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


Clock Vine
(Thunbergia) These tender vines are natives of tropical Africa, South Africa, tropical Asia and India. These plants are usually treated as annuals, though they will behave as perennials in mild climates. They will grow 3 to 15 feet long. The ovate to triangular leaves grow up to 4 inches long and they produce flowers that may grow solitary or in clusters. They look like flaring tubes, 1 to 2 inches across. They may be orange, yellow, or white, with or without a brownish-purple eye.…

Club Gourd
(Trichosanthes) 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. T. anguina, the Serpent, Snake, or Club Gourd, is an annual vine with angled, fuzzy, stems and branched tendrils. It is covered with broadly angled or lobed leaves and white flowers. The length of the fruit, which resemble…

Club Grass
(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…

Coast Polypodium
(Polypodium) These are leaf-losing (deciduous) and hardy evergreen Ferns that are found in many parts of the world including tropical, semitropical and temperate areas. Some may be cultivated in hothouses and some in cool greenhouses. The bright green leaves are thin and tough and may vary from only a few inches to 6 feet long. They may be pinnate (feathery-divided once), bipinnate (divided twice), or simple (undivided).…

Coastal Myall
(Acacia) This group consists of about 1,000 species that are found in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in Australia and Africa. These evergreens should not be confused with the trees and shrubs commonly known as acacia, which belong to the group Robinia. These tender evergreens are totally different and are commonly known as Mimosas and Wattles. The Australian types are called Wattles because their lumber was used by early settlers in the wattle-and-daub method of building home…

Cob Cactus
(Echinopsis) This large group of beautiful cacti is native to the southern part of South America. These species range from very small and globular to tall, columnar plants reaching a height of up to 30 feet. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors as well as produce large, gorgeous blossoms in an array of colors. Many of these cacti can survive near-freezing temperatures and neglect. They are excellent for growing in containers in greenhouses, homes and outdoors and as landscape plants. …

Cockscomb
(Celosia) These tender annuals come from tropical Asia and other warm countries. There are two kinds of Celosia. One type bears brightly colored flowers that resemble a cock's comb in appearance. The flowers come in yellow, orange, crimson or pink. The other type has a flower that is soft and fluffy like a feather plume; they are colored crimson, scarlet or gold. Celosia bloom in the summer and fall. These plants will grow from 1-3 feet high.…

Cockspur
(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…

Coffee Tree
(Polyscias) This group consists of about 80 tropical shrubs and trees that are native to New Zealand, tropical Asia and the Pacific Islands. They are excellent as houseplants in cold climates and as hedges in very warm ones. These plants are also excellent as Bonsai specimens. These plants are valued for their decorative foliage, which is finely divided and in some species, beautifully variegated. P. fruticosa (Ming Aralia) can grow up to 8 feet high (though it can be kept small by pruning) and …

Collards
(Brassica) 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.…

Colza
(Brassica) 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.…

Common Osier
(Salix) Salix is the botanical name for a group of deciduous (leaf-losing) trees and shrubs, which are mostly hardy. They are found wild throughout Europe, northern Africa, Asia, and North America; a few are found in the Southern Hemisphere. Some grow naturally in the arctic and alpine regions. The common name for this group and also the old Latin name is, Willow. Most Willows grow rapidly and are fairly short-lived. Their young stems are flexible and strong, but the old bra…

Common Reed Grass
(Phragmites) These tall, aquatic perennials, commonly known as the Common Reed Grass, are natives of North America and many other regions. P. maxima is an attractive Grass for landscape planting. Growing up to 15 feet high, this variety is too invasive and large for most water gardens. It produces plumed flower heads that can be dried and used for decoration. This plant grows naturally in marshes with brackish or sweet water. P. australis 'Aurea', the Variegated Dwarf Common Reed, is a handsome …

Coneflower
(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…

Coontail
(Ceratophyllum) These aquatic perennials are commonly known as Coontails or Hornworts. They are found in ponds and lakes in many parts of the world, including North America. Coontails are often found floating freely or loosely anchored in the mud. The plant consists of long stems, 1 or 2 feet in length, covered in whorls of dark green, feathery, forked leaves that grow up to 11/2 inches in length. Unnoticeable flowers are produced in the axils of the leaves. Coontails can be placed in a pond to …

Coral Berry
(Ardisia) This is a large group of tender, evergreen shrubs and trees. A. crispa has small, dark green, shiny leaves and pinkish-white flowers in the spring. Small plants look lovely in pots when covered with their scarlet berries in the fall. The flowers and berries last a long time, so it's common to see flowers and green and ripe berries at the same time. This plant forms a bush about 4 feet high. It can be grown in a greenhouse that has a minimum winter temperature of 50 degrees, or as a hou…

Coral Blow
(Russelia) These frost-tender, shrubby perennials (Coral Blow) are natives of tropical America and Mexico. They grow 3 feet or more in height with a spread of 2 feet. The tiny, dark green leaves are scale-like, growing on thin, rush-like stems. In the summer and fall, a profusion of small, tubular, scarlet flowers are borne in hanging clusters. Coral Blows are great for hanging baskets.…

Coral Gem
(Lotus) These are pretty ornamental plants, one of which is used as a vegetable. These tender and hardy perennials belong to the Pea family, Leguminosae. Some are found growing wild in the Canary Isles, Cape Verde Islands, the Mediterranean region, other parts of Europe and Asia, and some in North America.…

Coral Plant
(Berberidopsis) This group consists of one, evergreen shrub that is native to Chile. B. corallina (Coral Plant) is a beautiful, medium-sized plant with climbing stems. The leathery, green leaves are edged with spiny teeth. In late summer, dark crimson flowers are produced singly on thin stalks or in pendant clusters.…

