicylic acid. While salicylic acid in the form of white willow bark powder had been used for centuries as an analgesic, the salacin of meadowsweet caused much less gastric upset, and was mixed with acetyl chloride to create aspirin - the antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory that is still the most common pain relief medication in the majority of the world.
4. Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade: Gives us atropine, a powerful smooth-muscle antispasmodic and pupil dilator. In fact, the name itself (belladonna) comes from the fact that women used to use the plant to increase their pupil size at several points in history, as was considered attractive. Atropine was also used as an anesthetic during surgery in the Middle Ages.
5. Physostigma venenosum, the Calabar Bean: A very toxic plant with a rich history of poisonings and trial-by-fire incidents, the calabar bean also provides us with physostigmine. Physostigmine is a powerful cholinergic agent, and can be used to counteract poisonings by anticholinergics (such as deadly nightshade, mandrake, henbane, and datura plants). Conversely, those plants provide the anticholinergic agent used to treat calabar bean poisoning.
Every single one of these plants is easily fatal in the incorrect dosages, but by discovering the ethnobotanic history of plants (traditional cures), and isolating the active ingredients in plants identified, effective and relatively safe medications can be produced. Over 85% of our modern medications have been derived from plant compounds to some degree, and ethnobotanists have played a huge role in that.
Image: Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade - Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Dr. Otto Willhelm Thome, 1885.

Five Important Plants in Pharmaceuticals (in no particular order):

1. Papaver somniferum, the Opium Poppy: Gives us opiates such as morphine, thebaine, codeine, and heroin. All opiates are powerful analgesics and most derivatives of the poppy also have a strong sedative effect. The smooth muscle in the body is also relaxed by these substances.

2. Digitalis purpurea, Purple Foxglove: Gives us digoxin, one of the most important cardiac glycocides that exist. Causes the heart to beat more slowly and effectively at the correct dosages.

3. Filipendula ulmaria, Meadowsweet: Gives us salicin, and salicylic acid. While salicylic acid in the form of white willow bark powder had been used for centuries as an analgesic, the salacin of meadowsweet caused much less gastric upset, and was mixed with acetyl chloride to create aspirin - the antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory that is still the most common pain relief medication in the majority of the world.

4. Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade: Gives us atropine, a powerful smooth-muscle antispasmodic and pupil dilator. In fact, the name itself (belladonna) comes from the fact that women used to use the plant to increase their pupil size at several points in history, as was considered attractive. Atropine was also used as an anesthetic during surgery in the Middle Ages.

5. Physostigma venenosum, the Calabar Bean: A very toxic plant with a rich history of poisonings and trial-by-fire incidents, the calabar bean also provides us with physostigmine. Physostigmine is a powerful cholinergic agent, and can be used to counteract poisonings by anticholinergics (such as deadly nightshade, mandrake, henbane, and datura plants). Conversely, those plants provide the anticholinergic agent used to treat calabar bean poisoning.

Every single one of these plants is easily fatal in the incorrect dosages, but by discovering the ethnobotanic history of plants (traditional cures), and isolating the active ingredients in plants identified, effective and relatively safe medications can be produced. Over 85% of our modern medications have been derived from plant compounds to some degree, and ethnobotanists have played a huge role in that.

Image: Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade - Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Dr. Otto Willhelm Thome, 1885.
Lathyrus grandiflorus -The Two-Flowered Everlasting Pea
The everlasting pea is a species of the genus Lathyrus (pea plants) that’s indigenous to Great Britain. It doesn’t set down seed well, and is not considered healthy to eat, when it does (much like the sweet pea).
However, despite its difficulty of cultivation in a home garden, everlasting peas are still popular ornamentals, and the seedlings are available at most greenhouses and nurseries throughout Europe. The tendrils that you see at the end of each stem will climb trellises and other plants easily, so it’s inadvisable to plant everlasting peas near any other herbaceous growths.
Flora Conspicua; A Selection of the Most Ornamental Flowering, Hardy, Exotic and Indigenous Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Plants, For Embellishing Flower-Gardens and Pleasure-Grounds. Richard Morris, 1826.

