This lists all the other categories except flowers.
This is just an additional list (rather than instead of), of the trees, shrubs, mushrooms & fungi, ferns, grasses, mosses, lichens, crops, liverworts which all also appear throughout all other listings (eg - Colour, Family, Habitat, Month, Petals, etc, etc. That is, it is not a mutually exclusive list.
Sometimes fully grown trees can grow no taller than shrubs. In which case they will be listed under both categories.
Trees (and other vegetation) produce the gas oxygen which they release into the atmosphere as they photosynthesize absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide. This reaction is powered by sunlight, and goes against the normal direction of entropy. The oxygen gas is highly reactive and is the gas necessary in order for organic materials to burn. Oxygen gas is needed by mammals and other organisms in order to live. The oxygen gas is present in the atmosphere at a concentration of about 21%. But if too much oxygen is produced by trees, then spontaneous forest wild-fires will increase both in frequency and in severity. This both consumes oxygen and reduces the number of trees available to produce oxygen. This is a negative feedback mechanism. It is by this means and others like it that atmospheric oxygen is regulated and stabilised at the concentration of about 21%.
Trees also release a class of organic compounds called terpenes into the atmosphere. Terpenes smell aromatic. But terpenes are also partly responsible for the conversion of some of the oxygen, O2, into elevated levels of the oxygen isomer, ozone, O3 with the help of highish summer temperatures and pollutants in the atmosphere. Ozone, a powerful oxidant, is highly toxic to most, if not all, life-forms. The concentrations of this low-lying ozone formed by this process can exceed regulatory maximum by 50-fold or more. Low-lying ozone can also be produced by other means involving nitrogen oxides from vehicle exhausts and sunlight.
Shrubs have woody stems and are bushy, with many branches. Sometimes shrubs can grow as tall as trees, a particular one being Rhododendron. In which case they will be listed under both categories.
Under-shrubs are small low-growing shrubs, often creeping. They too are woody and perennial.
MUSHROOMS & FUNGI
Fungi, of which, Worldwide, there are an estimated 611,000 species, invade most living organisms, consuming them from the inside. But mammals seem to be particularly immune to invasion by fungi; only a few have ever infested humans (the superficial athletes foot and thrush to the much more life-threatening diseases such as candidiasis (by candida albicans) or invasive aspergillosis, etc. People are much more likely to succumb to a fungal infection if they have a weakened immune system or it has been compromised by taking antibiotics. But the fact remains that, of all organisms, mammals heave far fewer fungal infections.
It is thought that a high normal body temperature is responsible for keeping fungal infections at bay. Indeed, it is thought that mammals evolved by turning up their thermostat to such an extent that fungal infections were much less likely to take a hold. Most fungi cannot stand such high temperatures for long, and many die. The temperature that Mammals set their thermal regulator is extremely high, and costs them dearly; they have to eat considerable quantities of food to keep such a high body temperature. It is so high, that if it were any higher, the mammals would suffer illness for other reasons (it is dangerous for humans to have a 'high temperature', which they get when ill). But as World temperatures increase with global warming, then fungi will likely be able to evolve a greater tolerance for heat. Unfortunately mammals are unlikely to be able to evolve a still higher temperature in order to avoid being infested by fungi, their bodies are already very close to the temperature at which most metabolic processes will stop functioning properly. This being so, as global warming takes hold, mammals are likely to suffer greatly increased susceptibility to fungal infections, and many more life-threatening ones. During global warming the extinction rate for mammals is likely to increase many fold due to increased fungal susceptibility.
Readers should be aware that there are about 1200 mushrooms in the UK, with about 15,000 lesser varieties and species. No attempt should be made of any positive identification of mushrooms from this limited website, which contains nothing like 1200 mushrooms. Your mushroom may look similar to one shown here, but it might actually look a lot more similar to one not (yet) shown here. And some edible mushrooms cannot be differentiated from poisonous ones by visual appearance alone. We accept no liability for any injury or death occurring as a result of ingesting or exposure to any mushroom, fungus or plant included on this website.
