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Botany - Flower terms
Category: Animals and Nature > Botany
Date & country: 09/09/2007, USA
Words: 2228


Crane Flower
(Strelitzia) This group consists of four, tender perennials originally from South Africa. The most commonly grown is S. reginae, commonly known as the Bird-of-Paradise, Crane Flower or Crane Lily. This plant forms clumps of long-stalked leaves up to 3 feet long. The evergreen, bluish- or gray-green leaves have an oblong shape and leathery texture. The beautiful flowers are produced atop long stalks, mainly in the spring. The orange and blue or purple flowers are enclosed in a green, boat-shaped …

Crane Lily
(Strelitzia) This group consists of four, tender perennials originally from South Africa. The most commonly grown is S. reginae, commonly known as the Bird-of-Paradise, Crane Flower or Crane Lily. This plant forms clumps of long-stalked leaves up to 3 feet long. The evergreen, bluish- or gray-green leaves have an oblong shape and leathery texture. The beautiful flowers are produced atop long stalks, mainly in the spring. The orange and blue or purple flowers are enclosed in a green, boat-shaped …

Crassula
(Airplane Plant, Buttons-On-A-String, Chinese Rubber Plant, Jade Plant, Money Plant, Propeller Plant, Scarlet Paintbrush, Silver Dollar Plant, String Of Buttons, String-Of-Buttons, Toy Cypress, Watch Chain) This large group consists of succulent plants that are natives of South Africa and Madagascar. The succulents in this group vary greatly in shape and size. Some varieties only grow an inch high at maturity, while others become 15-foot trees. C. ovata (Jade Plant; Chinese Rubber Tree; Money Pl…

Crataegus
(Cockspur, Crimson Cloud, Hawthorn, Red Haw, Thorns) This is a large group of hardy, deciduous trees and a few shrubs that are commonly known as Hawthorns or Thorns; other common names will be mentioned by its tree. Most of the Hawthorns are natives of North America; others are natives of Europe, Asia Minor, China, Japan, the Old World and the Himalayas. Hawthorns are beautiful, flowering trees suitable for shading patios, decorating lawns and lining streets. These hard-wooded trees can be grown…

Creeping 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…

Creeping Charlie
(Lysimachia) Golden Globes.These hardy and tender perennials and annuals are found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. A few grow wild in Australia, South Africa and South America. Few of the Loosestrifes have value in the garden. L. clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife) is a vigorous growing perennial from Japan that forms clumps of lance-shaped, mid-green leaves that are yellowish when young. The tiny, star-shaped, white flowers are borne in compact…

Creeping Jennie
(Lysimachia) Golden Globes.These hardy and tender perennials and annuals are found throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. A few grow wild in Australia, South Africa and South America. Few of the Loosestrifes have value in the garden. L. clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife) is a vigorous growing perennial from Japan that forms clumps of lance-shaped, mid-green leaves that are yellowish when young. The tiny, star-shaped, white flowers are borne in compact…

Creeping Pearlberry
(Gaultheria) This group consists of 150 fragrant, evergreen shrubs native to the Andes, North America, Australasia, and eastern Asia. These shrubs produce tufts of shiny or leathery, oval leaves and, in late spring or early summer, pendant, white, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are followed by fleshy, red or black fruit. G. procumbens (Checkerberry; Teaberry; Wintergreen) is a hardy, creeping shrub that forms mats of dark green leaves that turn purple in the autumn. The white to pink-tinged fl…

Creeping Soft Grass
(Holcus) Holcus, commonly known as Velvet Grass, is an ornamental Grass that grows wild in Europe and is naturalized in North America. H. lanatus grows 18 to 24 inches high and has soft, downy green leaves. H. mollis 'Albovariegatus' (Variegated Creeping Soft Grass) forms clumps, up to 3 feet high, of evergreen, linear leaves with hairy nodes. They are green striped with white. In the summer, spikes of tiny purplish-white flowers are produced. These plants have an unlimited spread.…

Creeping Zinnia
(Sanvitalia) This annual belongs to the Daisy family, Compositae and is a native of Mexico. This trailing plant grows up to 6 inches high and will spread 2 to 3 feet. Its ovate to wide lanceolate leaves are 2 to 3 inches long. It produces single or semi-double yellow flowers, up to an inch across.…

Crenshaw Melon
(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…

Cretan Brake
(Pteris) This is a large group of Ferns that can be grown in greenhouses, hothouses, and homes. There are hardy kinds that lose their leaves (deciduous) and kinds that are evergreen. They are found wild in many parts of the world, such as tropical America, tropical Asia, India, China, Japan, West Indies, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Pteris vary greatly in their sizes and shapes. Some are a few inches tall and some are several feet tall. Most kinds have fronds that are divi…