Lathyrus grandiflorus -The Two-Flowered Everlasting Pea

The everlasting pea is a species of the genus Lathyrus (pea plants) that’s indigenous to Great Britain. It doesn’t set down seed well, and is not considered healthy to eat, when it does (much like the sweet pea).

However, despite its difficulty of cultivation in a home garden, everlasting peas are still popular ornamentals, and the seedlings are available at most greenhouses and nurseries throughout Europe. The tendrils that you see at the end of each stem will climb trellises and other plants easily, so it’s inadvisable to plant everlasting peas near any other herbaceous growths.

Flora Conspicua; A Selection of the Most Ornamental Flowering, Hardy, Exotic and Indigenous Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Plants, For Embellishing Flower-Gardens and Pleasure-Grounds. Richard Morris, 1826.

Rafflesia arnoldii - Rafflesia or Corpse Flower (colloquially “stink plant" or "meat plant”)
So, like a lot of people, I already knew the Rafflesia (specifically Rafflesia arnoldii) for its record of being the largest single flower in the world, and because it’s one of the “carrion flowers” that apparently attracts seed-spreaders by its terrible stench. But this thing is way more than just big and smelly - it’s managed to make me actually find it repulsive, and I’m someone who loves “gross” things!
To start, this plant is an obligate parasite, also known as a holoparasite - it has no way to create “real” roots of its own, and grows by sucking the nutrients directly from its host plant. This can be any vine from the Vitaceae family, which are abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the surrounding area, where the Rafflesia live. Coincidentally, some members of the Vitaceae family are opportunistic parasites, themselves.
When a seed from the Rafflesia is deposited near or upon a suitable vine by a tree shrew or other animal (not much is known about seed dispersal yet), it doesn’t grow a taproot upon germination, like most plants. No, this fun flower grows what are known as haustoria - fungus-like probing appendages, that penetrate the host plant, and dig into the thick xylem and phloem of the vine.
The tip of each haustorium narrows as it grows between cells, and widens once it’s entrenched in an area. The parts of the haustoria not working on expanding and lengthening absorb the water and nutrients that are sucked up by the roots of the host vine. This creates an effective river of nutrients flowing up to the Rafflesia flower, which is the only part of the plant that we see. Have you ever noticed that Rafflesia don’t have any leaves? That’s because the organic compounds created by photosynthesis are sucked up through the vine, so the plant doesn’t need any!
I think I would be more settled with this plant if it didn’t effectively create a “zombie vine”. Some botanists have reported coming across old Rafflesia flowers that had so thoroughly entrenched themselves into the host plant, that the host plant didn’t even have any living tissue beyond the entrance point of the haustoria. Vines that once scaled huge trees were killed off, down to about 2-3 feet up the tree, and the haustoria of the Rafflesia had even penetrated the roots of the host. One Filipino naturalist even described it as “effectively killing [the host], but keeping [the host plant] alive enough to parasitise nutrients from … ‘piloting’ the plant from the inside.”
Choix de Plants Rares ou Nouvelles dans le Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg. F.A.W. Miquel, 1864. (via Scientific Illustration, from venusmilk)

Rafflesia arnoldii - Rafflesia or Corpse Flower (colloquially “stink plant" or "meat plant”)

So, like a lot of people, I already knew the Rafflesia (specifically Rafflesia arnoldii) for its record of being the largest single flower in the world, and because it’s one of the “carrion flowers” that apparently attracts seed-spreaders by its terrible stench. But this thing is way more than just big and smelly - it’s managed to make me actually find it repulsive, and I’m someone who loves “gross” things!

To start, this plant is an obligate parasite, also known as a holoparasite - it has no way to create “real” roots of its own, and grows by sucking the nutrients directly from its host plant. This can be any vine from the Vitaceae family, which are abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the surrounding area, where the Rafflesia live. Coincidentally, some members of the Vitaceae family are opportunistic parasites, themselves.

When a seed from the Rafflesia is deposited near or upon a suitable vine by a tree shrew or other animal (not much is known about seed dispersal yet), it doesn’t grow a taproot upon germination, like most plants. No, this fun flower grows what are known as haustoria - fungus-like probing appendages, that penetrate the host plant, and dig into the thick xylem and phloem of the vine.

