Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales, its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton. Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills, the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Paleolithic times, of subsequent settlement by the Celts and Anglo-Saxons; the county played a significant part in Alfred the Great's rise to power, the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion. The city of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Somerset's name derives from Old English Sumorsǣte, short for Sumortūnsǣte, meaning "the people living at or dependent on Sumortūn"; the first known use of Somersæte is in the law code of King Ine, the Saxon King of Wessex from 688 to 726, making Somerset along with Hampshire and Dorset one of the oldest extant units of local government in the world.
An alternative suggestion is the name derives from Seo-mere-saetan meaning "settlers by the sea lakes". The Old English name is used in the motto of the county, Sumorsǣte ealle, meaning "all the people of Somerset". Adopted as the motto in 1911, the phrase is taken from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Somerset was a part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, the phrase refers to the wholehearted support the people of Somerset gave to King Alfred in his struggle to save Wessex from Viking invaders. Somerset settlement names are Anglo-Saxon in origin, but numerous place names include Brittonic Celtic elements, such as the rivers Frome and Avon, names of hills. For example, an Anglo-Saxon charter of 682 refers to Creechborough Hill as "the hill the British call Cructan and the Anglo-Saxons call Crychbeorh"; some modern names are Brythonic in origin, such as Tarnock, while others have both Saxon and Brythonic elements, such as Pen Hill. The caves of the Mendip Hills were settled during the Palaeolithic period, contain extensive archaeological sites such as those at Cheddar Gorge.
Bones from Gough's Cave have been dated to 12,000 BC, a complete skeleton, known as Cheddar Man, dates from 7150 BC. Examples of cave art have been found in Aveline's Hole; some caves continued to be occupied until modern times, including Wookey Hole. The Somerset Levels—specifically dry points at Glastonbury and Brent Knoll— have a long history of settlement, are known to have been settled by Mesolithic hunters. Travel in the area was facilitated by the construction of one of the world's oldest known engineered roadways, the Sweet Track, which dates from 3807 BC or 3806 BC; the exact age of the henge monument at Stanton Drew stone circles is unknown, but it is believed to be Neolithic. There are numerous Iron Age hill forts, some of which, like Cadbury Castle and Ham Hill, were reoccupied in the Early Middle Ages. On the authority of the future emperor Vespasian, as part of the ongoing expansion of the Roman presence in Britain, the Second Legion Augusta invaded Somerset from the south-east in AD 47.
The county remained part of the Roman Empire until around AD 409, when the Roman occupation of Britain came to an end. A variety of Roman remains have been found, including Pagans Hill Roman temple in Chew Stoke,Low Ham Roman Villa and the Roman Baths that gave their name to the city of Bath. After the Romans left, Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxon peoples. By AD 600 they had established control over much of what is now England, but Somerset was still in native British hands; the British held back Saxon advance into the south-west for some time longer, but by the early eighth century King Ine of Wessex had pushed the boundaries of the West Saxon kingdom far enough west to include Somerset. The Saxon royal palace in Cheddar was used several times in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot. After the Norman Conquest, the county was divided into 700 fiefs, large areas were owned by the crown, with fortifications such as Dunster Castle used for control and defence. Somerset contains HM Prison Shepton Mallet, England's oldest prison still in use prior to its closure in 2013, having opened in 1610.
In the English Civil War Somerset was Parliamentarian, with key engagements being the Sieges of Taunton and the Battle of Langport. In 1685 the Monmouth Rebellion was played out in neighbouring Dorset; the rebels landed at Lyme Regis and travelled north, hoping to capture Bristol and Bath, but they were defeated in the Battle of Sedgemoor at Westonzoyland, the last pitched battle fought in England. Arthur Wellesley took Duke of Wellington from the town of Wellington; the Industrial Revolution in the Midlands and Northern England spelled the end for most of Somerset's cottage industries. Farming continued to flourish and the Bath and West of England Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts and Commerce was founded in 1777 to improve farming methods. Despite this, 20 years John Billingsley conducted a survey of the county's agriculture in 1795 and found that agricultural methods could still be improved. Coal mining was an important industry in north Somerset during the 18th and 19th centuries, by 1800 it was prominent in Radstock.