Cretan Mullein
(Celsia) These are tender subshrubs, biennial and herbaceous plants found in Crete and the Mediterranean region. They belong to the Snapdragon family, Scrophulariaceae. Their leaves are lance-shaped and they bear tall spikes of flowers. C. Arcturus can grow 4 feet high. This shrubby perennial bears yellow flowers with purple anthers in the summer. C. cretica can grow 5 feet tall. This tender biennial produces yellow flowers in July.…

Crimson Cloud
(Crataegus) This is a large group of hardy, deciduous trees and a few shrubs that are commonly known as Hawthorns or Thorns; other common names will be mentioned by its tree. Most of the Hawthorns are natives of North America; others are natives of Europe, Asia Minor, China, Japan, the Old World and the Himalayas. Hawthorns are beautiful, flowering trees suitable for shading patios, decorating lawns and lining streets. These hard-wooded trees can be grown in exposed locations as well as tolerate…

Crimson Glory Vine
(Vitis) This group consists of about 60, mostly hardy, deciduous, woody vines, commonly known as the Grape. These popular natives of North America, China and Japan are mainly valued for their delicious fruits, which can be eaten fresh or dried, squeezed as juice or fermented as wine. However, not only are these vines valued for their fruit, but also for their large, lobed leaves, which turn gorgeous colors in autumn. Grapes bear inconspicuous, greenish flowers in the spring, which suffuse the br…

Crinkle-Leaf Plant
(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…

Crinodendron
(Chilean Lantern Plant, Lantern Tree, White Lily Tree) This small group of tender trees consists of only two kinds, both of which are found wild in Chile. Commonly known as Lantern Trees, these evergreen trees or shrubs are suitable for growing outdoors in mild climates only; otherwise, they may be grown in greenhouses. Lantern Trees are covered with glossy, dark-green leaves, 2-3 inches long. C. hookerianum (Chilean Lantern Plant) is a large, dense shrub that can sometimes survive unusually low…

Crinum
This group consists of about 130 tender bulbs native to warm regions such as the southeastern U.S, South America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and tropical Asia. The bulbs of these plants are quite large; many grow several inches in diameter with long bottlenecks. The plants somewhat resemble their relative, Amaryllis Belladonna. Crinums (commonly known as Milk and Wine Lilies) grow from 1 to 3 feet high, depending on the species, and produce clumps of strap- or sword-shaped leaves and cl…

Crisphead 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.…

Crocosmia
These are tender bulbs from South Africa. They belong to the Iris family, Iridaceae. They look similar to the Gladiolus and grow 2-4 feet high. They produce orange-yellow, orange with dark blotches or yellow and brick red colored flowers from July to October.…

Crocus
This group consists of about 80 species of hardy corms (as well as many forms or varieties), which bloom in fall, winter and early spring. They bloom so early in the spring they are often seen poking up through the snow. Crocuses grow wild in the Mediterranean region and continue into southwest Asia. These beautiful flowers are a great accent for any area. They can be planted as houseplants, in rock gardens, woodland gardens, meadows, and yards. Their cup-shaped flowers come in a large ra…

Crossandra
These are tropical, evergreen, shrubby plants from India and Malaya. They have oval, deep green leaves, about 2 inches long and compact spikes of lilac, red or yellow, funnel-shaped flowers with prominent bracts. Their height ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet, depending on the variety.…

Crossvine
(Bignonia) This group consists of one evergreen or semi-evergreen, climbing plant. B. capreolata, commonly known as the Crossvine or Trumpet Flower, is a beautiful plant found wild from Virginia to Illinois to Florida and Louisiana. This vigorous growing vine climbs by means of twining leaf tendrils, which are tipped with small cups that allow them to climb masonry walls. The Crossvine is suitable for growing over fences, up trellises and trees. Each leaf consists of two slender leaflets up to 5…

Crow'S Claws
(Ferocactus) This group consists of about 35 cacti found across the southwest U.S. and northern Mexico. They are excellent for growing in containers on patios and in greenhouses or as landscape plants. When young, they are usually globular shaped, though they eventually become columnar with age, some species gradually reaching a height of up to 13 feet. In the summer, large, bell- or funnel-shaped flowers are produced at the plant's crown. These are usually followed by sticky, yellow berries. Th…

Cryptogramma
These Ferns are deciduous - meaning that they die down in the fall. C. crispa, the European Parsley Fern, forms tufts of bright green fronds. The outer fronds are oval and sterile and divided into toothed sections. It grows from 6 to 9 inches high and spreads 6 to 12 inches. C. crispa acrostichoides, the American Parsley Fern, grows up to 5 feet high and produces finely divided, parsley-like fronds.…

Cryptomeria
(Japanese Cedar) This group consists of only one hardy, evergreen tree originally found in Japan and China. C. japonica (Japanese Cedar) is a large, quick-growing tree that eventually reaches a height ranging from 120 to 150 feet. This tree is broadly columnar with awl shaped leaves that are compactly arranged on the long, thin branchlets. It has reddish-brown, shredding bark, red-colored heartwood, and yellowish sapwood. The wood has the scent of cedar. 'Elegans', a variety of C. japonica, is a…

