Mahonia is a genus of 70 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia, the Himalaya and Central America. They are related to the genus Berberis and botanists disagree on whether to recognize a separate Mahonia; some authorities argue Mahonia should be included in Berberis because several species in both genera are able to hybridize, because when the two genera are looked at as a whole, no consistent morphological separation exists except simple versus compound leaves. However, recent DNA-based phylogenetic studies support recognition of Mahonia, though after the removal of several species into the newly-described genera Alloberberis and Moranothamnus. Mahonia species have large, pinnate leaves 10–50 cm long with five to 15 leaflets, flowers in racemes which are 5–20 cm long. Several species are popular garden shrubs, grown for their ornamental spiny, evergreen foliage, yellow flowers in autumn and early spring, blue-black berries; the flowers are borne in terminal clusters or spreading racemes, may be among the earliest flowers to appear in the growing season.
The berries are edible, rich in vitamin C, though with a sharp flavor. Although edible, the plants contain berberine, a compound found in many Berberis and Mahonia species, which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate and other ill effects when consumed in large quantities; the genus name, derives from Bernard McMahon, one of the stewards of the plant collections from the Lewis and Clark expedition. The type species of the genus is Mahonia aquifolium, from the Pacific coast of North America; the following list includes all recognized species of the genus Mahonia as accepted by Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden as of February 2016, sorted alphabetically. For each, binomial name is followed by author citation
Skimmia is a genus of four species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the Rue family, all native to warm temperate regions of Asia. The leaves are clustered at the ends of the shoots, lanceolate, 6–21 cm long and 2–5 cm broad, with a smooth margin; the flowers are in dense panicle clusters, each flower small, 6–15 mm diameter, with 4-7 petals. The fruit is red to 6 -- 12 mm diameter, a fleshy drupe containing a single seed. All parts of the plant have a pungent aroma; the botanical name, Skimmia, is a Latinization of shikimi, the Japanese name for Illicium religiosum as well as an element in miyama shikimi, the Japanese name for Skimmia japonica. Species and subspeciesSkimmia anquetilia. Western Himalaya to Afghanistan. Shrub to 2 m. Skimmia arborescens. Eastern Himalaya to southeast Asia. Shrub or small tree to 15 m. Skimmia japonica. Japan, China. Shrub to 7 m. Skimmia laureola. Nepal to Vietnam and China. Shrub or small tree to 13 m. Skimmia reevesianaSkimmias are fed on by aphids, Horse Chestnut Scale, Garden Leafhopper, Southern Red Mite.
Skimmias are grown as garden plants for their foliage and showy red fruits. They are grown with moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils, they are tolerant of both air pollution. A large number of cultivars have been selected for garden use: Skimmia japonica'Emerald King' Skimmia japonica'Fragrans' Skimmia japonica'Godrie's Dwarf' Skimmia japonica'Keessen' Skimmia japonica'Kew White' Skimmia japonica'Nymans' Skimmia japonica'Rubella' Skimmia japonica'Rubinetta' Skimmia japonica'Ruby Dome' Skimmia japonica'Wanto' Skimmia japonica'White Gerpa' Skimmia japonica'Veitchii' Skimmia japonica subsp. Reevesiana'Ruby King' Skimmia × confusa'Kew Green'
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual and perennial plants that are known as the cranesbills. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region; the long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form. The flowers have five petals and are coloured white, purple or blue with distinctive veining. Geraniums will grow in any soil as long. Propagation is by seed, or by division in autumn or spring. Geraniums are eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail, ghost moth, mouse moth. At least several species of Geranium are gynodioecious; the species Geranium viscosissimum is considered to be protocarnivorous. The genus name is derived from the Greek γέρανος or γερανός ‘crane’; the English name ‘cranesbill’ derives from the appearance of the fruit capsule of some of the species. Species in the genus Geranium have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal; this consists of a beak-like column.
The fruit capsule consists of five cells, each containing one seed, joined to a column produced from the centre of the old flower. The common name ‘cranesbill’ comes from the shape of the unsprung column, which in some species is long and looks like the bill of a crane. However, many species in this genus do not have a long beak-like column. Confusingly, "geranium" is the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium, which are in the Geraniaceae family and are grown as horticultural bedding plants. Linnaeus included all the species in one genus, but they were separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. Other former members of the genus are now classified in Erodium, including the plants known as filarees in North America; the term "hardy geranium" is applied to horticultural Geraniums to distinguish them from the Pelargoniums, which are not winter-hardy in temperate horticulture. However, not all Geranium species are winter-hardy; the shape of the flowers offers one way of distinguishing between the two genera Geranium and Pelargonium.
