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


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…

Daphniphyllum
This group consists of ten tender, evergreen trees and shrubs from East and Southeast Asia to Australia. D. macropodum is a large shrub with large, light green leaves with bloomy undersides and red petioles. Clusters of unnoticeable flowers are produced in late spring. They grow under the leaves and have no petals, but emit a pungent scent. The flowers are followed by bluish-black, pea shaped fruits. This variety is fairly hardy, but must be protected from cold, drying winds.…

Darmera
This perennial grows 3 or 4 feet high and is found wild on mountain streambanks and in forests from northwest California to southwest Oregon. The leaves of this plant are green, round and fuzzy, growing up to 2 feet across. The small, white or light pink flowers are produced in umbrella-like bunches atop stout, white hairy stems. They grow in the spring before the leaves. The Umbrella Plant, as it is commonly called, grows 3 to 4 feet high.…

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 …

Deutzia
This group consists of about seventy deciduous shrubs that are natives of the Himalayas and South and East Asia. These flowering shrubs reach a height ranging from 4 to 61/2 feet, depending on the variety. D. chunii is a medium-sized shrub that flowers in mid-summer. The blossoms are 1/2-inch across with pink or white petals curved back to reveal the yellow anthers. They are produced in panicles, up to 4 inches long, along the branches. D. setchuenensis var. corymbiflora is a beautiful shrub tha…

Devil Flower
(Tacca) These are interesting, evergreen, perennial and herbaceous plants that grow wild in many tropical climates. They can be grown in humid, tropical greenhouses. T. pinnatifida (leontopetaloides) contains a lot of starch in its rhizomes, which, when extracted and prepared for food, is called East Indian Arrowroot or South Sea Arrowroot. The kinds in cultivation have creeping rhizomes or rootstocks and large, oval, crinkly foliage. The purplish-brown flowers are produced in bunches atop long,…

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…

Devil'S-Tongue
(Hydrosme) This is a tuberous rooted plant that is a native of Africa and Asia. Hydrosme grows 3-4 feet tall and its huge bloom, which resembles a calla lily, is produced in late winter or spring before the foliage appears. The flower is brownish-purple and at maturity gives out a putrid odor. During the summer, this plant may be placed outdoors, either in the open ground or buried just about to the rim of its pot in soil, cinders, or sand.…

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…

Dianella
(Flax Lily) These tender perennials, also known as Flax Lilies, are found wild in cool, moist forests of Tasmania and southeast Australia. Their height ranges from 1 to 5 feet. D. Tasmanica forms clumps of stiff, dark green, strap-shaped leaves. Panicles of bright blue, star-shaped, drooping flowers are produced in the summer; these are followed by deep blue berries in the fall. This plant grows up to 4 feet with a spread of 20 inches. Several others will be mentioned below in the varieties sect…

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.…

Diascia
(Twinspur) This is a group of annuals and perennials grown for their pretty flowers. They are found wild in South Africa, the Drakensberg mountains and West Lesotho. D. rigescens is a perennial with heart shaped, serrated, medium green leaves and thick, erect spikes of spurred, flat-faced, salmon-pink flowers throughout the summer. It grows up to 9 inches high. D. vigilis is also a perennial and has narrow, oval, pale green leaves with toothed edges. Its flat, clear pink flowers are produced in …

Dicentra
These lovely perennials are found wild in shady hollows and forests from Siberia to Japan. Dicentras are commonly known as Bleeding Hearts. The varieties of these plants range in height from 12 to 30 inches and spread up to 18 inches or more. D. spectabilis var. alba is a clump-forming plant with light green, deeply divided leaves resembling those of the fern. Its pure white, heart-shaped flowers hang pendulous from arching stems in late spring and early summer. It is sometimes hard to distingui…

Dichorisandra
These tender perennials are mainly grown for their ornamental foliage. They are natives to the tropical areas in Peru. D. reginae is an erect, clump-forming variety with large, evergreen, oval leaves that are shiny green, banded and mottled with silver above and purple-red underneath. The small, purple-blue flowers are borne in thick spikes from summer to fall. This plant grows 24 to 30 inches high. D. mosaica has blue and white, smooth, round leafstalks and leaves that have a mosaic pattern of …

