jump to navigation

Plants with Eyes July 26, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Yes folks, I know that it’s been awhile since my last post, and I’m sure that you are all thinking that I’m absolutely nuts for saying this but: starting with Darwin and moving to the early 1900’s botanists have been throwing around the idea that plants must have some form of “eyes”.

Well it wasn’t until 1908 that Professor Harold Wagner, finally discovered the plant “eye”. I personally can’t say this right but here is the link to the piece written in the New York Times on September 8th 1908 called:

Plants Have Eyes, Botanist Shows

Here is also a rather humorus and cool video posted on YouTube. It is showing the time lapse,s, being sped up to show how plants are moving. It makes the plant look like it’s opening and closing “eyes” so it’s almost like they are peeping.

Plants With Eyes

Though the plants really don’t have “eyes” in the sense that humans have eyes they still need to be able to detect sun light so these “eyes” for plants are truly remarkable.

Here are a few pictures just to keep your mind wondering.

Dolls Eyes

The common name Doll Eyes comes from the black marks on the end of the seed pod that is like older doll’s eyes were painted.

Dolls Eyes 2

Notice how the stem and peduncles have turned a red purple color, showing the maturity of the plant.

Not my last May 12, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Hi all I hope you remember me stating that this blog was for my class in college, but I actually decided that I like writing it and I will continue it on. The blogs maybe fewer and farther in between, but I promise to keep writing about the weird, unusual and just plant cool, plants in our world and how they have impacted our lives.

Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to read. =)

Flowers in Greek Mythology April 30, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Here is something some or you might find interesting: how, according to Greek mythology, certain flowers came about!

In the Greek language the term ‘flora’ is ‘chloris’. It is derived from the name of the goddess of vegetation, Chloris, which reasonably makes sense, right? Makes sense to me.

The word ‘iris’ is derived from the name of the messenger of gods, Iris (go figure), her role was to accompany souls to their places of eternal peace, by a rode, that was marked by the rainbow, which was comprised of the flowers Iris and the many colors that they come in.

iris-flower

iris-goddess1

The next flower that received recognition for a Greek god is the daffodil. The Greek god, Narcissus, is the son of the river god Cephisus and a forest nymph, and according to legend he was exceptionally handsome. All the nymphs desired him, but he was in love with only one person, himself, apparently one day while he was admiring himself in a pool that was formed by the River Elikon, the other gods decided that they would punish him for his impudence. So they made him fall into the pool and he drowned there (fairly odd seen as how he was the son of the river god), but only a flower now remains where hell fell, the narcissus or daffodil. This flower will always bear a golden crown, and consequently the daffodil grows and bows over the waters of lakes and rivers (ironic isn’t it?).

daffodil-flower

narcissus

The name Adonis has a countless myths inked to his name. One story goes like this; Zeus, mightiest of all gods, decreed that Adonis must spend two thirds of one year on earth with Aphrodite and the other third with Persephone in the Underworld. As it comes to pass Adonis is killed by a boar and Aphrodite, after learning of Adonis’s death, sheds as many tears as the blood drops that fell from Adonis’s body. From every tear that is shed a rose bush grows and every kind of rose known to man (that obviously was not bred by man) is formed by every drop of blood. Also from Adonis’s blood came a short lived flower called Anemone, which is significant because of Adonis’s short lived life.

Roses and Adonis/Aphrodite and Anemone

Last by not least are the Crocus flowers which are white or violet with dark veins. In Homer’s Iliad, he compares the color of the sky at sunrise with that of the crocus when he writes of the, ‘crocus-mantled down….’ The flowers have striking red stigma, also known as pistils, which is the upper part of the female organ which is normally sticky to allow for the pollen to be collected. The when the stigmas of the crocus are dried they make saffron, produce a yellow color used to dye fabrics and makes a very good spice. Another interesting mythological story for crocus is how it received its name. accordingly the god Hermes was playing in the countryside which his friend Crocus, when he accidently wounded him in the head. As Crocus died three drops of blood fell in the center of a, then nameless plant, and became the three red threads of the crocus plant, which was therefore named of Hermes’ friend Crocus (go figure once more).

crocus-flower

hermes

Well that’s all I have for now I hope you all like this and found it as interesting as I did.

Flowers in Christianity April 16, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Plants/Civilizations, Uncategorized.
4 comments

Flowers can mean different things in different contexts: in religion particularly. For the early Christians, flowers were regarded with great suspicion and associated them with decadent pagans. In Islam, the beauty of each flower is a symbol of God’s spirit. During the Middle Ages, the Christians appreciated the beauty of nature and regarded this as proof that God created the world. In America, church-goers would sniff fennel to help keep them awake during the long sermons. For thousands of years, art and speech were used in culture and religion through flowers. Flowers are also used in many different Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

From the second century, sexual intercourse was considered a “sin” by the Christian church, but animals had no souls so their sex was ok since people needed more animals to survive, especially domesticated ones. Plants were considered the only “pure” life form on earth because people said that they did not have sex. If plants did have sex, then people said that the church teachings were wrong. So, this is when Christian theologies denied that plants ever had sex. Later, the Christians accepted that plants had sex and that it was not that big of deal.

