John Torrey was an American botanist and physician. Throughout much of his career, Torrey was a teacher of chemistry at multiple universities, while at the same time pursuing botanical work. Dr. Torrey's botanical career focused on the flora of North America, his most renowned works include studies of the New York flora, the Mexican Boundary, the Pacific railroad surveys, as well as the uncompleted Flora of North America. Torrey was born in the second child of Capt. William and Margaret Torrey. Torrey showed a fondness for mechanics, at one time planned to become a machinist, but when he was 15 or 16 years of age his father received an appointment to the state prison at Greenwich Village, New York, where he was tutored by Amos Eaton a prisoner and a pioneer of natural history studies in America, he thus learned the elements of botany, as well as something of chemistry. In 1815 he began the study of medicine with Wright Post, qualifying in 1818, he opened an office in New York City, engaged in the practice of medicine, at the same time devoting his leisure to botany and other scientific pursuits.
In 1817, he became one of the founders of the New York Lyceum of Natural History, one of his first contributions to this body was his Catalogue of Plants growing spontaneously within Thirty Miles of the City of New York. Its publication gained for him the recognition of native botanists. In 1824 he issued the only volume of his Flora of the Middle States; this used John Lindley's system of classifying flora, a way of classifying, not used in the United States. He found the medical profession uncongenial, on August 5, 1824 he entered the United States Army as an assistant surgeon and became acting professor of chemistry and geology at West Point military academy. Three years he became professor of chemistry and botany in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, where he stayed until 1855, when he was made professor emeritus, he was professor of chemistry at Princeton 1830-1854, of chemistry and botany at the University of the City of New York 1832/3. He resigned from his Army position on August 31, 1828.
In 1836 he was appointed botanist to the state of New York and produced his Flora of that state in 1843. From 1853 he was chief assayer to the United States assay office in New York City when that office was established, but he continued to take an interest in botanical teaching until his death, he was consulted by the treasury department on matters pertaining to the coinage and currency, was sent on special missions at various times to visit the different mints. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1856. In 1856, Torrey was chosen a trustee of Columbia College, in 1860, having presented the college with his herbarium, numbering about 50,000 specimens, he was made emeritus professor of chemistry and botany. On the consolidation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons with Columbia in 1860, he was chosen one of its trustees, his advice was sought on scientific subjects by various corporations. He was the first president of the Torrey Botanical Club in 1873.
Besides being the last surviving charter member of the Lyceum of Natural History, he held its vice presidency for several years, was president in 1824-26 and 1838, holding the same office in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1855, he was one of the original members of the National Academy of Science of the United States, being named as such by act of the United States Congress in 1863. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Yale in 1823, that of LL. D. by Amherst in 1845. Torrey died at his home in New York City on March 10, 1873. Torrey married Eliza Shaw on April 20, 1824. Torrey's earliest publications in the American Journal of Science are on mineralogy. In 1820, he undertook the examination of the plants, collected around the headwaters of the Mississippi by David B. Douglass. During the same year, he received the collections made by Edwin James while with the expedition, sent out to the Rocky Mountains under Major Stephen H. Long, his report was the earliest treatise of its kind in the United States, arranged on the natural system.
