From the friendly Phytophilosophy, check her out.
For many of us the ideas and images that this word conjures up are of a particular kind. We may imagine a forest, a single tree in a park, a garden, a field of daisies, a handful of picked flowers, a crop. What springs to mind may be a thing that grows beside the road, still and leafy, perhaps gently and passively swaying in the breeze. Relaxing, splashes of colour on a green backdrop, unconcerned if we snap off a small branch, unconcerning as we go about our daily business. We know they aren’t just there to look at and enjoy, though, plants are also very useful; they are sources of food and of medicine for many animals, including us. Throughout history humans have written countless classificatory manuals and amassed thousands of specimen collections that help us identify and describe species for these and other purposes.
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