flower line - 2.2 K

Genus of the Week

Week of July 12-18

flower line - 2.2 K
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.
The Genus of the Week is Back!! I strive ever closer to my goal of describing one genus from every Order. If you are interested in what I have been doing the past few weeks while this page was not being updated, check out What I did on my Summer Vacation.
If you like this page, you might also want to visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family. Also, you can see my contribution to the Conservation New England web site, entitled "The Introduction of Non-Native Plants into Massachusetts".

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Asteridae
Order: Campanulales
Family: Campanulaceae - The Bellflower Family
Number of Species: Once as many as 6, now as few as 0, depending on classification!
Root: from the Latin "specularius", meaning "pertaining to mirrors", a possible reference to the shiny seeds produced by this genus.

The genus Specularia may be disappearing. Though some identification guides still use this genus, others show species as having been reclassified into such genera as Triodanis, Legousia and Heterocodon. I chose this genus to showcase because I recently identified species during my recent trip to Italy as well as right on the UMass Boston campus.

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


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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