'Grasses' in the context here include not only the true grasses (those within the Poaceae Family, but also grass-related plants such as Rushes and Wood-Rushes (which are in the Juncaceae Family and Sedges, Club-Rushes and Spike-Rushes (which are in the Cyperaceae Family. If you would like to view lists of these families individually, then call up the respective family lists themselves by clicking on the respective family links presented here.
Lichens can be hard to identify positively from the numerous similar species. To help identify lichens, lichenologists usually carry out some chemical tests called 'Spot Tests' on the lichen specimens using various, often dangerous, substances. The tests are described below, but the reader is advised that no photograph of any lichen on this website has been through any chemical test, so absolute accuracy in identification cannot be guaranteed. On the other hand, if it looks like a chicken, clucks like a chicken and walks like a chicken, but isn't a chicken because it has two hearts or some other hidden trait, then, to all intents and purposes, it is a chicken (visually, and on websites that is all you can ascertain since Spot Tests wont work on images).
The K test
The so called 'potassium' test, utilising a 10% solution of potassium hydroxide, KOH. [In reality this is rather a misnomer, for it is not the potassium that is doing the testing, but rather a strong alkali - and Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH from caustic soda crystals, can be used almost as effectively].
The C test
Another misnomer, this test has nothing to do with carbon, C, but rather with chlorine, Cl2, for which a solution of Sodium Hypochlorite, NaOCl, provides a ready source. Low-cost domestic bleaches usually contain NaOCl - but check the label - up-market bleaches contain several other ingredients as well that will thwart the result).
The Pd test
Again, another misnomer, for this test has nothing whatsoever to do with palladium, but rather with the dangerously dermato-toxic para-Phenylenediamine. When exposed to bare flesh para-Phenylenediamine photo-sensitises the skin, resulting in serious burns for up to 2 years after the initial contact with the chemical if the person exposes that skin to sunlight (it has been used as a 'black henna' hair dye in some commercial preparations, but this use is highly discouraged - it has been the subject of many lawsuits made by ladies with damaged scalps). This reagent is best avoided by amateur lichenologists. Substitutes (perhaps less effective at differentiating between lichens) are being worked out.
The HCl test
This time lichenologists have got the chemistry correct - this is the Hydrochloric Acid test to test whether the rock upon which the lichen is growing is acidic or basic. If basic (is calcareous), it will effervesce CO2. A suitable less dangerous but slower substitute is Jiffy Lemon juice in a plastic squeezy 'lemon'.
The I test
This involves the use of a solution of iodine, presumably to test for the presence of starches or carbohydrates when it will turn dark-blue; it is best left for use in the laboratory.
The Nitric Acid test
This uses Nitric Acid, HNO3, is best left and used in the laboratory. Its only use is to distinguish between Melanella and Neofuscelia lichens.
An ultraviolet light source is also useful for spotting the yellow fluorescence of many Xanthones.
Quite frequently a concatenation of these tests will be required for positive identification, with each test returning a positive or negative result. Several KEYS are published that detail the result of each test on any one particular lichen specimen.
Many Lichens contain highly coloured pigments and have been used for dying fabric. Mauve, beetroot red, cyan, fawn, lilac, yellow, cream, and various shades of brown are readily achievable, given the right mordant.
Lichens are also used as model shrubs, bushes and vegetation in model railway layouts.
Lichens contain a huge variety of unusual acids called 'Lichen Acids' ranging from Lecanoric Acid, Gyrophoric Acid, Thamnolic Acid, Usnic Acid, Salazinic Acid, Stictic Acid, Picrolichnic Acid, Baeomcesic Acid, Fumarprotocetraric Acid, Hypoprotocetraric Acid, Protocetraric Acid, Pulvinic Acid, Vulpinic Acid, Perlatonic Acid, Chlorophaeic Acid, Mevalonic Acid, Shikimic Acid, Alectorialic Acid, as well as other compounds such as Atranorin, Parietin and Anthraquinones, Napthaquinones, Xanthones and Chromones, most of which are highly coloured. Steroidal Triterpenes, Orcinols, dihydroxydibenzofurans, and m-dihydroxyphenols and Depsones also abound. The Spot Tests are designed to test for the presence or absence of these characteristic chemicals, usually by a colour change (a positive result), and by which means identification can be ascertained.