Dichromena
(Star Grass) This tender, aquatic Sedge is commonly known as Star Grass. It grows from 12 to 18 inches high and produces tufts of bright green stems, which are topped with white, star-shaped flower bracts.…

Dicksonia
(Man Fern, Soft Tree Fern) These Ferns, commonly called Man Fern, Soft Tree Fern and Tree Fern, are found in tropical America, New Zealand and Australia. These Ferns can reach a height of 40 feet with a spread of 12 feet. D. antarctica is a trunk-forming Fern that grows up to 30 feet high. It has evergreen or semi-evergreen, long, arching fronds that are divided into linear segments. They are pale green when young and turn dark green as they age. The fronds grow up to 10 feet long. This plant is…

Dictamnus
These hardy perennials are originally from southwest Europe, south and central Asia, Korea and China. These plants are commonly called Burning Bushes because, in aridweather, a flammable oil exudes from the leaves and seedpods and if a flame is placed near, will sometimes ignite without damaging the plant. Other common names include Gas Plant, Dittany and Fraxinella. D. albus is an erect plant growing up to 3 feet high with a spread of 2 feet. The fragrant, light green leaves are divided in lanc…

Didiscus
(Trachymene) This is an annual that can be grown in greenhouses for cut flowers or outdoors. This plant grows upright, 1 to 2 feet. Its fuzzy stems are clothed with finely divided leaves that grow 2 to 4 inches long. The flowers are produced in umbels, up to 3 inches across, at the ends of the stems; they may be colored medium to pale blue. Picking off the dead flowers will increase the blooms. This plant is a native of Australia.…

Dieffenbachia
This group consists of about 30 tropical perennials native to Costa Rica, Columbia, Brazil, Puerto Rico and the West Indies. These plants are popularly grown as houseplants because of their beautiful foliage; however, care must be taken, as they are very poisonous (*See Note below*). Dumb Cane (the common name) is one of the easiest plants to grow. They have cane-like stems and can grow about 4 feet high. Their large leaves may be oval with pointed tips or long and narrow and their bases …

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

Digitalis
This group of perennials is commonly known as Foxglove. Some of these beautiful plants are found in the woods and near streams of central Europe and some are found in the woods, scrub, and rocky places in Turkey. These plants grow from 30 inches to 4 feet high with a spread of 1 foot. D. ferruginea forms rosettes of olive to medium-green, narrowly oval leaves. Its funnel-shaped flowers are pale golden-brown and white. They are borne in thick, spires in mid-summer. Although this plant is a perenn…

Dill
(Anethum) Anethum graveolens is the botanical name for the well-known herb, Dill. This half hardy, cool weather annual is a native to southwest Asia, but is now widely naturalized in North America. Dill blooms and sets seeds when nights are short and days are warm. The delicate, feathery plants are blue green and grow from 3 to 5 feet tall. They are topped with little bunches of lacy yellow flowers on stiff, hollow stems.…

Dimorphotheca
(Cape Marigold, Star Of The Veldt) These are hardy annuals or tender perennials that produce large, vividly colored flowers on top of long, slender stems. The flowers resemble daisies and they belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. They are natives of South Africa and many varieties have been raised from the original wild types. D. aurantiaca produces blooms in pale and dark yellows, salmons and apricots, or white. D. Ecklonis can grow up to 2 feet high and bears large, white flowers tinted wit…

Dinner Plate
(Aeonium) This group mostly consists of quick-growing, small to medium-sized succulents that form rosettes of waxy leaves. These succulents may be stem-less or shrub-like. Natives of the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Madeira and parts of Africa, they thrive best in warm, dry climates. Since they grow well in direct sunlight, they are good for window gardens, though some prefer shade. Mature plants range in height from 1½ to 6 feet. The foliage varies among the varieties; some are colored d…