Geranium flowers have five similar petals, are thus radially symmetrical, whereas Pelargonium flowers have two upper petals which are different from the three lower petals, so the flowers have a single plane of symmetry. A number of geranium species are cultivated for pharmaceutical products; some of the more grown species include: All the above species are perennials and winter-hardy plants, grown for their attractive flowers and foliage. They most have a mounding habit, with palmately lobed foliage; some species have spreading rhizomes. They are grown in part shade to full sun, in well-draining but moisture retentive soils, rich in humus. Other perennial species grown for their flowers and foliage include: G. argenteum, G. eriostemon, G. farreri, G. nodosum, G. procurrens, G. pylzowianum, G. renardii, G. traversii, G. tuberosum, G. versicolor, G. wallichianum and G. wlassovianum. Some of these are not winter-hardy in cold areas and are grown in specialized gardens like rock gardens. Geranium'Johnson's Blue' is a hybrid between G. himalayense, with G. pratense.
The following hybrid cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:- List of cranesbill species Pelargonium graveolens, from which Geranium essential oil is distilled ITIS list of Geranium species Geranium Taxonomic Information System Preparing Geraniums for Winter
Cornus is a genus of about 30–60 species of woody plants in the family Cornaceae known as dogwoods, which can be distinguished by their blossoms and distinctive bark. Most are deciduous trees or shrubs, but a few species are nearly herbaceous perennial subshrubs, a few of the woody species are evergreen. Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers; the various species of dogwood are native throughout much of temperate and boreal Eurasia and North America, with China and Japan and the southeastern United States rich in native species. Species include the common dogwood Cornus sanguinea of Eurasia, the cultivated flowering dogwood of eastern North America, the Pacific dogwood Cornus nuttallii of western North America, the Kousa dogwood Cornus kousa of eastern Asia, two low-growing boreal species, the Canadian and Eurasian dwarf cornels, Cornus canadensis and Cornus suecica respectively.
Depending on botanical interpretation, the dogwoods are variously divided into one to nine genera or subgenera. The name "dog-tree" entered the English vocabulary before 1548, becoming "dogwood" by 1614. Once the name dogwood was affixed to this kind of tree, it soon acquired a secondary name as the Hound's Tree, while the fruits came to be known as dogberries or houndberries. Another theory advances the view that "dogwood" was derived from the Old English dagwood, from the use of the slender stems of its hard wood for making "dags". Another, earlier name of the dogwood in English is the whipple-tree. Geoffrey Chaucer uses "whippletree" in The Canterbury Tales to refer to the dogwood. A whippletree is an element of the traction of a horse-drawn cart, linking the drawpole of the cart to the harnesses of the horses in file. Dogwoods have simple, untoothed leaves with the veins curving distinctively as they approach the leaf margins. Most dogwood species have opposite leaves, while a few, such as Cornus alternifolia and C. controversa, have their leaves alternate.
Dogwood flowers have four parts. In many species, the flowers are borne separately in open clusters, while in various other species, the flowers themselves are clustered, lacking showy petals, but surrounded by four to six large white petal-like bracts; the fruits of all dogwood species are drupes with one or two seeds brightly colorful. The drupes of species in the subgenera Cornus are edible. Many are without much flavor. Cornus kousa and Cornus mas are sold commercially as edible fruit trees; the fruits of Cornus kousa have a tropical pudding like flavor in addition to hard pits. The fruits of Cornus mas are both tart and sweet when ripe, they have been eaten in Eastern Europe for centuries, both as food and medicine to fight colds and flus. They are high in vitamin C. However, those of species in subgenus Swida are mildly toxic to people, though eaten by birds. Dogwoods are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of butterflies and moths, including the emperor moth, the engrailed, the small angle shades, the following case-bearers of the genus Coleophora: C. ahenella, C. salicivorella, C. albiantennaella, C. cornella and C. cornivorella, with the latter three all feeding on Cornus.