The Somerset Coalfield reached its peak production by the 1920s, but all the pits have now been closed, the last in 1973. Most of the surface
Agrostemma githago, the common corn-cockle. It grows with a stem to 100 cm long with lanceolate leaves; the flowers are up to 5 cm in diameter single at the ends of the stem. The sepals have five narrow teeth much longer than the petals, it has ten stamens. It has slender pink flowers, it is an erect plant covered with fine hairs. Its few branches are each tipped with a single deep pink to purple flower; the flowers are scentless, 25–50 mm across, produced in the summer months – May to September in the northern hemisphere, November to March in the southern hemisphere. Each petal bears three discontinuous black lines; the five narrow pointed sepals exceed the petals and are joined at the base to form a rigid tube with ten ribs. Leaves are pale green, narrowly lanceolate, held nearly erect against stem and are 45–145 mm long. Seeds are produced in a many-seeded capsule, it can be found in fields, railway lines, waste places, other disturbed areas. Of European wheat fields. In the 19th century, it was reported as a common weed of wheat fields and its seeds were inadvertently included in harvested wheat seed and resown the following season.
It is likely that until the 20th century, most wheat contained some corn cockle seed. It is now present in many parts of the temperate world as an alien species introduced with imported European wheat, it is known to occur throughout much of the United States and parts of Canada, parts of Australia and New Zealand. In parts of Europe, intensive mechanized farming has put the plant at risk and it is now uncommon or locally distributed; this is due to changing patterns of agriculture with most wheat now sown in the autumn as winter wheat and harvested before any corn cockle would have flowered or set seed. The main reason, however, is; the plant was believed to be extinct in the United Kingdom until 2014, when a single specimen was found growing in Sunderland by an assistant ranger of the National Trust. It can be found in fields, railway lines, waste places, other disturbed areas. All parts of the plant contain githagin and agrostemmic acid, it has been used in folk medicine despite the risk of fatal poisoning.
List of poisonous plants How to Grow Corncockle Media related to Agrostemma githago at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Agrostemma githago at Wikispecies
Centaurea cyanus known as cornflower or bachelor's button, is an annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe. In the past it grew as a weed in cornfields, hence its name, it is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat. It is however, through introduction as an ornamental plant in gardens and a seed contaminant in crop seeds, now naturalised in many other parts of the world, including North America and parts of Australia. Cornflower is an annual plant growing to 40–90 cm tall, with grey-green branched stems; the leaves are lanceolate. The flowers are most an intense blue colour, produced in flowerheads 1.5–3 cm diameter, with a ring of a few large, spreading ray florets surrounding a central cluster of disc florets. The blue pigment is protocyanin, it flowers all summer. Centaurea cyanus is native to temperate Europe, but is naturalized outside its native range, it has been present in the British Isles as an archaeophyte since the Iron Age.
In the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years. In reaction to this, the conservation charity Plantlife named it as one of 101 species it would work to bring'back from the brink'. In in Co. Clare, Centaurea cyanus is recorded in arable fields as rare and extinct. While in the north-east of Ireland it was abundant before 1930s, it is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, where several cultivars have been selected with varying pastel colours, including pink and purple. Cornflower is grown for the cutflower industry in Canada for use by florists; the most common colour variety for this use is a doubled blue variety such as'Blue Boy' or'Blue Diadem'. White, pink and black are used but less commonly. Cornflowers germinate after planting. Light requirements: full sun. Water requirements: high-average water daily. Soil pH requirements: neutral to mildly alkaline; the edible flower of the cornflower can be used for culinary decoration, for example to add colour to salads.