Cryptostegia
(Rubber Vine) This is a beautiful vine found wild in tropical Africa and Madagascar. They can be grown outdoors in the far South or in warm conservatories. These plants contain rubber, but aren't commercially used for its production. C. grandiflora has purplish or reddish-purple flowers and C. madagascariensis has pink flowers. They both bloom in the summer.…

Crystal Anthurium
(Anthurium) These plants are mainly from tropical America. They are grown for their brightly colored flower spathes or their ornamental leaves. Anthurium andraeanum is a native of Columbia that has orange-red spathes and large heart-shaped leaves. Anthurium crystallinum is native to Columbia and also Peru. Its flowers aren't as striking as the others, but it has large, velvety green leaves with contrasting silvery-white veins. The flowers grow during the spring and summer and they last a l…

Ctenanthe
(Never-Never Plant) These attractive perennials are from tropical Brazil. They are related to the Calathea and Maranta and are mainly grown for the beauty of their foliage. These plants are sometimes known by the name Phrynium in gardens. C. Kummeriana grows 24 inches high and has green leaves veined with white on top and purple underneath. C. Lubbersiana grows 18 inches tall and its leaves are dark green and yellow above and pale green beneath. C. Oppenheimiana grows up to 3 feet high. Its leat…

Cuban Spinach
(Montia) This vegetable is also known as Winter Purslane, Cuban Spinach and Miner's Lettuce. Miner's Lettuce was a blessing to prospectors starved for greens during the 1849 gold rush. It clothes meadows during the spring rainy season and lasts for weeks longer in shaded dells. The small plants have oval to lance-shaped basal leaves on long petioles (leaf stalks) and interesting, disk-shaped leaves that appear to be threaded along the slender stems. They make very pretty garnishes and can be use…

Cuckoo Flower
(Cardamine) Cardamines are hardy annuals or perennials with the common names of Bitter Cress, Cuckoo Plant and Lady's Smock. They are found wild in the mountain woodlands of west and central Europe. These plants grow from 6 to 24 inches high. C. pentaphyllos is an upright plant with dark green leaves, which are divided into 3 to 5 smooth leaflets. Its small, white or pale purple flowers are funnel-shaped and borne in little bunches above the leaves, in the spring.…

Cucumber
(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…

Cucumber Tree
(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 …

Cucumis
(Bur Gourd, Casaba Melon, Crenshaw Melon, Cucumber, Gooseberry Gourd, Honeydew Melon, Melon, Muskmelon) 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…

Cucurbita
(Pumpkin, Squash) This is a group of popular, annual climbing or trailing plants that belong to the Cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae.…

Cunjevoi
(Alocasia) This group consists of seventy, tender plants, which grow from rhizomes in the tropical forests of Borneo, Ceylon, Malaysia and Asia. These plants (commonly known as African Masks and Elephant's Ears) are mainly valued for their gorgeous leaves, which are very large, heart- or spade-shaped and beautifully colored and variegated in gleaming shades of green, purple, bluish-green, red and bronze. They also produce small, calla-like flower spathes. A. cuprea produces erect clumps of…

Cunninghamia
(China Fir) This group consists of just two fairly hardy, evergreen conifers, which somewhat resemble Araucaria, though their leaves are softer and lighter colored. These trees, commonly known as China Firs, are natives of China and Formosa. C. lanceolata is a small to medium-sized tree with lance-shaped leaves, 1 to 23/4 inches long, compactly whorled around the branches. The leaves are emerald- to blue-green above with two white bands beneath. They darken to bronze by autumn.…

Cup Flower
(Nierembergia) These are hardy and tender, perennial plants that may be dwarf or trailing and are good for the rock garden, or are taller and erect and make good plants for the flower bed or border. All can be grown in pots. These plants come from South America. They form tidy mounds, up to 12 inches high/wide. Their leaves are linear and up to an inch long. The flowers are shaped like shallow cups, 1 to 2 inches across. They may be blue, violet, lilac, or white. They are produced singly on the …

Cuphea
(Cigar Flower) These are tender, herbaceous perennials and subshrubs mainly from Mexico. Their height ranges from 1 to 2 feet and their flowers may be red and black, scarlet or purplish, lavender or dark purple. Cupheas are great for the window garden and greenhouse. C. platycentra, is a pretty summer bedding plant and they all may be grown permanently outside in the far South.…

Cupid'S Dart
(Catananche) These hardy perennials and annuals are commonly known as Cupid's Dart and Blue Cupidone. These plants were originally found in southwest Europe. C. caerulea var. Major forms clumps of slender, linear, blue-green leaves. Its flowers resemble Daisies and are borne atop wiry stems in the summer. They open from silvery buds to lavender-blue, papery flowers. The flowers and buds dry well. This plant grows from 18 to 24 inches high with a spread of 12 inches.…

