Achene – a small, one-seeded fruit which does not split open
Aggregate fruit – a fruit formed from a cluster of ovaries from a single flower, like a blackberry.
Alternate – one leaf at a leaf node.
Annual – completion of a life cycle in one year.
Anther - the sac on a stamen where pollen is produced.
Anthocyanin – a purplish or reddish, water-soluble, glycoside pigment
Banner – the upper petal of a flower in the pea family
Basal – at the base of a plant
Berry – a fruit with a fleshy ovary wall and more than one seed, like a tomato.
Biennial – completion of a life cycle in two years.
Bilateral – having two sides.
Bipinnate – twice pinnate with primary and secondary divisions.
Bract – a much reduced or modified leaf subtending a flower or inflorescence.
Calyx – the first outer parts of the perianth of a flower; the collection of sepals.
Capsule – a dry fruit from a compound ovary that cracks open when dry.
Catkins – a unisexual, spike-like, pendulous inflorescence of flowers lacking petals.
Clasping – a sessile leaf that partly surrounds the stem.
Composite – made up of distinct parts.
Compound inflorescence – an inflorescence that is branched.
Compound leaf – a leaf that is divided into leaflets.
Compound umbel – an umbel that is branched into successive umbels, like that of a carrot.
Cone – a compact strobilus of ovule-bearing or pollen-bearing bracts, found on gymnosperms.
Cordate – heart-shaped.
Corolla – the second outer parts of the perianth of a flower; the collection of petals.
Corymbs – a flat-toped inflorescence due to different length pedicels; the outer flowers mature first.
Cuspidate – tipped with a short, sharp, abrupt, rigid point.
Cyme – a flower cluster in which the center or terminal flower blooms first.
Deciduous – falling away, such as leaves that fall from a tree at the end of a growing season.
Decurrent – extending downward, usually along a stem.
Dicot – a flowering plant with two seed leaves.
Dimorphic – in two forms.
Dioecious – male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers borne on separate plants.
Disk flowers – tubular flowers that make up the central disk of composite flowers in the Asteraceae.
Distichous - in two vertical rows, usually applied to leave.
Drupe – a fleshy fruit with a stony inner part that surrounds the seed, like a peach.
Druplet – a minute drupe that part of an aggregate fruit.
Floret – a small flower in a cluster; a grass flower.
Fruit – a ripened ovary and associated structures.
Gall – a swelling of plant tissue caused by a parasite.
Glabrous – without hairs.
Glaucous – covered with a whitish or bluish waxy coating.
Glumes – one of the empty bracts below a grass spikelet (the grass inflorescence).
Gymnosperms – a vascular plant with seeds not enclosed in an ovary (the group name “Gymnospermae” from Greek means “naked seeds”).
Halophyte - a plant that grows in salty soil.
Hastate – arrowhead-shaped but with the basal lobes pointing sideways instead of backward.
Haustorium (pl. haustoria) – an absorptive structure of a parasite that penetrates cells of a host to derive food.
Head – a dense collection of sessile or nearly sessile flowers making up an inflorescence.
Herb – a plant with non-woody parts that are above the ground.
Heterotrope – an organism that obtains its food from external sources.
Hirsute – hairy.
Hispid – hairy with stiff, sharply pointed bristles.
Inferior ovary – ovary below the petals, sepals and stamens.
Inflorescence – arrangement of flowers on a plant.
Invasive – a non-native plant that has become a pest.
Involucre – a whorl of bracts that subtends a flower or inflorescence.
Irregular flower – a flower that is not radially symmetrical; synonymous with “zygomorphic flower”.
Keel – a ridge like the keel of a boat; the two partly-united, lower petals of a flower in the pea family.
Lanceolate – lance shaped, much longer than wide.
Leaf axil – the angle between the leaf and stem; some flower originate from the leaf axil.
Leaflet – the leaf-like division of a compound leaf.
Legume – a member of the pea family, the Fabaceae, formerly the Leguminosae.
Lemma – the lower and larger of two bracts enclosing a grass flower.
Lips – the upper or lower petal or sepal of an irregular flower; it is often expanded.
Lobe – a separate, often rounded, division of a plant part such as a leaf or petal.
Locule – a compartment of an ovary.
Midrib – the central rib of a leaf.
Monocot – a flowering plant with one seed leaf.
Monoecious – male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers borne on the same plant.
Mycorrhizae – a symbiotic combination of fungi hyphae (individual fungal cells) and the roots of seed plants.
Node – the place on a stem where a leaf attaches.
Notch – a v-shaped indentation; compare with serrate in which the teeth of the notches are pointed forward.
Oblanceolate – lance-shaped but with the broad part above the middle and the taper toward the base; an oblanceolate leaf would have the longer taper toward the petiole.
Obovate – inversely ovate with the longer taper toward the base.
Ocrea (pl. ocreae) – sheath around a stem formed by leaf stipules; found in the buckwheat family, the Polygonaceae.
Opposite – paired structures directly across from each other, as with leaves at the same node.
Ovary – the basal, seed-bearing part of the pistil.
Ovate – egg-shaped with the longer taper toward the apex and the broader dimension near the base.
Ovule – an immature seed.
Palea – the inner and smaller of the two bracts enclosing a grass flower (floret).
Palmate – spreading from a common point, like the fingers from the palm of a hand.
Panicle – a compound inflorescence arranged along a central axis on which the lower flowers open first.
Pappus – a crown of bristles on the achene of the disk flower in the Asteraceae, used for seed dispersal; the “down of a thistle”.
Parasitic – deriving nutrition from the living tissues of another the organism; in botany, a plant not capable of making food for itself and living off another organism.