Cornflowers have been used for their blue pigment. Cornflowers are used as an ingredient in some tea blends and herbal teas. Cornflower is one of the favourite foods of an attractive garden bird. In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; the blue cornflower has been the national flower of Estonia since 1968 and symbolizes daily bread to Estonians. It is the symbol of the Estonian Conservative People's Party, the Finnish National Coalition Party, the Liberal People's Party of Sweden, where it has since the dawn of the 20th century been a symbol for social liberalism, it is the official flower of the Swedish province of Östergötland and the school flower of Winchester College and of Dulwich College, where it is said to have been the favourite flower of the founder, Edward Alleyn. The blue cornflower was one of the national symbols of Germany; this is due to the story that when Queen Louise of Prussia was fleeing Berlin and pursued by Napoleon's forces, she hid her children in a field of cornflowers and kept them quiet by weaving wreaths for them from the flowers.
The flower thus became identified with Prussia, not least because it was the same color as the Prussian military uniform. After the unification of Germany in 1871, it went on to become a symbol of the country as a whole. For this reason, in Austria the blue cornflower is a political symbol for pan-German and rightist ideas, it was worn as a secret symbol identifying members of the then-illegal NSDAP in Austria in the 1930s. Members of the Freedom Party wore it at the openings of the Austrian parliament since 2006. After the last general election 2017 they replaced it with the edelweiss, it was the favourite flower of Louise's son Kaiser Wilhelm I. Because of its ties to royalty, authors such as Theodor Fontane have used it symbolically sarcastically, to comment on the social and political climate of the time; the cornflower is often seen as an inspiration for the German Romantic symbol of the Blue Flower. Due to its traditional association with Germany, the cornflower has been made the official symbol of the annual German-American Steuben Parade.
In France the bleuet de France is the symbol of the 11 November 1918 armistice and, as such, a common symbol for veterans, similar to the Remembrance poppies worn in the United Kingdom and in Canada. The cornflower is the symbol for motor neurone disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Cornflowers are sometimes worn by former pupils of the British Harrow School. A blue cornflower was used by Corning Glass Works for the initial release of Corning Ware Pyroceram cookware, its popularity in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia was so high that it became the symbol of Corning Glass Works. Cornflower blue Flora Europaea: Centaurea cyanus UK Biodiversity Action Plan: Centaurea cyanus Briefing sheet on Centaurea cyanus from page
The term cultivar most refers to an assemblage of plants selected for desirable characters that are maintained during propagation. More cultivar refers to the most basic classification category of cultivated plants in the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. Most cultivars arose in cultivation. Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, daffodils and azaleas are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for floral colour and form; the world's agricultural food crops are exclusively cultivars that have been selected for characters such as improved yield and resistance to disease, few wild plants are now used as food sources. Trees used in forestry are special selections grown for their enhanced quality and yield of timber. Cultivars form a major part of Liberty Hyde Bailey's broader group, the cultigen, defined as a plant whose origin or selection is due to intentional human activity. A cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, a taxonomic rank below subspecies, there are differences in the rules for creating and using the names of botanical varieties and cultivars.
In recent times, the naming of cultivars has been complicated by the use of statutory patents for plants and recognition of plant breeders' rights. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants offers legal protection of plant cultivars to persons or organisations that introduce new cultivars to commerce. UPOV requires that a cultivar be "distinct, uniform", "stable". To be "distinct", it must have characters that distinguish it from any other known cultivar. To be "uniform" and "stable", the cultivar must retain these characters in repeated propagation; the naming of cultivars is an important aspect of cultivated plant taxonomy, the correct naming of a cultivar is prescribed by the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which consists of the scientific Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet; the cultivar epithet is in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the King Edward potato is Solanum tuberosum'King Edward'.'King Edward' is the cultivar epithet, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.
