Botany book and poinsettia care

Gardeners this year who decide to delve deeper into how gardeners and botanists identify and group plants may be interested in a book like A Tutorial on Plant Classification Systems.

Gene P., a reader and friend of Lubbock AJ from Tijeras, New Mexico, introduced me to the book that inspired today’s column. The book Botany in a Day: A Pattern Method for Identifying Plants, 6th edition, divides plants into families and groups plants into different families based on common traits. Published by HOPS Press, LLC and available at and Amazon. The author, Thomas J. Elpel, is not a botanist, but a self-proclaimed builder and conservationist ( who has studied the organization of the plant family.

This book is full of beautiful color and black and white illustrations. Gardeners who need a classification system for edible foods such as vegetables and fruits may be disappointed by the lack of them, but gardeners and naturalists with an interest in wildflowers and herbs will enjoy this book. I can do it.

The title “Botany in a Day” is a bit misleading as it takes a while to digest the 222 pages of detail, but the introductory tutorial and plant family pages can easily be read in a day. For plant enthusiasts interested in further researching taxonomy systems and identifying traits, this may be a worthy addition to your library.

Ellen Peffery

Poinsettia Q&A

What to do with poinsettias after Christmas Some are composted after they have finished flowering, while others are grown and induced to rebloom the following year.

winter: Do not wet the leaves, irrigate with lukewarm water when the leaves are drooping and the medium is dry. Discard any water that drips from the bottom of the pot. Place the plant in bright light with daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Poinsettia leaves are damaged in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep them away from drafts and cold windows. Increase the intervals between watering to slow vegetative growth.

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