American sweetgum known as American storax, hazel pine, redgum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, alligatorwood, or sweetgum, is a deciduous tree in the genus Liquidambar native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America and tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. Sweet gum is one of the main valuable forest trees in the southeastern United States, is a popular ornamental tree in temperate climates, it is recognizable by the combination of its five-pointed star-shaped leaves and its hard, spiked fruits. It is classified in the plant family Altingiaceae, but was considered a member of the Hamamelidaceae; this plant's genus name Liquidambar was first given by Linnaeus in 1753 from liquidus and the Arabic ambar, amber, in allusion to the fragrant terebinthine juice or gum which exudes from the tree. Its specific epithet styraciflua is an old generic name meaning "flowing with storax"; the name "storax" has long been confusingly applied to the aromatic gum or resin of this species, that of L. orientalis of Turkey, to the resin better known as benzoin from various tropical trees in the genus Styrax.
The sweetgum has a Nahuatl name, which translates to tree that gives pine resin from ocotl, cuahuitl, which refers to the use of the tree's resin. The common name "sweet gum" refers to the species' "sweetish gum", contrasting with the black gum, only distantly related, with which the sweet gum overlaps broadly in range; the species is known as the "red gum", for its reddish bark. The earliest known published record of Liquidambar styraciflua is in a work by Spanish naturalist Francisco Hernández published posthumously in 1615, in which he describes the species as a large tree producing a fragrant gum resembling liquid amber, whence the genus name Liquidambar. In John Ray's Historia Plantarum it is called Styrax liquida. However, the first mention of any use of the amber is described by Juan de Grijalva, the nephew of the governor of Cuba, in the year 1517. Juan de Grijalva tells of gift exchanges with the Mayas "who presented them with, among other things, hollow reeds of about a span long filled with dried herbs and sweet-smelling liquid amber which, when lighted in the way shown by the natives, diffused an agreeable odour."
The species was introduced into Europe in 1681 by John Banister, the missionary collector sent out by Bishop Compton, who planted it in the palace gardens at Fulham in London, England. An ancestor of Liquidambar styraciflua is known from Tertiary-aged fossils in Alaska and the mid-continental plateau of North America, much further north than Liquidambar now grows. A similar plant is found in Miocene deposits of the Tertiary of Europe. Sweetgum is one of the most common hardwoods in the southeastern United States, where it occurs in lowlands from southwestern Connecticut south to central Florida, west to Illinois, southern Missouri, eastern Texas, but not colder highland areas of Appalachia or the Midwestern states; the species occurs in Mexico from southern Nuevo León south to Chiapas, as well as in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In Mexico and Central America, it is a characteristic plant of cloud forests, growing at middle elevations in various mountainous areas where the climate is humid and more temperate.
The US government distribution maps for this species are incorrect concerning the southern limit of distribution in Florida. This species occurs abundantly at Highlands Hammock State Park, Highlands County, FL, southwest of Lake Okeechobee. Grown as an ornamental tree in Australia, Liquidambar styraciflua has a distribution on mainland Australia from Victoria all the way up to the Atherton tablelands in far North Queensland in'tropical' climates. One of the dominant deciduous trees planted throughout subtropical Brisbane. Liquidambar styraciflua is a medium-sized to large tree, growing anywhere from 50–70 feet in cultivation and up to 150 feet in the wild, with a trunk up 2–3 feet in diameter, on average. Trees may live to 400 years; the tree is a symmetrical shape and crowns into an egg shape when the branches get too heavy after its first two years of cultivation. Another distinctive feature of the tree is the peculiar appearance of its small twigs; the bark attaches itself to these in plates edgewise instead of laterally, a piece of the leafless branch with the aid of a little imagination takes on a reptilian form.
The bark is a light brown tinged with red and sometimes gray with dark streaks and weighs 37 lbs. per cubic foot. It is fissured with scaly ridges; the branches carry layers of cork. The branchlets are pithy, many-angled, at first covered with rusty hairs becoming red brown, gray or dark brown; as an ornamental tree, the species has a drawback—the branches may have ridges or "wings" that cause more surface area, increasing weight of snow and ice accumulation on the tree. However, the wood is difficult to season; the leaves have five pointed palmate lobes. They have three distinct bundle scars, they are long and broad, with a 6–10 cm petiole. The rich dark green, shiny, star-shaped leaves turn brilliant orange and purple colors in the autumn; this autumnal coloring has been characterized as not a flame, but a conflagration. Its reds and yellows compare to that of the maples, in addition it has the dark p
Fraxinus pennsylvanica, the green ash or red ash, is a species of ash native to eastern and central North America, from Nova Scotia west to southeastern Alberta and eastern Colorado, south to northern Florida, southwest to Oklahoma and eastern Texas. It has spread and become naturalized in much of the western United States and in Europe from Spain to Russia. Other names more used include downy ash, swamp ash and water ash. Fraxinus pennsylvanica is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 12–25 m tall with a trunk up to 60 cm in diameter; the bark is gray on young trees, becoming thick and fissured with age. The winter buds are reddish-brown, with a velvety texture; the leaves are 15–30 cm long, pinnately compound with seven to nine leaflets, these 5–15 cm long and 1.2–9 cm broad, with serrated margins and short but distinct, downy petiolules a few millimeters long. They are green both below; the autumn color is golden-yellow and depending on the climate, Green Ash's leaves may begin changing color the first week of September.