Torrey, in the meantime, had planned A Flora of the Northern and Middle United States, or a Systematic Arrangement and Description of all the Plants heretofore discovered in the United States North of Virginia, in 1824 began its publication in parts, but it was soon suspended owing to the general adoption of the natural system of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in place of that of Carl Linnaeus. In 1836, on the organization of the geological survey of New York, he was appointed botanist, required to prepare a flora of the state, his report, consisting of two quarto volumes, was issued in 1843, was for a long time the most comprehensive for any state in the United States. In 1838, he began with Asa Gray The Flora of North America, issued in numbers irregularly until 1843, when they had completed the Compositae, but new botanical material accumulated at such a rapid rate that it was deemed best to discontinue it. Subsequently, Torrey published reports on the plants that were collected by John C. Frémont in the expedition to the Rocky Mountains, those
Grusonia is a genus of opuntioid cacti, originating from the North American Deserts in Southwest United States and northern Mexico, including Baja California. Authors differ on precise boundaries of the genus, included in Cylindropuntia. Species include: Grusonia aggeria E. F. Anderson Grusonia agglomerata E. F. Anderson Grusonia bradtiana Britton & Rose Grusonia bulbispina H. Rob. Grusonia cereiformis Grusonia clavata H. Rob. Grusonia dumetorum E. F. Anderson Grusonia emoryi Pinkava Grusonia grahamii H. Rob. Grusonia hamiltonii Grusonia invicta E. F. Anderson Grusonia kunzei Pinkava Grusonia marenae E. F. Anderson Grusonia moelleri E. F. Anderson Grusonia parishii Pinkava Grusonia pulchella H. Rob. Grusonia reflexispina E. F. Anderson Grusonia santamaria Grusonia schottii H. Rob. Grusonia stanlyi Grusonia vilis H. Rob. Grusonia wrightiana Grusonia zhou
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, kaktos, a name used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in dry environments being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. All cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are modified leaves; as well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of leaves, enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis.
Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which grows in Africa and Sri Lanka. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti; as well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are tubular and multipetaled. Many cacti have short growing seasons and long dormancies, are able to react to any rainfall, helped by an extensive but shallow root system that absorbs any water reaching the ground surface. Cactus stems are ribbed or fluted, which allows them to expand and contract for quick water absorption after rain, followed by long drought periods. Like other succulent plants, most cacti employ a special mechanism called "crassulacean acid metabolism" as part of photosynthesis. Transpiration, during which carbon dioxide enters the plant and water escapes, does not take place during the day at the same time as photosynthesis, but instead occurs at night.
The plant stores the carbon dioxide it takes in as malic acid, retaining it until daylight returns, only using it in photosynthesis. Because transpiration takes place during the cooler, more humid night hours, water loss is reduced. Many smaller cacti have globe-shaped stems, combining the highest possible volume for water storage, with the lowest possible surface area for water loss from transpiration; the tallest free-standing cactus is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m, the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm in diameter at maturity. A grown saguaro is said to be able to absorb as much as 200 U. S. gallons of water during a rainstorm. A few species differ in appearance from most of the family. At least superficially, plants of the genus Pereskia resemble other trees and shrubs growing around them, they have persistent leaves, when older, bark-covered stems. Their areoles identify them as cacti, in spite of their appearance, too, have many adaptations for water conservation.
Pereskia is considered close to the ancestral species from. In tropical regions, other cacti grow as forest epiphytes, their stems are flattened leaf-like in appearance, with fewer or no spines, such as the well-known Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus. Cacti have a variety of uses: many species are used as ornamental plants, others are grown for fodder or forage, others for food. Cochineal is the product of an insect. Many succulent plants in both the Old and New World – such as some Euphorbiaceae – bear a striking resemblance to cacti, may incorrectly be called "cactus" in common usage; the 1,500 to 1,800 species of cacti fall into one of two groups of "core cacti": opuntias and "cactoids". Most members of these two groups are recognizable as cacti, they have fleshy succulent stems. They have small, or transient leaves, they have flowers with ovaries that lie below the sepals and petals deeply sunken into a fleshy receptacle. All cacti have areoles—highly specialized short shoots with short internodes that produce spines, normal shoots, flowers.
The remaining cacti fall into only two genera and Maihuenia, are rather different, which means any description of cacti as a whole must make exceptions for them. Pereskia species superficially resemble other tropical forest trees; when mature, they have woody stems that may be covered with bark and long-lasting leaves that provide the main means of photosynthesis. Their flowers may have superior ovaries, areoles that produce further leaves; the two species of Maihuenia have globe-shaped bodies with prominent leaves at the top. Cacti show a wide variety of growth habits, which are difficult to divide into clear, simple categories. Arborescent cactiThey can be tree-like, meaning they have a single more-or-less woody trunk topped by several to many branches. In the genus Pereskia, the branches are covered with leaves, so the species of this genus may not be recognized as cacti. In most other cacti, the branches are more cactus-like, bare of leaves and bark, cov
Plants are multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes. By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae, a group that includes the flowering plants and other gymnosperms and their allies, liverworts and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae. Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria, their chloroplasts contain b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is common.
