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


Perennial
A plant which lives from year to year, starting into growth again each spring. Some perennial plants are herbaceous and dies down each year, remaining dormant beneath the ground throughout the winter. Others are trees or shrubs; some lose their leaves in winter (deciduous trees), while others retain their leaves throughout the year and their growth slows down in winter (evergreen trees).

Perfect (flower)
A flower that has a full complement of male and female parts as well as floral envelopes (petals and sepals).

Perfoliate
A leaf that appears to be perforated by the stem.

Persistent
Remaining on the plant; not falling off readily.

Petal
One unit of the corolla.

Petiole
The stalk of a leaf.

Pinna
Plural pinnae; a leaflet or primary division of a pinnately compound leaf.

Pinnate
A featherlike arrangement; usually refers to a compound leaf with leaflets arranged on each side of a central axis.

Pinnatifid
Split about halfway to the midrib, such that the divisions are pinnately arranged.

Pinnule
One of the divisions of a pinnate leaflet in a bi-pinnate leaf.

Pistil
The female reproduction organ of a flower.

Pod
Generally, a dry fruit that splits open.

Pome
A fleshy fruit with a central seed-bearing core, e.g. apple.

Procumbent
Growing along the ground without rooting, and having ascending tips.

Prostrate
Growing flat along the ground.

Pubescent
Covered with down or soft, short hairs.

Punctate
Having translucent spots or depressions.

Raceme
An unbranched, elongated flower grouping, with individual flowers on distinct stalks.

Rays (ray flowers)
The straplike, often sterile flowers (commonly called 'petals') surrounding the flowerhead (disk) off a plant in the composite family, e.g. the yellow rays of sunflowers, or the purple rays surrounding the cone of purple coneflower (Echinacea).

Receptacle
The end of the stem or stalk on which the flower parts are borne.

Rhizome
A perennial creeping underground portion of a stem which may look like a root; producing shoots on top and roots beneath; different from a root in that it has buds, nodes, and scaly leaves; rootstock.

Rootstock
Rhizome.

Rosette (basal)
Leaves radiating directly from the crown of the root.

Runner
A thin stem or shoot growing along the ground and producing roots at the nodes.

Sagittate
Resembling an arrowhead in shape.

Samara
A winged fruit that does not split spontaneously, e.g. maple.

Saprophytic
A plant (usually lacking chlorophyll) that lives on dead organic matter.

Scale
A small, usually dry leaf that is closely pressed against another organ.

Scape
A leafless flower stalk that grows from the ground.

Sepal
The individual divisions of the calyx (outer floral envelope).

Serrate
Saw-toothed, with the teeth pointing toward the apex.

Sessile
Lacking a stalk, such as a leaf or flower with no obvious stalk.

Sheath
An expanded or tubular structure that partially encloses a stem or other organ.

Shoot
A new young growth; a stem or branch and its leaves.

Shrub
A woody plant that produces no trunk but branches from the base.

Silique
A term applied to the peculiar seedpod structure of plants in the mustard family.

Simple
Not compound (leaves) or branched (stems, flower clusters).

Smooth
Not rough (compare glabrous).

Solitary
Not growing as part of a cluster or group.

Spadix
A thick, fleshy flower spike (usually enveloped by a spathe), as in members of the arum family (Skunk Cabbage, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Dragon Arum, etc.).

Spathe
A modified, leaflike structure surrounding a spadix, as in members of the Arum family (Skunk Cabbage, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Dragon Arum, etc.).

Spatulate
Shaped like a spoon, with a narrow end at the base.

Spike (flower)
An unbranched, elongated flower grouping in which the individual flowers are sessile (attached without stalks).

Spikelet
A small spike, particularly one of the few-flowered spikes making up the inflorescence of a grass.

Spore
A one-celled reproductive body produced by relatively primitive plants.

Spur
A slender, hollow projection from a petal or sepal.

Stamen
The pollen-bearing anthers with attached filaments (sometimes without filaments); the male organ of a flower.

Stipule
Appendages (resembling small or minute leaves) at the base of leaves of certain plants.

Strobile
A cone or conelike structure.

Style
The slender, elongated part of a pistil.

Subshrub
Somewhat or slightly shrublike; usually a plant with a stem that is woody at the base, but mostly herbaceous.

Suture
A natural seam or groove along which a fruit splits.

Taproot
A single main root that grows vertically into the ground.

Tendrils
A modified leaf or branch structure, often coiled like a spring, used for clinging in plants that climb.

Terminal
Occurring at or growing from the end opposite the base (compare lateral).

Ternate
Occurring in threes or divided into three parts.

Trifoliate
Having three leaves.

Trifoliolate
Having three leaflets.

Tripinnate
Descriptive of a pinnate leaf having pinnate leaflets with pinnate pinnules.

Tuber
A swollen root or underground stem or rootstock, which forms a food store for the plant.

Umbel
A flower grouping with individual flower stalks or floral groupings radiating from a central axis; often flat-topped and umbrella-like.

Valve
One of the parts into which a capsule divides when splitting.

Whorl
A circular arrangement of three or more leaves, flowers, or other parts at the same point or level.