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Browse the Botanical Definitions

In addition to searching through the individual botanical definitions you may now benefit also from browsing the extensive information gleaned through our research. This list has been compiled in alphabetic order according to the genus or species..

To browse the definitions please click on one of the buttons below to see the section under that letter. In some cases there may be no words under a particular letter.

 

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Definitions
Macadamia [genus name] commemorates a Scottish analytical chemist, philosopher and Australian politician, Dr. John Macadam (1827-1865), who travelled to Melbourne in 1855. He was Secretary of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria (Australia), now the Royal Society of Victoria, from 1857 and became a Vice-President in 1863. From 1849-1864 he was a member of parliament for Victoria and he was also secretary of the supporting exploration committee behind the ill-fated 1861 Burke and Wills expedition. From 1858-1865 he served periodically as a government analytical chemist, while from 1860-1865 being health officer for Melbourne, as well as lecturing in chemistry from 1862 for the Medical School at Melbourne University. Despite having pleurisy (after breaking some ribs) he sailed to New Zealand to appear as an expert witness for a murder trial and he died at sea. He was a friend of Baron Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Müller (1825-1896), the Australian explorer and botanist who from 1857-1873 was Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. In 1858 the latter amongst many other activities was involved in classifying and naming this, then new, genus Macadamia and decided to honour the name of his friend. [See Macadamia.]

Macleaya [genus name] commemorates a Scottish entomologist, Alexander Macleay (1767-1848) who was Colonial Secretary of New South Wales (Australia). He became a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1794 (Secretary from 1798-1825), in 1808 became a Fellow of The Royal Society and he was a corresponding member of several other European bodies, including the Swedish Royal Academy of Science which awarded him a diploma in 1814. When his Civil Service career finished he moved to Australia after he was appointed Colonial Secretary of New South Wales in 1825, a post he held until early 1837. Then from 1843-1846 he was first speaker in the State's newly formed Legislative Council. He had become a major landowner and between 1835-1839 had built Elizabeth Bay House. He had also maintained his involvement in natural history by not only enlarging his collection of, primarily, insects (which had been renowned before he moved it to Australia and which would eventually form the basis of the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney), but also through correspondence with his fellow members in the two Societies in London. He became involved in many other aspects of life in New South Wales, not least he was a supporter of the Sydney Botanic Garden and President of the Australian Museum of natural history and anthropology (Australia's oldest museum), founder-president for ten years of the prestigious Australian Club in Sydney, and a member of the board of the subscription library. [See Macleaya.]

Maclura [genus name] commemorates a Scottish-born American geologist, William Maclure (1763-1840), who has been called the 'father of American geology'. After a brief visit to New York in 1782 he returned to London, became a partner in an American merchant company and is said to have made a fortune rapidly. His business affairs necessitated a trip to Virginia in 1796 where he settled and became a naturalized citizen. From 1803 after completing an appointment as a commissioner in France (to settle American citizens' claims on the French government for losses suffered during the French Revolution) a period followed when he travelled widely in Europe studying geology enthusiastically and collecting natural history books and specimens. In 1807 he returned to North America and embarked on a self-imposed major geological survey which involved visiting every state then in the Union and traversing repeatedly the Allegheny Mountains (some authorities say the Appalachian Mountains). This enabled him to draw the first geological map (coloured) of the United States which he presented to the American Philosophical Society in 1809 with Observations on the Geology of the United States explanatory of a Geological Map. He visited Europe several times in the following years and returning from France in 1812 he became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANSP is Philadelphia's natural history museum). He also made several geological explorations in the Carribbean during 1816 and 1817. Then in 1817 he not only presented a new edition of his geological map (which, unlike the first, included volcanic rock) and, separately, Observations on the Geology of the United States of America, to the American Philosophical Society but also became President of ANSP, a function he fulfilled until 1839. His map would be reprinted many times and receive a wide circulation, and authorities note it would influence future American geology. Now he entered a new phase in which he attempts unsuccessfully to establish agricultural schools. The first was in Spain in 1819 when he bought land (originally owned by the Church) for such a school for poor people which would have an ethos of work combined with moral and intellectual guidance. Spanish politics intervened, the land reverted to the Church and he returned to the USA in 1824 where he was involved in a similar project in New Harmony, Indiana to no avail. Poor health encouraged his move to Mexico in 1827 from where he made visits to the United States before his death. [See Maclura.]

macrantha is derived from Greek macro- (large, long) and -antha (flowered) components meaning 'with large flowers'. [See Koeleria macrantha, Ruellia macrantha.]

macrocarpa is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and carpo- (fruit) components meaning 'large-fruited'. [See Carissa macrocarpa, Cupressus macrocarpa, Oenothera macrocarpa, Pseudotsuga macrocarpa, Pterygota macrocarpa, Quercus macrocarpa.]

macrocarpon is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and carpo- (fruit) components meaning 'large-fruited'. [See Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon, Vaccinium macrocarpon.]

macrocarpum is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and carpo- (fruit) components meaning 'large-fruited'. [See Petersianthus macrocarpum.]

macrocarpus is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and carpo- (fruit) components meaning 'large-fruited'. [See Pterocarpus macrocarpus.]

macrodonta is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and odonto- (tooth) components meaning 'large toothed'. [See Olearia macrodonta.]

macrophyllum is made up of Greek macro- (large, long) and phyllo- (leaf) components meaning 'large-leaved'. [See Acer macrophyllum, Geum macrophyllum.]


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