Parasitoid - a wasp that completes larval development within the body of another insect, in this case the larvae of Diplolepis.
Parenchyma – tissue composed of living, thin-walled cells that are randomly arranged.
Pedicel – stalk of a single flower (see peduncle).
Peduncle – stalk of an inflorescence (flower cluster), or the stalk of a solitary flower (see pedicel).
Pendent – hanging or drooping.
Perennial – persistent annual cycles, the plant completing an annual life cycles year after year.
Perfect flower – a flower with both stamens and pistils; male and female parts in the same flower.
Perianth – collectively, the petals and sepals; the corolla-calyx complex.
Petal – a unit of the corolla.
Petiole – the stalk of a leaf or compound leaf.
Phyllary – one of the bracts that subtends the composite flower of the Asteraceae.
Pinnate – arranged along opposite sides of an axis; a compound leaf with leaflets arranged in this manner.
Pistil – the seed-producing (female) organ of a flower consisting of the stigma, style, and ovary.
Pistilate – a flower with pistils only, no stamens.
Pod – a dry fruit that releases its seeds by splitting open when it is mature; a legume.
Prostrate – referring to a stem that lies flat on the ground.
Pubescent – covered with soft, short hairs.
Pupa – the stage of insect metamorphosis between larva and adult.
Raceme – an inflorescence where pediceled flowers are attached to an elongated axis; younger flowers are near the apex.
Rachis - an extension of the petiole of a compound leaf that bears the leaflets. The main axis of a compound leaf.
Ray flower – an outer, strap-shaped flower of a composite head of the Asteraceae.
Receptacle - the part of a flower that bears the flower organs; the end of a pedicel or peduncle to which the flower is attached (syn. torus).
Regular flower – a flower that is radially symmetrical; synonymous with “actinomorphic flower”.
Reniform – kidney shaped.
Retuse – a rounded apex with a shallow notch at its center; a leaf with a shallow notch in its otherwise rounded end.
Rhizomatous - having rhizomes.
Rhizome – a perennial, prostrate, underground stem, usually rooting at nodes and sending up shoots.
Riparian – living near a lake, stream, or river.
Rosette – arranged in a circular fashion; usually a circular cluster of leaves at the base of a plant.
Runner – a slender, horizontal, stolon-like stem that roots from its apex, like those of a strawberry plant.
Sclerenchyma – long, thick-walled (lignified), supportive cells associated with vascular bundles; they form sclerenchyma fibers.
Sepal – one of the units of the calyx.
Septum – a partition between cavities.
Serrate – having sharp teeth directed forward; saw toothed.
Serrulate – serrate with small teeth.
Sessile – without a stalk or stem.
Sheath – a tubular envelope around a stem.
Shrub – a perennial, woody plant without a distinct trunk, considered shorter than a tree.
Silicle – a fruit that separates lengthwise, the halves not much longer than wide; in the Brassicaceae (see silique).
Silique – a fruit that separates lengthwise, the halves much longer than wide; in the Brassicaceae (see silicle).
Simple – undivided or unbranched.
Sinuate – wavy.
Spadix – a spike with a fleshy axis.
Spathe – a large bract enclosing an inflorescence.
Spatulate – spatula-shaped; broad and rounded at the apex and tapering toward the base.
Spike – an inflorescence with sessile flowers on a long axial stem, the lower flowers blooming first.
Spiklet – an aggregation of florets in grasses; a secondary spike.
Sporangium (pl. sporangia) – a structure that produces asexual spores.
Sporangiophore – a structure that bears sporangia.
Spur – a hollow projection from a petal or sepal that secretes nectar.
Stamens - the pollen-producing (male) organ of a flower consisting of the filament and anther.
Staminate – a flower with stamens only, no pistils.
Sterile – infertile or barren.
Stigma - the sticky tip of the pistil, the female organ of the flower, that traps pollen.
Stipule – one of a pair of projections at the base of a petiole; it may be large enough to look leaf-like.
Stolon – a slender, horizontal, above ground stem that roots at its nodes.
Strobilus – a cone or cone-like aggregation of sporophylls (modified, spore-bearing leaves).
Style – part of the pistil between the stigma and ovary.
Subsp. Subspecies – a taxonomic subdivision of species, usually based on geographic distribution (see Var. variety; also see Introduction).
Subtend – to lie below and close to.
Succulent – referring to leaves that are fleshy, thick, and juicy.
Superior ovary - ovary above the petals, sepals and stamens.
Tendril – a slender, coiled, modified leaf that is an organ of climbing plants.
Tepal – a sepal or petal that cannot be distinguished from the other.
Terminal – at the end.
Tooth – a small, marginal lobe, often pointed.
Torus – same as receptacle.
Trifoliate – a compound leaf with three leaflets.
Tripinnate – three times pinnate with primary, secondary, and tertiary divisions.
Tuber - a greatly enlarged portion of an underground stem with buds called eyes, like a potato.
Umbel – a flat-topped inflorescence with flower stalks (pedicels or peduncles) arising from one point.
Var. Variety – specifically, a legal term that recognizes a cultivated plant’s breeding; generally, it is almost synonymous with and used interchangeably with “sub species” (see Intorduction).
Vascular bundle – strands of tissue that support the plant and conduct water and nutrients; composed of sclerenchyma fibers and xylem and phloem (the vascular or conductive tissues).
Vegetative – non-reproductive.
Whorled – three or more leaves or branches arranged in a circle around a stem.
Wing – one of the two side petals of a flower in the pea family, Fabaceae; a thin, flat projection of a dry fruit, like that of a maple.
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