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Plant Glossary: DKapok TreePlant Glossary: BPlant Glossary: SPlant Glossary: HToday's featured page: Shark Glossary: A



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Botany and Paleobotany Dictionary
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Plants
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K


KAPOK TREE

The kapok tree, Ceiba pentandra or Eriodendron anfractuosum, is a large, deciduous, tropical tree that is native to tropical America, Africa, and the East Indies. This fast-growing tree is generally from 45 to over 100 feet (14-30 m) tall; the kapok is the tallest tree in Africa. It has pink, white, or yellow flowers in clusters. The light-weight silky down from the seed pods (sometimes called Java cotton) is used as pillow stuffing, sleeping bag stuffing, life jacket stuffing, furniture upholstery, insulation, and for other uses. The green leaves are lanceolate (lance shaped) and palmately compound (with 5 to 9 leaflets). The yellow-green oil from the seeds is used in foods and to manufacture soap. Young leaves are also cooked and eaten; the wood is also used. The night-blooming flowers are pollinated and the seeds are spread by fruit bats.

KELP

Kelp is a cold-water seaweed that belongs to the family Laminariaceae. It is a large, floating plant that grows in large masses (called kelp forests) and is held to the sea floor by a holdfast. Kelp is usually brown. This seaweed is used by people as food, a food additive, fertilizer (when reduced to ash), and as an ingredient in many other products. Kelp evolved during in the Miocene epoch. Kelp is included in either kingdom Protista or Chromista.

KELP FOREST

A kelp forest is a marine ecosystem (a biome) that is dominated by large kelp plants. These oceanic forests grow in cold and temperate waters, especially along the western coasts of the continents.

KINGDOM

In classification, a kingdom is the highest grouping of similar organisms. A kingdom contains one or more phyla (plural of phylum). Life on Earth is divided into five kingdoms: Animalia (animals), Plantae (plants), Fungi, Protista (protozoans and eucaryotic algae), and Monera (blue-green algae).


K-T BOUNDARY

The K-T Boundary was the boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, occurring 65 million years ago. This was a time of the huge K-T mass extinction.


K-T EXTINCTION

The K-T extinction was the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago, at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods.

KUDZU

Kudzu is a type of legume, a flowering plant that bears its protein-rich seeds in pods and can fix nitrogen from the soil (due to the symbiotic root bacteria rhizobia). Its tubers are edible and the fiber is useful. The plant has a woody stem, wide leaves, and purple flowers. Kudzu is native to Japan and was introduced to the United States around 1876; it soon became a nuisance weed in the southern US. Classification: Kingdom Plantae, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae (pulses), genus Pueraria, specie P. hunbergiana.
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Plant Printouts
EnchantedLearning.com
Botany and Paleobotany Dictionary
yucca
Plants
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the plant term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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