Cupressocyparis
(Leyland Cypress) This small group consists of hybrids of Cupressus (the common Cypress) and Chamaecyparis (the False Cypress).These fast-growing trees are very popular trees and need much the same care as Chamaecyparis. C. leylandii (Leyland Cypress) is a very fast-growing, large tree that forms a thick column. The green foliage is in flattened or irregular, slightly drooping sprays. The Leyland Cypress can tolerate many different conditions, except very dry, alkaline, or waterlogged soil. This…

Cupressus
(Cypress) This group consists of twenty tender, evergreen conifers from North America, southern Europe, northern Africa and Asia. These trees, commonly known as Cypress, have mostly columnar or conical shapes. Cypresses do not make good hedges because they don't tolerate pruning. They do not transplant well, which is why young plants are always container-grown. They do, however, tolerate a wide range of soils, except wet ones, and several varieties will even grow in shallow, alkaline soil. C. ca…

Curcuma
(Turmeric) These are tropical, herbaceous plants that can be grown in a warm, humid greenhouse having a minimum winter temperature of 60 degrees. The most important kind is C. longa, a native of India, but widely cultivated throughout India, Ceylon, the East Indies, Fiji and Queensland for its underground stems from which, when dried and ground, the Turmeric of commerce is manufactured. Turmeric is orange-yellow in color and has a very distinct aroma. It is in demand as a condiment in Indian coo…

Curiosity Plant
(Cereus) This popular group of cacti from South America consists of about 60 species. These vigorous-growing, mostly columnar-shaped cacti are easy to grow and make excellent container plants when small. Outdoors, when used as landscaping plants, these cacti will usually reach a height of 30 feet or more, growing up to 4 feet per year. Some branch at the top, resembling a candelabrum; others branch close to the base. In the spring or summer, their funnel-shaped flowers open at night closing as t…

Curled Cress
(Lepidium) This vegetable is commonly known as Peppergrass, Curled Cress and Garden Cress. The Curled Cress grows quickly and produces medium green leaves, which are cut deeply giving them a lacy look. They have a pungent taste and are used in small amounts in salads or cold stuffings, or as a garnish. It makes a suitable substitute for watercress in the spring and autumn.…

Curled Pondweed
(Potamogeton) These hardy, aquatic perennials are natives of Europe and are naturalized in the ponds, rivers, lakes and streams across the northeastern and north central parts of the U.S. P. crispus is an attractive plant that grows submerged beneath the water. Commonly known as the Curled Pondweed, the stems of this plant can grow13 feet long or more. They are covered in slender, sessile leaves about 3 inches in length. The pretty, wavy-edged leaves are nearly translucent and vary in color from…

Curly 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.…

Curtonus
This is a bulbous plant from South Africa. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and has spikes of red and yellow flowers. It produces its flowers in the summer from spring-planted bulbs or in late winter or spring from bulbs planted in a cool (night temperature 45-50 degrees) greenhouse in the fall.…

Cut Window Plant
(Haworthia) This large group of succulent plants is originally from South Africa; they are commonly found in rock crevices and under bushes, out of direct sunlight. These plants form rosettes of soft, fleshy, triangular leaves, though a few have long, grass-like leaves. The shapes and markings of the leaves vary, but raised, white spots are the most common variegation. Some leaves are very thick with windowed upper surfaces. Some plants have roots, which pull the plants into the soil, so that on…

Cyanella
These are tender bulbs, natives of South Africa. They grow about 12 inches high, have lance-shaped leaves and bear blue, purple, yellow or white flowers in the summer. The name Cyanella refers to the blue color of the flowers of one kind.…

Cyanotis
(Pussy Ears) The origin of this creeping, tender perennial is uncertain, but it is probably Somalia. Its fleshy, narrowly oblong leaves are glossy dark green and covered with soft white hairs. It produces small, 3-petaled, purple or blue flowers in the axils of the leaves in the winter and spring. Cyanotis, also called Pussy Ears, grows about 2 inches high and will spread continuously.…

Cyathodes
This group consists of about fifteen tender, evergreen shrubs from New Zealand and Australia. C. colensoi is a small, low-growing shrub with attractive, slender, glaucous leaves. In the spring, miniature, pitcher-shaped, white flowers are produced; these are followed by red or white fruits.…

Cyclamen
This group consists of 15 tender and hardy, deciduous, tuberous-rooted perennials belonging to the Primrose family, Primulaceae. Cyclamens grow wild from Greece to Syria. They grow from 8 to 12 inches high and have beautiful, dark green, heart-shaped leaves mottled with silver. Their butterfly-like, single or double flowers rise above the foliage and may be white, red, purple, pink, rose, salmon, or bicolored. Cyclamens are suitable for growing in flowerbeds, borders, or as houseplants. T…

