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Malta Wild Plants - Wild plants glossary
Category: Animals and Nature > Plants of Malta
Date & country: 06/04/2012, MA
Words: 773


Acaulescent
stemless

Acerose
needle-shaped

Achene
a small, dry, one-seeded, indehiscent fruit (i.e. one that does not split open), deriving from a one-chambered ovary, typical of the asteraceae

Acicular
needle-shaped, as applied to some kinds of foliage

Actinomorphic
radially symmetrical

Aculeate
pointed or prickly

Acuminate
tapering gradually to a pointed apex with more or less concave sides along the tip

Acute
tapering to a sharp-pointed apex with more or less straight sides along the tip

Acyclic
with the floral parts arranged spirally rather than in whorls

Adenophorous
gland-bearing

Adherent
two or more organs appearing to be fused but actually separable

Adnate
grown together, used only to describe unlike parts (compare connate)

Adpressed
closely pressed together but not united

Aduncate
hooked

Adventitious
occurring in unusual or unexpected locations such as roots on aerial stems or buds on leaves

Aequilateral
equal-sided, as opposed to oblique

Aestivate
to become dormant in summer

Aggregate
densely clustered

Aianthous
flowering constantly

Alate
having wings or wing-like structures

Alkaline
soils that contain high amounts of various salts of potassium and/or sodium, as well as other soluble minerals, and are basic rather than acidic with a ph greater than 7.0

Allelopathy
a characteristic of some plants according to which chemical compounds are produced that inhibit the growth of other plants in the immediate vicinity

Allopatric
occupying different geographic regions

Alternate
a leaf arrangement along the axis in which the leaves are not opposite to each other or whorled

Ammophilous
sand-loving

Amplexicaul
describing a sessile leaf that has its base completely surrounding the stem

Anandrous
without stamens

Ananthous
without flowers

Ancipital
two-edged, such as the winged stem of sisyrinchium

Androecium
a collective term for the stamens of a flower (compare gynoecium)

Androgynous
having staminate and pistillate flowers in the same inflorescence

Anemophilous
wind-pollinated

Angled
sided, as in the shape of stems or fruits

Angular
having sharp angles or corners, ly used in reference to structures such as stems to contrast them with rounded stems

Annual
a plant that completes its life cycle from the its germination as a seed to the production of new seeds in a single year and then dies

Annular
in the form of a ring

Anterior
on the front side away from the axis

Anther
the pollen-bearing portion of a stamen

Anthesis
time during which the flower is open

Antrorse
pointing forward or upward (compare retrorse)

Aperturate
with one or more openings or apertures

Apetalous
lacking petals

Apex
the tip of a plant part

Aphyllous
without leaves

Apiculate
ending in an abrupt slender tip which is not stiff

Applanate
flattened

Appressed
lying flat against or nearly parallel to, as leaves on a stem or hairs on a leaf

Arborescent
approaching the size and habit of a tree

Arcuate
arching or curved like a bow

Areole
a raised area on a cactus from which spines develop

Aristate
with an awn or stiff bristle, typically at the apex

Armed
provided with prickles, spines or thorns

Ascending
growing obliquely upward

Asperous
rough to the touch

Asteraceae
sunflower family

Asymmetrical
not divided into like and/or equal parts

Attenuate
gradually narrowing to a tip or base

Auricle
a small earlike lobe or appendage

Auriculate
having earlike appendages

Austral
southern (compare boreal)

Autophilous
self-pollinated

Awn
a slender, stiff terminal bristle attached at its base to another structure or organ such as a leaf or grass stem

Axil
the upper angle formed between two structures or organs, such as a leaf and the stem from which it grows

Axillary
borne or carried in the axil

Baccate
like a berry, having berries

Balsamiferous
sticky and aromatic, like balsam

Banner
the upper petal of a pea flower

Barbed
with a backward-facing tip

Basal
at or near the base, often describing leaves and where they attach

Basifixed
attached by the base (compare dorsifixed, versatile)

Beak
a firm, pointed terminal appendage

Berry
a fleshy, indehiscent fruit in which the seeds are not encased in a stone and are typically more than one

Biennial
a plant that takes two years to complete its life cycle, usually growing vegetation in the first year and producing flowers and seeds in the second, then dying

Bifarious
in two vertical rows

Bifid
two-lobed or two-cleft

Biflorous
flowering in the spring and again in the autumn

Bifurcate
divided into two forks or branches

Bilabiate
two-lipped

Bipinnate
twice pinnately compound

Bipinnatifid
two times pinnately cleft

Bisexual
having both stamens and pistils

Bladdery
thin-walled and inflated

Blade
the expanded terminal portion of a leaf, petal or other structure, i.e. that portion of the leaf that does not include the stalk

Bloom
a white, powderlike coating sometimes found on a leaf or stem surface

Bole
the trunk or stem of a tree

Boreal
northern (compare austral)

Brackish
a mixture of salt and fresh water, somewhat saline

Bract
a modified leaf which may be reduced in size or different in other characteristics from the foliage leaves and which usually subtends a flower or an inflorescence

Brassicaceae
mustard family

Bristle
a stiff hair, usually erect or curving away from its attachment point

Brunescent
brownish

Bud
a developing leaf, stem or flower

Bulb
an underground plant part derived from a shoot that is enclosed in numerous overlapping thickened leafy scales whose purpose is to store food

Bulblet
a small bulb produced at the base of a bulb

Bullate
blistered or puckered

Bundle Scar
scar left on a twig by the vascular bundles when a leaf falls

Bur
a prickly or spiny seed or fruit

Burl
a woody swelling where the stem joins the roots

Caerulescent
bluish

Caespitose
growing in tufts