There are about 320 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants. Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems on land. Plants that produce grain and vegetables form humankind's basic foods, have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses, as ornaments, building materials, writing material and, in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and psychoactive drugs; the scientific study of plants is known as a branch of biology. All living things were traditionally placed into one of two groups and animals; this classification may date from Aristotle, who made the distincton between plants, which do not move, animals, which are mobile to catch their food. Much when Linnaeus created the basis of the modern system of scientific classification, these two groups became the kingdoms Vegetabilia and Animalia. Since it has become clear that the plant kingdom as defined included several unrelated groups, the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms.
However, these organisms are still considered plants in popular contexts. The term "plant" implies the possession of the following traits multicellularity, possession of cell walls containing cellulose and the ability to carry out photosynthesis with primary chloroplasts; when the name Plantae or plant is applied to a specific group of organisms or taxon, it refers to one of four concepts. From least to most inclusive, these four groupings are: Another way of looking at the relationships between the different groups that have been called "plants" is through a cladogram, which shows their evolutionary relationships; these are not yet settled, but one accepted relationship between the three groups described above is shown below. Those which have been called "plants" are in bold; the way in which the groups of green algae are combined and named varies between authors. Algae comprise several different groups of organisms which produce food by photosynthesis and thus have traditionally been included in the plant kingdom.
The seaweeds range from large multicellular algae to single-celled organisms and are classified into three groups, the green algae, red algae and brown algae. There is good evidence that the brown algae evolved independently from the others, from non-photosynthetic ancestors that formed endosymbiotic relationships with red algae rather than from cyanobacteria, they are no longer classified as plants as defined here; the Viridiplantae, the green plants – green algae and land plants – form a clade, a group consisting of all the descendants of a common ancestor. With a few exceptions, the green plants have the following features in common, they undergo closed mitosis without centrioles, have mitochondria with flat cristae. The chloroplasts of green plants are surrounded by two membranes, suggesting they originated directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. Two additional groups, the Rhodophyta and Glaucophyta have primary chloroplasts that appear to be derived directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, although they differ from Viridiplantae in the pigments which are used in photosynthesis and so are different in colour.
These groups differ from green plants in that the storage polysaccharide is floridean starch and is stored in the cytoplasm rather than in the plastids. They appear to have had a common origin with Viridiplantae and the three groups form the clade Archaeplastida, whose name implies that their chloroplasts were derived from a single ancient endosymbiotic event; this is the broadest modern definition of the term'plant'. In contrast, most other algae not only have different pigments but have chloroplasts with three or four surrounding membranes, they are not close relatives of the Archaeplastida having acquired chloroplasts separately from ingested or symbiotic green and red algae. They are thus not included in the broadest modern definition of the plant kingdom, although they were in the past; the green plants or Viridiplantae were traditionally divided into the green algae (including
Asa Gray is considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not mutually exclusive. Gray was adamant, he was strongly opposed to the ideas of hybridization within one generation and special creation in the sense of its not allowing for evolution, as he felt evolution was guided by a Creator. As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray visited, corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him. Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States, he built an extensive network of specimen collectors. A prolific writer, he was instrumental in unifying the taxonomic knowledge of the plants of North America. Of Gray's many works on botany, the most popular was his Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, from New England to Wisconsin and South to Ohio and Pennsylvania Inclusive, known today as Gray's Manual.
