|Alternate the arrangement of leaves or other parts
when not opposite or whorled on the stem.
Annual a plant which grows to maturity in one year.
Anther the distal part of a stamen, bearing the pollen.
Apex, apices (pl), apical (adj) the top or summit of a leaf, inflorescence, petal, sepal, or even the plant itself.
Asexual reproduction without use of sexual parts; used mostly in connection with propagation by vegetative means, rather than by seeds.
Axil, axillary (adj) the upper angle formed by the junction of one plant part with another, e.g. leaf petiole and stem.
Bark the softer, outer covering of a stem or root as distinct from the wood from which it may be peeled, varying sufficiently in colour, texture and general appearance as to form an important means of distinguishing between species.
Base, basal (adj) the lower end of a plant part such as a leaf.
Biennial a plant requiring two years to grow, flower and die.
Bisexual used of flowers having both male and female parts in the same flower.
Bracteole small secondary bracts usually found on the pedicel close to and directly beneath the flower, as in hibiscus.
Bristle a seta or erect (or nearly so) stiff hair.
Bud the undeveloped stage of a shoot, flower or leaf.
Budding a form of grafting employing as the scion a single growth bud, which is inserted beneath the bark of a compatible understock and tied in place.
Bush a plant of low, shrub like growth, lacking the single trunk of a tree.
Callus tissue the whitish cell tissue developing at the base of a cutting or other wound.
Calyx, calyces (pl) the outer whorl of sepals enclosing the corolla.
Cambium a layer of rapidly dividing cells located between the wood and bark of woody stems and roots, responsible for their growth in diameter and the healing of wounds; of special importance in grafting.
Capillary very slender, like a hair; usually applied to vascular tissue.
Capsule a dry, dehiscent fruit of more than one carpel, either opening at the apex or at the side when ripe.
Carpel the female part of a flower bearing the ovule(s) at the base and elongated into the style and stigma.
Chloro Greek prefix meaning light green.
Chlorophyll the minutely granular green colouring matter in plants.
Complete flower one with all parts present.
Convex curved or arched outward; the antonym of concave.
Cordate having a heart shaped base with two rounded lobes, the leaf shape being broadly ovate.
Corolla the inner whorl of floral parts made up of petals which may be united or free, usually alternating with the sepals in the whorl below.
Cotyledon a primary leaf in the embryo of a seed, a single leaf in monocotyledons, an opposite pair in dicotyledons. Crenate a leaf margin with shallow dentate teeth, bluntly rounded at the points.
Crenulate diminutive of the above; finely or minutely crenate.
Cultivar The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (1961) Article 5 states... `The term cultivar, abbreviated cv., denotes an assemblage of cultivated individuals which is distinguished by any characters (morphological, physiological, cytological, chemical, or others) significant for the purposes of agriculture, forestry, or horticulture, and which, when reproduced (sexually or asexually) retains its distinguishing features.'
Cutting a severed portion of stem, leaf or root used in propagation.
Deciduous not persistant; falling off, as in leaves, bracts or scales, not necessarily in autumn.
Declined turned or bent downwards, as in leaf apices, stamens etc.
Decurved, deflexed curved or bent downward.
Dehiscent (adj) used of a fruit that opens or splits when ripe to free seeds.
Dentate a leaf margin having sharp teeth directed outwards, not upwards.
Depressed flattened or pressed down; sunken as in veins.
Derma Greek prefix meaning skin.
Dicotyledon an angiosperm whose seedleaves are in an opposite pair.
Diffuse with spreading or loose, open growth habit.
Dimorphic, dimorphous having two markedly different growth forms or types of leaves, as in the juvenile and adult forms of foliage in some hibiscus species.
Dissected deeply cut, but not separated, into many narrow segments.
Distal at the outer end, farthest from the point of attachment; the antonym of proximal.
Distended swollen or inflated.
Diurnal opening during or lasting only a day, as in most hibiscus flowers.
Divaricate branching or spreading widely.
Divided said of a leaf whose margin is lobed to or near the rachis.
Dorsal (adj) pertaining to the back of a leaf or other organ.
Double applied to flowers with petals increased in number beyond the norm, often by the modification of stamens.
Downy having a surface with short, soft hairs.
Embryo the undeveloped plant within the seed coat.
