Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Glossary A

A

ABSCONDING SWARM
Apiculture. An entire colony of bees that abandons the hive because of disease, wax moth, or other maladies.

AERATE, AERATION
To aerate soil is to introduce air into the soil. This can be accomplished by many methods including plowing, roto-tilling, using a pitch fork or pole to punch holes into the earth.

AERATED STATIC PILE
A compost pile that is not turned (static), but is aerated through ventilation pipes that run through the pile. These may be PVC pipes with holes drilled into them.

AEROBIC
Containing air, containing oxygen.Usually used for describing a characteristic of compost heaps. Describes organisms living or occurring only in the presence of oxygen.

AFTERSWARM
Apiculture. A small swarm, usually headed by a virgin queen, which may leave the hive after the first or prime swarm has departed.

AGGREGATION
A mass or body of individual units or particles. Healthy soil has good aggregation. As microorganisms and worms feed, they form polysaccharides which act like glue to hold individual soil particles together, creating groups, or aggregates, of particles. This loose formation allows soil to hold both water and air, and does not restrict the growth of roots.

ACID SOIL
A soil is considered to be acidic when the pH is measured to be lower than 7. The lower the number, the higher the level of acid in the soil.

ACTIVATOR
Activators are additives to the compost pile which contain a nitrogen source or sugars. Their purpose is to increase microbial activity. Generally, adequate nitrogen organic waste is the only activator needed. If you have insufficient nitrogen, a substance like cottonseed meal may be added to encourage decomposition.

AIR LAYERING -- A method of propagating single-stem plants, such as Ficus elastica decora, which have lost their lower leaves and become leggy. An incision is made to a portion of outer stem layer, damp sphagnum moss is wrapped in a bag around it until roots develop. Then it is cut and replanted with its shorter stem size

ALBA / ALBUS
Epithet meaning white or whitish - usually applied to flowers.

ALBO-MACULATA
Spotted in white.

ALBO-MARGINATA
Epithet meaning white edged or margined - almost always about leaves.

ALBO-STRIATA
Striped or striated in white - usually a variegated plant.

ALKALINE SOIL
Soil that has a pH level of about 7.0 or more. Sometimes referred to as "sweet" soil by gardeners.

ALLELOPATHIC
A plant that produces chemicals affecting other nearby plants' growth. Usually used to indicate a negative effect, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) trees inhibit the growth of many other plants.

ALPINE
any plant that is normally found in wild on mountains or rocky areas

ALTERNATE
Leaf form, where the leaves are arranged singly at different heights on the stem. Compare opposite and whorled.

ALT
German for old as in cultivar names. Latin prefix meaning tall

ALTISSIMA
Tall compared to other species - at least in the wild state.

AMARANTH
Amaranth is from the Greek for "never-fading flower” or "everlasting.” It is an annual herb, and therefore not a true grain. It has broad leaves and large flower heads that produce thousands of tiny, protein-rich seeds. There are hundreds of varieties of amaranth. It is grown for its leaves-some varieties are good in salad, some are delicious steamed or stir-fried-and its somewhat peppery seeds. Amaranth can be cooked as a cereal. The seeds are very tiny-looking, a bit like caviar when cooked, and their lack of substance makes them rather unsatisfactory as the base of pilaf-type dishes. Amaranth is most often ground into flour, which has a fairly strong malt-like vegetable taste and is beige in color. It is the only known food that contains between 75% and 87% of total human nutritional requirements.

Amaranth is used in several cultures in very interesting ways, In Mexico, it is popped and mixed with a sugar solution to make a candy called alegria and the roasted seed is used to create a traditional Mexican drink called atole. People from Peru use fermented amaranth seeds to make chichi (beer). During the carnival festival, women dancers often use the red amaranth flower as rouge, painting their cheeks, and then dancing while carrying bundles of amaranth on their backs.

History:  There is evidence that it has been in Central and South America for nearly 8,000 years. Amaranth was a staple in the diet of pre-Columbian Aztecs. Aztec Indians in Mexico grew it alongside maize as the main ingredient in their diets. They thought that it gave them supernatural powers and incorporated it into their religious ceremonies. On religious holidays, Aztec women ground the seed, mixed it with honey or human blood, then shaped it into idols that were eaten ceremoniously, a practice that appalled the conquistadors. After conquering Montezuma in 1519, the Spanish missionaries forbade its use because of its association with human sacrifice.

In ancient Greece, amaranth was considered sacred and was used to decorate tombs and images of gods as a symbol of immortality. The early Christian Church also adopted the amaranth as a symbol of immortality.

By the middle the 20th century, the cultivation of this grain had declined to the point where it was grown only in small plots in Mexico, the Andean highlands, and in the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal. It was used to make tortillas even before the cultivation of corn. It remained in obscurity until the 1950's when its nutritional values were again recognized through scientific development.

AMERICAN FOULBROOD
Apiculture. A brood disease of honey bees caused by the spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus larvae.

AMURENSIS / AMURENSE
From the Amur area of Asia - many fine plants bear this epithet. They are frequently very cold hardy plants.