Cydonia
(Quince) This group consists of one deciduous species that is grown for its delicious fruits. Commonly known as Quince, this tree is related to the handsome Flowering Quinces, Chaenomeles, which are mainly grown for their beautiful blossoms though the fruits are also edible. (Go See) C. oblonga (Common Quince) is a small tree originally found from Iran to Turkestan. This tree is just about as hardy as the Peach, surviving temperatures as low as 0º F. Its branches will most likely die back…

Cylinder Bells
(Echinocereus) This group consists of about fifty cacti from the southern U.S. and Mexico. These pretty cacti come in a wide range of shapes and colors. Some species form round, spiny mounds and are commonly called Hedgehog Cacti, while others develop thin, rambling stems. The flower buds of these succulents form inside the stems, bursting out near the stem tips in late spring and early summer. The flowers open completely in full sun and come in an array of colors such as yellow, orange, red, pi…

Cymbopogon
(Citronella Grass, Lemon Grass) C. citratus is a tender, ornamental grass that has a fragrance resembling the scent of lemons. It grows in clumps from 4 to 6 feet high and has slender leaves and grass-like flowers in terminal spikes or racemes. Lemongrass belongs to the Grass family, Gramineae and is native of India. The related C. nardus is the source of citronella, a popular, old-fashioned insect repellent.…

Cynara
(Artichoke, Globe, Cardoon) Cynara is the botanical name of two vegetables known as the Globe Artichoke and the Cardoon. The Cardoon is, C. cardunculus, botanically. It's a tender perennial that can grow 6 to 8 feet high. It resembles its cousin, the Globe Artichoke, but the gray-green leaves overlap at the base. The wide, plump, edible stems form loose stalks or heads like celery. Cardoons keep their vase shape until late in the season, when a branching central stem shoots up. Several buds, whi…

Cypella
These tender bulbs are closely related to the Iris. They are found in South America. The long, narrow leaves are wrinkled and from 1 to 4 feet long. The flowers, which resemble those of the Iris, are yellow or blue. The name is from kypellon, a cup, and refers to the shape of the flowers.…

Cyperus
(Chufa, Earth Almond, Egyptian Paper Reed, Nile Grass, Papyrus, Pygmy Papyrus, Sweet Galingale, Umbrella Plant, Umbrella Sedge) These tender, aquatic perennials are grown for their decorative foliage. They are natives of Palestine, Brazil, S. Africa, Europe and North America. C. alternifolius (Umbrella Plant; Nile Grass) produces clumps of long stems, 1 to 3 feet normally, but up to 5 feet in excellent conditions; these are crowned with long, slender, radiating, dark green leaves like an umbrell…

Cyphomandra
(Tamarillo, Tree Tomato) This soft-wooded tree or bush is native of South America and belongs to the Potato family, Solanaceae. It is a frost-tender perennial that has large, heart-shaped, fuzzy leaves and fragrant purple flowers, which are followed by dangling orange-red, egg-shaped fruits that are high in pectin. Each fruit is 2 or 3 inches long and 1½ to 2 inches wide. The Tree Tomato, as it's commonly called, isn't really a Tomato; the fruits resemble Tomatoes in color and shape only and the…

Cypress
(Cupressus) This group consists of twenty tender, evergreen conifers from North America, southern Europe, northern Africa and Asia. These trees, commonly known as Cypress, have mostly columnar or conical shapes. Cypresses do not make good hedges because they don't tolerate pruning. They do not transplant well, which is why young plants are always container-grown. They do, however, tolerate a wide range of soils, except wet ones, and several varieties will even grow in shallow, alkaline soil. C. …

Cypress Pine
(Callitris) 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.…

Cyrtomium
(Holly Fern) These ferns are natives of Japan, China, India, Celebes, and Hawaii. Their fronds average 30 inches in length. The pinnae (leaflets), which are about 3 inches long and are shiny, dark green and tough, grow from brownish, hairy stalks.…

Cytisus
(Broom) 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 lawn …

Daboecia
(Irish Heath, St. Dabeoc's Heath) This group consists of only two evergreen shrubs from western Europe and the Azores. This group belongs to the Heath family and is related to the group, Erica. These shrubs are commonly known as Irish Heath and St. Daboec's Heath. D. cantabrica is a hardy, erect-growing shrub that can reach a height of up to 2 feet. Its thin stems are covered with small ovate or oblong, dark green leaves that are white beneath. Long spikes of rosy purple, bell-shaped flowers are…