Entire a margin free of any indentation. Epidermis the outer skin of plant parts such as leaves.
Evergreen a plant remaining in foliage throughout the year.
Exotic foreign, not native; introduced to another country.
Exserted projected beyond, as of stamens which extend beyond the mouth of the corolla.
Eye a growth bud used in budding; a spot or ring of contrasting colour in the centre of a flower.
Family the taxon immediately subordinate to the order; a group of closely related genera. Modern family names end in aceae.
Fertile having the capacity to bear seeds or fruits; also applied to pollen bearing anthers.
Flower the structure bearing the sexual parts, either staminate or pistillate, or both, when it is a `perfect' flower, as well as the perianth parts such as the calyx and corolla, which if both present, make the flower complete.
Foliate in compound words, having leaves, e.g. trifoliate 3 leafed.
Genus a group of closely related species; the taxon immediately subordinate to the family. Generic names are always capitalised.
Germination the process of growth of a seed to become independently established.
Glabrous smooth not hairy.
Grafting the process of uniting a part of one plant (scion) with the stem or roots of another (understock). The principal methods are approach, apical, side, bud and bridge grafting.
Habit the style of growth of a plant referring particularly to the pattern of its main branches.
Habitat the locality and environmental conditions to which a plant is indigenous.
Herbaceous used of plant stems which are usually soft, and die to the roots or main stems each year.
Hirsute having a coarsely hairy surface.
Hispid having a surface covered with short, stiff hairs.
Hybrid a plant resulting from the crossing of two different species, or their subordinate taxa, subspecies, varieties or forms; plants so produced are designated with a small `x' preceding the specifc epithet.
Imperfect lacking essential organs, either stamens or pistils. Incised deeply or irregularly cut, referring mainly to the leaves, sepals. petals or stipules.
Indigenous native to a particular region.
Infertile barren or non productive.
Inserted an organ growing out of or on another structure, as in stamens attached to the corolla.
Leaf the usually green, flat organ attached to the stem by a petiole and responsible for the manufacture of plant food by the process of photosynthesis.
Lenticel a small corky pore in the bark of a plant.
Lobe, lobule (dimin.) a rounded or pointed division of a leaf or other organ.
Margin the edge of a leaf or other organ, sometimes entire (unbroken) or variously notched.
Marginate edged or bordered with a distinct margin, usually of a contrasting colour.
Midrib the main vein or rib of a leaf or other flat structure.
Monocotyledon an angiosperm having a single cotyledon in the embryo.
Multi Latin prefix meaning many.
Mutant, mutation an abrupt and inexplicable variation from the norm, such as doubleness in flowers, changes in colour, habit of growth; when confined to a single shoot, then termed a `bud sport'.
Node a joint in a stem from which may issue leaves and buds.
Obtuse with blunt or rounded apex or base.
Organ a plant part having an independent and special role.
Ovary the part of the carpel bearing the ovule which, after fertilisation, becomes the fruit.
Palmate a compound leaf divided radially into three or more leaflets issuing from a common petiole.
Parted cut or divided almost to the base, as in some leaves.
Pedicel the stalk of one flower in an inflorescence.
Peduncle the main stalk of an inflorescence or solitary flower.
Pendent, pendulous having a hanging or drooping habit.
Perennial a plant lasting for more than two years; correctly included are hardwooded trees and shrubs with persistent aerial parts. Herbaceous perennials have annual aerial parts but persistent roots.
Perfect used of flowers having both male and female parts.
Perianth the calyx and corolla as a single unit; the parts are then called segments.
Persistant not deciduous but remaining attached, e.g. sepals persisting until the fruit is fully ripe; evergreen leaves are
persistant for a number of years.
Petal one of the segments of a corolla, usually brightly coloured.
Petalloid resembling a petal in shape and colour; used to describe the modified stamens of some hibiscus cultivars.
Petiole the stalk of a leaf connecting the blade to the stem; when absent the leaf is sessile.
Pistil the female or seed bearing part of a flower, made up of ovary, style and stigma.
Pith the central core of a stem, composed of soft, white, cellular tissue.
Pollen the powdery, usually yellow, pollinating grains borne by an anther.
Pollination the introduction of male pollen grains to the receptive female stigma as a preliminary to fertilisation.
