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20 posts tagged botany

7th August, 2014

Snapdragons (genus Antirrhinum) are so named because of their resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. When they die, however, they take on a much more macabre appearance, that of a tiny skull. Snapdragons (genus Antirrhinum) are so named because of their resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. When they die, however, they take on a much more macabre appearance, that of a tiny skull. Snapdragons (genus Antirrhinum) are so named because of their resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. When they die, however, they take on a much more macabre appearance, that of a tiny skull.

Snapdragons (genus Antirrhinum) are so named because of their resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. When they die, however, they take on a much more macabre appearance, that of a tiny skull.

30th July, 2014

libutron:

Stapelia hirsuta var. hirsuta
The beautiful and rare Stapelia hirsuta (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is a species restricted to the South/western Cape Province of South Africa.
This bizarre plant produces a huge, star-shaped flower reaching 6” across. This species is covered in dense hairs. However, the unique aspect of these plants is that in wild they are pollinated by flies and beetles and emit a special, foul smelling odor.
The genus epithet “Stapelia" was named in honour of Johannes van Stapel, who published drawings and descriptions of the first Stapeliae discovered. The species name derives from the Latin adjective “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy, bristly”, so the specific name implies: “hairy”.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Martin Heigan
Locality: Western Cape, South Africa

libutron:

Stapelia hirsuta var. hirsuta

The beautiful and rare Stapelia hirsuta (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is a species restricted to the South/western Cape Province of South Africa.

This bizarre plant produces a huge, star-shaped flower reaching 6” across. This species is covered in dense hairs. However, the unique aspect of these plants is that in wild they are pollinated by flies and beetles and emit a special, foul smelling odor.

The genus epithet “Stapelia" was named in honour of Johannes van Stapel, who published drawings and descriptions of the first Stapeliae discovered. The species name derives from the Latin adjective “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy, bristly”, so the specific name implies: “hairy”.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Martin Heigan

Locality: Western Cape, South Africa

(via )

14th July, 2014

Pictured above is an African daisy (Osteospermum sp.), also known as “Pink Whirls.” Native to Africa, there are approximately 50 species of African daisy. The African daisy is a half-hardy perennial plant, which means that it requires consistently warm temperatures and is able to flower over the course of several years. This species of daisy is closely related to the flower, chrysanthemum.
 Photo by Jon Sullivan; courtesy PDPhoto.org.

Pictured above is an African daisy (Osteospermum sp.), also known as “Pink Whirls.” Native to Africa, there are approximately 50 species of African daisy. The African daisy is a half-hardy perennial plant, which means that it requires consistently warm temperatures and is able to flower over the course of several years. This species of daisy is closely related to the flower, chrysanthemum.

 Photo by Jon Sullivan; courtesy PDPhoto.org.

(Source: news.science360.gov)

10th January, 2014

Pollen from a variety of common plants as seen through an electron microscope: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 ¼m long. The photo was taken at the Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility, Dartmouth College. (Date of Image: Unknown).

Pollen from a variety of common plants as seen through an electron microscope: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 ¼m long. The photo was taken at the Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility, Dartmouth College. (Date of Image: Unknown).

(Source: nsf.gov)

30th December, 2013

These Pollia condensata berries are so colorful that they might have been picked minutes ago. In fact, they were gathered in 1974. Like beetles and butterflies, their color comes not from pigments but from the refractive geometries of their surface coverings, which don’t degrade over time. (Some beetle colors even shine true after nearly 50 million years.) Researchers say that P. condensata's blue is the most intense color in the natural world.
Image: Vignolini et al./PNAS

These Pollia condensata berries are so colorful that they might have been picked minutes ago. In fact, they were gathered in 1974. Like beetles and butterflies, their color comes not from pigments but from the refractive geometries of their surface coverings, which don’t degrade over time. (Some beetle colors even shine true after nearly 50 million years.) Researchers say that P. condensata's blue is the most intense color in the natural world.

Image: Vignolini et al./PNAS

25th November, 2012

One of the most interesting of all dune plants, and certainly one of the most bizarre wildflowers in North America is “sand food” (Pholisma sonorae). This amazing parasitic flowering plant grows in the Algodones Dunes of southeastern California and adjacent Arizona, and in the sand dunes of El Gran Desierto in Sonora, Mexico (north of Bahia Adair in the Gulf of California). Within this area, the plants grow on sand dunes produced by wind transport of sand from the beaches of ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Colorado River delta. Another unusual species of sand food (Pholisma culiacana) is endemic to rocky, subtropical thorn scrub 500 miles (800 km) south in Sinaloa, Mexico. The disjunct distribution of these two species may be explained by plate tectonics.