In the five main religions, flowers and plants mean different occasions and spiritual things. The main five religions of the world are Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Chinese religions. Each religion has a main flower that they associate with their religion. In the Islam religion, there is no one flower that they associate with their religion. The lotus is the main flower that is associated with the Buddhist religion. In Chinese religions white flowers, Peonies, Orchids, Lotus and Daffodils and a few others are associated with this religion. In the Christian religion, many flowers have a lot of symbolism and representation to the religion and the people of the world. The passion flower, the white lily, the archetypal flower, the pomegranate, and the

The main flower that means a lot in the Christian religion is the passion flower. This flower is mainly a symbol of Jesus’ scourging, crowning with thorns and crucifixion. Every part of this flower has some type of meaning. The spiraled tendrils symbolize the lash of Christ’s scourging. The central flower column is a symbol of the pillar of the Scourging. The 72 radial filaments is a symbol of the Crown of Thorns. The top three stigmas symbolize the three nails. The lower five anthers symbolize the five wounds. The Style represents the Sponge used to moisten Christ’s lips with vinegar. The leaves and some species represent the head of the Centurion’s Spear. The red stains represent Christ’s blood drops. The round fruit represents the world Christ came to save. The Fragrance symbolizes the spices prepared by the Holy women. This flower gives specific reasons and visualizations to the Christian faith. It provides a visual meaning to the teachings of the Gospel story and the eras where there were no printed catechisms. The passion flower has a number of symbols found in flowers individually other religions and traditions (John S. Strokes Jr.).

passion-flower2

The archetypal flower is a symbol of the Christian religion. The archetypal flower symbolizes the purity and is associated with the Virgin Mary. The white pedals represents that she was pure and had a clean body. When seeing an angel or in a vase on the ground of a scene, there you will usually be a white lily placed in the picture. In devotional paintings of the Virgin and the Child with saints, there are usually lilies and other flowers placed in the pictures. Other white flowers including: lily-of-the-valley, leucojum, snowdrops, or white flowers with golden centers like roses and daisies can also reflect this meaning as well (Flowers and Religion). These white flowers keep a sacred meaning to purity and the Virgin Mary.

the-archetypal-flower1

Another flower that has a specific meaning is the pomegranate. The pomegranate symbolizes the resurrection and the hope of eternal life (Pomegranate). This is because of the abundance of seeds (pomegranate.) Another symbol is of royalty and the church and the seeds would represent the believers in the church (pomegranate.) In pomegranates, the seeds are bursting out and this symbolizes Christ bursting out of the tomb (Frosted Skies). The pomegranate is a significant symbol of hope and resurrection in the Christian religion.

pomegranate-fruit-and-flower1

As in many other religions, the rose is a symbol in the Christian religion. Roses have been as symbol of the Virgin. Catholics use rosaries that symbolize and indicate the separate prayers as tiny roses. Roses in nature are really small five petal flowers and come in an array of colors. Representing Christ’s wounds is the white rose with its five petals and the white color representing Christ’s purity and the red rose represents Christ’s sacrificial blood (Flowers and Religion). The red rose also is the symbol of love.

Flowers are important to many religions of this world, particularly as I mentions for Christianity. The passion flower has several different meanings to Christianity. The archetypal flower is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and purity. Roses represent the prayers, wounds and sacrificial blood that Christ shed for us. Flowers in general are symbols of life and are used to decorate. Without flowers, Christians would not have much to remind them of what Christ did and the promises that he made.

Carnivorous Plants March 24, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
2 comments

Who here is interested in Carnivorous plants (sometimes called insectivorous plants)? These plants are so called Carnivorous because they derive most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoan’s (microorganisms classified as unicellular, or many celled organisms such as eukaryotes), these are typically insects and other arthropods (spiders (arachnids) and crustacean like creatures (shell fish)). These plants appear to be adapted to growing in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, for example acidic bogs or rocky outcroppings.

It is thought that “true carnivory” in plants evolved in at least ten separate lineages of plants, and that these are now represented by more than a dozen genera in five families. These include but not limited to about 625 species that attract and trap prey produce digestive enzymes, and then absorb the resulting available nutrients. Additionally, over 300 protocarnivorous plant species (plants that have the ability to trap prey, but cannot absorb or digest the prey) in several different genera show some but not all the characteristics of ‘true carnivorous’ plants.

