Welcome to this fifth edition of Botany News!
A note from the editor
Plants growing in the
worlds of beans
The green tabloid
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A note from the editorason's Greetings! Welcome back to Botany News the new
botanical online e-zine. I hope you are enjoying still enjoying
the outdoors, park visits and garden walks, wherever you are in
the world! I am still looking for more communications from
readers, telling us their own stories from the summer! If you
Botany News feel free to forward it to your plant-loving
friends. Some of you are already signed up and are receiving
this ezine via email. The future of Botany News depends on
enthusiastic readers, willing to exchange information on plants
and events in botany. I strongly encourage you to send in
information of mutual benefit to botanists and all suggestions
for improving the ezine are welcome.
reading Botany News during the holiday season!
Plants growing in the
Iceland, tundra is largely confined to the interior that has
very short summers as well as extensive sands interspersed with
wetlands along rivers.
The barrens in the central highlands of Iceland have very sparse
vegetation. The species growing there are well adapted to the
short summer. The plants need to tolerate drifting sand and
extreme soil conditions. Some of the species form dense
cushions. Among them are Moss Campion (Silene acaulis)
and Tufted Saxifrage (Saxifraga caespitosa), while Thrift
(Armeria maritima) forms a smaller rosette. Moss Campion
forms a dense cushion with small but fragrant pink flowers.
When the flowers are absent the bright green leaves in the
cushion are more pronounced. Tufted Saxifrage carries white
flowers. This species is widespread in Iceland. Thrift carries a
rosette of fleshy leaves.
Grasses, rushes and sedges grow as stoloniferous or
tussock-forming species on the tundra sand. These species depend
on vegetative growth for many years but also reproduce
sexually. Facilitation may occur when aggregations of some
species, for example, Moss Campion, form cushions that provide
shelter or otherwise suitable conditions for the establishment
of other plant species. Plants of the barrens growing as
perennial rosettes, cushions and tussocks may reproduce by seed
and disperse into new sites in the vast sands of the interior.
The world of beans
Broad Bean (Vicia
faba), is confined mostly to tropical regions of the world,
while requiring a cool season for its development. This plant
is grown as a winter annual in the warm temperate and
subtropical regions and is cultivated for its seeds that are
consumed either immature or mature. The beans are marketed in
their green pods. Broad Beans are very popular in Europe,
including the Mediterranean and in many tropical countries.
(Phaseolus vulgaris) is a twinning plant believed to be
Central America and Mexico. These beans were brought to
Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese. The beans tolerate a wide
range of conditions in tropical and temperate countries, but do
poorly in the very wet tropics where rain causes disease and
flower drop. These plants are sensitive to diurnal
fluctuations, folding their leaves together at night, while at
dawn the leaves unfold towards the sun. Some cultivars yield
yellow pods, but pods are more commonly green.
Snap Beans are a
cultivar of French Beans used as entire pods, other cultivars
are eaten as immature green seeds, while the third group
consists of dry beans. Lima Beans (Phaseolus lunatus) are
climbing perennial plants. They grow over adjacent
vegetation in the wet season and then die back in the dry
The seeds are large and variable in colour. These beans are now
cultivated in South America, Asia and Africa. They are now a
very important crop plant in Africa. White Lima Beans contain
smaller amounts of cyanogens and need less cooking. Mung Bean (Phaeseolus
aureus) is an annual plant and is commonly grown in Asia,
especially China, while also being a popular food plant in
western countries. Sprouts are popular in salads and
Soybean (Glycine max) is a source of edible oil and is
now cultivate on a large scale in the United States. In
Indonesia fermented soybeans are consumed as tempe, and as tofu
in China and Japan. Soy sauce is a Soybean product. Soybeans
are very popular nowadays, partly because they are very rich in
are nutritive and rich in proteins, they are a good source of B
vitamins, mineral and fibre. Beans are best cooked in plenty of
water and often require soaking before being cooked.
The Green Tabloid
soil and Earth's green biosphere are the support system for
animal life on planet Earth. Plants are a part of the continuum
of life, where the important interactions of plants and animals
occur. While both herbicides and pesticides have been with us
for decades, and provide us humans with partial control over
nature, the use of these compounds must constantly be
reconsidered to improve methods for reducing their harmful
effects to living beings in ecological food chains. Our garden
hedges are homes for pollinating butterflies, beetles, bees and
dipteran flies. Many of these insects are necessary for our
cultivation efforts and the destruction of their homes remains
questionable. Similarly, herbicides may destroy fertile soils,
and as much as we would like to clear our gardens of weeds, the
weeds are an indication of a healthy, organic garden.
and pesticides often end up in undesirable places in nature.
Many toxic chemicals also have a way of persisting in the
environment, both in food and water supplies for wildlife and
toxic chemical, an insecticide or herbicide, may be sprayed or
dusted onto crop plants. The chemical may enter the soil or
remain on the plant's leaves until rain or irrigation washes the
chemical further into ground-water, rivers and oceans. While
high concentrations of toxic chemicals seldom accumulate in the
hydrological systems, many compounds are found in higher
concentration in fish and waterfowl as well as human beings.
All in all, caution is needed in the use of pesticides and
herbicides, while exploring alternative ways of keeping our
garden and crop plants healthy.
own Botany News article!
write on any topic related to botany. Short essays on plant
biology are especially popular. It can also be a review of
recent botanical developments. Anything that will help your
fellow botanists and make it possible for them progress in their
The articles need be approximately 300-1000 words. If needed or
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may request some changes and articles that do not fit the
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The Flower Box
Iceland Touring Association was founded in the early 20th
century and its goal is to promote travel in Iceland. All are
welcome to join the society and members enjoy privilages when it
comes to accommation in huts and trips offered by the society.
you feel like visiting Iceland during the summer you could also
sign up for
Customized Botanical Tours in Iceland. Please, remember to
fill in the
Expession of Interest Form as this will greatly help us to
make your visit better. The spring, summer, and autumn are good
times to explore the nature of Iceland. Updated information
about the tours will be published in this section. If you wish
to participate and are planning a trip to Iceland
contact us well in advance.
vegetarians visiting Iceland there are several options. You
could visit some of the downtown Reykjavik vegetarian
restaurants including the modern
Grænn kostur or more traditional
Á næstu grösum. Alternatively, try
Lækjarbrekka a cozy restaurant serving some vegetarian
dishes or check the world's most northerly Indian restaurant,
AusturIndíafélagið! However, if would like to leave the
Reykjavik city consider
staying on farms and enjoying the tranquil countryside.
This section publishes brief announcements about botany and
related issues. Announcements about meetings, excursions,
courses, jobs and other important items are consider for
publication here. Announcements are generally less than 300
Readers located in Iceland are encouraged to check out
Thund’s sales page for new botanical health products.
Submit your Botany News announcement!
BOTANY NEWS is published by Thund, Reykjavik, Iceland
November 25, 2005 --
Botany News, Issue #005