Crops are mainly grown commercially for foodstuffs, and sometimes for utility purposes such as cooking oils or for methanol production of fuel for internal combustion engines. Other crops may be cottage industry foodstuffs grown on vegetable patches or allotments by enthusiasts which are not grown commercially any longer.
Some climbers climb by twinning around other plants supporting stems, either clockwise, or anti-clockwise. Other climbers produce tendrils or petioles, fine curly wiry modified stems that are able to entwine around other plants stems to hold themselves up. Yet others produce a kind of 'suction cup' type pad (which is incapable of true 'suction') with which they can cling on to even shiny surfaces.
Some may notice that Butterflies and Moths are not of the plant kingdom, and they would be correct, but without flowers, butterflies would not exist. In the course of photographing plants, the author comes across many butterflies and moths. Those that stay still long enough to approach within cameras distance get their portrait taken. These are those. The Butterflies and Moths do NOT appear in the NEW menu but they do appear in the Subject Index under the catch-all BUTTERFLIES and MOTHS sub-headings.
Butterflies had a really bad year in the record-breakingly wet year of 2012 (which was drought-ridden until April, then it almost never stopped raining, flooding huge areas time and time again, month by month). Numbers plummetted, especially of the rare Blue Hairstreak, which was down by 98%! The flowers of
Ivy make a useful contribution providing out-of-season nectar to butterflies in late autumn.
Some may notice that Butterflies and Moths are not of the plant kingdom, and they would be correct, but without flowers, butterflies would not exist. In the course of photographing plants, the author comes across many butterflies and moths. Those that stay still long enough to approach within cameras distance get their portrait taken. These are those. The Butterflies and Moths do NOT appear in the NEW menu but they do appear in the Subject Index under the catch-all BUTTERFLIES and MOTHS sub-headings
Those with a further interest in butterflies may like to visit this excellent site:
PBH's Butterfly Studies Peter Hardy|
|Shows photos, host plants, nectar source plants and distribution maps of Butterflies, with an emphasis on Lancashire, Cheshire and the Philippines |
INSECTS on PLANTS
For any other insects on plants (rather than inside plants) apart from Moths and Butterflies.
GALLS on PLANTS
For Galls, Smuts, Rusts and other abnormalities on plants caused by insects, mites or fungi.
MUTATIONS in PLANTS
For the various Mutations and abnormalities in Plants:
These abnormalities include:
Fasciation where the stem becomes ribbon-like or the flower elongated.
Double-flowers where petals and other flower parts are multiplied.
Phyllody (aka Phyllomorphy / Frondescence) where parts of the flower may develop into leafy structures instead.
Virescence / Floral Virescence a green pigmentation in parts of the plant not normally green. If this occurs on the flower, it is known as Floral Virescence.
Proliferation where normal plant parts grow in abnormal positions.
Separation and division of parts where normally 'entire' leaves are lobed instead.
Abnormalities in number where flowers may have extra petals or other parts.
Abnormalities in size where plants grow far larger their normal maximum size.
Abnormalities in shape where plants assume abnormal shapes.
Anomalous Colourings including Aureate forms where yellow replaces green.
Variegation and Chimeras where some abnormal patterning has resulted.
Peloria where normally bilaterally symmetric flower petals take on radial symmetry. They are then said to be
Peloric. It has recently been found that peloria is not a trait propagated by DNA, but instead involves an epigenetic process of silencing a specific gene by DNA methylation in the environment. The peloric nature is happily passed on between generations, just like it would be if it were down to changes in the DNA sequence. But the DNA sequence remains un-altered in epigenetic changes. This is similar to the once discredited Lamarckism , where the environment leads to heritable changes in the genome and which is now found to be not totally without foundation, although specific examples are rare.