There are five basic trapping mechanisms found, that carnivorous plants use.

1.       Pitfall traps (more commonly known as pitcher plants) trap prey in a rolled leaf that contains a pool of digestive enzymes or bacteria.

pitcher-plant2 

2.       Flypaper traps use a sticky mucilage (sticky substance thought to aid in water storage, example sundew)

fly-paper-trap1

3.       Snap traps utilize rapid leaf movements (such as the Venus Flytrap)

 

venus-fly-trap

4.       Bladder traps suck in prey with a bladder that generates an internal vacuum (such as Bladderworts)

 

bladder-trap

5.       Lobster-pot traps force prey to move towards a digestive organ with inward-pointing hairs (such as corkscrew plants)

lobster-pot-traps

Not all of these methods are active because it depends on whether there is movement of the plant to help aid capture and retention of prey.

Carnivorous plants are wide spread but like the exotic orchids are rare to come by. Their habitats are almost entirely restricted to bogs where soil nutrients are very limiting, but where sunlight and water are readily available. They can also be found near and around dessert outcroppings where water isn’t as readily available but where sun is.

Sun is the source of energy, but in order to produce and carry out energy the plants obtain mainly Nitrogen and Phosphorus (both used in the plants of reproduction and metabolism functions). Plants have also been known to get Potassium and Calcium for cell structure and strength.

Without the adaptations that carnivorous plants have obtained they could not survive in the environments of which they live. Also I personally think the world would be a slightly duller place without these fascinating plants.

 

Here is a Pretty Awesome Video that I was able to findon YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awKwxwTYIXo

In the Beginning February 5, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
add a comment

To start out the human civilizations we know today and throughout history would never have existed without plants existing first. Here’s a brief history of plants:

The first plant forms known to geological records showed up during the Archeozoic Eon (Archean) around 3.9 to 2.5 billion years ago. Known as the “Ancient Life” the first life forms evolved. One celled organisms like Blue-green algae, Achaeans, and bacteria appeared in the sea thus freeing oxygen into the atmosphere and making the planet inhabitable for future organisms. Like humans who didn’t appear until the latter end of the Cenozoic Era also known as “The Age of Mammals” around 65 million years ago. As stated before humans were at the latter end of the Era during the Quaternary Period also known as the “The Age of Man” around 1.8 million years ago through today. However what we call “Human Civilization” like we know today, or during times like the Roman Empire, began around 11,000 years ago to today in what is now called the Holocene age or more commonly known as “Human Civilization.”

For more information on the “Earth” time line visit:

Enchanted Learning

Another way of knowing that plants became before humans is in religion. For Christians using the King James Version (KJV) it states in the first book of the Old Testament Genesis Ch1: 11 and 12 that on the third day God:

“11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth agrass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth abrought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his bkind: and God saw that it was good.”

Then it states later in Genesis Ch1: 26 and 27 on the sixth day:

“26 ¶ And God said, Let aus bmake cman in our dimage, after our elikeness: and let them have fdominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own aimage, in the image of God created he him; male and bfemale created he them.”

To find more on the Old and New Testaments and their scriptures visit:

http://scriptures.lds.org/

Or in the Jewish first book of the Torah, Bereshit, it states in Ch1: 11 and 12;

“11 And G-d said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth’ And it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and G-d saw that it was good.”

And in Bereshit Ch1: 26 and 27;

“26 And G-d said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth’.

27 And G-d created man in His own image, in the image of G-d created He him; male and female created He them.”

To find more on the Torah and it’s scriptures visit:

The Jewish Virtual Library

So even in religion plants were still before humans.

The way I see it: there is no denying that, no matter which way you decide to look at it, plants had to of come before humans.

The Basics February 3, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Hi all this blog I am writing is for those of you who just want to know about plants and plant interactions. I will be writing about the interactions of plants from the beginning and throughout human civilizations. I will be writing about the interesting, pivotal, and in many cases the “I’m never going to use this unless I go on to a game show or I actually work in the horticulture or agriculture fields.” This blog is for those that are just curious.

I am currently a  student getting a Bachelors of Science in Horticulture with a concentration in Floriculture and a minor in Horticulture Landscape. I have taken several classes that pertain to plants obviously but I also have a large fetish with art so I have also several art history classes and I have come to understand how/what plants have done for not only the art world but the history of civilization as well.

I am unbiased when it comes to talking about plants therefore I will be writing from many angles like science, history, art, and religion. I’ve taken several classes about all and I will be more than happy to hear about anything else interesting about a plant subject that either I don’t know that much about or have just never heard of it, because the world of plants is a VERY BIG world. I’m looking forward to writing and reading what you all can tell me about plants and of course if there are any questions that you all have to ask me I will do my best to answer.