Dinosaur Back Plant
(Myrtillocactus) This group only consists of about three, tree-like cacti from Mexico. Young plants are excellent grown in containers in a window garden or greenhouse; older plants make spectacular landscape specimens. In their native habitats, these cacti can grow up to 20 feet high with a trunk-like stem. However, plants grown from cuttings don't form a trunk, rather they branch at their base. In the summer, two or three, white flowers are produced per areole. These are followed by small, edib…

Dionaea
(Venus Flytrap) This tender, insectivorous perennial is popularly known as the Venus Flytrap. It grows up to 4 inches high and spreads up to a foot. The Venus Flytrap is found wild in the bogs of North and South Carolina. D. muscipula has evergreen, 2-lobed leaves, which are hinged at the midrib. They are stained pink with touch-sensitive bristles inside and edged with long, stiff bristles. When an insect lands in the leaves, the lobes close together tightly. The insects are then dissolved by th…

Dioscorea
(Cinnamon Vine, White Manila Yam, Yam) This is a group of tropical and subtropical vines that can be grown for ornament as well as a food crop.…

Diospyros
(Date Plum, Persimmon) 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 emit…

Dipelta
This group consists of only four deciduous, large shrubs native to China. D. floribunda is a rare, large shrub growing from 6 to 12 feet high. This shrub produces beautiful, bell-shaped, fragrant blossoms in late spring. The 11/2-inch long flowers are rosy-pink with yellow throats.…

Diplarrhena
D. moraea forms clumps of long, thin medium green leaves. Its small, fragrant flowers consist of three rounded petals, which are white, and the centers are yellow and purple. They are borne atop wiry stems in early summer. They somewhat resemble Irises. This plant grows up to 18 inches high with a spread of 9 inches. D. moraea is originally from Tasmania and southeast Australia. This perennial is only hardy outdoors in mild climates.…

Dipteronia
This group consists of two large, deciduous shrubs found wild in central and southern China. They are related to the Maple, though they differ in that the fruits are winged all around instead of just one side. D. sinensis is a shrub with handsome, large, pinnate leaves. The unnoticeable flowers are followed by large bunches of decorative, light green seeds that eventually turn red.…

Disanthus
This group consists of only one deciduous shrub native to Japan. D. cercidifolius is an attractive shrub that can reach a height from 8 to 12 feet. Its rounded to broadly heart-shaped leaves turn brilliant fall colors of crimson and orange. Unnoticeable purplish flowers are produced in pairs from the leaf axils, in mid-fall.…

Disporum
Disporums (Fairy Bells or Fairy Lanterns) are perennials from North America and Japan. D. smithii is a spreading plant with oval to lance-shaped, mid-green leaves, which are heart-shaped at the base. The small, drooping flowers are tubular-bell-shaped. They are produced singly or in terminal clusters of 2 to 6, in the spring. They are white tipped with green. The flowers are followed by oval, orange-red berries. This plant grows from 12 to 14 inches high with a spread of 2 feet or more. It is fo…

Distylium
(Isu Tree) This group consists of about twelve evergreen shrubs and small trees from East and Southeast Asia and Central America. D. racemosum (Isu Tree) is a wide-spreading medium-sized to large-shrub that slowly grows to tree size in the wild. It has leathery, shiny dark green leaves. Its flowers, having no petals, consist of red stamens. They are produced in short racemes from mid- to late spring.…

Dolichos
(Hyacinth Bean) This is a large group of tropical vines that grow 10 to 30 feet high. The most commonly grown kind is D. Lablab, the Hyacinth Bean. This pretty vine has lavender-purple or white, fragrant flowers, which resemble tiny butterflies. They grow up to an inch across and are produced in loose racemes up to a foot long. The leaves may grow 3 to 6 inches long. This plant is usually grown as an annual. D. lignosus is an evergreen vine only suitable for growing in the South.…

Doronicum
Doronicums (Leopard's Bane) are perennials native to various parts of Europe. D. pardalianches forms clumps of heart-shaped, fuzzy, bright green leaves and small, golden yellow flowers, which resemble Daisies, atop thin, branching stems, in late spring. It grows about 30 inches high and spreads 2 feet. D. 'Miss Mason' grows 18 inches high and forms clumps of dark green, heart-shaped flowers that have serrated edges. Its daisy-like flowers are borne singly on a stem above the foliage in mid- to l…