The flowers are produced in spring in compact panicles. The fruit is a samara 2.5–7.5 cm long comprising a single seed 1.5–3 cm long with an elongated apical wing 2–4 cm long and 3–7 mm broad. It is sometimes divided into two varieties, Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. pennsylvanica and Fraxinus pennsylvanica var. lanceolata Sarg. on the basis of the hairless leaves with narrower leaflets of the latter, but the two intergrade and the distinction is no longer upheld by most botanists. It is the most distributed of all the American ashes, although its range centers on the midwestern U. S. and Great Plains. The natural habitat of green ash is exclusively stream sides and bottomlands; the large seed crops provide food to many kinds of wildlife. Green ash is threatened by the emerald ash borer, a beetle introduced accidentally from Asia. Asian ashes have a high tannin content in their leaves which makes them unpalatable to the beetle, while most American species do not. A common garden experiment showed that green ash is killed when exposed to emerald ash borer, while the Asian species F. mandschurica shows resistance against emerald ash borer.
The United States Forest Service has discovered small numbers of green ash in the wild that have remained healthy after emerald ash borer swept through the population. The possibility of these trees possessing genetic resistance to the beetle is being investigated with the hope that green ash could be restored using the surviving trees; the spread of emerald ash borer was facilitated by the extensive use of green ash as an ornamental tree in the central U. S. following the loss of American elms in the 1950s-60s due to Dutch elm disease. That epidemic was the result of a similar overuse of elms in urban environments, leading to a monoculture that lacked any disease or pest resistance. Scientifically for green ash this is because modern cultivars utilized regionally were parented from sometimes only four individual trees selected for unique traits and male seedless flowering. Proclaiming a harsh lesson learned, cities like Chicago did not replace dead elms with a 1:1 ash:elm ratio. Instead, silver and sugar maples, honey locust, linden/basswood, redbud and hackberry, among others, were utilized during this recovery period and in new urban and suburban areas.
With these additional species, many cities were able to reduce the percent of ash and other species to much lower levels than during the Dutch elm disease era where from 56% to 100% of the trees were elm. Injections and spraying of ashes with pesticides has been used in city parks to protect valued trues from emerald ash borer. Record cold temperatures during the winter of 2018-19 are estimated to have killed as much as 80% of ash borer larva in the Upper Midwest. Both American elm and green ash were popular due to rapid growth and tolerance of urban pollution and road salt, so many housing developments in Michigan were lined from end to end with ashes, a result of which the beetles had an enormous food supply to boost their population well above Infestation thresholds; the tree was extensively propagated and sold by local nurseries. According to the American Nursery Industry, "Back in the late 1980s, Dr. Frank Santamour Jr. a research geneticist with the U. S. National Arboretum, proposed the 10-20-30 formula for diversity in the urban forest, limiting the plantings in a community to no more than 10 percent within a single species, 20 percent within a genus and 30 percent within a family.""
Many communities are using a more strict 5-10-20 rule today, because of the threat posed by emerald ash borer. The emerald ash borer proved to be a far worse and more serious threat than epidemics of the past such as chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease because those diseases spread at a slower rate, only affected one species, did not kill the trees before they could attain reproductive maturity. Many areas have banned the sale of ash seedlings in nurseries, although seeds may be sold as they are not a vector for the insect. Green ash is one of the most planted ornamental trees throughout the United States and much of Canada but Alberta, including in western areas where it is not native, it is widely planted in Argentina. It is popular due to its good form and resistance to disease. About 40% of boulevard trees in Edmo
Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock, composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate. A related rock is dolostone, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolostone was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolostones or magnesium-rich limestones. About 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones; the solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, in which water erodes the limestone over thousands to millions of years. Most cave systems are through limestone bedrock. Limestone has numerous uses: as a building material, an essential component of concrete, as aggregate for the base of roads, as white pigment or filler in products such as toothpaste or paints, as a chemical feedstock for the production of lime, as a soil conditioner, or as a popular decorative addition to rock gardens.
Like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as foraminifera; these organisms secrete shells made of aragonite or calcite, leave these shells behind when they die. Other carbonate grains composing limestones are ooids, peloids and extraclasts. Limestone contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or siliceous skeletal fragment, varying amounts of clay and sand carried in by rivers; some limestones do not consist of grains, are formed by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i.e. travertine. Secondary calcite may be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters; this produces speleothems, such as stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is oolitic limestone, which can be recognized by its granular appearance; the primary source of the calcite in limestone is most marine organisms. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock building upon past generations. Below about 3,000 meters, water pressure and temperature conditions cause the dissolution of calcite to increase nonlinearly, so limestone does not form in deeper waters.
