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SOme entries include information on uses and symbolism.
Knowledge of plant names can give insight into largely forgotten beliefs. For example, the common red poppy is known as "Blind Man" due to an old superstitious belief that if the poppy were put to the eyes it would cause blindness. Many plant names derived from superstition, folk lore, or primal beliefs. Other names are purely descriptive and can serve to explain the meaning of the botanical name. For example, Beauty-Berry is the name given to the American shrub that belongs to the genus Callicarpa. Callicarpa is Greek for beautiful fruit. Still other names come from literary sources providing rich detail of the transmission of words through the ages. Conceived as part of the author's wider interest in plant and tree lore and ethnobotanical studies, this fully revised edition of Elsevier's Dictionary of Plant Names and Their Origins contains over 30,000 vernacular and literary English names of plants. Wild and cultivated plants alike are identified by the botanical name. Further detail provides a brief account of the meaning of the name and detailed commentary on common usage. * Includes color images * Inclusive of all Latin terms with vernacular derivatives * The most comprehensive guide for plant scientists, linguists, botanists, and historians
The dictionary contains about 30,000 vernacular and literary English names of plants (plus a few American), both wild and cultivated, with their botanical name and a brief account of the names' meaning if known. It was conceived as part of the author's wider interest in plant and tree lore, and ethnobotanical studies. Knowledge of plant names can give insight into largely forgotten beliefs. Why for example is, or was, the common red poppy known as "Blind Man"? An old superstition has it that if the poppy were put to the eyes it would cause blindness. Such names were probably the result of some taboo against picking the plant. Similarly, other names were likely to have been applied as a result of a country mother's warning to her children against eating poisonous berries. For the warning carries more weight when the name given to the berry reinforces the warning. Many such plants or fruits may be ascribed to the devil, Devil's Berries for Deadly Nightshade is an example. Names may also be purely descriptive, and can also serve to explain the meaning of the botanical name. Beauty-Berry is an example: it is the name given to the American shrub that belongs to the genus Callicarpa, which is made up of two Greek words that mean beauty and berry. Literary, or "book" names, have also been included in this dictionary, as being a very important part of the whole. Many of them provide links in the transmission of words through the ages. Thor's Beard, for example, is a book name for "houseleek", and has never been used in the dialect. But it highlights the legend that houseleek is a lightning plant, and by reverse logic is a preserver from fire.
The author gathers together a wealth of material from mmanuscripts, letters, diaries and personal interviews which collectively reveal a detailed picture of the use of domestic remedies in Britain.
In 1976 John Raven presented four Grey Lectures at Cambridge University which sought to reappraise long-accepted identifications of ancient names for modern plants. These lectures, plus another given in 1971, form the main focus of this book and many of the issues raised within them are discussed further by William Stearn, Nicholas Jardine and Peter Warren, taking account of more research. Also includes an additional two papers by Alice Lindsell, as well as illustrations from her
Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they might buy a Hellebores foetidus and be unprepared for its fetid smell, or a Potentilla reptans with the expectation that it will stand straight as a sentinel rather than creep along the ground. An essential addition to the gardener’s library, this colorful, fully illustrated book details the history of naming plants, provides an overview of Latin naming conventions, and offers guidelines for pronunciation. Readers will learn to identify Latin terms that indicate the provenance of a given plant and provide clues to its color, shape, fragrance, taste, behavior, functions, and more. Full of expert instruction and practical guidance, Latin for Gardeners will allow novices and green thumbs alike to better appreciate the seemingly esoteric names behind the plants they work with, and to expertly converse with fellow enthusiasts. Soon they will realize that having a basic understanding of Latin before trips to the nursery or botanic garden is like possessing some knowledge of French before traveling to Paris; it enriches the whole experience.
Based on 25 years of research that combed every historical and anthropological record of Native American ways, this unprecedented culinary dictionary documents the food uses of 1500 plants by 220 Native American tribes from early times to the present. Like anthropologist Daniel E. Moerman's previous volume, Native American Medicinal Plants, this extensive compilation draws on the same research as his monumental Native American Ethnobotany, this time culling 32 categories of food uses from an extraordinary range of species. Hundreds of plants, both native and introduced, are described. The usage categories include beverages, breads, fruits, spices, desserts, snacks, dried foods, and condiments, as well as curdling agents, dietary aids,Ê preservatives, and even foods specifically for emergencies. Each example of tribal use includes a brief description of how the food was prepared. In addition, multiple indexes are arranged by tribe, type of food, and common names to make it easy to pursue specific research. An essential reference for anthropologists, ethnobotanists, and food scientists, this will also make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of wild and cultivated local foods and the remarkable practical botanical knowledge of Native American forbears.

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