Cork Tree
(Phellodendron) These deciduous trees, commonly known as Cork Trees, are natives of eastern Asia. They have short trunks and wide spreading crowns. P. amurense (Amur Cork Tree) grows 30 to 40 feet high. It has deeply ridged, corky bark and dark green, compound leaves growing 9 to 15 inches long and consisting of 5 to 13 leaflets. Its foliage turns yellow in the fall. Small, inconspicuous, greenish-yellow male and female flowers are produced on separate trees. Clusters of black berries follow the…

Corkscrew Rush
(Juncus) Several of these Rushes are found wild in North America. Few are decorative enough to merit planting in the garden; however, Juncus effusus spiralis, the Corkscrew Rush, is an attractive plant and useful for planting in moist ground. It grows up to 3 feet high with a spread of 2 feet and forms tufts of spiraling, leafless, evergreen stems that are often prostrate. In the summer, tiny, greenish-brown flowers are produced in compact heads.…

Corn
(Zea) This is a very popular vegetable known as Corn. Corn is actually a tall annual grass and all kinds, including the three described below, are varieties of a single species, Zea mays. Corn has been a valuable food at least since the Incas cultivated it.…

Cornflower
(Centaurea) These are hardy, herbaceous, perennial and annual plants that are natives of many European countries, in North America and other numerous places. Some of the herbaceous kinds make very nice border plants. Centaureas belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. The annual Cornflower, C. Cyanus, also known as Bachelor's-Button, grows 1 to 11/2 feet high. This plant produces blue, rose or white flowers that may be single or double. They are great for cut flowers. C. americana is a pretty ann…

Cos 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.…

Cotton Ball
(Espostoa) This group consists of sixteen, columnar cacti from the Andes of southern Ecuador and Peru. In their native habitat, they grow in very rocky soil on the sides of steep valleys, but in cultivation, they grow well in any well-drained soil. Most species are clothed in woolly spines through which longer, sharp spines protrude. After 10 to 30 years, when they reach flowering size, a cephalium, or thick beard of white wool forms on one side of the upper stem. Unpleasant smelling, tubular, l…

Cotton Grass
(Eriophorum) These hardy perennials, commonly known as Cotton Grass, grow wild in boggy places of the Northern Hemisphere. E. angustifolium produces flat, leathery, grass-like leaves from creeping, underground rhizomes. It bears tassels of white flowers that look like tufts of silky cotton, thus the common name. This plant grows up to a foot high. It can be grown on the edge of your water garden, though care must be taken that it doesn't become a nuisance.…

Cottonwood
(Populus) Populus is a large group of deciduous (leaf-losing) trees that can attain great heights. These trees, commonly known as Aspen, Poplar and Cottonwood trees, are found in Europe, Asia and North America. Some are found wild in other regions, one being a native of tropical Africa. It is difficult to say how many wild kinds there are, because these trees hybridize very easily. Some of the Poplars are very pretty in bloom, especially the male forms, which may also have reddish leaves when th…

Cow Tongue Cactus
(Gasteria) This group of succulent plants is native to South Africa. These plants are commonly known as Ox Tongues, Cow Tongue Cactus and Lawyer's Tongues because of the shape of their leaves. Their long, slender, fleshy leaves form two facing, erect rows when young, with some varieties spiraling into a rosette with age. Their dark green leaves are often spotted, mottled, or striped with white. The name Gasteria is derived from gaster, belly, and refers to the swollen middle of the flower…

Crab Apple Tree
(Malus) Malus is the botanical name for a group of popular trees commonly known as Apple trees and Crab Apple Trees. These small, deciduous trees and shrubs are suitable for growing in the temperate zones. Their lovely, fragrant blossoms are a welcome sight in the spring and the arrival of their delicious and ornamental fruits is anticipated. Below, Crab Apples and Apples will be described separately.…

Crab'S Claw
(Stratiotes) S. aloides, commonly known as Crab's Claw, Water Aloe and Water Soldier, is a hardy, aquatic perennial found wild in various parts of Europe. This plant has small, fleshy, sword-shaped leaves that resemble a floating Pineapple or Aloe plant. Greenish-white, male and female flowers grow on separate plants. When the flowers of this plant die, the plant sinks beneath the water's surface and forms axillary shoots that grow into winter buds. The plant will reappear again in late summer.…

Crambe
(Heartleaf Crambe, Sea Kale) These hardy perennials originate in Asia and Europe and include one, C. maritima, also known as Sea Kale, which is used as a vegetable. C. Cordifolia, Heartleaf Crambe, is a vigorous, many-branched plant with very large, dark green leaves that are heart-shaped and crinkled. The white, 4-petaled flowers are tiny and are borne in large, loose sprays in the summer. The Heartleaf Crambe can grow up to 6 feet high with a spread of 4 feet or more. C. maritima, the Sea Kale…

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…

Curculigo
(Weevil Plant) These are tender plants that are grown for their ornamental foliage. They come from Malaya and tropical Asia. The plants grow about 3 feet high. Their lance-shaped, plicate (crinkled from top to bottom), evergreen leaves grow directly from the rhizome. The leafstalks are one-third the length of the leaves and they overlap one another at their bases to form a thick stem. Small bunches of flowers having six petals are produced in the axils of the leaves.…

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…

Cynoglossum
(Hound's Tongue) This is a group of hardy annuals, biennials and perennials found wild in China and India. They grow from 18 inches to 3 feet high. C. nervosum is a perennial that forms clumps of oval to oblong, green basal leaves; thinner leaves grow along the stems. Small, bright blue flowers, which resemble Forget-Me-Nots, are produced in small clusters early in the summer. C. amabile is a biennial that produces white, pink, or blue flowers in June and July.…

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…