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Botany - Flower terms
Category: Animals and Nature > Botany
Date & country: 09/09/2007, USA
Words: 2339


Bluebeard
(Caryopteris) This group consists of about six hardy, small, deciduous shrubs that are natives to China, Mongolia and Japan. Bluebeards, as they are commonly known, are valued for their fragrant foliage and because they bloom in late summer and autumn, the time of year that few shrubs are flowering. Their foliage is a grayish color and they produce different shades of blue flowers among the varieties. C. incana has small leaves and violet-blue flowers in late summer and fall. This shrub is a spr…

Blueblossom
(Ceanothus) This group consists of about 55 evergreen and deciduous creepers, shrubs and small trees that grow wild throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico south to Guatemala. Ceanothus are commonly known as California Lilacs, as many species are native of that state. Most Ceanothus are tender and need a mild climate in which to grow, though there are a few hardy varieties. These beautiful plants are mainly grown for their fluffy clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers. C. arboreus var. Trewith…

Blush Poppy
(Dendromecon) This group consists of two tender, evergreen shrubs that grow wild on the rocky hills of California. These shrubs are commonly known as Blush Poppies or Tree Poppies. D. rigida is a large shrub with stiff, narrow, bloomy leaves and clusters of 2-inch, bright yellow, four-petaled flowers that resemble poppies. The blossoms are produced over a long period in the summer. This shrub is fairly rare, but worth growing in gardens where the climate is warm.…

Bo Tree
(Ficus) House Plants - There are a wide variety of Ficus plants. There are evergreen or leaf losing trees, shrubs and climbing plants. Some are large trees found wild in tropical forests, and several are good for outdoor cultivation in southern Florida and southern California. A milky sap (latex), which soon coagulates, seeps from different kinds of Ficus when injured. At one time, the latex of one or two kinds had a market value as rubber. Ficus is the Latin name for the Fig tree, which …

Bog Arum
(Calla) C. palustris, the Bog Arum, Water Arum or Wild Calla, is a hardy perennial native to North America, northern Asia and Europe. This plant grows near the water's edge where it grows from a rhizome that creeps along the surface of the soil. The Bog Arum grows from 6 to 12 inches high and from 6 to 12 inches wide. Its leaves are glossy, heart-shaped and leathery. During the summer, flowers growing 2 inches in length, are produced. These consist of a spadix, clothed with tiny, yellow flowers,…

Bog Mint
(Mentha) This is a large group of well-known perennial herbs, which are widely spread over the temperate parts of the world. Mentha includes the Apple Mint, Curly Mint, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Pineapple Mint, Spearmint and Water or Bog Mint. Following are descriptions of each variety.…

Bog Rosemary
(Andromeda) These hardy, evergreen shrubs are found wild in peat bogs in the Northern and Arctic regions. A. polifolia (Bog Rosemary) is a small, attractive shrub that grows up to a foot high, rarely larger. Its slender stems are covered with narrow, glaucous-green leaves that are smooth and white underneath. In late spring and early summer, terminal clusters of drooping, pink, bell-shaped flowers are produced.…

Bog Violet
(Pinguicula) These hardy and tender perennials, commonly known as Bog Violets or Butterworts, are natives of the Northern Hemisphere and the Andes of America to the Antarctic regions. The name Pinguicula is derived from pinguis, fat, and refers to the greasy feel of the plants, thus the common name Butterwort. Butterworts are all bog plants and insectivorous. Tiny glands on the surface of the leaves secrete droplets of sticky fluid, which captures insects. Their struggling stimulates even…

Bogbean
(Menyanthes) M. trifoliata is a hardy aquatic plant that is native to the bogs of North America. The Bogbean, as it is commonly called, has spongy, trailing roots, from which grow smooth, green, partially prostrate stems. These stems are clothed with olive-green leaves consisting of three leaflets. Roots grow along the length of the stem and sink into the soil. In mid-spring, long stems, 10 to 16 inches in length, are topped with small, white, fringed flowers. This plant doesn't flower well, if …

Bois D'Arc
(Maclura) Maclura is the botanical name for a medium sized, spiny tree called the Osage Orange. This tree can grow up to 60 feet in height and was originally found growing from Arkansas to Texas. This tree is mainly grown for interest as it isn't a particularly beautiful tree. It grows well in other parts of the country besides its native range. It is valued as a hedge plant and as a tree for windbreaks and poor soil. The leaves are simple and alternately arranged on the twigs. They are ovate wi…

Boneset
(Eupatorium) These hardy and frost tender perennials and shrubs are found in North and South America, Europe and Asia and are grown mainly for their flowers, though some are valued for their ornamental foliage. The name commemorates Mithridates Eupator, King of Pontus, who is credited with discovering that one of the varieties could be used as a remedy for poison. E. purpureum (Joe Pye Weed) is a vigorous growing perennial that can reach a height of 7 feet. Its coarse, finely toothed, mid-green …

Boston Fern
(Nephrolepis) These are Ferns that are found wild in many tropical areas, including Africa, America, Malaya and the West Indies. Nephrolepis is a small group, but contains many beautiful kinds that are well adapted for growing in pots in the greenhouse or home. The most popular are the varieties of N. exaltata, a plant that grows wild from Florida southward into Brazil and in Africa and eastern Asia. This Fern produces fronds, 3-5 feet in length and 2-6 inches wide. They have stiff midribs that …