Dogwoods are planted horticulturally, the dense wood of the larger-stemmed species is valued for certain specialized purposes. Cutting boards and other fine turnings can be made from this fine beautiful wood. Over 32 different varieties of game birds, including quail, feed on the red seeds. Various species of Cornus the flowering dogwood, are ubiquitous in American gardens and landscaping. S. except the hottest and driest areas". In contrast, in England the lack of sharp winters and hot summers makes Cornus florida shy of flowering. Other Cornus species are stoloniferous shrubs that grow in wet habitats and along waterways. Several of these are used along highways and in naturalizing landscape plantings those species with bright red or bright yellow stems conspicuous in winter, such as Cornus stolonifera; the following cultivars, of mixed or uncertain origin, have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit: ‘Eddie’s White Wonder’ ‘Norman Hadden’ ‘Ormonde’ ‘Porlock’ The species Cornus mas is cultivated in southeastern Europe for its showy, edible berries, that have the color of the carnelian gemstone.
Cornelian-cherries are used in syrups and preserves. Dense and fine-grained, dogwood timber has a density of 0.79 and is prized for making loom shuttles, tool handles, roller skates and other small items that require a hard and strong wood. Though it is tough for woodworking, some artisans favor dogwood for small projects such as walking canes, arrow making, mountain dulcimers and fine inlays. Dogwood wood is an excellent substitute for persimmon wood in the heads of certain golf clubs. Dogwood lumber is rare in that it is not available with any manufacturer and must be cut down by the person wanting to use it. Larger items have been made of dogwood, such as the screw-in basket-style
Chionanthus retusus is a species of Chionanthus native to eastern Asia, in eastern and central China, Japan and Taiwan. It is a deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized tree growing to 20 m in height, with thick, fissured bark; the leaves are 3–12 cm long and 2–6.5 cm broad, simple ovate to oblong-elliptic, with a hairy, 0.5–2 cm long petiole. The flowers are white, produced in panicles 3–12 cm long; the fruit is a blue-black drupe 1 -- 0.6 -- 1 cm diameter. It is cultivated in Europe and North America as an ornamental tree, valued for its feathery white flowerheads
Aconitum known as aconite, wolf's bane, leopard's bane, women's bane, devil's helmet, queen of poisons, or blue rocket, is a genus of over 250 species of flowering plants belonging to the family Ranunculaceae. These herbaceous perennial plants are chiefly native to the mountainous parts of the Northern Hemisphere, growing in the moisture-retentive but well-draining soils of mountain meadows. Most species are poisonous and must be dealt with carefully; the name aconitum comes from the Greek ἀκόνιτον, which may derive from the Greek akon for dart or javelin, the tips of which were poisoned with the substance, or from akonae, because of the rocky ground on which the plant was thought to grow. The Greek name lycotonum, which translates to "wolf's bane", is thought to indicate the use of its juice to poison arrows or baits used to kill wolves; the English name monkshood refers to the cylindrical helmet, called the galea, distinguishing the flower. The dark green leaves of Aconitum species lack stipules.
They are palmate or palmately lobed with five to seven segments. Each segment again is trilobed with coarse sharp teeth; the leaves have a spiral arrangement. The lower leaves have long petioles; the tall, erect stem is crowned by racemes of large blue, white, yellow, or pink zygomorphic flowers with numerous stamens. They are distinguishable by having one of the five petaloid sepals, called the galea, in the form of a cylindrical helmet, hence the English name monkshood. Two to 10 petals are present; the two upper petals are large and are placed under the hood of the calyx and are supported on long stalks. They have a hollow spur at their apex; the other petals are scale-like or nonforming. The three to five carpels are fused at the base; the fruit is an aggregate of a follicle being a dry, many-seeded structure. Aconitum species have been recorded as food plant of the caterpillars of several moths; the yellow tiger moth Arctia flavia, the purple-shaded gem Euchalcia variabilis are at home on A. vulparia.