Dacrydium
(Huon Pine, Rimu) This group consists of about twenty-five tender, evergreen coniferous shrubs and trees from New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Borneo, Malaya, New Caledonia, and Chile. These plants are commonly known as Huon Pines. Some varieties are valued in their native countries for their durable wood, which is used for building purposes, making furniture and cabinets, etc... D. franklinii is a large shrub or small, conical tree with thin, pendant branches, which are clothed in bright green…

Daffodil
(Narcissi) This is a large group of mostly hardy bulbs. Narcissus will bloom outside in March and April and in greenhouses from December to March. There are many species or wild types and innumerable named varieties, which increase every year. Most of the species or wild types are natives of southern Europe. The name Daffodil is commonly given to the Narcissus with large trumpets, but may be used for all types. The name Jonquil most properly belongs to the rush-leaved Narcissus jonquilla and its…

Dahlia
This group consists of twenty-seven deciduous, tender, tuberous-rooted perennials, which are native to Mexico. Dahlias may be grown anywhere, but are only hardy year-round in warm climates; they can simply be grown as annuals or dug up and stored in cold-winter regions. Dahlias may also be grown in containers or tubs, depending upon the size of the variety. From these Mexican species, hybridizers have developed a multitude of forms of varying heights, as well as distinct flower shapes, si…

Daikon
(Raphanus) Raphanus is the botanical name for the Radish. There are two different types of Radishes; the spring Radish, which is commonly used in salads, and the Oriental or winter Radish, which isn't as well known, but is becoming more popular.…

Dame'S Rocket
(Hesperis) This is the botanical name for Sweet Rocket, also known as Dame's Rocket or Dame's Violet. These perennial or hardy biennials belong to the Mustard family, Cruciferae, and have some of that plant's pungent flavor. They are originally from Japan, Europe and Asia Minor. Sweet Rocket is an old-fashioned plant that is grown in gardens and is naturalized in the lightly shaded woodlands of eastern North America. They grow from 1 to 4 feet high and have alternate, ovate, serrated leaves. Swe…

Dame'S Violet
(Hesperis) This is the botanical name for Sweet Rocket, also known as Dame's Rocket or Dame's Violet. These perennial or hardy biennials belong to the Mustard family, Cruciferae, and have some of that plant's pungent flavor. They are originally from Japan, Europe and Asia Minor. Sweet Rocket is an old-fashioned plant that is grown in gardens and is naturalized in the lightly shaded woodlands of eastern North America. They grow from 1 to 4 feet high and have alternate, ovate, serrated leaves. Swe…

Danae
(Alexandrian Laurel) This group consists of one tender, evergreen shrub from Syria, Persia, and Transcaucasia. The leaves of this plant are actually flattened stems and it bears panicles of hermaphrodite flowers in early summer. D. racemosa (Alexandrian Laurel) is a small shrub with arching sprays of slender, glossy green 'leaves'. Its cream flowers are followed by decorative, orange-red fruits if the summer has been hot. The branches of this shrub are great for cutting.…

Dandelion
(Taraxacum) T. officinale is the common and sometimes pesky, perennial weed in northern yards known as the Dandelion. The Dandelion (Also known as Swine's Snout, Priest's Crown and Telltime.) develops a deep, thick taproot from which a rosette of long, narrow, serrated, shiny dark green or brownish leaves arise. The hollow flower stalks grow directly from the root and each leafless stalk produces a single, golden yellow blossom, which produces an abundance of pollen and nectar. When the flower h…

Daphne
(Garland Flower, Mezereon) This group consists of about fifty hardy and tender, evergreen and deciduous shrubs from Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Most of these shrubs are small, but some grow quite large and some are prostrate plants suitable for the rock garden. Daphne produce fragrant, tubular-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colors. They are suitable for cutting, though the scent, if placed in a small space, may become overpowering. Take care when children and pets are around as the…

Date Palm
(Phoenix) These are Palms that are grown for their ornamental foliage. They grow wild in several different parts of the world such as northern Africa, India, China, and the Canary Islands. The Date Palm, P. dactylifera, forms sturdy trunks that are covered with the stumps of dead leaves. They can grow 5-100 feet tall. The feathery leaves, which can grow 3-14 feet long, grow in a cluster at the top of the tree and gracefully curve down toward the ground. The leathery leaflets are long, narrow and…

Date Plum
(Diospyros) These deciduous, easily grown trees, commonly known as Persimmons, are valued for their hard, dark brown or black heartwood, for the edible fruits and for their beauty. Their delicious, sweet and juicy fruits should only be eaten when they are ripe; otherwise, they have an offensive, bitter flavor. The fruits ripen in the fall, usually after a light frost. They can, however, be picked and placed in a plastic bag with a ripe apple for two to four days. The ethylene gas emitted by the …

Datura
(Angel's Trumpet, Jimson Weed, Thorn Apple) These annual and tender, shrubby, perennial flowering plants are natives of tropical America, Europe and Mexico. The most familiar kind is Datura (Brugmansia) arborea, which produces large, white, fragrant blooms in the summer; it is a great plant for tubs. The perennial shrubby kinds can grow up to 10 feet tall, have woody stems, large ovate leaves and produce yellow, red, pink or white trumpet-shaped flowers in the summer. The annual kinds can grow a…

