Copy of `Nature Direct 2U - Botanical Terms`

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Nature Direct 2U - Botanical Terms
Category: Animals and Nature > Botanical Terms
Date & country: 08/01/2008, UK
Words: 163


Achene
A small, dry fruit that contains one loose seed and that does not split open spontaneously, e.g. sunflower seed.

Acuminate
Tapering gradually to a point at the apex.

Acute
Coming sharply to a point at the apex.

Alternate
Arranged singly at different points along a stem or axis.

Annual
A plant which grows from a seed, flowers, sets seed and dies in one year.

Apex
The tip.

Appressed
Pressed flat or close up against something.

Aril
An outer covering or appendage of some seeds.

Ascending
Rising upward gradually from a prostrate base.

Awn
A bristle characteristic of the spikelets in some grasses.

Axil
The more-or-less V-shaped angle made by the junction between a leaf and a stem or twig.

Axillary
Growing from an axil.

Basal rosette
Leaves radiating directly from the crown of the root.

Berry
A stoneless, pulpy fruit containing one or more embedded seeds, e.g. grape.

Biennial
A plant which forms leaves in the first year, produces a flowering shoot in the second year, flowers, sets seed and dies.

Bilabiate
Two-lipped.

Bipinnate
Pinnate, with pinnate leaflets.

Blade
The broad, thin part of a leaf or petal.

Bloom
A powdery, whitish coating on leaves, stems, or fruit.

Bracts
The leaf-like structures of a grouping or arrangement of flowers (inflorescence). A green leaf-like structure which has a flower in its axil, and which may remain on the plant with the fruit. Bracts vary enormously in size, shape and function.

Bud
A protuberance on a stem, from which a flower, leaf or shoot develops.

Calyx
The sepals collectively; the external floral envelope, usually consisting of layered, fleshy leaves and membranes.

Capsule
A dry, many-seeded, spontaneously splitting fruit that arises from a compound pistil.

Carpel
The wall of a simple pistil, or part of a wall of a compound pistil.

Catkin
A drooping spike of small flowers characteristic of some deciduous trees. Male catkins produce pollen; female catkins are pollinated and then develop into fruiting catkins which bear seeds. A spike-like flower cluster that bears scaly bracts and petal-less, unisexual flowers.

Cauline
Relating to or growing on a stem.

Clasping
Partly or completely surrounding the stem.

Claw
The narrow, curved base of a petal or sepal in some flowers.

Compound
Made up of two or more definable parts.

Compound pistil
A pistil made up of two or more partially or completely united carpels.

Cone
A rounded, more or less elongated cluster of fruits or flowers covered with scales or bracts.

Corm
A bulblike but solid, fleshy underground stem base.

Corolla
The petals of a flower, which may be separate or joined in varying degrees.

Corymb
A generally flat-topped flower cluster with pedicels varying in length, the outer flowers opening first.

Creeper
A shoot that grows along the ground, rooting all along its length.

Crenate
Having rounded teeth along the margin.

Culm
The hollow stem of grasses and bamboos.

Cyme
A branching, relatively flat-topped flower cluster whose central or terminal flower opens first, forcing development of further flowers from lateral buds.

Deciduous
Falling off each season (as leaves); bearing deciduous parts (as trees).

Decompound
Divided several or many times; compound with further subdivisions.

Decumbent
Lying on the ground but having an ascending tip.

Decurrent
Descriptive of leaves whose edges run down onto the stem.

Dentate
Sharply toothed, with the teeth pointing straight out from the margin.

Digitate
Compound, with the elements growing from a single point.

Dilated
Expanded, broadened, flaring.

Disk flower
One of the tubular flowers or florets in the center of the flower head of a composite flower such as the daisy.

Dissected
Cut into fine segments.

Doctrin of Signatures
A concept popular in the 15th century, espoused that God revealed an herb's medicinal purpose by providing special markings on the plant. There are many herbs that indeed support this theory, e.g. the leaves of the lungwort plant, an excellent treatment for upper respiratory infections and lung ailments, have spotted markings that are characteristic of delicate lung tissue. The root of the ginseng plant, an herb reputed to be good for nearly every organ system, resembles the shape of the human body.

