Five-fingers and Lancewoods

Longtime readers of this blog will know that my knowledge of plants has always been fairly rudimentary. As a young’un, I only ever learnt to distinguish some of the more common and visible varieties. As a student, I did take a few botany classes, but only really enough to learn that plant biology is complicated… Continue reading Five-fingers and Lancewoods


Twiggy coprosma Coprosma rhamnoides, copyright Rudolph89. Belongs within: Rubioideae. Coprosma is a genus of shrubs and trees with often glandular leaves found around the southwest Pacific, with the highest diversity in New Zealand. Characters (from Allen 1961): Shrubs or trees with simple opposite leaves and interpetiolar stipules usually gland-tipped when young. Plants prevailingly dioecious, but… Continue reading Coprosma


Golden trumpet Allamanda cathartica, copyright Ngocnk2. Belongs within: Apocynaceae. The Plumerieae are a group of flowering plants united by molecular phylogenetic analysis. Most members of the clade possess infrastaminal as well as suprastaminal appendages (not present in Anechites and Plumeria) and winged seeds (not present in Anechites) (Sennblad & Bremer 2002). <==Plumerieae [Plumerioideae] |  i. s.:… Continue reading Plumerieae


Spring gentian Gentiana verna, copyright Böhringer Friedrich. Belongs within: Gentianeae. Contains: Gentiana section Frigidae, Gentiana section Chondrophyllae, Gentiana section Cruciata, Gentiana section Pneumonanthe. Gentiana is a cosmopolitan genus of mostly erect herbs, with the highest diversity of species in Asia (Struwe et al. 2002). Characters (from Struwe et al. 2002): Annual, biennial, or perennial herbs.… Continue reading Gentiana

The Coutoubeines

Members of the family Gentianaceae, the gentians, are for the greater part associated with cooler climes. Residents of areas subject to heavy snowfalls have often commented on the appearance of their showy flowers with warming weather in the spring. But not all subgroups of the gentians are so temperate: some, such as the Coutoubeinae, are… Continue reading The Coutoubeines


Stiff gentian Gentianella quinquefolia, copyright Peter Gorman. Belongs within: Gentianeae. Gentianella is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs bearing nectariferous flowers. Circumscription of the genus has been contentious; Australasian species were placed by Adams (1995) in a proposed segregate genus Chionogentias but this genus has not been recognsed by some other authors. Characters (from Struwe et… Continue reading Gentianella


Logania albiflora, copyright John Tann.Belongs within: Loganiaceae. Logania is a genus of shrubs found in Australia and New Zealand. Characters (from Black & Robertson 1965): Shrubs; leaves connected at base by a more or less distinct stipular line. Flowers small, in corymbose dichotomous or trichotomous axillary and terminal cymes, with two opposite bracts at each… Continue reading Logania


Bindweed Convolvulus arvensis, copyright Matt Lavin. Belongs within: Convolvuloideae. Convolvulus is a cosmopolitan genus of tufted or twining herbs with flowers bearing one style, two stigmas and unlobed ovaries (Hickman 1993); members of this genus have historically been divided between the genera Convolvulus and Calystegia but phylogenetic analysis indicates that the latter is nested within… Continue reading Convolvulus


Elephant creeperArgyreia nervosa, copyright Loi Miao. Belongs within: Convolvulaceae. Contains: Merremieae, Convolvulus, Ipomoea. The Convolvuloideae are a clade of plants defined by Stefanović et al. (2003) as the smallest clade including Convolvulus arvensis, Ipomoea pes-tigridis and Aniseia martinicensis. Characters (from Stefanović et al. 2003): Plants mainly herbaceous; predominantly cordate leaf base; cymes nearly always dichasial;… Continue reading Convolvuloideae


Brazilian dwarf morning-glory Evolvulus glomeratus, copyright Dinesh Valke. Belongs within: Convolvulaceae. The Cresseae are a group of convolvulaceous plants with two or bifid styles in each flower and fruits a dehiscent capsule. Characters (from Stefanović et al. 2003): Plants suffrutescent herbs to shrubs, less often lianas. Leaf base not cordate. Flowers actinomorphic, usually bisexual (unisexual… Continue reading Cresseae