Bottle Gourd
(Lagenaria) This Gourd, as all other Gourds, belong to the Cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae. Unlike their edible relatives such as Melons, Squashes, Cucumbers and Pumpkins, Gourds are mainly grown for ornament. All are tendril-bearing vines that will sprawl if not supported. L. siceraria is commonly known as the Bottle Gourd. Other popular names include Calabash and White-flowered Gourd. This musky-scented, tender perennial is a native of South America and can reach a height of 30 feet. The sticky…

Bottle Tree
(Brachychiton) These tender, succulent trees are natives of Australia. Several varieties of this group have become popular landscape trees in mild climates. The leaves of these plants vary from thin and finger-like to large and slightly lobed. Commonly known as Bottle Trees, all these plants form a fairly thickened trunk. B. rupestris can be grown in a windowsill, greenhouse, or in a container outdoors, as well as a landscaping plant. In the wild, this variety forms a tree up to 26 feet high wit…

Bottlebrush
(Callistemon) This group consists of tender, evergreen shrubs and small trees that are natives of Tasmania and Australia. Commonly known as Bottlebrushes, these attractive plants produce spikes of colorful flowers, of which the most conspicuous parts are the tufts of long stamens. These flower spikes resemble bottlebrushes, thus the common name. A. citrinus Splendens is a small tree or medium-sized shrub that produces thick spikes of scarlet flowers. Its slender, leathery leaves give off a lemon…

Bow-Wood
(Maclura) Maclura is the botanical name for a medium sized, spiny tree called the Osage Orange. This tree can grow up to 60 feet in height and was originally found growing from Arkansas to Texas. This tree is mainly grown for interest as it isn't a particularly beautiful tree. It grows well in other parts of the country besides its native range. It is valued as a hedge plant and as a tree for windbreaks and poor soil. The leaves are simple and alternately arranged on the twigs. They are ovate wi…

Bower Actinidia
(Actinidia) This group consists of about 30 species of hardy and tender, deciduous, climbing plants that are natives of eastern Asia. These plants are great for growing on trellises, along fences, covering walls, or tall stumps. They are grown for their beauty as well as their fruits and are commonly known as Kiwi or Chinese Gooseberry. A. chinensis (also known as A. deliciosa) is a tender, large vine that can reach a height of 28 feet. Its shoots are thickly covered with reddish hairs and…

Bowles' Golden Sedge
(Carex) Carex is a group of Sedges that are grown for decoration. Sedges can grow in sun or partial shade. Many grow naturally in water, though most will grow well in moist, well-drained, somewhat fertile soil. These perennials are found in tropical and temperate countries. C. hachijoensis var. Evergold forms thick tufts of grass-like, dark green leaves that are striped with yellow. The tiny, dark brown flowers are produced in small clusters terminating sturdy stems, in mid- to late spring. This…

Box Elder
(Acer) These are hardy, ornamental trees that vary in height. The dwarf, Japanese Maples are only 2-3 feet high and some of the North American kinds may grow 100 or more feet. These trees are natives of various parts of Europe, North America and Asia. The word acer, is the Latin name for Maple. The Maples that are commonly grown are deciduous (leaf losing) and most are hardy in the North. Most Maples have clusters of small, greenish-white or yellow flowers; in some kinds, they are r…

Boxwood
(Buxus) This group consists of about thirty hardy and tender, evergreen shrubs and small trees. Buxus, commonly known as Boxwoods, are natives of Europe and Asia. Because of their neat appearance, Boxwoods are highly valued for growing as hedges, for bordering paths and beds, and for clipping for topiary work. Boxwoods produce male and female flowers on the same plant, though they are not of any great beauty since they are small and drab. The leaves are leathery and arranged opposite each other …

Brachychiton
(Bottle Tree, Flame Tree, Kurrajong) These tender, succulent trees are natives of Australia. Several varieties of this group have become popular landscape trees in mild climates. The leaves of these plants vary from thin and finger-like to large and slightly lobed. Commonly known as Bottle Trees, all these plants form a fairly thickened trunk. B. rupestris can be grown in a windowsill, greenhouse, or in a container outdoors, as well as a landscaping plant. In the wild, this variety forms a tree …

Brachycome
(Swan River Daisy) This is a beautiful annual from Australia, which belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. It grows about a foot high. The leaves are bright green, delicate and feathery looking, much like a fern. The flowers resemble daisies, are the size of a nickel and may be blue, rose, white or mauve. The centers are black, or nearly so. These are produced during the summer. Brachycome are pretty plants for edging, rock gardens and pots in the greenhouse.…

Brachysema
These are climbing, shrubby plants native to Australia. They may be grown outside in California and other mild climates, or in greenhouses elsewhere. Their long, trailing shoots are covered with oval, evergreen leaves. They produce clusters of pea-shaped flowers that are scarlet, violet or white in March and April.…

Brandy Bottle
(Nuphar) These hardy, aquatic perennials are natives of Japan, Europe and North America. These floating plants have several popular names; they are called Spatterdock, Brandy Bottle, Yellow Pond Lily and Yellow Cow Lily. Spatterdocks produce large leaves growing 141/2' by10'. With a spread of up to 8 feet, these plants are mainly used in large water gardens. The flowers, in comparison with the leaves, are rather small; they are 2 to 21/2 inches, yellow and cup shaped. The flowers never seem like…