Doryanthes
(Spear Lily) These tender perennials, known as Spear Lilies, are natives to Australia. They may be grown outdoors in warm regions; otherwise, they should be grown indoors. D. palmeri grows from 6 to 8 feet high with a spread of 8 feet. Its leaves are arching, sword-shaped, fleshy and green. They grow up to 6 feet long. The small flowers are produced intermittently in compact panicles. They have red bracts and are orange-red and white inside.…

Dorycnium
(Canary Clover) This group consists of about twelve deciduous sub-shrubs and herbaceous perennials native to the Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands. D. hirsutum (Canary Clover) is a small, tender sub-shrub. This dainty plant annually produces erect stems covered with small, silvery-fuzzy leaves usually consisting of five leaflets. From late summer into fall, terminal heads of white pea flowers tinged with pink are borne. These flowers are followed by dark red fruit pods, which contrast …

Dove Tree
(Davidia) 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, ball-shaped, clusters of flowers are produc…

Dregea
This group consists of three deciduous climbers from the warm regions of the Old World. D. sinensis is the hardiest variety, though it must still be grown where temperatures do not fall below 20º to 30º F. Its slender stems grow up to 10 feet long and are covered with ovate-shaped, bright green leaves that have gray-down beneath. In the summer, downy umbels of fragrant, white flowers are produced. They are spotted with red in the center.…

Drimys
(Pepper Tree, Winter's Bark) This is a group of tender, evergreen trees and shrubs originally from eastern Australia, New Guinea, Central and South America, and Malaysia. D. lanceolata (Pepper Tree) is a medium-sized to large, fragrant, erect-growing shrub with purplish-red shoots and dark green leaves that are light green underneath. Its young shoots are tinted with copper. White male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. They are abundantly produced from mid- to late spring. D. w…

Drosera
(Spoon-Leaf Sundew, Sundew) These tender perennials (Sundew) are very interesting, insectivorous plants found wild in bogs from southern Japan to eastern China and south to New Zealand. Sundews may grow up to 8 inches high and from May to August, produce thin, leafless stalks, 6 to 12 inches long, of white, crimson, or pink flowers. One flower opens each day, starting with the lowest flower, and can pollinate itself by the afternoon. D. spathulata, the Spoon-leaf Sundew, grows up to 3 inches hig…

Drunkard'S Dream
(Hatiora) There is only one commonly grown cactus of this group of Brazilian epiphytes; H. salicornioides is commonly called Drunkard's Dream and Spice Cactus. This small, epiphytic shrub forms a tall, profusely branching stem up to 16 inches high from which numerous shoots grow. The pendent, leafless shoots, which can grow over 6 inches long, are made up of bottle-shaped joints. If the plant is given bright light, the more slender portion of the joint will be shorter and the shoots will take on…

Dryas
(Mount Washington Dryad, Mountain Avens, Suendermann Dryad) This group consists of two hardy, creeping plants native to North America, Europe and Asia. Commonly known as Mountain Avens, these dwarf perennials are suitable for growing in the rock garden, scree, over paving, and the top of stone walls. They have crinkled, evergreen, oak-like, glossy dark green leaves that are grayish-green underneath. D. octopetala (Mount Washington Dryad) is a mat-forming variety that produces tons of cup-shaped,…

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

Duck Potato
(Sagittaria) These hardy and tender, bog and aquatic plants are commonly known as Arrowhead. They are great for the perimeter of pools and water gardens and for tanks or tubs in the greenhouse. The leaves are shaped like an arrowhead, thus the common name, and they produce tall spikes of pretty, white flowers, ½- to 1-inch in diameter, from June to October. S. sagittifolia, Common Arrowhead, is a hardy variety native to Europe and Asia. It produces underground tubers that are eaten in the Orient…

