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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


Calathiform
basket- or cup-shaped

Calciphilous
lime-loving

Calyx
the outer whorl of the perianth, composed of the sepals, usually but not always green, which enclose other flower parts in bud

Campanulate
bell-shaped

Canescent
with gray or white short hairs, often having a hoary appearance

Capillary
very slender and hairlike

Capitate
in a globular or head-shaped cluster

Capitulum
a raceme consisting of a tightly packed head of almost stalkless flowers, as in the asteraceae

Capreolate
with tendrils

Capsule
a dry, ly many-seeded fruit divided into two or more seed compartments that dehisces or splits open longitudinally with the line of dehiscence either through the locule (loculicidal) or through the septa (septicidal), or, less commonly, through pores (poricidal) or around the circumference (circumscissile)

Carinate
keeled with one or more longitudinal ridges

Carpel
a simple pistil, or a single unit of a compound pistil, the ovule-bearing portion of a flower

Castaneous
dark reddish-brown

Catkin
a spikelike, often pendulous, inflorescence of petalless unisexual flowers, either staminate or pistillate

Caudate
bearing a tail or slender tail-like appendage

Caudex
the persistent, often woody base of an otherwise annual herbaceous stem

Cauline
attached to or referring to the stem, as opposed to 'basal', often used to describe leaf position

Cernuous
nodding, drooping

Cespitose
having a densely clumped, tufted or cushion-like growth form with the flowers extending above the clump

Chaff
thin scales or bracts subtending individual flowers in many species of the asteraceae

Chaparral
an area characterized by dense, leathery-leaved, evergreen shrubs

Chlorophyllous
of or containing chlorophyll

Chlorotic
lacking chlorophyll

Cilia
marginal hairs

Ciliate
with a row of fine hairs situated along the margin of a structure such as a leaf

Ciliolate
with a marginal fringe of minute hairs

Cinereous
ash-colored, light-gray due to a covering of short hairs

Circumboreal
distributed around the globe at northern latitudes

Cismontane
referring to the ocean-facing side as opposed to the desert-facing side of the mountains

Citreous
lemon-yellow

Clasping
having the lower edges of a leaf blade partly surrounding the stem

Clavate
club-shaped, gradually thickened or widened toward the apex

Claw
the narrow, basal stalklike portion of some sepals and petals

Cleft
deeply cut, usually more than one-half the distance from the margin to the midrib or base

Cleistogamous
self-fertilizing

Coma
a tuft of hairs, often at the tip of seeds

Complete
describing flowers that contain petals, sepals, pistils and stamens

Composite
a member of the asteraceae, or sunflower family, previously called the compositae

Compound
made up of two or more similar parts, as in a leaf which has leaflets

Concolor
of uniform color

Confluent
running together or blending of one part into another

Connate
describing similar structures that are joined or grown together (compare adnate)

Connivent
converging, but not actually fused or united

Conspecific
of the same species

Convolute
rolled up longitudinally, with one edge inside the other and the upper surface on the inside (compare revolute, involute)

Cordate
heart-shaped

Coriaceous
leathery in texture

Corm
an enlarged underground structure that consists of stem tissue and thin scales

Corneous
horny

Corniculate
having little horns or hornlike appendages

Cornute
horned

Corolla
the inner whorl of the perianth, between the calyx and the stamens, a collective term for the petals of a flower

Coroniform
crown-shaped

Corrugated
wrinkled, folded

Corymb
a broad, flat-topped inflorescence in which the flower stalks arise from different points on the main stem and the marginal flowers are the first to open (compare cyme)

Costate
ribbed, having longitudinal elevations

Crenate
with shallow roundish or bluntish teeth on the margin, scalloped

Crenulate
similar to crenate, but with smaller, rounded teeth

Crisped
curled on the margin like a strip of bacon

Cristate
with a terminal tuft or crest

Cruciform
cross-shaped

Crustaceous
dry and brittle

Cucullate
hooded or hood-shaped

Culm
a hollow or pithy slender stem such as is found in the grasses and sedges

Cultivar
a form of a plant derived from cultivation

Cuneate
wedge-shaped, with the narrow part at the point of attachment

Cupule
a cup-shaped involucre, as in an acorn

Cuspidate
tipped with an abrupt short, sharp, firm point (compare mucronate)

Cyathiform
cup-shaped

Cyathium
the specialized inflorescence characteristic of the euphorbiaceae, consisting of a flower-like, cup-shaped involucre which carries the several true flowers within

Cyme
a broad, flat-topped inflorescence in which the central flower is the first to open (compare corymb)

Deca-
a prefix meaning ten

Decumbent
prostrate at the base but ascending at the end

Decurrent
adnate to the petiole or stem and extending downward, as a leaf base that extends downward along the stem (compare surcurrent)

Decussate
arranged in pairs along the stem with each pair at right angles to the one above and below

Deflexed
bent downward or backward

Dehiscent
opening spontaneously when ripe to discharge the seed content (compare indehiscent)

Deltoid
broadly triangular in shape

Dense
congested, describing the disposition of flowers in an inflorescence (compare open)

Dentate
with sharp, outward-pointing teeth on the margin

Depauperate
starved or stunted, describing small plants or plant communities that are growing under unfavorable conditions

Determinate
describes an inflorescence in which the terminal flower blooms first, thereby halting further elongation of the flowering stem (compare indeterminate)

Dextrorse
turned to the right or spirally arranged to the right (compare sinistrorse)

Di-
prefix meaning two or twice

Diandrous
having two stamens

Dichotomous
branching regularly and repeatedly in pairs

Dicotyledon
a plant having two seed leaves, one of the two major divisions of flowering plants (compare monocotyledon)

Didymous
twinned, being in pairs

Didynamous
with two pairs of stamens of unequal length

Digitate
having a fingered shape, i.e. a shape like an open hand

Digynous
having two pistils

Dimorphic
having two forms

Dioecious
having staminate and pistillate flowers on separate plants (compare monoecious)

Disciform
having a flowering head that contains both filiform and disk flowers, referring to members of the asteraceae

Discoid
having only disk flowers, referring to flower heads in the asteraceae

Disjunct
separated from the main distribution of the population

Disk
the central portion of composite flowers, made up of a cluster of disk flowers

Dissected
finely cut or divided into many, narrow segments

Distal
the end opposite the point of attachment, away from the axis (compare proximal)

Distinct
having separate, like parts, those not at all joined to each other, often describing the petals on a flower (compare united)