Brassica
(Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Colza, Hanover Salad, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Rutabaga, Turnip) This is a group of plants belonging to the Mustard family, Cruciferae. It includes vegetables that are commonly grown and known as Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, Rape, Rutabaga and Turnip. Many can be grown for their ornamental leaves.…

Bravoa
(Scarlet Twin Flower) These are half-hardy, deciduous (leaf losing) bulbs, native of Mexico. From the long, slender leaves grows a stem, 2 feet long, from which loose bunches of orange-red flowers are produced in July.…

Breadfruit Tree
(Artocarpus) These are tropical trees that grow wild in India and Malaya. In the U.S. they must be grown in a warm greenhouse except in southern Florida, where they may be planted outside. The stems of these plants contain a milky juice. These are handsome plants when grown in large pots or tubs in a greenhouse that has a minimum temperature of 60 degrees. The main kind is A. communis, which can grow about 40 feet high and has giant, deeply lobed leaves. Egg-shaped fruits that are about 6 inches…

Brevoortia
(Floral Fire Cracker) This is a Californian, bulbous plant that belongs to the Lily family. Brevoortia will grow 1½ to 3 feet tall. It bears umbels of tubular, long-lasting flowers that are scarlet with green tips. This plant can grow outdoors in mild climates. It doesn`t do well in most eastern American gardens.…

Breynia
(Snowbush) This is a small tree or shrub that is native to the South Sea Islands. This plant can be grown in greenhouses and in Florida and California, outside. B. nivosa is prized for its decorative foliage, which is white and green. Its variety, atropurpurea has dark purple leaves and the variety, roseo-picta, has pink and red colors on its leaves.…

Bristly Sarsaparilla
(Aralia) This group consists of hardy trees, deciduous shrubs, perennials and a few climbers that are natives of North America, Japan, China and Korea. They are mainly grown for their handsome foliage. A. elata (Japanese Angelica Tree) is often seen growing as a large shrub, but sometimes grows to a small tree. The spiny stems are covered with huge, doubly pinnate leaves, which mainly grow at the ends of stems. They usually turn pretty colors in the autumn. In late summer, panicles of white flow…

British Myrrh
(Myrrhis) Common names for M. odorata include Sweet Cicely, British Myrrh and Sweet Chervil. This lovely perennial has fernlike foliage and produces many bunches of white flowers atop 2- to 3-foot, hollow stems. The flowers and leaves smell and taste like Anise. This plant grows wild in many parts of Europe.…

Broad Bean
(Vicia) This is a large group of hardy perennials and annuals. These plants are not ornamental, therefore, none are really grown in gardens. Most Vicias have thin stems covered with pinnate leaves terminated by a pair of tendrils. Clusters of small, pea shaped flowers grow in the axils of the leaves. V. argentea has silvery leaves. Vicia belongs to the Pea family, Leguminosae. V. Faba is the Broad or Fava Bean. Broad bean plants grow upright, up to 5 feet, on thick, succulent stems. The pods hav…

Broad Beech Fern
(Dryopteris) This is a large group of ferns, which are all pretty easy to cultivate, whether they are hardy or tender. D. Filix-mas (the Male fern) has fronds up to 2 feet long and a foot wide. They are great for placing in open woodland or for shady spots. D. erythrosora, a native of Japan, grows fronds up to 18 inches long. It makes a very lovely houseplant. D. Linnaeana (the Oak Fern) has broad fronds, 6 to 10 inches long.…

Broadleaf Euonymus
(Euonymus) This group consists of 170 evergreen and deciduous shrubs, small trees, creepers and climbers. Euonymus (Spindletree) are found wild throughout North and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. These plants make great hedges, edging, and ground covers. The deciduous varieties are valued for their vividly colored fruits and gorgeous autumn colors. The evergreen types are valued for their handsome foliage, which is usually multicolored, as well as their tolerance to the sa…

Bromelia
Native to tropical America, this plant has stiff, pineapple-like leaves that grow directly from the ground and overlap to form a tube. A flower spike grows from inside the tube and is made up of brightly colored flowers and bracts. A minimum winter temperature of 60 degrees is needed.…

Broom
(Cytisus) This group consists of about fifty deciduous and evergreen, hardy and tender shrubs that are natives of Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. Commonly known as Brooms, these shrubs come in a wide variety of sizes and forms ranging from prostrate mats to erect-growing shrubs. Their whip-like branches have few leaves and the branchlets are deep green. They produce pea-like flowers that are usually colored yellow. Brooms are suitable for growing in the rock garden, sunny border, and law…

Broussonetia
(Paper Mulberry) These tall shrubs or small trees are natives to Northeastern Asia. Commonly known as Paper Mulberry, these plants have no relation to the true Mulberry tree (Morus), which produces edible berries. Paper Mulberry trees are vigorous-growing plants that can reach a height of 25 to 40 feet with a spread to match. These dense, round plants are good shade trees and they grow well in cities. The rough leaves are usually heart-shaped or lobed, but a variety of shapes are produced and th…