The engrailed Ectropis crepuscularia, yellow-tail Euproctis similis, mouse moth Amphipyra tragopoginis, pease blossom Periphanes delphinii, Mniotype bathensis, have been observed feeding on A. napellus. The purple-lined sallow Pyrrhia exprimens, Blepharita amica were found eating from A. septentrionale. The dot moth Melanchra persicariae occurs both on A. intermedium. The golden plusia Polychrysia moneta is hosted by A. vulparia, A. napellus, A. septentrionale, A. intermedium. Other moths associated with Aconitum species include the wormwood pug Eupithecia absinthiata, satyr pug E. satyrata, Aterpia charpentierana, A. corticana. It is the primary food source for the Old World bumblebee Bombus consobrinus. Aconitum flowers are evolved to be pollinated by long-tongued bumblebees. Bumblebees have the strength to open the flowers and reach the single nectary at the top of the flower on its inside; some short-tongued bees will bore holes into the tops of the flowers to steal nectar. However, alkaloids in the nectar function.
The effect is greater in certain species, such as Aconitum napellus, than in others, such as Aconitum lycoctonum. Unlike the species with blue-purple flowers such as A. napellus, A. lycoctonum — which has off-white to pale yellow flowers, has been found to be a nectar source for butterflies.. This is due to the nectary flowers of the latter being more reachable by the butterflies; the roots of A. ferox supply the Nepalese poison called bish, or nabee. It contains large quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine, a deadly poison; the root of A. luridum, of the Himalaya, is said to be as poisonous as that of A. ferox or A. napellus. Several species of Aconitum have been used as arrow poisons; the Minaro in Ladakh use A. napellus on their arrows to hunt ibex, while the Ainu in Japan used a species of Aconitum to hunt bear. The Chinese used Aconitum poisons both for hunting and for warfare. Aconitum poisons were used by the Aleuts of Alaska's Aleutian Islands for hunting whales. One man in a kayak armed with a poison-tipped lance would hunt the whale, paralyzing it with the poison and causing it to drown.
The more common species of Aconitum are those cultivated in gardens hybrids. They thrive in well-drained evenly moist garden soils like the related hellebores and delphiniums, can grow in the shade of trees, they can be propagated by seeds. All parts of the plant should be handled while wearing protective disposable gloves. Unlike Helleborus and Delphinium, there are no double-flowered hybrid forms. Aconitum plants are much longer-lived than the related delphinium plants, putting less energy into floral reproduction; as with hellebores and some others in the family, they do not like to be moved once established and seeds that are not planted soon after harvesting should be stored moist-packed in vermiculite to avoid dormancy and viability issues. In the UK, the following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:- A. × cammarum'Bicolor'.'Bressingham Spire' ’Spark’s Variety"Stainless Steel' A medium to dark semi-saturated blue-purple is the typical flower color for Aconitum species.
Aconitum species tend to be variable enough in form and color in the wild to cause debate and confusion among experts when it comes to species classification boundaries. The overall color ra
Primula is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Primulaceae. They include the familiar wildflower of the primrose. Other common species are P. veris and P. elatior. These species and many others are valued for their ornamental flowers, they have been extensively cultivated and hybridised - in the case of the primrose, for many hundreds of years. Primula are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia and New Guinea, in temperate southern South America. Half of the known species are from the Himalayas. Primula has about 500 species in traditional treatments, more if certain related genera are included within its circumscription. Primula is a complex and varied genus, with a range of habitats from alpine slopes to boggy meadows. Plants bloom during the spring, with flowers appearing in spherical umbels on stout stems arising from basal rosettes of leaves; some species show a white mealy bloom on various parts of the plant. Many species are adapted to alpine climates.
The word primula is the Latin feminine diminutive of primus, meaning first, applied to flowers that are among the first to open in spring. Primulas are used as a food plant by the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. Primula species have been extensively cultivated and hybridised derived from P. elatior, P. juliae, P. veris and P. vulgaris. Polyanthus is one such group of plants, which has produced a large variety of strains in all colours grown as annuals or biennials and available as seeds or young plants; the following hybrid varieties and cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:- The genus Dodecatheon originated from within Primula, so some authorities include the 14 species of Dodecatheon in Primula. The classification of the genus Primula has been investigated by botanists for over a century; as the genus is both large and diverse, botanists have organized the species in various sub-generic groups. The most common is division into a series of thirty sections.
Some of these sections contain many species. Species include: Primula × kewensis = P. floribunda × P. verticillata Primula × polyantha = P. veris × P. vulgaris Primula × pubescens = P. hirsuta × P. auricula Data related to Primula at Wikispecies Armeniapedia: Medicinal Uses of Primula American Primrose Society