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Genus of the Week

Week of November 2-8

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Protea


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Rosidae
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Proteoideae
Number of Species: Probably dozens, with many horticultural varieties.
Root: Named by Linnaeus for Proteus, the mythical sea-god who had the ability to change into many different shapes. Apparently this is in reference to the heterogenous forms of the many species in this genus.

Plants in the genus Protea, whose flowers resemble those of the Composites, are valued mainly for their ornamental beauty, and are often used in dried flower arrangements. The flowers on these shrubby species are often large and showy, as is typical of tropical and sub-tropical species, but the petals are often reduced with bracts visible instead.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Protea species:


References:

  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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