Browallia
(Bush Violet) These are tender annual or perennial plants native of South America. They have straight stems, 1 to 2½ feet high. In the summer and early winter, small, terminal clusters of flowers that range in color from pale blue to violet, grow from the stems. In the summer, they can be grown outdoors and taken into a 45- to 50-degree greenhouse in the winter.…

Brown-Eyed Susan
(Rudbeckia) This group of hardy, herbaceous perennials and annuals come from North America and belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. They form neat clusters, 1 to 3 feet high. The oval to elliptic shaped leaves are mostly basal and grow 3 to 6 inches long. The single or double flowers are 2 to 6 inches across and are colored yellow and sometimes brightly bicolored reddish-brown. Pulling off the dead flowers will increase the blooms. Rudbeckias are commonly known as the Black- or Brown-eyed Sus…

Brownea
The tropical plants are native to South America. They are related to the Pea family, Leguminosae. In their native land, Browneas can grow 20-40 feet high. They have evergreen, pinnate leaves and large, terminal heads of bright pink or scarlet flowers. They may be grown outdoors in southern Florida.…

Bruckenthalia
(Spike Heath) This group consists of only one, evergreen bush that is native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor. B. spiculifolia, Spike Heath, is a dwarf, heath-like plant that grows up to 10 inches high. This dwarf shrub is suitable for growing in rock gardens and borders. It has dark green foliage and produces terminal clusters of rose-pink, bell-shaped flowers, in early summer.…

Brunfelsia
(Lady-Of-The-Night) These are evergreen, flowering shrubs found in tropical America. They are grown outside in southern Florida and California. They can be grown inside greenhouses where outdoor climates aren't suitable. They need a greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 55 degrees. These plants grow 2 to 8 feet in height, have woody stems and big, oval to oblong leaves. Their flowers, which grow in clusters, are large and purple or cream in color.…

Brunnera
This clump-forming perennial is commonly called the Forget-me-not Anchusa. It is a native of the Caucasus and Siberia. B. macrophylla variety 'Dawson's White' is a pretty plant growing up to 18 inches high and spreading 24 inches. Its heart-shaped, green leaves are unevenly edged with creamy-white. Its small flowers are produced in panicles in the spring. They are bright blue and resemble those of the Forget-me-not. This plant is a good ground cover.…

Brunsvigia
(Candelabra Flower) These tender bulbs are natives of South Africa. Their funnel-shaped flowers are brilliantly colored. They may be scarlet, red, or pale red. They are produced in the summer in large bunches terminating the thick, 2- to 2½-foot stalks. Their leaves are fleshy, and strap-shaped, averaging 2 feet in length.…

Bryophyllum
These are tender, succulent plants that have stiff, straight, rounded stems ranging in height from 3 to 10 feet. They are clothed with fleshy, green, ovate, oblong or lance-shaped leaves with wavy margins. Their flowers are greenish-white or red and they daintily hang from atop the stems. These plants are natives of Asia and tropical and South Africa. The flowers are usually not very conspicuous, as these plants are mainly cultivated for their foliage. B. Daigremontianum has maroon speckled leav…

Buckeye
(Aesculus) These trees are natives of North America, Europe and Asia and are commonly known as Buckeyes and Horse Chestnuts. These beautiful trees are suitable for planting along roads, in parks and gardens, and near the sea. A. Hippocastanum (Common Horse Chestnut) is a handsome tree that grows from 40 to 60 feet high. It has palmate leaves consisting of 7, oblong leaflets, which are 4 to 6 inches long. They have pointed bases broadening toward the end and toothed edges. In the spring, it produ…

Buddhist Bauhinia
(Bauhinia) These beautiful, tender trees and shrubs are natives of India, Malaya, China and tropical Africa. These plants are popular in warm regions for their gorgeous, Orchid-like blossoms. The flowers are 2 to 3 inches across, may be white, pink or purple, and are borne in the winter and early spring; they are followed by 6- to 8-inch, flat, brown seedpods. The young foliage and blossoms are stewed and eaten as vegetables in their native countries. B. monandra, commonly known as Butterfly Flo…

Buddleia
(Butterfly Bush, Orange Ball Tree, South African Sage Wood, Weeping Willow Buddleia) This group consists of about one hundred evergreen and deciduous, hardy and tender, flowering shrubs. They are originally from Asia, South Africa, North and South America. They are excellent plants for the garden and most blossom from mid-summer to early autumn. Their beauty is best seen when grown in a shrub or mixed border, rather than by themselves. Buddleias, commonly known as Butterfly Bushes, are valued ma…

Bugleweed
(Ajuga) These perennials and annuals are natives of Europe and form rosettes of colorful foliage. The commonly cultivated kinds are perennials. A. reptans atropurpurea has oblong to spoon-shaped, dark bronze-purple leaves. Its small, two-lipped flowers are tubular and borne in short, whorled spikes in the spring; they are colored blue, occasionally pink or white. It grows up to 6 inches high and spreads up to 3 feet. A. reptans multicolor has spoon-shaped leaves colored dark green marked w…

Bugloss
(Anchusa) These are hardy perennial and annual plants. Their height ranges from 11/2 to 5 feet. They produce clusters of flowers that come in white and many different shades of blue in the spring and early summer. They are found wild mainly in European countries and Africa. Bees are greatly attracted to the flowers.…

