Company Logo


1st formal Edition of the CD of Plant Biographies (or Plant's Eye View of the Planet and Man). About 1000 extra pages which include a dramatic expansion of R genera plus other additions and changes.


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.



There are 5 records that match.


wallichiana commemorates a Danish botanist, physician and plant collector, Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1856), who was professor of botany at Calcutta Medical College 1837-1838. In late 1807 he started work as surgeon at a Danish settlement in Bengal only to be imprisoned by the British in 1808 when they took the town (because of Danish-Napoleonic allegiance). Wallich's growing interest in Indian flora led to a post in Calcutta in 1809 as assistant to the British East India Company's Scottish botanist and physician, William Roxburgh (1751-1815) at the Royal Botanic Garden. Wallich had become a member of the Asiatic Society and in 1814 (to 1819) he became the first Honorary Curator of their Oriental Museum and its Superintendent. At about the same period he was in charge, temporarily, of the Calcutta botanic garden. This position was formalised when he became Director there in 1817 until his retirement to London due to deteriorating health in 1846. He made many botanical expeditions in the region, built very large collections of Indian and Burmese specimens particularly, and described and catalogued thousands of plants. However authorities repeatedly emphasise his assistance to other plant collectors passing through Calcutta and, too, his record of unspoilt plant material shipped to Europe and North America via his botanic garden (due in no small part to his own innovative methods of packaging). He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society (of which he became a vice-president during his retirement), of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, of the Danish Royal Society (Copenhagen), of The Royal Society, of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and of the Geological Society of London. His published works include Tentamen Flora Nepalensis Illustratae, and Plantae Asiaticae Rariories. [See Pinus wallichiana.]

Weigela [genus name] commemorates a German chemist and botanist, Christian Ehrenfried von Weigel (1748-1831) who was ennobled in 1806 ie. became von Weigel. From 1772 he was lecturer and supervisor of the botanical garden at Greifswald in northern Germany; then in 1775 he became professor of chemistry, pharmacy, botany and mineralogy there, as well as director of the botanical garden, posts that he held until his death. In the 1770s he is believed to have invented the forerunner of the Liebig condenser (which condenses vapour into liquid). His published works included Flora pomerano-rugica (1769), Observations botanicae (1772), Index seminum et plantarum horti gryphici systematicus (1773), Dissertatio academica, sistens hortum gryphicum (1782) and Fructus Javae esculenti (1786). [See Weigela.]

wilkesiana commemorates the name of an American explorer and naval officer, Charles Wilkes (1798-1877) who had an illustrious career (despite his ignominious departure when he retired from the US Navy in 1866 after being court-martialled for disobedience). He headed the United States Exploring Expedition, also known as the Wilkes Expedition, to the South Pacific Islands and the Antarctic Continent (1838-1842) and some authorities claim it provided a significant contribution to the basis of American science. It yielded geological, botanical, zoological and anthropological specimens and artefacts (eventually to form the basis of the Smithsonian Institution collection), as well as international recognition for three of the scientific members. Subsequently Wilkes published many articles and reports of the Expedition's progress and collected findings, not least in 1844 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. It is Charles Wilkes after whom an area of the Antarctic Continent, Wilkes Land, is named. [See Acalypha wilkesiana.]

wittrockiana commemorates a Swedish botanist, Professor Veit Brecher Wittrock (1839-1914), who was professor of botany at Stockholm and Director of the Bergius Botanical Garden. In 1896 he recorded a history of the pansy (Viola x wittrockiana), Viola-studier II, (1896). Others of his many published works include Om Linnaea borealis (1878-1879), Skandinaviens Gymnospermer (1887), and Viola-studier I, (1897).[See Viola x wittrockiana.]

wrightii commemorates an American botanist and plant collector, Charles Wright (1811-1885), who was botanist to the 1853-1856 United States North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition. Initially he explored Texas collecting plants aside from teaching and surveying. In 1844 he sent his plant collection to the American botanist and plant collector, Asa Gray (1810-1888) with whom he then corresponded for the rest of his life and to whom he sent most of the vast number of plants he discovered. In the following years he was attached to various military and federal surveying expeditions, including in 1851 the United States-Mexico International Boundary Survey, and these enabled him to explore and study flora further. His first foreign plant collecting expedition began in 1853 and took him by 1855 from Virginia east to Madeira and Cape Verde, round the Cape of Good Hope to Australia (Sydney), then north via Hong Kong and the Bonin Islands to Japan and the Bering Strait, then south to San Francisco where he left the group to travel independently and collect plants in Nicaragua. From 1856-1867 he explored Cuba on several trips studying the flora there (in 1859 he was collecting in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica), and in 1871 he explored Santo Domingo. In between his plant collecting, and from 1871 until he retired, he often worked at the Gray Herbarium in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he spent six months as acting librarian at the then Bussey Institution also at Harvard in 1875-1876. [See Platanus wrightii.]


ALL material is subject to Copyright.
Text © 1991-2013 Sue Eland
(See Terms and Conditions under Contact and About Us.)
Site by Bath IT