Glossary


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Calamus


Rush-like; grows in grassy clumps with a height of 2-6 feet and a width of 1 foot.  The flowers are yellow-green, very small, jutting out at a 45-degree angle part way up the stem.  Only flowers in water.

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Calendula


Many-branched annual that gives off an odor when bruised.  It grows to 18 inches and produces stalks with oblong leaves.  It has pale yellow to deep orange ray flowers that close at night; these are followed by light yellow boat-shaped seeds.

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Caraway


Biennial, though some varieties go to seed their first year.  It produces a long taproot from which the hollow, grooved stems grow.  It has tiny white umbelled flowers, and produces oblong seeds bearing 5 distinct, pale ridges.  Blooms in spring.

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Cascara Sagrada


Deciduous shrub with distinctive reddish-gray bark. Tiny, greenish-yellow umbellate flowers and thin elliptical leaves.  The fruit turns from scarlet to black when ripe, enclosing 2-3 pea-sized seeds.

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Cat's Claw


Woody, tropical, climbing vine with long, hook-like spines.  It attaches itself to trees and is native to the rainforests of South America.

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Catnip


An erect perennial which produces small, whitish or pinkish, purple- or red-dotted flowers.  The plant is strongly scented with a mint like odor, rather like pennyroyal.

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Cayenne


Shrubby, tropical perennial with hardwood stems and branches. It produces greenish or yellowish white star-like flowers that droop from long stems. The fruit are shiny, pod-like, and leathery, ranging in color from yellow to orange to red.  Blooms in summer.

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Centaury


Biennial herb growing up to 10 inches high with 5-petalled pink flowers in clusters. The leaves occur in a basal rosette. Blooms close in cool temperatures, darkness, when rain approaches, and when touched.

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Chaparral


It is one of the best examples of a plant that tolerates arid conditions simply by its toughness.  It competes aggressively with other plants for water, and usually wins, accounting for its prevalence in many arid locations of the southwest.  This medium-to-large evergreen shrub has numerous flexible stems projecting at an angle from its base.

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Chastetree


A deciduous, aromatic tree that blooms from July to August.  The entire plant is aromatic, especially the flowers and fruits.

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Chia Seed


Annual herb with opposite leaves 4-8 cm long.  Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous spiked clusters at the end of each stem. Small oval seeds follow. Height: Up to 1 meter

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Chickweed


Fast-growing clump-forming or sprawling annual.  Small, soft, oval fleshy leaves, long-stalked and yellowish-green, and tiny white flowers with separate thin petals at any time.

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Chicory


Deep rooted, bristly stemmed perennial that produces sky blue, dandelion-like flowers atop tall stems. The leaves are raggedly indented oblongs. Height: 3-5 feet.  It produces hard, brownish, oval seeds 1/10 of an inch long.

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Cinnamon


Evergreen tree,  with elliptical blades up to 7 inches in length and bunches of small yellow flowers hanging from long stalks.  Fruit resembling cloves follows the flowers. The bark is ashen and cracked. Height: 10 or more feet.

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Cleavers


Straggling, square-stemmed annual growing to a height of 4 feet with whorls of lance-shaped leaves, clusters of small white flowers and small, round, green fruit, with hooked prickles.

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Cloves


Cloves are the rich brown, dried, unopened flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family.

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Club moss


Spore bearing vascular plant, growing mainly along the ground.  Branched stems are dense with small, spirally arranged leaves. Branches bearing yellow-green spore cones turn erect and resemble small coniferous tree seedlings. Length: Up to 1 meter.

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Coltsfoot


Low-growing and spreading.  Height: 4-8 inches; width: 6 inches.  Flowers are bright yellow, 1 inch, resembling dandelions, but held aloft on purplish, scaly, 8-inch stems.

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Comfrey


Upright, leafy perennial, 3-5 feet high. It has rhizomes that are black outside, white inside, and contain a juicy, mucilaginous substance that gives the plant its nickname "slippery root". Blue, yellow, or whitish flowers grouped on short racemes. Produces four nutlets.

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Condurango


Tender, twining evergreen climbing vine, growing up to 30 feet with an aromatic stem up to 24 inches in diameter.  It has heart-shaped leaves and funnel-shaped, whitish-green waxy flowers produced in summer.

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Coriander


Bright green annual with tiny white, pinkish, mauve, or reddish ray flowers in umbels that grows up to 5 feet. It has slender, erect stems and compound, pinnate leaves.  Blooms spring to late summer.

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Cornsilk


Annual grass up to 10 feet high, with plume-like male flowers.  Female flowers produce cobs of yellow corn seeds.  Corn silk is a soft filament or beard hanging from the husk of the corn cob.

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Cottonwood


Large, tall, deciduous tree up to 150 feet tall, the old bark is dark grey and deeply furrowed.  Known also as balsam cottonwood, western balsam poplar, and California poplar, it grows primarily on moist sites west of the Rocky Mountains.

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Crampbark


Crampbark is a deciduous shrub or tree with spreading branches growing to 13 feet with lobed leaves and white flowers in June.  The flowers are followed by red, oval, and very acidic berries resembling low cranberries and sometimes substituted for them.

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Cranberry


A low trailing shrub, cranberry grows in open bogs and swamps and on wet shores.  It flowers from June to August and fruits from September to November.

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