ANAEROBIC
Refers to processes which are caused by the action of anaerobes which are micro-organisms which require or can survive in an oxygen-free environment. Usually term used when talking about compost heaps.
Methane is created by the anaerobic decomposition of organic material.
Anaerobic is the opposite of aerobic processes.

ANAHEIM CHILE
Mild, long green chile peppers that are named after the area near Los Angeles where they were first cultivated. Also known as Chile Verde (green), Chile Colorado (red) or the California Long Green, the Anaheim Chile is light green in color and slightly bent. It is the most commonly found variety in the United States. Mild, sweet, and slightly bitter in flavor, this chile pepper can be used fresh or roasted and is often available canned. If you buy them fresh, Anaheim Chile peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for one week.

ANATOMY
The internal structure of plant - mostly vessels and growing tissues

ANCHOR ROOT
A large root that holds a plant in a physical soil mass.

ANNUAL
A plant that normally lives one year or is used for just one year.

ANNUAL - FUNCTIONAL
A plant which can survive two+ years but is most useful for just one year.

ANNUAL - WINTER
An annual which grows over winter but flowers the seasons after.

ANNUAL RING
A concentric circle of wood produced in the tree trunk.

ANTHER
The pollen-bearing portion of a flower - a male part.

ANTHRACNOSE
A fungus disease that causes spots and often death of foliage.

APEX
Tip or terminus - usually applied to a leaf or petal.

APIARY
Colonies, hives, and other equipment assembled in one location for beekeeping operations; bee yard.

APICULTURE
The science and art of raising honey bees.

APHID
Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects that have long antennae and a characteristic pair of cornicles (short tubes) extending on either side of their abdomen. Their translucent bodies are most usually green, red, brown, yellow or white.

Although aphid damage is most noticeable on ornamental, fruit and shade trees, they can also infest flower and vegetable gardens. You will find aphid colonies on the underside of leaves, the tips of branches or anywhere there is new growth. An initial infestation of aphids is usually localized, but can spread quickly if allowed to develop unchecked. Aphids damage plants by sucking the sap from leaves, twigs, stems or roots and can sometimes transmit plant virus diseases in the process.

APOMIXIS
The process of producing viable seed without fertilization.

AQUATIC
A plant which grows partially or completely in water.

ARBORETUM
An organized collection of trees and other woody plants.

ARBORICULTURE
The science of the culture or care of trees; usually urban or park trees.

ARBORIST
A specialist in woody plant culture. One must be certified and licensed to use this term in business.

ARTICHOKE
The artichoke is a perennial in the thistle group of the sunflower family that is native to the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. A name shared by three unrelated plants: the globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke and Chinese (or Japanese) artichoke. In full growth, the plant spreads to cover an area about six feet in diameter and reaches a height of three to four feet. The part that we eat is actually the plant's flower bud. If allowed to flower, the blossoms measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a beautiful violet-blue color. The size of the bud depends on where it is located on the plant. Larger artichokes are found on central stems towards the top of the plant, where they receive maximum sunshine. Smaller or "baby" artichokes are found lower down on the plant where they are shaded from the sun by the larger buds above.

ARUGULA
It is also known as rocket, rulola, Italian cress, and roquette. It is a delicate salad green that is related to mustard. When the leaves are young, they are tender and nutty, with a subtle peppery flavor. The leaves look like radish leaves. The white blossoms are also edible. It is used as a salad green, as a garnish, and in combination with other ingredients in sandwiches.

ASPARAGUS
The name asparagus comes from the Greek language meaning "sprout" or "shoot," and it is a member of the lily family. Plants in the lily family are also related to various grasses. In the dialects of 18th and 19th century cookbooks, asparagus was referred to as sparagrass or sparrowgrass. People throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States use fresh Asparagus in their favorite cuisine. In China, Asparagus spears are candied and served as special treats. It is widely popular today as a scrumptious, fresh, healthy vegetable.

History - Asparagus cultivation began more than 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean Region. Greeks and Romans prized asparagus for its unique flavor, texture and, alleged medicinal qualities. They ate it fresh and dried the vegetable to use in winter. In the 16th Century, asparagus gained popularity in France and in England. Asparagus is often called the "Food of Kings." King Louis XIV of France was so fond of this delicacy that he ordered special greenhouses build so he could enjoy asparagus all year round.

ASEXUAL PROAGATION
Multiplying plants without the use of seeds.Vegetative reproductions - e.r. cuttings and division.

ARTO
The botanical name prefix meaning dark or intensely colored.

ATROSANGUINEA
Dark or bloodish red or maroon.

ATROVIRENS
Dark or blackish green.

AURESCENT
Becoming yellow or yellow part of the season.

AUSTRALIS
Coming from southern regions of a range. Not necessary from Australia, whose name has a common derivation.

AUTUMNAL
Of the fall season - ie. fall leaf color or fall-blooming

AXIL
The angle between the upper surface of a leaf or leaf stalk and the stem that carries it. A growth or flower bud ("axillary bud") often appears in the axil.