The word cultivar originated from the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with characteristics that arose in cultivation, presently denominated cultigens. This distinction dates to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, the "Father of Botany", keenly aware of this difference. Botanical historian Alan Morton noted that Theophrastus in his Historia Plantarum "had an inkling of the limits of culturally induced changes and of the importance of genetic constitution"; the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants uses as its starting point for modern botanical nomenclature the Latin names in Linnaeus' Species Plantarum and Genera Plantarum. In Species Plantarum, Linnaeus enumerated all plants known to him, either directly or from his extensive reading, he recognised the rank of varietas and he indicated these varieties with letters of the Greek alphabet, such as α, β, λ, before the varietal name, rather than using the abbreviation "var." as is the present convention. Most of the varieties that Linnaeus enumerated were of "garden" origin rather than being wild plants.
In time the need to distinguish between wild plants and those with variations, cultivated increased. In the nineteenth century many "garden-derived" plants were given horticultural names, sometimes in Latin and sometimes in a vernacular language. From circa the 1900s, cultivated plants in Europe were recognised in the Scandinavian and Slavic literature as stamm or sorte, but these words could not be used internationally because, by international agreement, any new denominations had to be in Latin. In the twentieth century an improved international nomenclature was proposed for cultivated plants. Liberty Hyde Bailey of Cornell University in New York, United States created the word cultivar in 1923 when he wrote that: The cultigen is a species, or its equivalent, that has appeared under domestication – the plant is cultigenous. I now propose another name, for a botanical variety, or for a race subordinate to species, that has originated under cultivation, it is the equivalent of the botanical variety except in respect to its origin.
In that essay, Bailey used only the rank of species for the cultigen, but it was obvious to him that many domesticated plants were more like botanical varieties than species, that realization appears to have motivated the suggestion of the new category of cultivar. Bailey created the word cultivar, assumed to be a portmanteau of cultivated and variety. Bailey never explicitly stated the etymology of cultivar, it has been suggested that it is instead a contraction of cultigen and variety, which seems correct; the neologism cultivar was promoted as "euphonious" and "free from ambiguity". The first Cultivated Plant Code of 1953 subsequently commended its use, by 1960 it had achieved common international acceptance; the words cultigen and cultivar may be confused with
For the 2nd century BC grammarian sometimes thought to be named Anagallis, see Agallis. Anagallis is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering plants in the family Primulaceae called pimpernel and best known for the scarlet pimpernel referred to in literature; the botanical name is from the Greek, ana, "again", agallein, "to delight in", refers to the opening and closing of the flowers in response to environmental conditions. These are perennial plants, growing in tufts on weedy and uncultivated areas; the stems are decumbent. The leaves are opposite whorled, sometimes with a few alternate leaves at the end of the stem, they are ovate in shape with a cordate base. Some of the species produce flowers of various colors; the flowers have 5 sepals. The corolla consists of 5 lobes; the tube may be so short. They are solitary in the leaf axils, but sometimes are on short spikes at the end of the stem. Pimpernel flowers remain open only under direct sun-light; the stamens are opposite the corolla lobes.
The staminal filaments have conspicuous hairs. The ovary is superior and circumscissile near the middle, they were traditionally classified as members of the primrose family, but a genetic and morphological study by Källersjö et al. showed that they belonged to the related family Myrsinaceae. In the APG III system, published in 2009, Primulaceae is expanded to include Myrsinaceae, thus Anagallis is back in Primulaceae again. Another study by Ulrika Manns and Arne A. Anderberg, based on molecular phylogeny, states that Anagallis in its present circumscription is paraphyletic and should include in its clade the small genera Asterolinon and Pelletiera, as well as two Lysimachia species. Anagallis acuminata - Anagallis alternifolia - Anagallis arvensis - Scarlet pimpernel, red pimpernel Anagallis barbata - Anagallis brevipes - Anagallis crassifolia - Anagallis djalonis - Anagallis filiformis - Anagallis foemina - Blue pimpernel Anagallis gracilipes - Anagallis hexamera - Anagallis kingaensis - Anagallis minima - Chaffweed Anagallis monelli - Flaxleaf pimpernel Anagallis nummulariifolia - Anagallis oligantha - Anagallis peploides - Anagallis pumila - Florida pimpernel Anagallis rubricaulis - Anagallis schliebenii - Anagallis serpens - Anagallis tenella - Bog pimpernel Anagallis tenuicaulis - Anagallis tsaratananae -
In biology, a hybrid is the offspring resulting from combining the qualities of two organisms of different breeds, species or genera through sexual reproduction. Hybrids are not always intermediates between their parents, but can show hybrid vigour, sometimes growing larger or taller than either parent; the concept of a hybrid is interpreted differently in animal and plant breeding, where there is interest in the individual parentage. In genetics, attention is focused on the numbers of chromosomes. In taxonomy, a key question is how related the parent species are. Species are reproductively isolated by strong barriers to hybridisation, which include morphological differences, differing times of fertility, mating behaviors and cues, physiological rejection of sperm cells or the developing embryo; some act before fertilization and others after it. Similar barriers exist in plants, with differences in flowering times, pollen vectors, inhibition of pollen tube growth, somatoplastic sterility, cytoplasmic-genic male sterility and the structure of the chromosomes.