Limestones may form in lacustrine and evaporite depositional environments. Calcite can be dissolved or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors, including the water temperature, pH, dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility, in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. Impurities will cause limestones to exhibit different colors with weathered surfaces. Limestone may be crystalline, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation. Crystals of calcite, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock; when conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together, or it can fill fractures. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams where there are waterfalls and around hot or cold springs. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the water leaves a solution supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite.
Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls. Coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells. During regional metamorphism that occurs during the mountain building process, limestone recrystallizes into marble. Limestone is a parent material of Mollisol soil group. Two major classification schemes, the Folk and the Dunham, are used for identifying the types of carbonate rocks collectively known as limestone. Robert L. Folk developed a classification system that places primary emphasis on the detailed composition of grains and interstitial material in carbonate rocks. Based on composition, there are three main components: allochems and cement; the Folk system uses two-part names. It is helpful to have a petrographic microscope when using the Folk scheme, because it is easier to determine the components present in each sample; the Dunham scheme focuses on depositional textures. Each name is based upon the texture of the grains. Robert J. Dunham published his system for limestone in 1962.
Dunham divides the rocks into four main groups based on relative proportions of coarser clastic particles. Dunham names are for rock families, his efforts deal with the question of whether or not the grains were in mutual contact, therefore self-supporting, or whether the rock is characterized by the presence of frame builders and algal mats. Unlike the Folk scheme, Dunham deals with the original porosity of the rock; the Dunham scheme is more useful for hand samples because it is based on texture, not the grains in the sample. A revised classification was proposed by Wright, it adds some diagenetic patterns and can be summarized as follows: See: Carbonate platform About 10% of all sedimentary rocks are limestones. Limestone is soluble in acid, therefore forms many erosional landforms; these include limestone pavements, pot holes, cenotes and gorges. Such erosion landscapes are known
Quercus michauxii, the swamp chestnut oak, is a species of oak in the white oak section Quercus section Quercus in the beech family. It is native to bottomlands and wetlands in the southeastern and midwestern United States, in coastal states from New Jersey to Texas, inland in the Mississippi–Ohio Valley as far as Oklahoma, Missouri and Indiana; the swamp chestnut oak resembles the chestnut oak, for that reason has sometimes been treated as a variety of that species. However, the swamp chestnut oak is a larger tree which differs in preferred habitat, the bark does not have the distinctive deep, rugged ridging of the chestnut oak, being thinner and paler gray, it grows to around 65 feet tall, though the tallest specimen known is over 150 feet tall. The name Q. prinus was long used by many botanists and foresters for the swamp chestnut oak when treated as a species distinct from the chestnut oak, called Q. montana, but the application of the name Q. prinus to the chestnut oak is now accepted, although sometimes that name is declared to be of uncertain position, unassignable to either species, with the chestnut oak called Q. montana, as in the Flora of North America The leaves of the swamp chestnut oak are simple, 4-11 in long and 2-7 in broad, with 15-20 lobe-like, rounded simple teeth on each side, similar to those of chestnut oak and chinkapin oak, although they do not achieve the more slender form that the leaves of those trees may exhibit at times.
The fruit is an acorn 1-1½ in long and ¾-1 in cm broad, borne on a ¾-1¼ nin peduncle, maturing in the fall, about 6 months after pollination. The wood of the swamp chestnut oak is similar to, marketed mixed with, that of other white oaks. Swamp chestnut oak is called basket oak, since the wood is split into long, flexible strips excellent for basket weaving; the swamp chestnut oak's acorns are large and sweet. They are eaten by livestock, the species is sometimes called the "cow oak" for this reason. However, swamp chestnut oaks bear heavy crops of acorns only at intervals of several years; the swamp chestnut oak is sometimes cultivated as a large garden tree or street tree, is quite easy to grow if it is not subject to extreme urban conditions. Quercus michauxii images from Vanderbilt University
Quercus lyrata, the overcup oak, is an oak in the white oak group. It is native to lowland wetlands in the eastern and south-central United States, in all the coastal states from New Jersey to Texas, inland as far as Oklahoma and Illinois. There are historical reports of it growing in Iowa, but the species appears to have been extirpated there. Quercus lyrata is a medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to 20 meters tall, with a trunk up to 80 cm in diameter, or to 140 cm; the leaves are 10–16 cm long, or to 20 cm, 5–10 cm broad lobed somewhat lyre-shaped, dark green above and finely hairy beneath. The flowers are catkins, produced in the spring and maturing in about 6–7 months into acorns 2.5–5 cm long and 2–4 cm broad enclosed by the cupule. The common name comes from the acorns being enclosed in the cup; the wood is valuable, similar to that of other white oaks, used for the same purposes. Quercus lyrata images from Vanderbilt University photo of herbarium specimen at Missouri Botanical Garden, collected ini Missouri in 2004
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