One of the most interesting of all dune plants, and certainly one of the most bizarre wildflowers in North America is “sand food” (Pholisma sonorae). This amazing parasitic flowering plant grows in the Algodones Dunes of southeastern California and adjacent Arizona, and in the sand dunes of El Gran Desierto in Sonora, Mexico (north of Bahia Adair in the Gulf of California). Within this area, the plants grow on sand dunes produced by wind transport of sand from the beaches of ancient Lake Cahuilla and the Colorado River delta. Another unusual species of sand food (Pholisma culiacana) is endemic to rocky, subtropical thorn scrub 500 miles (800 km) south in Sinaloa, Mexico. The disjunct distribution of these two species may be explained by plate tectonics.

23rd November, 2012

sugaratoms:

King spider orchidThe red ‘lip’ of a king spider orchid (Caladenia pectinata) attracts wasps who, thinking that it’s a mate, rub against it and take away pollen to fertilise another flower.

Photo Credit: Don Fuchs

sugaratoms:

King spider orchid
The red ‘lip’ of a king spider orchid (Caladenia pectinata) attracts wasps who, thinking that it’s a mate, rub against it and take away pollen to fertilise another flower.

Photo Credit: Don Fuchs

(via Sugar Atoms)

7th July, 2012

This is a photo of Tulip field in Northern Holland. Tulips come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as an array of colours; red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, in fact there are 1,700 varieties of tulips!! But did you know, that about 80% of them come from the Netherlands?Today over 3 billion tulip bulbs are cultivated in Holland, 2 billion of which are exported; with the United States of America being the top importer, taking around 1 billion a year!!Contrary to belief, tulips are not actually native to the Netherlands, The are naturally found in high altitude areas where during the winter thick layers of snow offers them good protection from the severe cold. Given this natural liking of tulips for high places, it is all the more remarkable that the Dutch should become known for growing tulips, as the Netherlands is largely situated below sealevel and their winters are more wet than cold!

This is a photo of Tulip field in Northern Holland. 

Tulips come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as an array of colours; red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, in fact there are 1,700 varieties of tulips!! But did you know, that about 80% of them come from the Netherlands?

Today over 3 billion tulip bulbs are cultivated in Holland, 2 billion of which are exported; with the United States of America being the top importer, taking around 1 billion a year!!

Contrary to belief, tulips are not actually native to the Netherlands, The are naturally found in high altitude areas where during the winter thick layers of snow offers them good protection from the severe cold. Given this natural liking of tulips for high places, it is all the more remarkable that the Dutch should become known for growing tulips, as the Netherlands is largely situated below sealevel and their winters are more wet than cold!

10th June, 2012

Monkey Orchids, aka, the coolest flower I’ve ever seen.

From Kuriositas:

Its scientific name is Dracula simia, the last part nodding towards the fact that this remarkable orchid bears more than a passing resemblance to a monkey’s face – although we won’t go as far as to be species specific on this one. The Dracula (genus) part of its name refers to the strange characteristic of the two long spurs of the sepals, reminiscent of the fangs of a certain Transylvanian count of film and fiction fame.

Monkey Orchids, aka, the coolest flower I’ve ever seen.

From Kuriositas:

Its scientific name is Dracula simia, the last part nodding towards the fact that this remarkable orchid bears more than a passing resemblance to a monkey’s face – although we won’t go as far as to be species specific on this one. The Dracula (genus) part of its name refers to the strange characteristic of the two long spurs of the sepals, reminiscent of the fangs of a certain Transylvanian count of film and fiction fame.

5th June, 2012

Tacca chantrieri, aka the Chinese Bat Black Flower, is a flowering plant in the yam family. These flowers can grow up to a foot across and bear ‘whiskers’ that can grow up to 28 inches long. Gardeners cultivate them as ornamental plants, which makes sense seeing as they produce stunning flowers. Not only do they resemble bats when opened, they also produce fruits that resemble sleeping bats.

Tacca chantrieri, aka the Chinese Bat Black Flower, is a flowering plant in the yam family. These flowers can grow up to a foot across and bear ‘whiskers’ that can grow up to 28 inches long. Gardeners cultivate them as ornamental plants, which makes sense seeing as they produce stunning flowers. Not only do they resemble bats when opened, they also produce fruits that resemble sleeping bats.