A few animal species and many plant species, are the result of hybrid speciation, including important crop plants such as wheat, where the number of chromosomes has been doubled. Human impact on the environment has resulted in an increase in the interbreeding between regional species, the proliferation of introduced species worldwide has resulted in an increase in hybridisation; this genetic mixing may threaten many species with extinction, while genetic erosion in crop plants may be damaging the gene pools of many species for future breeding. A form of intentional human-mediated hybridisation is the crossing of wild and domesticated species; this is common in modern agriculture. One such flower, Oenothera lamarckiana, was central to early genetics research into mutationism and polyploidy, it is more done in the livestock and pet trades. Human selective breeding of domesticated animals and plants has resulted is the development of distinct breeds. Hybrid humans existed in prehistory. For example and anatomically modern humans are thought to have interbred as as 40,000 years ago.
Mythological hybrids appear in human culture in forms as diverse as the Minotaur, blends of animals and mythical beasts such as centaurs and sphinxes, the Nephilim of the Biblical apocrypha described as the wicked sons of fallen angels and attractive women. The term hybrid is derived from Latin hybrida, used for crosses such as of a tame sow and a wild boar; the term came into popular use in English in the 19th century, though examples of its use have been found from the early 17th century. Conspicuous hybrids are popularly named with portmanteau words, starting in the 1920s with the breeding of tiger–lion hybrids. From the point of view of animal and plant breeders, there are several kinds of hybrid formed from crosses within a species, such as between different breeds. Single cross hybrids result from the cross between two true-breeding organisms which produces an F1 hybrid; the cross between two different homozygous lines produces an F1 hybrid, heterozygous. The F1 generation is phenotypically homogeneous, producing offspring that are all similar to each other.
Double cross hybrids result from the cross between two different F1 hybrids. Three-way cross hybrids result from the cross between an inbred line. Triple cross hybrids result from the crossing of two different three-way cross hybrids. Top cross hybrids result from the crossing of a top quality or pure-bred male and a lower quality female, intended to improve the quality of the offspring, on average. Population hybrids result from the crossing of plants or animals in one population with those of another population; these crosses between different breeds. In horticulture, the term stable hybrid is used to describe an annual plant that, if grown and bred in a small monoculture free of external pollen produces offspring that are "true to type" with respect to phenotype. Hybridisation can occur in the hybrid zones where the geographical ranges of species, subspecies, or distinct genetic lineages overlap. For example, the butterfly Limenitis arthemis has two major subspecies in North America, L. a. arthemis and L. a. astyanax.
