Botany for Gardeners, Rev Ed by Brian Capon

By Brian Capon

A bestseller considering its debut in 1990, this integral and convenient reference has now been extended and up-to-date to incorporate an appendix on plant taxonomy and a accomplished index. dozen new images and illustrations make this re-creation even richer with info. Its handy paperback layout makes it effortless to hold and entry, no matter if you're in or out of the backyard. an important assessment of the technology at the back of vegetation for starting and complicated gardeners alike.

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A seed, like a dry sponge, can soak up sizeable quantities of water. Water is initially absorbed by the process of imbibition in which water molecules fit into spaces between cellulose, proteins, and other substances in the dry cell walls and protoplasm. As the cell components absorb more water they soften and swell, comparable to what happens when dry gelatin granules are soaked in a drop of water; they too imbibe the liquid. When fully imbibed, most seeds will be about double their original volume.

Compared with the simplicity of roots, in a stem tip the apical meristem has to precisely establish appendages at regular intervals down the length of the stem. 39 034-052_Botany 11/8/04 11:24 AM Page 40 40 CHAPTER 2 Arranged in alternating directions at nodes and spaced by the elongating internodes, a coleus’s leaves are prepared to intercept as much light as possible. mant until the plant stimulates them to grow. When they do, the primary growth of each branch mimics that of the main stem with an apical bud, leaves, and its own axillary buds for further branching of the shoot system.

A major advantage of compound leaves over simple leaves is that they permit light to pass between the leaflets to lower ranks of leaves. They also tend to be lighter in weight and, therefore, require less support from their stems. The leaflets of a pinnately compound leaf (from Latin for “featherlike”) are arranged along a central axis; those of a palmately compound leaf arise from one point at the tip of the petiole, like fingers of an outstretched hand. Similar descriptions are given to vein patterns within leaf blades: pinnate venation and palmate venation, in addition to a parallel arrangement that is most common in the leaves of monocots (grasses, palms, and irises, for example).

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