Double
Descriptive of flowers that have more petals than normal.

Doubly serrate
Serrate, with small teeth on the margins of the larger ones.

Drupe
A fleshy fruit containing a single seed in a hard 'stone', e.g. peach.

Entire
Having no teeth or indentations.

Evergreen
Retaining green foliage for more than one season.

Filiform
Threadlike.

Floret
A very small flower, especially one of the disk flowers of plants in the composite family.

Frond
The leaf of a fern.

Fruits
The seed bearing part of a plant. Different kinds of fruits include; -Berry: a juicy fruit which usually contains several seeds. -Capsule: a dry or fleshy fruit which splits open to release the seeds. -Nutlet: a hard dry fruit containing a single seed. -Pod: a long dry fruit, usually containing several large seeds, which splits open along one or both seams to release the seeds.

Funnelform
Descriptive of a flower whose corolla tube widens gradually and uniformly from the base.

Glabrous
Not hairy.

Glandular
Having glands, which secrete sticky substances.

Glaucous
Covered with a fine, white, often waxy film, which rubs off.

Globose
Approximately spherical.

Grain
Achene-like fruit, but with the seed not loose.

Head
A flower spike or raceme shortened to form a compact, flattened to globose cluster.

Herb
A plant that has no woody tissue and that dies down to the ground at the end of a growing season.

Herbaceous
Non-woody, herb-like.

Hesperidium
A partitioned berry with a leathery, removable rind, e.g. orange.

Hoary
Closely covered with short and fine whitish hairs.

Incised
Sharply and irregularly slashed or cut.

Indigenous
Native; naturally occurring.

Inflorescence
Technically, the way flowers are arranged in a cluster; generally, a flower cluster.

Internode
The part of a stem or branch between nodes.

Interrupted
Descriptive of a structure, the pattern or sequence of whose elements is broken by the insertion of other elements.

Lanceolate
Widening to a maximum near the base and tapering to a point at the apex.

Lateral
Occurring on or growing from the side (compare terminal).

Leaf
A vegetative organ which, when complete, consists of a flat blade, a petiole or stalk, and (usually two) small leafy appendages at the base of the petiole.

Leaflet
A division or part of a compound leaf.

Legume
A one-celled fruit that splits along two sutures or seams, e.g. pea.

Liana
A vigorous woody vine (usually refers to tropical vines).

Linear
Long and narrow, with nearly parallel sides.

Lip
One of the parts in a corolla or calyx divided into two unequal parts.

Lobe
A part of division, especially when rounded, of an organ.

Lyrate
Lobed to resemble a lyre, with the terminal lobe largest and the lower lobes smaller.

Node
A point on a stem at which leaves are produced.

Nut
A hard-walled, one-seeded fruit that does not split spontaneously, e.g. Hazelnut.

Ob-
A prefix that indicates reversal of the usual orientation, e.g. oblanceolate means widening gradually from the pointed base to a maximum near the apex, which may be more or less rounded.

Oblong
Longer than wide and rounded at the ends, with nearly parallel sides for much of the length.

Obovate
Oval, but broader toward the apex; refers to leaf shape.

Obtuse
Rounded or blunt.

Opposite
Growing two to a node on opposite sides.

Orbicular
Circular or approximately round.

Oval
Broadly elliptical.

Ovate
Oval, but broader toward the base; egg-shaped.

Ovoid
Ovate.

Palmate
With 3 or more leaflets, nerves, or lobes radiating from a central point; compounded, divided, lobed, or ribbed so that the divisions or ribs spread out like fingers from a single point.

Panicle
A branching flower grouping, with branches that are usually racemes.

Papilionaceous
Descriptive of a flower whose petals are arranged to resemble a butterfly.

Pedicel
The stalk of one flower in a cluster.

Peduncle
The stalk of a flower cluster or of a solitary flower.

Peltate
Having a stalk attached at or near the middle.