Daucus
(Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace) This plant is cultivated for its enlarged, edible root and is commonly known as the Carrot. The original species, from which the Carrot was developed, came from Europe and is known as Queen Anne's Lace. Their foliage is fine and lacy and the roots vary in size and shape; they are usually orange-red or yellow. Their flowers, which are small and white, don't grow until the year following that in which the seeds were sown. Carrots provide carotene, which becomes Vitamin …

Davallia
(Hare's-Foot Fern) These Ferns, also called Hare's-Foot Ferns, are native to northern Africa, Asia, Malaya, Japan, northern India and Australia. Most of these plants have creeping stems that are covered with silvery white, black or brown fuzzy scales that resemble small paws. They have finely divided fronds that rise directly from the creeping stems and can vary in length from 6 inches to 6 feet. The tropical varieties of this fern need a minimum temperature of 55 degrees, but the Davallias suit…

Davidia
(Dove Tree, Ghost Tree, Pocket Handkerchief Tree) This very attractive, deciduous tree is a native of China. This tree grows from 20 to 40 feet high with its branches spreading a distance to match. It is fairly hardy, living in areas where the temperature doesn't fall below -10º F. It produces 3- to 6-inch, heart-shaped, long-stalked leaves that are covered with white fuzz on their undersides. This tree is commonly known as Dove Tree because of its interesting flowers. In the spring, 1-inch, bal…

Decaisnea
This group consists of two deciduous shrubs from western China and the Himalayas. D. fargesii grows up to 10 feet high with large, pinnate leaves 2 to 3 feet long. They have a bluish tinge when young. In late spring, clusters up to 18 inches long of uninteresting yellowish-green flowers are produced. These are followed by decorative, sausage-shaped, metallic blue seedpods that contain numerous black seeds embedded in a slimy white pulp.…

Decumeria
This group consists of two semi-evergreen or evergreen shrubs that climb by means of aerial roots. They are found growing over logs and on tree trunks in the wild. D. barbara is a fairly tender, semi-evergreen shrub that climbs up to 30 feet. From early to mid-summer, small clusters of small, white, sweetly scented flowers are borne. This plant is found wild in the southeastern United States. D. sinensis is a rare, tender, evergreen shrub growing up to 16 feet. The small, honey scented, green an…

Deer Fern
(Blechnum) This group of Ferns is found in Brazil, the West Indies, and other warm and temperate countries. Some types have dwarf, tufted growth, while others grow up to 4 feet high. Those found in subtropical climates need a minimum temperature of 50 degrees and those from tropical countries need a minimum temperature of 60 degrees. B. tabulare grows from 1 to 3 feet high with a spread of 1 or 2 feet. Its dark green fronds are evergreen or semi-evergreen. The outside fronds are oval and sterile…

Deerwood
(Ostrya) These hardy, deciduous trees are natives of Europe, North America and Asia. These slow growing, pest-resistant trees grow up to 40 feet high with a spread to match. Their trunks are short and are covered with scaling bark. They are topped by a dense crown of ovate or oblong-ovate leaves that taper into a point. The leaves are marked with conspicuous parallel veins and have deeply serrated edges. O. virginiana, the American Hop Hornbeam, is an attractive tree that has simple, alternately…

Delonix
(Flamboyant, Flame Tree, Peacock Flower, Royal Poinciana) This tender, flowering tree is native of Madagascar and can only be grown outside in tropical, frost-free climates. D. regia is commonly known as Flamboyant, Flame Tree, Peacock Flower and Royal Poinciana. The Flame Tree grows quickly, ultimately reaching a 20- to 40-foot height with a 30- to 60-foot spread or more. The delicate, fern-like leaves grow 2 feet long and unfurl at about the same time the flowers open in early summer; they fal…

Delphinium
(Larkspur) This is a large group of very beautiful annuals and perennials commonly called Larkspurs. The original or wild types from which the named varieties are descended are natives of California, Siberia, Syria and India. The Delphiniums mostly seen in gardens are hybrids of D. elatum and are clump-forming perennials that bloom from early to mid-summer. Their leaves are divided, lobed, and range from mid- to bright green. Hybrids of D. belladonna are also clump-forming perennials, but with m…

Delta Maidenhair Fern
(Adiantum) There are many kinds of Adiantum, commonly called Maidenhair Ferns. Most of them are natives of tropical countries, but two are hardy and can be grown outside in the North. One hardy kind is A. pedatum, native of North America. Its graceful fronds grow 18 to 24 inches long. They flourish in shade and woodsy soil made by adding leaf mold and sand. This plant is great for clumping in cool, shady spots in the wild garden and rock garden. A. Capillus-Veneris is another fern that's h…