Duckweed
(Lemna) These aquatic plants are found all over the world. L. minor, known as Duckweed, is a tiny plant that floats on top of the water. It produces light green leaves, which have only a single root. Duckweed spreads rapidly and if not controlled will become a nuisance. This plant is eaten by fish and waterfowl, which help to keep its rapid growth in check. Duckweed prefers cooler temperatures and may disappear over hot summer months, but return when temperatures cool down again. L. trisulca, St…

Dulichium
(Water Bamboo) This aquatic plant is commonly known as Water Bamboo. Though it doesn't belong to the Bamboo family, it does resemble the plant. This plant can grow 2 feet high or more. It has slender, green leaves and tiny, unnoticeable flowers during the summer.…

Dusty Miller
(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…

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

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

Dwarf Apple Australian
(Angophora) Seven species of trees and shrubs all Australia.…

Dwarf Fan Palm
(Chamaerops) This group consists of only one tender, evergreen plant, native of Southwestern Europe and Northern Africa. C. humilis, commonly known as the Dwarf Fan Palm, is a dwarf Palm that grows over mountainsides along the shores of its native environment. The Dwarf Fan Palm rarely grows over 5 feet high, ordinarily forming a shrubby, multi-stemmed mass, though some have grown with a short trunk. Its large, fan-shaped leaves average 3 to 4 feet in length, are deeply divided and have very sti…

Dyers' Greenweed
(Genista) This group consists of about eighty evergreen and deciduous, hardy and tender shrubs or small trees that are natives of Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. These plants, commonly known as Brooms, have whip-like branches and green branchlets that are sparsely covered with foliage. The masses of pea-like flowers are produced from late spring to late summer, depending on the variety. Brooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are suitable for many uses, such as in a small rock …

Eagle Claws
(Echinocactus) This group consists of six cacti native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S. These globular- to barrel-shaped plants (Hedgehog Cactus) vary in size from small plants only 41/2 inches wide to giants 3 feet wide and 61/2 feet high, weighing more than 2,200 pounds. These plants produce a ring of open-faced flowers on the plant's crown ranging in color from golden yellow to purplish-red. These cacti are suitable for growing in containers in a greenhouse or home and as landscape plants.…

Early Winter Cress
(Barbarea) This small vegetable is originally from Europe. It's a biennial that loves cool weather. If not watched, it could become a pesky weed. They grow quickly into dandelion like rosettes of dark green, deeply lobed foliage. B. verna, also known as Upland Cress, Early Winter Cress, American Cress, Belle Isle Cress and Scurvy Grass, is used in salads or to add a nippy taste to mixed greens for cooking.…

Earth Almond
(Cyperus) 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 umbrella, thus the common name. Its variety, variegatus, has green and white leaves. Small, brown or green, fuzzy flowers are…

East Indian Arrowroot
(Tacca) These are interesting, evergreen, perennial and herbaceous plants that grow wild in many tropical climates. They can be grown in humid, tropical greenhouses. T. pinnatifida (leontopetaloides) contains a lot of starch in its rhizomes, which, when extracted and prepared for food, is called East Indian Arrowroot or South Sea Arrowroot. The kinds in cultivation have creeping rhizomes or rootstocks and large, oval, crinkly foliage. The purplish-brown flowers are produced in bunches atop long,…

Easter Lily 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. …

Eccremocarpus
(Chilean Glory Flower) This group consists of about five tender, evergreen, climbing plants from Chile. E. scaber (Chilean Glory Flower) is a climbing plant that quickly grows up to 16 feet long. Its stems are covered with bipinnate leaves that end in a slender, coiling tendril, which allows the plant to climb. The tube-shaped, 1-inch flowers are scarlet to orange or yellow. They are borne in clusters continually throughout the summer and fall.…

Echinacea
These hardy perennials are from North America and belong to the Daisy family, Compositae. E. purpurea, the Purple Coneflower, is an upright growing plant with dark green, lance-shaped leaves. It produces large, daisy-like cerise crimson flowers with a domed brown center. These are borne one to a stem during the summer. This plant grows up to 4 feet high and spreads about 20 inches or so. The flowers are great for cutting.…

