Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick, NJ - USA

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Flora of the United States

The native flora of the United States includes about 17,000 species of vascular plants, plus tens of thousands of additional species of other plants and plant-like organisms such as algae, lichens and other fungi, and mosses. About 3,800 additional non-native species of vascular plants are recorded as established outside of cultivation in the U.S., as well as a much smaller number of non-native non-vascular plants and plant relatives. The United States possesses one of the most diverse temperate floras in the world, comparable only to that of China.[citation needed]

Several biogeographic factors contribute to the richness and diversity of the U.S. flora. While most of the United States has a temperate climate, Alaska has vast arctic areas, the southernmost part of Florida is subtropical to tropical, Hawaii is fully tropical (including high mountains), and alpine summits are present on many western mountains, as well as a few in the Northeast. The U.S. coastline borders three oceans: The Atlantic (and Gulf of Mexico), the Arctic, and the Pacific. Finally, the U.S. shares long borders with Canada and Mexico, and is relatively close to the Bahamas, Cuba and other Caribbean islands, and easternmost Asia.

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List of garden plants

This is a partial list of garden plants, plants that can be cultivated in the garden, listed alphabetically by genus. See also list of plants by common name.

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Iris (plant)

Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower.

The often-segregated, monotypic genera Belamcanda (blackberry lily), Hermodactylus (snake's head iris), and Pardanthopsis (vesper iris) are currently included in Iris.

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Monocotyledons (/ˈmɒnɵˈkɒtɪˈldən/), also known as monocots, are one of two major groups of flowering plants (or angiosperms) that are traditionally recognized, the other being dicotyledons, or dicots. Monocot seedlings typically have one cotyledon (seed-leaf), in contrast to the two cotyledons typical of dicots. Monocots have been recognized at various taxonomic ranks, and under various names (see below). The APG III system recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.

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Perennial plant

A perennial plant or simply perennial (from Latin per, meaning "through", and annus, meaning "year") is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.

Perennials, especially small flowering plants, that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their root-stock, are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigors of local climate, a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings or from divisions. Tomato vines, for example, live several years in their natural tropical/subtropical habitat but are grown as annuals in temperate regions because they don't survive the winter.

There is also a class of evergreen, or non-herbaceous, perennials, including plants like Bergenia which retain a mantle of leaves throughout the year. An intermediate class of plants is known as subshrubs, which retain a vestigial woody structure in winter, e.g. Penstemon. The local climate may dictate whether plants are treated as shrubs or perennials. For instance, in colder temperate climates, many shrubby varieties of Fuchsia are cut to the ground to protect them from winter frosts.

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Ornamental plant

Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as houseplants, for cut flowers and specimen display. The cultivation of these, called floriculture, forms a major branch of horticulture.

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Cut flowers

Cut flowers are flowers or flower buds (often with some stem and leaf) that have been cut from the plant bearing it. It is usually removed from the plant for indoor decorative use. Typical uses are in vase displays, wreaths and garlands. Many gardeners harvest their own cut flowers from domestic gardens, but there is a significant commercial market and supply industry for cut flowers in most countries. The plants cropped vary by climate, culture and the level of wealth locally. Often the plants are raised specifically for the purpose, in field or glasshouse growing conditions. Cut flowers can also be harvested from the wild.

The cultivation and practices of raising cut flowers form a part of horticulture. They are often included in that branch of horticulture called floriculture.

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Symmetry (from Greek συμμετρία symmetria "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement") has two meanings. The first is a vague sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance. The second is an exact mathematical "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated with the rules of a formal system, such as geometry or physics.

Although these two meanings of "symmetry" can sometimes be told apart, they are related, so they are here discussed together.

Mathematical symmetry may be observed

This article describes these notions of symmetry from four perspectives. The first is symmetry in geometry, which is the most familiar type of symmetry for many people. The second is the more general meaning of symmetry in mathematics as a whole. The third describes symmetry as it relates to science and technology. In this context, symmetries underlie some of the most profound results found in modern physics, including aspects of space and time. The fourth discusses symmetry in the humanities, covering its rich and varied use in history, architecture, art, and religion.

The opposite of symmetry is asymmetry.

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Symmetry in biology

Symmetry in biology is the balanced distribution of duplicate body parts or shapes. In nature and biology, symmetry is approximate. For example, plant leaves, while considered symmetric, rarely match up exactly when folded in half. Symmetry creates a class of patterns in nature, where the near-repetition of the pattern element is by reflection or rotation. The body plans of most multicellular organisms exhibit some form of symmetry, whether radial symmetry, bilateral symmetry or "spherical symmetry". A small minority, notably the sponges, exhibit no symmetry (are asymmetric).