Dendrocalamus
(Bamboo) This is a group of tall Bamboos that belong to the Grass family, Gramineae. These tender perennials can only be grown outdoors in warm climates; otherwise they may be grown in high conservatories. Bamboos need moist soil at all times and are suitable for planting on stream or riverbanks and wetlands. These Bamboos are natives of Burma and China. Several kinds of this group can grow up to 100 feet in height and have a diameter from 4 to 10 inches. In India, Malaya and Burma they are used…

Dendromecon
(Blush Poppy, Tree Poppy) 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.…

Desert Azalea
(Adenium) This group of succulents is mainly from Africa, though one variety is found in Arabia and one on the Isle of Socotra. The gorgeous blossoms of these bushy plants resemble those of the Oleander to which they are closely related. The open-faced flowers are ordinarily crimson, pink, or white and are followed by green seedpods. They grow periodically from spring to fall on new growth. Like the Oleanders, all the species in this group contain poisonous sap. A. obesum (Desert Azalea; D…

Desert Rose
(Adenium) This group of succulents is mainly from Africa, though one variety is found in Arabia and one on the Isle of Socotra. The gorgeous blossoms of these bushy plants resemble those of the Oleander to which they are closely related. The open-faced flowers are ordinarily crimson, pink, or white and are followed by green seedpods. They grow periodically from spring to fall on new growth. Like the Oleanders, all the species in this group contain poisonous sap. A. obesum (Desert Azalea; D…

Desfontainia
This group consists of only one tender, evergreen shrub found wild in South America, particularly the Andes. D. spinosa is a handsome shrub that slowly grows up to 61/2 feet high. The small, rigid, glossy green leaves are shaped like the leaves of the Holly, with spiny margins. In late summer, tubular-shaped, scarlet flowers with bright yellow mouths are borne. They are 11/2 inches long.…

Desmodium
(Telegraph Plant, Tick Trefoil) This large group consists of about three hundred hardy and tender, herbaceous perennials and deciduous shrubs from tropical countries and North America. These shrubs are commonly known as Tick Trefoil. D. tiliifolium is a small to medium-sized, semi-woody shrub. Its erect stems are clothed with leaves consisting of three leaflets. In the summer, large panicles of pale lilac flowers are borne. These are followed by flattened, lobed seedpods. D. motorium (Telegraph …

Devil-In-A-Bush
(Nigella) These annuals are found wild in southern Europe, northern Africa and Asia Minor. They are bushy, self-branching plants that may grow upright or sprawling, 1½ to 2 feet. Their foliage is finely divided, resembling dill and fennel, and grows up to 3 inches long. The beautiful flowers are finely laced and up to 2 inches across. They may be white or pale to dark blue. Picking off the dead flowers will increase blooming, but prevents the seed capsules, which are valued for drying. N. sativa…

Devil'S Club
(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…

Devil'S Ivy
(Scindapsus) This small group consists of twenty tropical, climbing plants native to Southeast Asia. These plants are valued for their large, attractively variegated leaves, which may be heart-shaped or ovate. These plants, commonly known as Amapallo Amarillo, Devil's Ivy, Hunter's Robe, Ivy Arum, Pothos Ivy, and Taro Vine, also produce arum-like flowers with greenish-colored spathes. These plants are excellent for growing in a hanging basket, training up a moss pole or wall, or for draping over…

Devil'S Tongue
(Ferocactus) This group consists of about 35 cacti found across the southwest U.S. and northern Mexico. They are excellent for growing in containers on patios and in greenhouses or as landscape plants. When young, they are usually globular shaped, though they eventually become columnar with age, some species gradually reaching a height of up to 13 feet. In the summer, large, bell- or funnel-shaped flowers are produced at the plant's crown. These are usually followed by sticky, yellow berries. Th…

Devil'S Walking Stick
(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…

Dewberry
(Rubus) Rubus belongs to the Rose family. This group consists of erect, arching or trailing, deciduous and evergreen shrubs found wild in Europe, North America and Asia. Some are very ornamental, while most are grown for their edible fruits. Of the varieties, the most popular are R. idaeus vulgatus, commonly known as the European Raspberry, R. idaeus var. strigosus, the American Raspberry, R. occidentalis, the Black Raspberry, Blackcap, or Thimbleberry, and the Raspberry's cousin, the Blackberry…

Dianthus
(Carnation, Dianthus, Gillyflower, Pink, Sweet William) This group of hardy plants includes Pinks, Carnations and Sweet Williams. The Carnation is the descendent of D. Caryophyllus; it grows wild in southern Europe. D. barbatus, the Sweet William, is found wild in the Mediterranean region. The Pinks have mainly come from D. plumarius. The Chinese and Indian Pinks have come from D. chinensis and are natives of China.…