Procumbent of trailing habit.
Prostrate lying on the ground or nearly so.
Pubescent downy, having a surface with short, soft hairs.
Radiate spreading out from a common centre.
Radicle the primary root issuing from a germinating seedling.
Reclining bent or curved towards the base.
Recurved curving backwards or out wards; also reflexed.
Regular said of a flower with each series of floral parts uniform, i.e. petals with similar shape, size and placement.
Rib the prominent veins in a leaf or fruit, usually the main vein.
Root the mostly underground part of a plant, responsible for anchorage and the absorption of water and nutrients from
Schizo Greek prefix meaning split or separated.
Scion the aerial part of a graft combination, induced by various methods to unite with a compatible understock.
Seed the ripening ovule containing the embryo, enclosed in a testa or seed coat
Seedling a young plantlet resulting from the germination of a seed.
Segment a part of a leaf that is divided into lobes or divisions but is not properly compound; a unit of a perianth.
Self-pollination the introduction of pollen from the stamens to the pistil of the same flower.
Semi- Latin prefix meaning half.
Sepal one of the segments of the calyx. Sepaloid resembling a sepal.
Serrate a leaf margin with sharp teeth like those of a rip saw.
Sessile stalkless, the petiole absent. Seta a bristle.
Shrub a woody plant of perennial character with several or many stems from the base and not a single main trunk as in a tree.
Simple a leaf that is not compound, even though the margin may be lobed.
Solitary flowers or fruits borne singly, not in clusters.
Species (sing. and pl.) a group of plants essentially alike when grown under similar conditions and which normally breed freely and truly amongst their own kind; the taxon immediately subordinate to the genus, constituting the principal unit in the system of plant classification. In modern nomenclatural practice, specific epithets (species name) are not capitalised, regardless of their derivation.
Stalk the elongated support of a flower or fruit (pedicel or peduncle) or leaf (petiole).
Stamen the male part of a flower comprising the elongate `filament' and the pollen bearing `anther'.
Staminal column an elongate column formed by the fusion of filaments, as in hibiscus species.
Staminate a male flower or inflorescence, having stamens but no pistil.
Standard the broad posterior petal in a pea shaped flower; the 3 upright petals in Tall Bearded Iris; a mostly artificially induced plant shape with a single, erect trunk and rounded head.
Stem the principal axis of a plant; applied also to flower stems.
Sterile barren; lacking in one or both essential sexual parts.
Stigma the upper distal part of a pistil comprising the receptive surface for the transfer of pollen.
Stoma, stomata (pl.) minute opening in the surface of leaves allowing the interchange of gases.
Style the elongate part of the pistil connecting the ovary and the stigmas.
Synonym (abbreviated to syn.) in plant nomenclature an invalid plant name set aside in favour of an earlier valid name. Taproot the strong, main axis root of a plant from which secondary roots develop.
Taxo, taxis Greek prefixes meaning arrangement, hence taxonomy the science of classification.
Taxon, taxa (pl.) the term used to refer to any of the taxonomic groups in the classification system of plants.
Terminal placed at the apex or end.
Testa the usually hard, outer coat of a seed.
Throat the opening of a corolla or perianth.
Tree a perennial plant with a single woody trunk and a more or less distinct and elevated head, the main criterion being form rather than size, e.g. a tree grown by bonsai culture does not become a bush merely because of its reduced size. Turgid swollen or distended; used of healthy, fully developed cells.
Twig a young branchlet of the outermost parts of a plant.
Valvate meeting but not overlapping at the edges, as in sepals or petals.
Valve a cell or compartment in a fully matured capsule.
Variety, varietas, varietates (pl.) the taxon immediately subordinate to the species, used to designate plants occurring in the wild, exhibiting clearly defined but minor variations from the specific norm which are not usually lost when the plant is grown from seeds. Many taxonomic botanists now prefer to use the taxon "subspecies" for such material.
Variegated irregularly marked with blotches or patches of another colour.
Vein, venation the nerves or vascular tubes in a leaf that give it a peculiar netted, parallel or anastomosed arrangement.
Viable, viability the ability of a seed or other plant part to grow and live.
Weeping a plant form having pendulous branches.
Whorl a ring of three or more parts around an axis, as in leaves, petals etc.
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