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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


Plicate
folded like the pleats of a curtain

Plumbeous
lead-colored

Plumose
appearing plumelike or feathery from fine hairs that line two sides of a central axis

Poly-
prefix meaning many

Polyandrous
with many stamens

Polyanthous
with many flowers

Polycephalous
with many flower heads

Polygamous
having both unisexual and bisexual flowers on the same plant

Pome
a fleshy indehiscent fruit derived from an inferior, compound ovary and consisting of a modified floral tube surrounding a core with several seeds, such as an apple

Poricidal
opening by pores, like a poppy capsule (compare loculicidal, septicidal)

Posterior
on the side next to the axis (compare anterior)

Prickle
a superficial, sharp-pointed outgrowth of the bark or epidermis of a plant

Procumbent
lying flat or trailing but not rooting at the nodes

Prostrate
lying flat

Protandrous
describing a plant in which the release of pollen precedes and does not overlap the period of stigma receptivity (compare protogynous)

Protogynous
describing a plant in which stigma receptivity precedes and does not overlap the period of pollen release (compare protandrous)

Proximal
nearest the axis or base (compare distal)

Ptero-
prefix meaning winged

Pterocarpous
with winged fruits

Pterospermous
with winged seeds

Puberulent
minutely pubescent

Pubescent
covered with short, soft hairs

Pulverulent
dusty or chalky, as applied to the powdery coating on the stems and leaves of some plants

Pulvinate
cushion- or mat-like

Punctate
dotted or pitted, often with glands

Punctate
dotted with pits or with translucent, sunken glands, or with colored dots

Puniceous
crimson-colored

Purpurescent
becoming purplish

Pyriform
pear-shaped

Quadrate
square

Quadri-
prefix meaning four

Quinate
with five nearly similar structures from a common point

Quinque-
prefix meaning five

Raceme
an elongate, unbranched inflorescence with pedicelled flowers

Racemose
raceme-like or bearing racemes

Rachilla
a small rachis, in particular the axis of a grass spikelet

Rachis
the main stalk of a flower cluster or of a compound leaf, also that part of a fern frond stem that bears the leaflets

Radiate
describing a flower head in the asteraceae that contains both ray and disk flowers

Radicant
rooting from the stem

Ramose
branching or branchy

Rank
a vertical row usually of leaves or bracts that can be either opposite or alternate

Receptacle
the expanded apex of a flower stalk which bears the floral organs, either such structures as individual petals, sepals etc., or entire flowers in head-like inflorescences such as is typical of the asteraceae

Recumbent
leaning or reposing upon the ground

Recurved
curved backwards or outwards

Reflexed
abruptly bent or curved downward

Regular
describes a flower with petals or sepals all of equal size and shape, i.e. radially symmetrical or capable of being divided into mirror images on either side of any plane that passes through the center

Reniform
kidney-shaped or rounded with a notch at the base

Repand
with an undulating margin, less strongly wavy than 'sinuate'

Repent
creeping

Reticulate
having a netted pattern

Retrorse
bent backward or downward, reflexed

Retuse
having a rounded apex with a shallow notch

Revolute
having the margins inrolled toward the underside (compare convolute, involute)

Rhizome
an underground stem capable of producing new stems or plants at its nodes

Rhombic
with the shape of a diamond

Rosette
a cluster of leaves in a circular arrangement at the base of a plant, often called the basal rosette

Rostrate
having a beak or beak-like form

Rotate
a rotate corolla is wheel-shaped with a short tube and a wide horizontally flaring limb

Rotundifolius
with round leaves

Rubescent
becoming red or reddish

Rubiginous
rust-colored

Ruderal
growing in disturbed habitats, weedy

Rufous
reddish-brown

Rugose
wrinkled or bumpy

Runcinate
sharply incised or pinnatifid with the segments facing backwards

Saccate
sac-shaped or pouch-shaped

Sagittate
arrowhead-shaped, with two retrorse basal lobes

Salient
projecting outward

Salverform
with a slender tube abruptly expanded into a rotate limb

Samara
dry fruit with wings that do not open when mature, as in maple trees

Sanguineous
blood-red

Sapid
with an agreeable taste

Saponaceous
soapy

Saprophytic
deriving food from dead or decaying organic material in the soil and usually lacking in chlorophyll

Sarcocaulis
with fleshy stems

Sauveolent
fragrant

Saxatile
growing among rocks or in rocky, arid situations

Scaberulent
slightly scabrous

Scabrous
rough to the touch

Scalariform
ladder-like

Scale
a greatly reduced leaf or other outgrowth on a plant surface

Scandent
climbing

Scape
a leafless flowering stem arising directly from the ground

Scarify
to roughen, score or scrape the hard, outer coating of a seed to assist in the absorption of moisture before germination, a process that many desert wash seeds require

Scarious
thin, dry, membranous and more or less translucent

Scissile
splitting easily

Sclerophyllous
with stiff, firm leaves

Scorpioid
describing a coiled inflorescence

Scurfy
covered with small scale-like or bran-like particles or projections

Sebaceous
tallowy or fatty

Secund
borne from only one side of an axis

Semi-
prefix meaning half

Sepal
a single segment of a divided calyx

Septate
divided by one or more partitions

Septicidal
said of a capsule, longitudinally dehiscent through the ovary wall at or near the center of each septa, preserving each locule as an intact entity (compare loculicidal, poricidal)

Septum
any kind of a partition, specifically the wall between chambers in a compound ovary

Seriate
arranged in rows or series

Sericeous
covered with long, soft, straight, appressed hairs giving a silky appearance

Serpentine
refers to soils that are low in calcium and high in magnesium and iron, derived from greenish or gray-green rocks that are essentially magnesium silicate, other characteristics of which are a high nickel and chromium content, and a low content of nutrients such as nitrogen

Serrate
having sharp, forward-pointing teeth on the margin