Buglossoides
This perennial is found wild from western Europe to Iran, usually on limestone. Buglossoides grows up to 2 feet high and wide. It has lance-shaped, green leaves and small, funnel-shaped flowers with 5 lobes. The flowers are produced in terminal clusters in early spring and early summer. They are red-purple when they first open, but gradually turn to a deep blue. It is a lovely plant to raise in a border or woodland garden. It is a vigorous grower with a dainty appearance that looks well with sma…

Bull Bay
(Magnolia) These evergreen and deciduous (leaf-losing) trees and shrubs have beautiful, large flowers. Some kinds bloom very early in the spring before the leaves, some bloom later in the spring and still others during the summer and early fall. Some kinds produce pretty fruits, which are usually shaped like a cone and brightly colored. When the seeds are ripe, they are expelled from the fruit, but are held for a few days by short silky strands before falling to the ground. The hardy kinds grow …

Bulrush
(Scirpus) Scirpus, also known as Bulrush and Club Grass, is a group of decorative hardy and frost-tender Sedges. S. lacustris var. tabernaemontani 'Zebrinus', Zebra Rush, is a hardy kind that forms tufts of almost leafless stems banded horizontally with white. The tiny, reddish-brown flowers are produced in spikelets, in the summer. This plant grows up to 5 feet high. S. cyperinus, Woolgrass Bulrush, grows 3 to 5 feet high and produces an umbel of spikelets atop slender stems. The spikelets turn…

Bunnies' Ears
(Stachys) This group consists of about 300 species of mostly hardy perennials, which belong to the Mint family, Labiatae. These plants are widely distributed throughout Europe and other north temperate regions and several are found wild in North America.Some are valued for their attractive foliage, while others are appreciated for their spikes of pretty flowers. Their common names include: Betony, Bunnies' Ears, Hedge Nettle, Lamb's Ears, Lamb's tongue, and Woundwort. One, S. Sieboldii (C…

Bunny Ears
(Opuntia) Opuntia is the largest group of Cacti with over 360 species ranging from Canada to Chile and Argentina. This group also includes several edible kinds. These plants are commonly known as Bunny Ears, Cholla, Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig, Tuna and Indian Fig. Opuntia is usually separated into two groups. The first group is Platyopuntia; those belonging to this group have round flattened joints, called pads. They are commonly known as Prickly Pears because they produce the spiny, usually edib…

Bunya Bunya Pine Of Queensland
(Araucaria) These evergreen trees are natives of Australia, South America, New Guinea, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island. A. araucana (Monkey Puzzle Tree or Chilean Pine) is native of southern Chile and Tierra del Fuego. In the U.S., it is hardy in mild climates and on the Pacific Coast, though it does better in cooler, coastal regions. In Great Britain and the milder climates of Europe it is a common sight in the landscape. The Monkey Puzzle Tree has spidery branches, which are entirely surround…

Buphthalmum
These hardy perennials are found wild in central Europe and Asia. They have erect growth and may reach a height of 2 feet with a width of 3 feet or more. Their medium green leaves are lance-shaped to linear-lance-shaped and they may be toothed or whole. The name of this plant is taken from the Greek bous, an ox, and ophthalmos, an eye, and refers to the central disc of the flower; thus the common name for this plant, Ox-Eye. The flowers resemble Daisies; they are yellow, with thin,…

Bupleurum
This group consists of about seventy-five annuals, perennials or shrubs found wild in Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa. B. fruticosum, however, is the only one normally cultivated. B. fruticosum, commonly known as Hare's Ear, is an evergreen, medium-sized shrub that is suitable for growing near the sea. Hare's Ear grows 5 to 6 feet high and has grayish-green leaves. From early to late summer, clusters of tiny, yellow flowers are borne. This shrub is mainly grown for its attractive f…

Bur Gourd
(Cucumis) Cucumis is a large group comprised of Melons and Cucumbers. They are climbing plants found wild in Asia. Just below are some descriptions of the Cucumber family (cucurbitaceae); following will be descriptions of Melons…

Bur Marigold
(Bidens) This group consists of hardy perennials and annuals, commonly called Bur Marigolds. These plants belong to the Daisy family, Compositae, and are found wild in southern U.S., Mexico and Guatemala. They grow from 1 to 3 feet high, with a 12 inch or so spread. B. ferulifolia is a perennial that forms clumps of divided, fern-like, green leaves. The starry, golden yellow flowers are 11/2 inches across. They are produced abundantly from mid-spring to the first frost.…

Burchellia
This is a tender shrub native to South Africa. It will grow about 4 feet tall and produce thick bunches of scarlet flowers that resemble little bells in the spring. Its leaves grow opposite each other and have short leafstalks. This plant can be planted outdoors in mild climates such as that of California, or in greenhouses, elsewhere.…

Burdock
(Arctium) This European biennial is commonly known as the Great Burdock or Gobo. It has large, rough foliage and grows quite large. It is grown mainly for its long, light brown root and is commonly cultivated in the Orient. Burdock takes up a lot of space, much more than Rhubarb, and may become a weed if not controlled.…

Burnet
(Poterium) Burnet is a hardy perennial that will grow about 12 inches high. It has many elegantly arching stems covered with small, toothed, opposite leaflets. The small, pink tufts of flowers aren't noticeable. Burnet is usually used as an edging in gardens or planted in groups in containers. It can be used in salads and to make a cucumber-flavored vinegar.…

