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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Update for June 2014

Sorry I have not posted anything for a while:
I have been working on a host of things since the exams were over. Among these other things are a handful of posts for "Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters" that have gotten a bit technical. It is very interesting stuff about the plants but I like to verify information with actual primary sources which in this case has meant hunting down scientific journals and text books. Also I split off some stuff and relegated it to one of my other blogs "The Blood of Souls" (which is a blog on etymology, translation and language issues) since it was etymology related and although I have covered etymology in some of my posts this one is a bit more involved and required me to go into some mythology in depth to explain why the plant was given that name ... or rather why the genus was given that name.
Well ... okay it is more speculation since I have not been able to find any source that can confirm the meaning and origin of the genus name. But ... well you will just have to wait until the posts are finished.
I have also been working on the following:
  • Revising old posts for accuracy (typos etc.
  • Amending the taxonomical information (in accordance with the system that I am adopting)
  • Adding references to sources (books, articles and websites as well as direct links to on-line material when I can do so).
  • Adding to the glossaries (I may end up merging the glossaries)
  • Adding labels to posts
  • Adding a "Useful Links / Websites" page with brief summaries of what they contain to help people wanting more information.
  • Cross linking with my other Blogs where relevant (mainly the etymology related stuff).
  • Researching, verifying and filling in the gaps for common names in other languages
  • Restructuring the layout of data so that they are presented in a more uniform manner.
  • I have been wondering about working on some translations into French at least. However, there is a translation widget which might make that unnecessary ... although having used these before to translate stuff from other languages into English ... these programmes are not exactly very precise and can give rather stilted if not downright bizarre translation.
  • I have some visits to assorted parks and botanical gardens planned which should net a lot of photos and material to research, write about and post. I plan on preparing a lot of draft posts so that when my course resumes all I will need to do will be to click "Publish" when a new post is due. That way I will ensure that I do not have long period with no posts.
  • I'm really hoping that I will be able to organise an interview with some agriculturists as well as a visit to some hives because I have been wanting to do some in-depth posts on bees. I might be able to squeeze in some other bugs and critters as well as some other stuff.
  • Keep in mind that I also have other things that I need to do over the next three months before the next term start. These range from other research and writing projects and some photography and art projects.
 In the mean time I would like to thank all my regular readers for their continued interest and to new readers for visiting the blog. If you find any errors or inaccuracies please let me know so I can correct them. Also please leave a comment and vote in the polls. The polls appear in the top right hand corner along the main body of the blog.

Thank you,


Royal Greenhouses Laken: # 4 of 5 - 2014






















Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Celosia

Celosias are a genus of flowering plants in the plant family Amaranthaceae which have furry looking flowers. The familial name Amaranthaceae comes from the Greek ἀμάραντος (amarantos), which means "unfading."


















Binomial Name: Celosia cristata
Common names: Celosia, Woolflower, Cockscomb, Crested cock’s comb (English); crête de coq (French); Silber-Brandschopf  Vulu (Samoan); Celosiau (Spanish); Mufugu (Swahili), Chi Kuan (Chinese)
Taxonomic hierarchy: 


Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Caryophyllanae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae – Pigweed (English) Amaranthes (French)
Genus: Celosia – 
Species: C. cristata

Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [June 15 2014], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.


References:

Books:
  • Lippert Wolfgang, and Podlech Dieter, Wild Flowers of Britain & Europe, translated and adapted by Martin Walters, Collins 2011, page 144
  • Branson Andrew, Wild Flowers of Britain & Europe, Octopus Publishing 2011, page 146

On-line sources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Friday, 13 June 2014

Intriguing Plants: Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis


Cymbalaria muralis is one of those plants that can easily be overlooked due how minute their flowers are which is a pity as it is a rather beautiful plant as well as being one with an intriguing method of propagation.
 Cymbalaria muralis is native to south  and south-west Europe from where it was brought and introduced to the British Isles in the seventeenth century. Its normal habitat is rocky terrain either on rocks, rock walls or footpaths. Its unusual method of propagation is related to how its flower stalk starts of as being positively phototrophic, moving towards light but becomes negatively phototrophic once the flowers have been fertilized. As a result the flower heads end up being pushed into crevices of the rock wall on which they are growing. This greatly increases the likelihood that the seeds will germinate and grow in their preferred environment.

The specific name muralis is Latin for "wall" and this is also reflected in some of its French, German, Dutch and Spanish names.  "Murs" being walls in French, as does "mauer" in German, "muur" in Dutch and "muralla" in Spanish. Also one of its French names "Ruine-de-Rome" might be a reference to its Mediterranean origin where no doubt it was commonly seen growing on various ruins in Rome. One of its English names "Colisseum ivy" also alludes to this and since its origin by some is given more specifically as Italy.

Binomial Name: Cymbalaria muralis
Common names: Ivy-leaved toadflax and Kenilworth ivy, Climbing Sailor, Colisseum ivy,
Devil's ribbon, Female fluellen , Ivy weed, Ivy wort, Kentucky ivy, Mother of thousands, Oxford ivy
Oxford weed, Penny leaf, Pennywort, Roving sailor, Wandering Jew, Wandering sailor, (English); Cymbalaire des murs, Linaire cymbalaire and Ruine-de-Rome (French); Zimbelkraut, Zymbelkraut, Mauer-Zimbelkraut and Eustett (German); muurleeuwenbek (Dutch): Cymbalaria muralis, picard, hierba de campanario (Spanish:
Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Order: Lamiales – 
Family: Plantaginaceae – 
Genus – Cymbalaria - 
Species: C. muralis


References:

Books:
  • Lippert Wolfgang, and Podlech Dieter, Wild Flowers of Britain & Europe, translated and adapted by Martin Walters, Collins 2011, page 144
  • Branson Andrew, Wild Flowers of Britain & Europe, Octopus Publishing 2011, page 146

On-line sources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/