The tip of each haustorium narrows as it grows between cells, and widens once it’s entrenched in an area. The parts of the haustoria not working on expanding and lengthening absorb the water and nutrients that are sucked up by the roots of the host vine. This creates an effective river of nutrients flowing up to the Rafflesia flower, which is the only part of the plant that we see. Have you ever noticed that Rafflesia don’t have any leaves? That’s because the organic compounds created by photosynthesis are sucked up through the vine, so the plant doesn’t need any!

I think I would be more settled with this plant if it didn’t effectively create a “zombie vine”. Some botanists have reported coming across old Rafflesia flowers that had so thoroughly entrenched themselves into the host plant, that the host plant didn’t even have any living tissue beyond the entrance point of the haustoria. Vines that once scaled huge trees were killed off, down to about 2-3 feet up the tree, and the haustoria of the Rafflesia had even penetrated the roots of the host. One Filipino naturalist even described it as effectively killing [the host], but keeping [the host plant] alive enough to parasitise nutrients from … ‘piloting’ the plant from the inside.”

Choix de Plants Rares ou Nouvelles dans le Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg. F.A.W. Miquel, 1864. (via Scientific Illustration, from venusmilk)

Cirsium lanceolatum [now Cirsium vulgare] - Common Thistle
The common thistle is native to most of Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It’s considered an invasive weed in the United States and Australia, and a “noxious weed” in 9 of the states, meaning there are penalties for intentionally planting it, and active programs to remove what plants they can.
Since the thistle can easily grow in overgrazed fields and bare disturbed ground (such as recently-tilled fields), and is unpalatable to animals, its presence in an area is a bane to local farmers. However, thistle flowers are a favorite of honeybees, and the honey produced is of high quality, even if it’s not the same level as white clover flowers. They’re also a food source for butterflies, goldfinches, linnets, and greenfinches, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Field Book of American Wild Flowers. F. Schuyler Mathews, 1905.

Cirsium lanceolatum [now Cirsium vulgare] - Common Thistle

The common thistle is native to most of Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It’s considered an invasive weed in the United States and Australia, and a “noxious weed” in 9 of the states, meaning there are penalties for intentionally planting it, and active programs to remove what plants they can.

Since the thistle can easily grow in overgrazed fields and bare disturbed ground (such as recently-tilled fields), and is unpalatable to animals, its presence in an area is a bane to local farmers. However, thistle flowers are a favorite of honeybees, and the honey produced is of high quality, even if it’s not the same level as white clover flowers. They’re also a food source for butterflies, goldfinches, linnets, and greenfinches, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Field Book of American Wild Flowers. F. Schuyler Mathews, 1905.

scientificillustration:

The Avocado, Persea americana Miller [as Persea gratissima Gaertner f.]
From: L’Illustration horticole, vol. 36: t. 75 (1889)

Reblogging mostly for the link to the Botanicus source - this book has some of the nicest flower illustrations from the 19th century, and is a great source for anyone wanting good representations of plants. The other volumes of L’Illustration horticole are just as good.

scientificillustration:

The Avocado, Persea americana Miller [as Persea gratissima Gaertner f.]

From: L’Illustration horticole, vol. 36: t. 75 (1889)

Reblogging mostly for the link to the Botanicus source - this book has some of the nicest flower illustrations from the 19th century, and is a great source for anyone wanting good representations of plants. The other volumes of L’Illustration horticole are just as good.

jtotheizzoe:

Christmas Chemistry - The Science of Holly
All about holly, that most poisonous of holiday decor.
(via Scientopia Guests’ Blog)

Seeing as this is a much better illustration than the ones I dug up, AND it has a very interesting article with it, here’s your holly for the season. :D

jtotheizzoe:

Christmas Chemistry - The Science of Holly

All about holly, that most poisonous of holiday decor.

(via Scientopia Guests’ Blog)

Seeing as this is a much better illustration than the ones I dug up, AND it has a very interesting article with it, here’s your holly for the season. :D

stilllifequickheart:

Mrs. Edward Bury
New Zealand Christmas Bell (Parrot Lily)
19th century