Burning Bush
(Euonymus) This group consists of 170 evergreen and deciduous shrubs, small trees, creepers and climbers. Euonymus (Spindletree) are found wild throughout North and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. These plants make great hedges, edging, and ground covers. The deciduous varieties are valued for their vividly colored fruits and gorgeous autumn colors. The evergreen types are valued for their handsome foliage, which is usually multicolored, as well as their tolerance to the sa…

Burnng Bush
(Euonymus) This group consists of 170 evergreen and deciduous shrubs, small trees, creepers and climbers. Euonymus (Spindletree) are found wild throughout North and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. These plants make great hedges, edging, and ground covers. The deciduous varieties are valued for their vividly colored fruits and gorgeous autumn colors. The evergreen types are valued for their handsome foliage, which is usually multicolored, as well as their tolerance to the sa…

Bush Honeysuckle
(Diervilla) This group consists of three small, hardy, deciduous shrubs native to North America. Commonly known as Bush Honeysuckle, these small shrubs belong to the Honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, and produce yellow, two-lipped flowers. D. sessilifolia (Southern Bush Honeysuckle) is a small shrub covered with slender, pointed leaves that have a coppery tinge when young. Its yellow flowers are produced in short panicles from early to late summer.…

Bush Morning Glory
(Ipomoea) These perennial or annual climbing plants come from North America, Asia, South Africa and the West Indies and have several common names, one of which is Morning Glory. This group includes the Sweet Potato, I. Batatas. Most of these plants, however, are grown for their pretty flowers. The twining, climbers grow from 10 to 30 feet high and the bushy Morning Glory forms a mound, 3 to 4 feet high. The leaves are green or variegated silvery white, ovate or heart-shaped and up to 6 inches ac…

Bush Violet
(Browallia) These are tender annual or perennial plants native of South America. They have straight stems, 1 to 2½ feet high. In the summer and early winter, small, terminal clusters of flowers that range in color from pale blue to violet, grow from the stems. In the summer, they can be grown outdoors and taken into a 45- to 50-degree greenhouse in the winter.…

Busy Lizzie
(Impatiens) These are hardy and tender annual and perennial herbs from Asia, North America, and South Africa. The name of these plants refers to the elasticity of the valves of the seedpods, which discharge the seeds when ripe. They are sometimes known as Touch-me-nots. These plants have thick stems and light green leaves. Their flowers come in a wide range of colors including rose, rose-red, rose-purple, white, pink, and salmon. A minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees is required. A beautifu…

Butomus
(Flowering Rush) This aquatic perennial is a native to Europe and Asia. The Flowering Rush, as it is commonly called, grows up to 3 feet high and has long and narrow, dark green, pointy leaves. From June to August, very long stems rise above the foliage and produce large umbels of rose-colored flowers.…

Butter And Eggs
(Linaria) Linaria (Toadflax) is a large group of annuals, biennials and perennials belonging to the Snapdragon family, Scrophulariaceae. Toadflaxes are useful for growing in the flower border, the rock and wall garden, for growing in the crevices of flagged or paved paths, and for cutting. Some varieties can even be cultivated in a greenhouse. L. triornithophora (Three Birds Toadflax) is an erect-growing perennial from 2 to 3 feet in height. It grows wild in the scrub and hedgerows of Spain and …

Butterfly Bush
(Buddleia) This group consists of about one hundred evergreen and deciduous, hardy and tender, flowering shrubs. They are originally from Asia, South Africa, North and South America. They are excellent plants for the garden and most blossom from mid-summer to early autumn. Their beauty is best seen when grown in a shrub or mixed border, rather than by themselves. Buddleias, commonly known as Butterfly Bushes, are valued mainly for their clusters of beautiful, fragrant, tubular-shaped flowers. Th…

Butterfly Flower
(Bauhinia) These beautiful, tender trees and shrubs are natives of India, Malaya, China and tropical Africa. These plants are popular in warm regions for their gorgeous, Orchid-like blossoms. The flowers are 2 to 3 inches across, may be white, pink or purple, and are borne in the winter and early spring; they are followed by 6- to 8-inch, flat, brown seedpods. The young foliage and blossoms are stewed and eaten as vegetables in their native countries. B. monandra, commonly known as Butterfly Flo…

Butterfly Pea
(Clitoria) These are tender climbing shrubs or herbaceous plants. The tender kinds may be grown outdoors in the South and in the greenhouse. The slender, twining vines may grow 10 to 20 feet in height. The leaves are made of 5 to 7 leaflets, each growing up to 4 inches long. The flowers resemble peas and may be sea blue or white. These are quick covers for lattice, trellis, arbor and chain-link fence.…

Butterfly Weed
(Asclepias) Most of these perennials are from North America, but at least one is from South Africa and one is found in tropical America. Nearly all of these erect plants grow 2 or 3 feet high, but one, A. physocarpa (also known as Gomphocarpus physocarpus and commonly known as the Swan Plant), grows up to 6 feet high with a spread of 2 feet. This plant has lance-shaped, medium green, hairy leaves. During the summer, umbels of creamy or greenish-white flowers are produced; these are followed by i…

