Category Archives: Students

Ludisia discolor, the foliage plant orchid

Ludisia discolor really is an orchid, although if you see it with no flowers, or without a label, you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t. Assuming it isn’t an orchid is very understandable, as it grows in soil, unlike … Continue reading

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Pinguicula laueana – a clever little brute in a pretty scarlet-red suit

Although this plant looks quite innocent and harmless with gorgeous red flowers and small, compact leaved rosettes, it ‘eats’ with great appetite little insects using unique, highly sophisticated and efficient traps. Together with the genera Genlisea and Utricularia, Pinguicula belongs … Continue reading

Posted in Carnivorous Plants, Learning and Teaching, Low Nutrient Environments, Mexico, Neotropics, People, Species, Students | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Adiantum Capillus-veneris (Maidenhair fern) Capillus- veneris  means hair of Venus, the goddess of love named by ancient Greeks because it has stunning fronds, ʻcapillus’ means “hair” and ʻvenerisʼ comes from Venus. [1]

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Catharanthus roseus – Cancer fighting

Catharanthus  roseus – Madagascar Periwinkle The plant has been called a miracle in the prevention of childhood leukemia and cancer treatment.  To protect Madagascar periwinkle is to protect the future of your children in the opinion of many.  It has … Continue reading

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The world’s most wonderful weed?

During one of my first days of study for a masters degree in Plant Diversity at Reading University, we visited the Tropical Biodiversity Greenhouse. A pungent odour from a very brightly coloured plant came straight to my nose! The plant … Continue reading

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Ginger ( Zingiber officinale Rosc.): Aromatic Spice and Medicinal Herb.

  In the cold, wet, dreary days of a British winter, a warming spice from a tropical country may be just the thing to lift the spirits. Valued both as a spice and as a medicinal herb in India and … Continue reading

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Rabbit-Foot Fern

Dr. Percival Lowell, in one of his books, (Mars as the Abode of Life), tells us that, “When the earth was young and still so warm that it was continually enveloped in a thick blanket of steam-warmer everywhere than at … Continue reading

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Mimosa pudica: U Can’t Touch This!

Mimosas all round? No, definitely not the alcoholic beverage! The mimosa I’m talking about is Mimosa pudica L. [Fabaceae], a creeping herb that’s continuing to fascinate the world – both botanists and non-botanists alike! Mix one part of thoroughly chilled … Continue reading

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Rhipping yarns about Rhipsalis baccifera

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Aframomum melegueta (Grains of paradise) is not Alligator pepper

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A lot has been written about Aframomum melegueta and it has been said to be the scientific name for both Alligator pepper and Grains of Paradise.  However, the two are completely different species of Aframomum. Let’s know a little about A. … Continue reading

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