Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Plants

During this cold, wintry season, green and red poinsettias and mistletoes decorate homes, work places, and stores, brightening up the spirit of the holidays as the year draws to a close. Have you ever been curious about these plants and how they acquired their names? Are you interested in which class they might belong to within the grand ecosystem of life? Check out the Science Online database to explore these and other obscure scientific facts:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the Library.

2. Under the Categories side bar on the left, select “Science & Technology” then “Science Online.”

3. In the search box, enter “poinsettia.”

4. Select the first link and discover the scientific name, identify the family class, and view photos of the poinsettia.

5. Run the search again for “mistletoe” and get detailed information on yet another popular plant during this holiday season.

The Science Online database contains definitions, articles and essays, biographies, and experimental pieces in a variety of scientific disciplines including biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, mathematics, physics, space and astronomy, and more. Some of the content is accompanied by diagrams, photographs, and videos.

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