Butterhead Lettuce
(Lactuca) This is a large group of hardy annuals and perennials found wild in various parts of Europe. They are very popular salad plants commonly known as Lettuce. The most commonly grown kinds of Lettuce are derived from L. sativa. These varieties fall into 4 classes, based on their shape and growth. Minor's Lettuce is a different species (see Montia perfoliata), but is also used as a salad green or potherb.…

Butternut
(Juglans) These deciduous trees are found wild from southeast Europe to the Himalayas, through China to Manchuria and Japan, and in North and South America. Most of them are hardy. Various species of Juglans are commonly known as Walnut trees. These trees are grown for their beauty, some for their timber and some for their edible nuts. The leaves, sap and husks will definitely stain anything with which it comes in contact. Walnuts are monoecious, that is, male and female flowers are produced on …

Butterwort
(Pinguicula) These hardy and tender perennials, commonly known as Bog Violets or Butterworts, are natives of the Northern Hemisphere and the Andes of America to the Antarctic regions. The name Pinguicula is derived from pinguis, fat, and refers to the greasy feel of the plants, thus the common name Butterwort. Butterworts are all bog plants and insectivorous. Tiny glands on the surface of the leaves secrete droplets of sticky fluid, which captures insects. Their struggling stimulates even…

Button Cactus
(Epithelantha) The succulents in this group are slow growing, dwarf cacti. They are natives of the western U.S. and Mexico and are found growing in shallow soil on rocky hillsides. E. micromeris (Button Cactus) is a tiny, globular species that will reach a height of only 4 inches and make clusters up to 51/2 inches wide. Its pale green body is covered with small, white spines. The Button Cactus will flower when it is only 3/4-inch high. From early spring to mid-summer, tiny, white to pale pink f…

Buttonbush
(Cephalanthus) This group consists of about six evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs from North and Central America, Africa, and eastern Asia. C. occidentalis, the Buttonbush, is a medium-sized, deciduous shrub that is easily, but rarely, grown. The Buttonbush is covered with ovate-shaped leaves that grow from 2 to 6 inches long. Its creamy white, fragrantflowers are borne in small, round heads, in late summer.…

Buxus
(Boxwood) This group consists of about thirty hardy and tender, evergreen shrubs and small trees. Buxus, commonly known as Boxwoods, are natives of Europe and Asia. Because of their neat appearance, Boxwoods are highly valued for growing as hedges, for bordering paths and beds, and for clipping for topiary work. Boxwoods produce male and female flowers on the same plant, though they are not of any great beauty since they are small and drab. The leaves are leathery and arranged opposite each othe…

Cabomba
(Fish Grass, Washington Plant, Water Shield) Cabomba Caroliniana, also called Fish Grass, Washington Plant and Water Shield, is an aquatic plant that is found from southern Illinois to Texas and Florida. The submerged, hair-like leaves of this plant are bright green, fan-shaped and coarsely segmented up to 11/2 inched in diameter. The floating leaves are linear, but not hair-like, with pointed tips up to 2 centimeters in length. This plant produces small white flowers with yellow centers that fl…

Caesalpinia
This large group of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and vines are natives to tropical and subtropical countries, especially South America. They can be grown outdoors in mild climates only. They need plenty of room for their roots to grow, therefore, they aren't suitable for growing in containers. These plants have pretty flowers and attractive, bipinnate leaves. C. japonica forms a large shrub that is equipped with formidable spines and clothed with bright green, pinnate leaves. In mid-sum…

Calabash
(Lagenaria) This Gourd, as all other Gourds, belong to the Cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae. Unlike their edible relatives such as Melons, Squashes, Cucumbers and Pumpkins, Gourds are mainly grown for ornament. All are tendril-bearing vines that will sprawl if not supported. L. siceraria is commonly known as the Bottle Gourd. Other popular names include Calabash and White-flowered Gourd. This musky-scented, tender perennial is a native of South America and can reach a height of 30 feet. The sticky…

Caladium
These tropical plants are native to South America and are grown for their beautiful foliage. The size of the heart-shaped leaves may vary from 6 inches to 2 feet in length. The colors vary from green and white, green and red, white with red blotches or green veins and some have lavender spots. They like a warm and moist atmosphere with a minimum summer temperature of 75 degrees and a minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees. There are several pictures below in the varieties section.…

Calamint
(Satureja) These annual and perennial herbs are originally from southern Europe. S. hortensis and S. montana (Summer Savory & Winter Savory, respectively) arevalued for decoration and for flavoring. Winter Savory is a spreading, woody, hardy perennial that grows from 6 to 10 inches high and 2 feet wide when grown in hot climates in full sun. This pretty landscape plant produces loose whorls of lavender, pink, or white flowers. Most of the stems grow from the center and these are covered with…

Calathea
(Cathedral Windows, Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant) These tropical plants, also called Zebra Plants, are natives to Brazil and tropical America. They have insignificant flowers, but their leaves are very attractive and large. Their height may range from 6 inches to 3 feet tall. The foliage varies in color; some have rose, yellow, olive or white leaves. A minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees is required. C. insignis has wavy-edged leaves that grow up to 18 inches long. The top of the leaf is pale…

Calceolaria
(Calceolarias) This huge group consists of shrubs and herbaceous (soft-stemmed) perennials. Several of these plants are popular greenhouse plants. They are natives of Chile and Peru. Calceolarias vary in height from 6 inches to 3 feet. The flowers are shaped like little slippers and are mostly yellow colored, except those belonging to the herbaceous type which show a wide variety of colors. Plants have been produced that bear flowers with rose, apricot, terra cotta, yellow and brown colors. Some…