The white admiral has a bright, white band on its wings, while the red-spotted purple has cooler blue-green shades. Hybridisation occurs between a narrow area across New England, southern Ontario, the Great Lakes, the "suture region", it is at these regions. Other hybrid zones have formed between described species of animals. From the point of view of genetics, several different kinds of hybrid can be distinguished. A genetic hybrid carries two different alleles of the same gene, where for instance one allele may code for a lighter coat colour than the other. A structural hybrid results from the fusion of gametes that have differing structure in at least one chromosome, as a result of structural abnormalities. A numerical hybrid results from the fusion of gamet
An introduced species is a species living outside its native distributional range, but which has arrived there by human activity, either deliberate or accidental. Non-native species can have various effects on the local ecosystem. Introduced species that become established and spread beyond the place of introduction are called invasive species; the impact of introduced species is variable. Some have a negative effect on a local ecosystem, while other introduced species may have no negative effect or only minor impact; some species have been introduced intentionally to combat pests. They are called biocontrols and may be regarded as beneficial as an alternative to pesticides in agriculture for example. In some instances the potential for being beneficial or detrimental in the long run remains unknown; the effects of introduced species on natural environments have gained much scrutiny from scientists, governments and others. The formal definition of an introduced species, from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is A species, intentionally or inadvertently brought into a region or area.
Called an exotic or non-native species. There are many terms associated with introduced species that represent subsets of introduced species, the terminology associated with introduced species is now in flux for various reasons. Examples of these terms are acclimatized, adventive and immigrant species but those terms refer to a subset of introduced species; the term "invasive" is used to describe introduced species when the introduced species causes substantial damage to the area in which it was introduced. Subset descriptions: Acclimatized species: Introduced species that have changed physically and/or behaviorally in order to adjust to their new environment. Acclimatized species are not optimally adjusted to their new environment and may just be physically/behaviorally sufficient for the new environment. Adventive speciesNaturalized species: A naturalized plant species refers to a non-native plant that does not need human help to reproduce and maintain its population in an area that it is not native to.
General description of introduced species: In the broadest and most used sense, an introduced species is synonymous with non-native and therefore applies as well to most garden and farm organisms. However, some sources add to that basic definition "and are now reproducing in the wild", which removes from consideration as introduced species that were raised or grown in gardens or farms that do not survive without tending by people. With respect to plants, these latter are in this case defined as either ornamental or cultivated plants. Introduction of a species outside its native range is all, required to be qualified as an "introduced species" such that one can distinguish between introduced species that may not occur except in cultivation, under domestication or captivity whereas others become established outside their native range and reproduce without human assistance; such species might be termed "naturalized", "established", "wild non-native species". If they further spread beyond the place of introduction and cause damage to nearby species, they are called "invasive".
The transition from introduction, to establishment and to invasion has been described in the context of plants. Introduced species are "non-native" species. Invasive species are those introduced species that spreadwidely or and cause harm, be that to the environment, human health, other valued resources or the economy. There have been calls from scientists to consider a species "invasive" only in terms of their spread and reproduction rather than the harm they may cause. According to a practical definition, an invasive species is one, introduced and become a pest in its new location, spreading by natural means; the term is used to imply both a sense of actual or potential harm. For example, U. S. Executive Order 13112 defines "invasive species" as "an alien species whose introduction does or is to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health"; the biological definition of invasive species, on the other hand, makes no reference to the harm they may cause, only to the fact that they spread beyond the area of original introduction.
Although some argue that "invasive" is a loaded word and harm is difficult to define, the fact of the matter is that organisms have and continue to be introduced to areas in which they are not native, sometimes with but without much regard to the harm that could result. From a regulatory perspective, it is neither desirable nor practical to list as undesirable or outright ban all non-native species. Regulations require a definitional distinction between non-natives that are deemed onerous and all others. Introduced pest species that are listed as invasive, best fit the definition of an invasive species. Early detection and rapid response is the most effective strategy for regulating a pest species and reducing economic and environmental impacts of an introduction In Great Britain, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prevents the introduction of any animal not occurring in the wild or any of a list of both animals or plants introduced and proved to be invasive. By definition, a species is considered "introduced" when its transport into an area outside of its native range is human mediated.
Introductions by humans can be described as either accidental. Intentional introductions have been motivated by individuals or groups who either believe that the