Echinocactus
(Eagle Claws, Golden Barrel, Hedgehog Cactus, Mexican Giant Barrel, Mother-In-Law's Chair, Mule Crippler) This group consists of six cacti native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S. These globular- to barrel-shaped plants (Hedgehog Cactus) vary in size from small plants only 41/2 inches wide to giants 3 feet wide and 61/2 feet high, weighing more than 2,200 pounds. These plants produce a ring of open-faced flowers on the plant's crown ranging in color from golden yellow to purplish-red. These ca…

Echinocereus
(Claret Cup Hedgehog, Cylinder Bells, Hedgehog Cacti, Lace Cactus, Porcupine Hedgehog, Rainbow Cactus, Strawberry Cactus) 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 sum…

Echinodorus
(Melon Sword) E. radican var. Marble Queen is an aquatic perennial, commonly known as Melon Sword. It has large, medium green leaves mottled with creamy white to pale yellow patches. In the summer, small flowers resembling those of Sagittaria, are produced on top of arching stems; they are light purple fading to pink. This plant grows up to 3 feet high.…

Echinops
(Globe Thistle) These hardy perennials are commonly known as the Globe Thistle. They form clumps of deeply divided, spiny leaves, which are gray-green above and fuzzy-white beneath. They produce round, compact heads of tiny pale blue or grayish-white flowers, resembling thistles, atop gray-white stems in late summer. They are natives of southern and central Europe to Russia.…

Echinopsis
(Barrel Cactus, Cob Cactus, Easter Lily Cactus, Peanut Cactus, Sea-Urchin Cactus, Shining Ball) 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…

Edgeworthia
(Mitsumata, Paper Bush) This group consists of two tender, semi-evergreen or deciduous shrubs native to China and the Himalayas. E. chrysantha (Paper Bush, Mitsumata) is a deciduous plant that grows 4 to 5 feet high. In late winter this plant produces thick, nodding clusters of scented, yellow flowers, which are covered on the outside with silky hairs. This variety is used in Japan to make high quality banknote paper.…

Egeria
(Anacharis, Water Weed) E. densa, commonly known as Anacharis and Water Weed, is an aquatic perennial native to the warm and temperate regions of South America. It is now naturalized in Central and North America, Europe and Australia. Anacharis is a vigorous growing plant that has many branching stems that are clothed in whorls of sessile, linear leaves. The leaves have pointy tips that ordinarily bend backward and grow an inch in length. In warm water, 73º F and higher, the stems become spindl…

Egyptian Paper Reed
(Cyperus) 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 umbrella, thus the common name. Its variety, variegatus, has green and white leaves. Small, brown or green, fuzzy flowers are…

Eichhornia
(Water Hyacinth) These tender, aquatic perennials, commonly known as Water Hyacinths are natives of South America. These pretty plants easily reproduce and can become a huge nuisance if care is not taken. In some states they are illegal to sell and it is illegal to transport them from state to state. Water Hyacinths multiply so quickly that they can choke lakes, rivers and canals. E. crassipes has rosettes of shiny green, bulbous leaves. The leaves are kept afloat by air pockets in the bulbous a…

Elaegnus
(Oleaster, Russian Olive, Silverberry) This is a group of evergreen and deciduous trees or large shrubs commonly known as Oleasters. Oleasters make gorgeous lawn ornaments and are able to withstand city living. E. angustifolia, the Russian Olive, is a vigorous growing tree native to Asia and Europe. This tree usually has more than one trunk that eventually becomes gnarled and covered with dark brown, shaggy bark. This variety, when grown as a single-trunked tree, can grow up to 25 feet high. It …

Eleocharis
(Chinese Water Chestnut, Hair Grass, Spike Rush, Water Chestnut) This is a group of aquatic, rush-like perennials. Some grow naturally along the edges of ponds and others grow completely submerged. E. acicularis, Hair Grass, is a hardy variety native to North America, Asia and Europe. It has pale green, needle-like leaves, up to 8 inches in length. This plant spreads vigorously by means of rhizomes and care must be taken that it doesn't choke out other submerged plants. E. montevidensis, Spike R…