Calceolarias
(Calceolaria, Pocketbook Plant) This huge group consists of shrubs and herbaceous (soft-stemmed) perennials. Several of these plants are popular greenhouse plants. They are natives of Chile and Peru. Calceolarias vary in height from 6 inches to 3 feet. The flowers are shaped like little slippers and are mostly yellow colored, except those belonging to the herbaceous type which show a wide variety of colors. Plants have been produced that bear flowers with rose, apricot, terra cotta, yellow and b…

Calendula
(Marigold, Pot) These are lovely, annual plants native to southern Europe. They grow 1½ to 2½ feet high. Their branching stems are covered with simple, alternate leaves and they produce large flowers in different hues of yellow and orange in the summer. These plants are easy to grow. The main kind is C. officinalis (the Common Pot Marigold), it has light green leaves and short stems bearing single or double, orange, yellow, cream, or white flowers that are 2-3 inches across. These plants are val…

Calico Flower
(Aristolochia) This group consists of hardy and tender, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, climbing plants, and herbaceous plants, which are mainly from warmer climates. The hardy kinds grow wild in California and other areas in the south. Those that are from Brazil, Guatemala, West Africa and other tropical countries can be cultivated in a greenhouse. Some have huge flowers and some are grown for their ornamental foliage. Some of these plants give off a rather foul odor as a way to attract the ins…

Calico Hearts
(Adromischus) This group consists of about fifty succulent plants, which are natives of South Africa. They are mainly grown for their fleshy, ornamental foliage, which comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. While some varieties grow from 4 to 6 inches high, most of these plants form small clumps. The small flowers grow atop single stems and vary in color from white to red. A. cooperi (Plover Eggs) has 11/4 to 11/2-inch long, purple-blotched leaves that are round flattening out to a blun…

California Geranium
(Senecio) This is a large group of hardy and tender annuals and perennials that may have shrubby, herbaceous, or climbing growth. Senecios are found wild in almost every country, especially in southern Europe; others are found in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, the United States and Mexico. They vary in size and shape, particularly their foliage, but almost all have yellow or purple flowers, which resemble daisies and grow up to 3 inches across. They grow in thick trusses ove…

California Lilac
(Ceanothus) This group consists of about 55 evergreen and deciduous creepers, shrubs and small trees that grow wild throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico south to Guatemala. Ceanothus are commonly known as California Lilacs, as many species are native of that state. Most Ceanothus are tender and need a mild climate in which to grow, though there are a few hardy varieties. These beautiful plants are mainly grown for their fluffy clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers. C. arboreus var. Trewith…

Calla
(Bog Arum, Water Arum, Wild Calla) C. palustris, the Bog Arum, Water Arum or Wild Calla, is a hardy perennial native to North America, northern Asia and Europe. This plant grows near the water's edge where it grows from a rhizome that creeps along the surface of the soil. The Bog Arum grows from 6 to 12 inches high and from 6 to 12 inches wide. Its leaves are glossy, heart-shaped and leathery. During the summer, flowers growing 2 inches in length, are produced. These consist of a spadix, clothed…

Callisia
(Striped Inch Plant, Wandering Jew) These plants are natives of Mexico. Callisia elegans is a low growing plant that has olive-green, velvety, leaves that are striped on top and have white and purple underneath. This is a good groundcover for mild, moderately dry climates. Callisia fragrans has shiny, green leaves that will turn purplish at the edges when placed in strong light. They both have small, white fragrant flowers.…

Callistemon
(Bottlebrush) This group consists of tender, evergreen shrubs and small trees that are natives of Tasmania and Australia. Commonly known as Bottlebrushes, these attractive plants produce spikes of colorful flowers, of which the most conspicuous parts are the tufts of long stamens. These flower spikes resemble bottlebrushes, thus the common name. A. citrinus Splendens is a small tree or medium-sized shrub that produces thick spikes of scarlet flowers. Its slender, leathery leaves give off a lemon…

Callistephus
(Aster, Annual) This is an annual that is in full beauty in August and September. They have branching growth and there are many gorgeous single- and double-flowered varieties that come in an assortment of shapes and colors. Callistephus (annual Aster) belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. The annual Asters are wonderful flowers for summer and early autumn; at that time they are especially valued for providing cut flowers. They do the best when the nights are cool; they won't bloom or grow in t…

Callitris
(Black Cypress Pine, Cypress Pine, Murray River Pine, Port Macquarie Pine, Tasmanian Cypress Pine) These are evergreen trees, native to Australia and Tasmania. Their branches are divided greatly and they have small leaves resembling scales. They can be planted outdoors in warm climates such as in Florida and southern California. In some ways, they are similar to the Cypress or Cupressus.…

Calluna
(Heather) These small, hardy, evergreen shrubs are found wild in many parts of Europe and some in places of North America. They have little, opposite, four-ranked leaves and spikes of tiny flowers in many different shades. These plants are commonly known as Heather. C. vulgaris, the common Heather, is a small shrub that grows on the mountains and moorland in the northern and western parts of the British Isles. C. vulgaris is the only species, but from it, many varieties which differ greatly in h…