Plant Guide > Plant Dictionary

Plant Dictionary


ACUTE - Sharp at the end: pointed.

ALTERNATE - (of leaves, etc.) Not opposite each other but distributed at different heights along the stem or branch.

ANNUAL - Of only one year's duration. Winter annual, a plant which sprouts in the fall, blooms the following spring, fruits and then dies.

APEX - The top or tip of the leaf, flower, etc.

APPENDAGE - Something added to or accompanying a principal or greater thing though not necessary to it.

APPRESSED - Lying close and flat against.

ASCENDING - Curving upward.

AWN - A bristle-like appendage.

AXIL - The angle formed by a leaf or branch with the stem.

BACTERIA - A class of extremely small plants visible only by the aid of a microscope.

BARREN - Fruitless; incapable of bearing seeds.

BASAL - Connected with or belonging to the base.

BASE - That extremity of a leaf, fruit, etc., at which it is attached to its support.

BIENNIAL - A biennial The requires two seasons to complete its growth. The first is spent in collecting and storing up nourishment and the second in producing flowers and seeds, after which the plant dies.

BRISTLE - A stiff, sharp, roundish hair.

COMPOUND - Composed of two or more similar parts united into one whole. Compound leaf, one divided into separate leaflets.

COMPRESSED - Flattened.

CORNEOUS - Horny; horn-like.

CREEPING - Running along at or near the surface of the ground and rooting.

CROSS-FERTILIZATION - The fertilization of a plant by pollen from another individual.

DECUMBENT - Bending or lying down, but with the summit ascending.

EMBRYO - The part of the seed which develops into a plant.

ERECT - Straight; upright.

FERTILIZE - To make fruitful.

FERTILIZATION -The process by which the pollen renders the ovule fertile; fruit-making.

GENUS - An assemblage of species possessing certain characteristics in common.

GLABROUS - Smooth; destitute of hairs.

GLAUCOUS - Of a sea-green or grayish-blue color.

HYBRID - An animal or plant produced from the mixture of two species.

INDIGENOUS - Native to a certain country or district.

INFLORESCENCE - The flowering part of a plant, and especially the mode of its arrangement.

INOCULATE - To furnish the soil with certain kinds of bacteria.

INTERNODE - The portion of a stem between two adjacent nodes.

KEEL - A central ridge, like the keel of a boat

KNEE-BENT - Bent so as to form an angle.

LATERAL - Proceeding from the side.

LEAFLET - A single division of a compound leaf.

LEGUME - A single seed vessel, having the seeds attached along one side only.

LEGUMINOUS - Pertaining to a legume or to the Leguminosae.

MIDRIB - The central or main rib of a leaf.

NODE - The joint of a stem, or the part where a leaf or several leaves are attached.

NODULE - A little knot or lump.

OVARY - The part of the pistil in which the seeds are formed.

PANICLE - A loose, irregularly-compound inflorescence with flowers or groups of flowers on distinct stalks.

PERENNIAL - Lasting more than two years.

POLLEN - The fecundating powder produced in the stamens.

RACEME - An inflorescence bearing stalked flowers along a common, more or less elongated, main stalk.

ROOTSTOCK - Underground stem, rooting at the nodes and generally creeping near the surface.

RUNNER - A slender creeping branch, from the base of the stem or from a rootstock, which is capable of forming independent plants.

SELF-FERTILIZATION - The fertilization of a plant by its own pollen.

SELF-STERILE - Unable to produce seed unless fertilized by another individual.

SHEATH - A tubular envelope, as the lower part of the leaf in grasses.

SPECIES - A class of individuals possessing the same forms and properties which they transmit to their offspring.

STAMEN - The male organ of a flower.

STERILE - Barren; unable to produce seed.

TAPROOT - A root which is the prolongation downwards of the stem.

TRIFOLIATE - Having three leaflets.

TUBERCLE - A nodule.

WHORL - An arrangement of leaves, etc., in a circle around the stem.