Penstemon, the beardtongues, is a large genus of roughly 250 species of flowering plants native mostly to the Nearctic, but with a few species also found in the North American portion of the Neotropics. It is the largest genus of flowering plants endemic to North America. Formerly placed in the Scrophulariaceae family by the Cronquist system, new genetic research has placed it in the vastly expanded Plantaginaceae family. They have opposite leaves, partly tube-shaped, and two-lipped flowers and seed capsules. The most distinctive feature of the genus is the prominent staminode, an infertile stamen. The staminode takes a variety of forms in the different species; while typically a long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, some are longer and extremely hairy, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name beardtongue. Most penstemons are deciduous or semi-evergreen perennials, the remainder being shrubs or subshrubs. Heights can range from 10 cm to as much as 3 metres. The one Asiatic species previously treated in Penstemon is now placed in a separate genus Pennellianthus. Although widespread across North America, and found in habitats ranging from open desert to moist forests, and up to the alpine zone, they are not typically common within their range. Credit: Wikipedia.
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- 1 John 4:10 Friday, 15 February, 2019“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919).
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THE HUMAN BRAIN: It’s important to understand that the brain is not a muscle. The brain is not made up of myocytes, the cells muscles are made of, but rather by millions of neurons that are interconnected by axons and dendrites. They regulate each and every one of our brain’s and body’s functions. From breathing, or eating or running, to the ability to reason, to fall in love, or to argue, everything passes through our brain’s control.
- Watch - Lassa Fever in Nigeria Thursday, 7 February, 2019Nigerian health officials have declared an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria. Travelers to Nigeria should avoid contact with rats, especially rat urine and feces, and keep their accommodations or campsites clean.
- Alert - Yellow Fever in Nigeria Monday, 28 January, 2019A large, ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria began in September 2017. The outbreak is now spread throughout the country. Travelers going to Nigeria should receive vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days before travel and should take steps to prevent mosquito bites while there.
ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE DAY: Ghost of the Cepheus Flare. Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin. Spooky shapes of cosmic dust clouds seem to haunt this starry expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. They lurk at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over 2 light-years across the ghostly nebula known as vdB 141 or Sh2-136is near the centre of the field. The core of the dark cloud on the right is collapsing and is likely a binary star system in the early stages of formation.
- Florida Students to Speak with NASA Astronaut Aboard International Space Station Friday, 15 February, 2019University and high school students from Florida will have an opportunity to talk with a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station next week.
- NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of Universe Wednesday, 13 February, 2019NASA has selected a new space mission that will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy’s planetary systems.
- Valentine’s Day, animal edition: 6 weird ways animals get it on Tuesday, 12 February, 2019From kinky spider bondage to death-inducing foreplay, Human Nature dives into the fascinatingly depraved world of animal mating rituals.Olivia DeSmit
- In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world Monday, 11 February, 2019Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.Olivia DeSmit
IMAGO DEI: The Yakuts or the Sakha are a Turkic ethnic group who mainly live in the Republic of Sakha in the Russian Federation, with some extending to the Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin regions, and the Taymyr and Evenk Autonomous Districts. The Yakut language belongs to the Turkic languages. They engage in animal husbandry focusing on horses and cattle.
- Yemen - Level 4: Do Not Travel Thursday, 14 February, 2019Do not travel to Yemen due to terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, and armed conflict. Terrorist groups continue to plot and conduct attacks in Yemen. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting public sites, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Additionally, there is a continuing threat of kidnapping/detention by terrorists, criminal elements, […]
- Burkina Faso - Level 3: Reconsider Travel Thursday, 14 February, 2019Reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel to: The Sahel Region due to crime and terrorism. The East Region due to crime and terrorism. The Provinces of Koulpelogo, Loroum, Yatenga, Sourou, Kossi, Banwa, Kenedougou, or within 50km of the Mali border […]
THE FLAG OF PANAMA: The flag of Panama was officially adopted on November 3, 1903. The blue was intended to represent the Conservative Party and the red to represent the Liberal Party. The white was intended to stand for peace and purity; the blue star stands for the purity and honesty of the life of the country; the red star represents the authority and law in the country; and together the stars stand for the new republic.
- Nigeria Friday, 15 February, 2019Latest update: Summary - updated information and advice on travel restrictions over the weekend of 16-17 February, which are likely to affect transport to and from Lagos and Abuja international airports; Nigerian Police have announced that restrictions on vehicle movement will be in force from 6am to 6pm on 16 February, but this may be […]GOV.UK
- Belarus Friday, 15 February, 2019Latest update: Summary - removal of link to information and advice page for the BATE Borisov v Arsenal match on 14 FebruaryGOV.UK
WORK OF ART: Studies of the Foetus in the Womb are two-coloured annotated sketches by Leonardo da Vinci made in around 1511. Da Vinci studied human embryology with the help of anatomist Marcantonio della Torre and saw the foetus within a cadaver. The studies were initially bequeathed to Francesco Melzi. In c. 1582–90 they were bought from his heirs by Pompeo Leoni, and by 1630 they belonged to Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel. Since 1690 the studies have been housed in the Royal Collection, United Kingdom.
- fair and squareIf something was done fair and square, it was done in an honest and straightforward way, without cheating.