Gray was the sole author of the first five editions of the book and co-author of the sixth, with botanical illustrations by Isaac Sprague. Further editions have been published, it remains a standard in the field. Gray worked extensively on a phenomenon, now called the "Asa Gray disjunction", the surprising morphological similarities between many eastern Asian and eastern North American plants. Several structures, geographic features, plants have been named after Gray. Gray was born in Sauquoit, New York, on November 18, 1810, to Moses Gray a tanner, Roxanna Howard Gray. Born in the back of his father's tannery, Gray was the eldest of their eight children. Gray's paternal great-grandfather had arrived in Boston from Northern Ireland in 1718, his parents married on July 30, 1809. Tanneries needed a lot of wood to burn, the lumber supply in the area had been shrinking, so Gray's father used his profits to buy farms in the area, in about 1823 sold the tannery and became a farmer. Gray was an avid reader in his youth.
He completed Clinton Grammar School from about 1823 to 1825, in those years reading many books from the nearby library at Hamilton College. In 1825 he enrolled at Fairfield Academy, switching to its Fairfield Medical College known as the Medical College of the Western District of Fairfield, in autumn 1826, it was during this time. On a trip to New York City, he attempted to meet with John Torrey to get assistance in identifying specimens, but Torrey was not home, so Gray left the specimens at Torrey's house. Torrey was so impressed with Gray's specimens. Gray graduated and became an M. D. in February 1831 though he was not yet 21 years of age, a requirement at the time. Although Gray did open a medical office in Bridgewater, New York, where he had served an apprenticeship with Doctor John Foote Trowbridge while he was in medical school, he never practiced medicine as he enjoyed botany more, it was around this time that he began making explorations in New Jersey. By autumn 1831 he had given up his medical practice to devote more time to botany.
In 1832 he was hired to teach chemistry and botany at Bartlett's High School in Utica, New York, at Fairfield Medical School, replacing instructors who had died in mid-term. Agreeing to teach for one year, with a break from August to December 1832, Gray had to cancel his plans for an expedition to Mexico, which at the time included what is now the southwestern United States. Gray first met Torrey in person in September 1832, they went on an expedition to New Jersey. After completing his teaching assignment in Utica on August 1, 1833, Gray became an assistant to Torrey at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. By this time, Gray was corresponding and trading specimens with botanists not just in America, but in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Gray held a temporary teaching position in 1834 at Hamilton College. Due to funding shortages, in 1835 Gray was obliged to leave his job as Torrey's assistant, in February or March 1836 became curator and librarian at the Lyceum of Natural History in New York, now called the New York Academy of Sciences.
He had an apartment in their new building in Manhattan. Torrey's attempt to get Gray a job at Princeton University was unsuccessful, as were other attempts to find him a position in science. Despite Gray no longer being his assistant and Gray became lifelong friends and colleagues. Torrey's wife, Eliza Torrey, had a profound impact upon Gray in his manners, tastes and religious life. In October 1836 Gray was selected to be one of the botanists on the United States Exploring Expedition known as the "Wilkes Expedition", supposed to last three years. Gray began getting paid well for his work preparing and planning for this expedition to the point of loading supplies onto a ship in New York harbor. However, the expedition was fraught with politics, turmoil and delays. Referring to the Secretary of the Navy, Mahlon Dickerson, Gray wrote of "abominable management & stupidity". Despite this, Gray resigned from the Lyceum in April 1837 to devote his time to the preparations. By 1838 the expedition was in utter turmoil.
The new state of Michigan was starting its university, Gray a
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa referred to as buckhorn cholla, is a cholla native to the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of North America. Along with Cylindropuntia bigelovii, it is the most common cholla found in these deserts. There are a number of recognized varieties include: Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. acanthocarpa Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. coloradensis — L. D. Benson. Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. ganderi — L. D. Benson Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. major — Engelm. & J. M. Bigelow Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. ramosa — Peebles Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. thornberi — L. D. Benson. Early spring was called ko’oak macat by the Tohono O’odham because of scarce food supplies. During this season, they turned to cacti for food and pit-roasted thousands of calcium-rich cholla flower buds. Today's O'odham people still boil the cholla buds, which taste like asparagus tips. Cylindropuntia acantocarpa photo gallery at Opuntia Web Calflora Database: Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa