Glossary of Botanical and other terms

This Glossary of Botanical and other terms used throughout the Brickfields Country Park website is by no means exhaustive, it has been compiled from various data sources and is continually being updated.  If you can add to or amend any of the data on this page please contact at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.

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AbdomenThe last of an insect's three body divisions
AcaulaStem less
Achene, akene, achaeniumA small, dry carpel containing a single seed, the pericarp of which is closely applied but separable and which does not open when ripe. Particularly fruits of the family Plumbaginaceae
Acid, acidicWith a pH lower than 7.0
AcmaAnvil shaped
ActinomorphicFlowers which are radially symmetrical, can be divided into 3 or more identical sectors
AcuminateIn Biology - tapering to a point
AdnateLinked or fused.  In fungi, Adnate mushroom gills are broadly attached to the stalk slightly above the bottom of the gill, with most of the gill fused to the stem
Aerial rootletsSmall root-like structures found on some climbing vines
AestiveOf summer
AgamicReproduction without the union of male ♂ and female ♀ cells, asexual or parthenogenetic
AlatesWinged reproductive individuals, either male ♂ or female ♀
AlatusWinged parts
AlbinoWhite.  An organism with complete absence of melanin is an albino
AlkalineWith a pH higher than 7.0
AlgaeSimple living organisms that grow by converting light energy through photosynthesis
AlateWinged reproductive form of ants, termites, aphids and some thrips.  Alate females are typically those destined to become queens
AlkaloidBitter tasting nitrogen based compound, usually poisonous, E.g. nicotine, cocaine
AlleleOne of a number of alternative forms of the same gene
AllelopathyThe ability to release chemicals which stop the growth of other plants
Alternate, alternifoliaLeaves or buds arranged alternately not in pairs or whorls along a twig
AmphibianCold-blooded animals that spend their lives in water and on land.
AnaphylaxisA severe allergic reaction that can develop rapidly possibly life-threatening in some cases.  Also known as anaphylactic shock
AnemochoryThe dispersal of plant seeds or spores by the wind
AndroconialA wing or body scale that is modified for the dispersal of a sexual scent (pheromone)
Anemophilous, AanemophilySeed plants pollinated by the wind
AngiospermCommon name for flowering plants.  The term refers to the fact that the seeds are enclosed within an ovary which matures into a fruit
AngustifoliaNarrow leafed
Annuua, annualOccurs every year, plants that flower every year.  See also Biennial
AntennaeFeeler like appendages located on an insects head above their mouth parts
AntherThe part of the stamen of a flower that holds the pollen
AnthesisThe opening of a flower ready for pollination
AntitranspirantA substance sprayed onto plants to reduce the rate of transpiration
ApicalComing from the growing tip of a stem or body
ApotheciaA disk shaped or cup shaped ascocarp of some lichens
AppressedFlatly pressed back, a leaf that lies flat against the stem or a plant that lies pressed against the ground.  Pressed closely against, but not joined to, a surface
ApteraeWingless form of an insect usually referring to parthenogenetic female aphids
ArborescentBranching growth, like a tree
AreolateHaving a pattern of block-like areas similar to cracked dried mud
ArilAn extra sometimes coloured coating or covering on a seed
Arvense, ArvensisA weed found in cultivated fields
AsexualA mode of reproduction where offspring arise from a single parent, the offspring will be exact genetic copies of the parent.  The primary form of reproduction for single-celled organisms such as archaea, bacteria, and protists, many plants and fungi reproduce asexually
AsperaRough leaved
AscocarpThe fruit of certain lichens and fungi, usually a saucer-shaped or cup-shaped body, the inner surface of which is covered with a layer that bears spores
AugustaStately or noble
AureoGolden or yellow
AuriculaWith ears or lobes
AutumnaleFlowers in the autumn
AwnA slender bristle like appendage found on the spikelets of many grasses
AxilThe angle formed between a leaf stalk and the stem to which it is attached.  In flowering plants, buds develop in the axils of leaves
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BacillarusStaff like
Bacteria, bacteriumProkaryotic single cell organisms
BarbinervaWith veins
BarkThe outermost cell layers on stems, branches, twigs, and roots, formed by the cambium cells.  The bark of trees usually has two layers, the outer and the inner, more or less distinct in structure, texture, colour, etc
BasalLocated at the base, the term often describes leaves of wild flowers
BelladonnaBeautiful lady
BerryA fleshy fruit that contains small seeds
Biennis, biennialLasting for or occurring every two years, in particular, it can refer to plant which blooms in its second year, see also Annual
BilobateDivided into or having two lobes
BineA climbing plant which climbs by growing in a helix around a support.  See also Vine
BinomialTwo names
BiotrophFeeds on the living cells of a host plant over an extended period without killing it
Bi-pinnateFrom pinnate, an arrangement of feather-like or divided features arising from both sides of a common axis, in this case sub-divided twice.
BladeA broad and flattened region of a plant or alga, allowing for an increase in photosynthesis from the increased surface area
BombycinaSilky or furry
BorealA subarctic climate in the Northern hemisphere, approximately between latitude 45° to 65°N, also known as the Taiga, particularly in Europe and Asia
Bract, bracteata, bracteolesA structure occurring beneath a flower or fruit or their clusters, can be leaf-like, petal-like, or woody
BudAn incipient shoot bearing embryonic leaves, flowers or both
BulbousGrowing from a bulb or resembling a bulb in shape
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CaeruleaDark blue
CalyxSepals of a flower considered as a group, a cuplike structure or organ
CambiumA layer of actively dividing cells, found within stems and roots, that gives rise to secondary growth causing an increase in diameter
CampanulataBell shaped
CampesteGrowing in or associated with fields
CanadenseCanadian in origin
CandidaPure, shining white
CapThe rounded, flat, or convex top of a mushroom
Capitata, CapitulaA compact or compact head of a structure, usually a flat cluster of small flowers or florets, as in plants of the daisy family
CapitulumDensely clustered inflorescence containing a large number of individual florets arising from a platform like base
CapsuleA dry fruit that partially splits open at maturity
CarneaFlesh coloured
Carnivore, CarnivorousAn organism that derives energy and nutrient from animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging
CarotenoidsCarotenoids are organic pigments that are found in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms, including some bacteria and some fungi
CarpelA part of the pistil, a modified leaf
CaterpillarsLarval form of members of the order Lepidoptera.  They are mostly herbivorous in habit, although some species are insectivorous
CatkinA cylindrical cluster of tiny flowers or fruits, usually fuzzy and caterpillar-shaped, drooping
CaudataWith a tail
CaulescentWith an obvious stem, usually above ground
Caulis, CaulineRefers to the stem, especially of leaves arising from the upper part of a stem
Cell wallAny tough layer which surrounds a cell and its cell membrane.  In plants, this wall is composed of cellulose
CephalothoraxThe anterior part of the body in certain arachnids and crustaceans, consisting of the coalesced head and thorax
CerciPaired appendages on the rear-most segments of many arthropods (singular cercus)
ChelateA chemical that contains a metallic element in a form that plants can use
ChinensisChinese in origin
ChlorophyllPhotosynthetic pigment.  It includes a magnesium atom surrounded by a porphyrin ring, and often has a long hydrophobic tail
ChloroplastsChloroplasts are organelles, specialized subunits, in plant and algal cells, their main role is to conduct photosynthesis
Chlorotic, chlorosisPale or yellowish leaves usually caused by a lack of nitrogen, iron, or magnesium
ChromoplastChromoplasts are heterogeneous organelles responsible for pigment synthesis and storage in specific photosynthetic eukaryotes
ChrysogonumGreen and gold in colour
Cilia, CiliumSlender protuberances that project from a much larger cell body
CiliataFringed with hairs
CinereaAsh coloured or grey
CitriodaLemon scented
Coarse toothedA leaf edge which has large, dentate or serrated teeth
CocoonA casing spun of silk by many moth caterpillars and numerous other insect larvae as a protective covering for the developing pupa
CompactaGrowing smaller than average
Compound eyeAn eye with many elements, common in insects, each element is visible as a hexagonal facet
Compound leafA leaf divided into leaflets, with the general appearance of a leaf
ConeA dense and conical mass of flowers or fruits, or of seed-bearing scales, on a central axis
Conifer, ConiferousNeedle or scale leaved, mostly evergreen, cone-bearing gymnospermous trees or shrubs of the order Coniferales, such as pines, spruces, and firs.  Trees or shrubs bearing cones and evergreen leaves
Cordatus, cordifolia, cordateHeart shaped, with a point at the apex and a notch at the base
CormA swollen underground part of a plants stem that serves for storage, used by some plants to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat (estivation)
CorniclesSee siphunculi
CornutaWith spines or horned
CorticatedBeing covered, the outer part of a plant or body organ, or a layer of tissue in certain simple structured plants and animals
CorollaAll petals of a flower make up the corolla
CoronaA crown like structure on some corollas E.g. daffodils
CorymbA type of inflorescence
CotyledonA food storage organ in seeds serve to absorb nutrients packaged in the seed.  First "green" visible leaf/s of a seedling are cotyledons providing food until the seedling is able to produce its first true leaves and begin photosynthesis
CrassifoliaFleshy leaved
CrenateHaving a margin with low, rounded or scalloped projections
CrenulateMinutely scalloped
CrispulaWavy margined
CrustoseGrowth of an organism where it grows tightly bound to a substrate forming a biological layer of the adhering organism
CulmA stem, especially of grasses, that is usually hollow except at the nodes
CupuleThe cup surrounding developing nuts (e.g., the cap of an acorn)
CultivarA plant variety produced from propagation or inbred seed, usually the result of hybridization.  A cultivar name is indicated by a Roman (not Latin) word or words enclosed in single quotation marks
CultriformisKnife shaped
CuticleWaxy surface that reduces water loss from a leaf by "sealing" the outer surface
CymesA type of inflorescence
CyparissaCyprus like
Cypsela, cypselaeFruits of the Asteraceae family
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DeciduousA process where the leaves of a plant fall off seasonally to conserve energy, usually in the autumn.  See also Evergreen
DecoctionMethod of extraction by boiling of dissolved chemicals, herbal or plant material.  Tea is a decoction
DecussateTo intersect or to cross.  Intersected or crossing in the form of an X, arranged in pairs along a stem, each pair at a right angle to the one above or below
DentateHaving toothed leaves
DenticulateFinely toothed
DeterminateA term used to describe a plant whose growth is stopped by the production of flowers and fruit.  See also Indeterminate
DetritivoreDetritivores, detritophages or detritus feeders, organisms that obtain nutrients by consuming detritus (decomposing plant and animal parts as well as organic fecal matter)
DicotSeedlings with two cotyledon
DicotyledonA plant with two cotyledons in its seed, includes all the broad leaved trees
DimorphicCombining the qualities of two kinds of individuals in one
Dioecious, dioicaMale ♂ and female ♀ flowers on separate plants.
DiploidA cell or organism that has paired chromosomes, one from each parent. See also Heterozygous, Homozygous and Tetraploid
DistalAway from the centre of the body or from the point of attachment
DiureticAny substance that promotes the production of urine
DiurnalThe behavior of animals and plants that are active in the daytime
Discal (spot)A discal spot is formed on the discal cell of the forewing in the family Geometrids (Moths).  It is roughly halfway between the wing base and the wing tip and halfway between the wings central axis and the costal margin
DivaricataStraggly, sprawling, or spreading
DorsalRefers to the back of an animal or human being
Double-toothedA leaf edge on which each tooth bears smaller teeth
DrupeA fleshy fruit with a stone-like pit Eg. blackberries
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EchinateBearing stiff prickly hairs
Elytra, ElytronHard outer wings of a beetle or other insect, wing covers
EmbryoThe first developmental stage of an insect, see also Larva, Pupa and Imago
EndodermisThe layer of cells which surrounds the central core of vascular tissue, helps to regulate the flow of water and dissolved substances
EendohydricWater intake up a stem through rudimentary vascular tissue
EnsataSword shaped
EpidermisThe outermost layer of cells or "skin" of a plant, covering the leaves, stem, and roots
EpiphytePlant which grows on another plant using it for structural support, or as a way to get off the ground and into the canopy environment.  Eg Ivy
EricoidesOf the heath
EtoliatedA plant grown in too little light, leaves and stems shrivel and it becomes stunted
EukaryotesAny organism whose cells contain a nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes
EutrophicRich in nutrients
EvergreenIn botany, plants that have leaves throughout the year, EG firs and conifers.  See also Deciduous
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Fan compoundCompound leaf where leaflets are arranged in the shape of a fan
FasciationAbnormal widening and flattening of a stem, typically of a flower stalk
FeltedCovered with short, dense hairs
FenestraWindow like
FiberElongated and thickened cells found in xylem tissue, strengthens and supports the surrounding cells
FiddleheadAn unfurled fern leaf
FilamentosaHas filaments or threads
FiliformLong and thin threadlike
Fine toothedA leaf edge with small teeth, denticulate or serrulate
FloraRefers to the flowers
Flore plenoDouble flowers
FloretA small or reduced flower, especially grasses and composite plants E.G. Daisy
Floribunda, floridaPlants that flower abundantly
FlowerReproductive structures found in flowering plants
Foetid, FoetidusBad or unplesant smelling
FoliageRefers to the leaves of plants
FolioseGrowth of an organism where it is not tightly bound to a substrate so forming a growth vaguely similar to "foliage" or "leaves"
FoliusAs part of a species name, refers to the leaves
FragransFragrant or sweet scented
FrondA leaf of a fern or palm
FruitIn flowering plants, the structure which enclose the seeds, true fruits develop from the ovary wall
Frutescens, fruticans, fruticosus, fruticoseShrubby or bushy
Fulgens, fulgidaShining or glistening
FulvaTawny coloured
Fungus, fungiA fungus is any member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes yeasts and moulds as well as the more familiar mushrooms
FurrowedMarked with longitudinal grooves
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GaleobdolaNettle like
GallAbnormal outgrowth of a plants tissues caused by various parasites, fungi, bacteria, insects
Genotype, GenotypicalAn organism's genetic makeup
GerminateThe process by which plants, fungi and bacteria emerge from seeds and spores, and begin growth
GenusThe next major category of plant classification above species
GeotropismThe movement of plant parts in response to gravity, stems grow up roots grow down
GillIn mushrooms, the spore containing organs, in fish the breathing organs
Glaber, glabraSmooth or hairless
GlabrousNo hairs or fuzz, hairless
GlaucousCovered with a grey, blue, or white waxy coating or bloom that is easily brushed off
GlaucusLeaves or other parts with a bluish or white coating
Globose, globularSpherical
GlumeA basal membranous outer sterile husk or bract in the flowers of grasses and sedges
GlycosideA toxin where a sugar molecule is linked with oxygen to another compound, often nitrogen-based.  Harmful when the sugar molecule is stripped off, usually through digestion
GracilisGraceful or slender
GraveolaHeavy scented
Gymnosperm, GymnospermousGenerally any seed plant which does not produce flowers.  A vascular plant, such as a cycad or conifer, whose seeds are not enclosed within an ovary
GynostemiumThe central reproductive stalk of an orchid consisting of a stamen and pistil fused together
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HabitThe general growth pattern of a plant.  A plant's habit may be described as creeping prostrate, climbing, trees, shrubs, vines, etc
HalophyteAble to tolerate a large amount of salt in the soil
HalteresSmall knobbed structures modified from the rear wings in some two-winged insects.  They function as gyroscopes providing a feedback pathway informing the insect about rotation of the body during flight
HaustoriumThe portion of a parasitic fungus or plant that penetrates a host's tissue and draws nutrients from it
Heliotrope, HeliotropicDiurnal motion of plants or their parts in response to the direction of the sun
HerbGenerally any plant which does not produce wood, and is therefore not as large as a tree or shrub, is considered to be a herb
HerbaceousGreen and leaf like in appearance and texture, above ground stems that are fleshy
Herbivore, herbivorousOrganisms that are anatomically and physiologically adapted to eat plant-based foods
HermaphroditeHaving both male ♂ and female ♀ parts
HeterostylousA unique form of polymorphism where several morphological types of flowers exist in the population where the morphs differ in the lengths of the pistil and stamens.  On each plant, all flowers share the same morph, the pollen from a flower of one morph cannot fertilize another flower of the same morph
HeterozygousIn diploid organisms, one allele is inherited from the male parent and one from the female parent.  Heterozygous inherit differing DNA sequences
HibernateA state of regulated hypothermia, that allows animals to conserve energy during the winter
HilumThe scar on a seed coat marking the place where it was attached to the ovary during development
Hirsutus, HirtaCovered with stiff bristly hairs
HomozygousIn diploid organisms, one allele is inherited from the male parent and one from the female parent.  Homozygous inherit identical DNA sequences
HuskOutermost covering of a fruit, usually quite thick or heavy
HybridAlso known as cross breed.  Mixing through sexual reproduction of two animals or plants of different breeds, varieties, species or genera
HydrophobicLiterally "water-fearing" describes the segregation and apparent repulsion between water and nonpolar substances
HygrometricaMeasuring moisture
Hypha, hyphaeA long, branching filamentous structure of a fungus, they are the main mode of vegetative growth, collectively called mycelium
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ImagoThe last developmental stage of an insect often referred to as the adult stage.  See also Embryo, Larva and Pupa
IncanaHoary or grey
IndeterminatePlants which continue to grow after flowering starts.  See also Determinate
IndicusFrom India
IndumentumThe coating of fine hairs on the underside leaves
InflorescenceA cluster of flowers arranged in a particular way on a stem
InfundibularFunnel shaped
InorganicA compound that is not organic.  In simple terms compounds that do not contain carbon, and not consisting of or being from from living matter.
Insectivore, InsectivorousOrganisms that are anatomically and physiologically adapted to eat insects
InstarDenotes each developmental stage of an insect
IntegumentThe coating of an ovule that becomes the skin of a seed
InvertebrateAnimal species that do not develop a spine or vertebral column
Involucral, involucreIn flowering plants - a ring of bracts around an inflorescence.  In Fagaceae - a term sometimes misused for the cupule surrounding developing nuts (e.g., the cap of an acorn)
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JaponicusJapanese in origin
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KoreanusKorean in origin
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LabiateWith flower parts arranged into two lips
LaminaAny broad and flattened region of a plant or alga, which allows for increased photosynthetic surface area
LanceolateLance shaped leaves (or petals ?) much longer than wide, pointed tip and broad based
Larva, larvae, larvalJuvenile form that many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults EG. insects, amphibians, or cnidarians, larva is Latin for "ghost"
LatifoliaBroader than average leaves
LayeringA method of plant propagation where a portion of a plants stem grows roots when it touches the ground but whilst still attached to the parent plant, it then detaches and becomes an independent plant
LeafFound in most vascular plants, consisting of a flat lamina (blade) and a petiole (stalk)
LeafletA leaf-like subdivision of a compound leaf to individual blades
Legume, leguminousA plant in the family Fabaceae or Leguminosae (Peas and Beans)
LemmaThe outer two bracts that enclose the flower in a grass spikelet
LenticelA corky spot on tree or shrub bark, usually circular that originated as a breathing pore
LepidopteranA member of the order Lepidoptera, species of butterflies, moths, and skippers
LeucensBright, shining, or clear
LichenA lichen is a composite organism that arises from usually an algae or cyanobacteria that lives among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms
LigninIs an organic substance binding the cells, fibres and vessels which constitute wood and other plants, as in straw.  Lignin plays a crucial part in conducting water in plant stems
Ligule, ligulateA thin membrane attached to a leaf of grass at the point where the blade meets the leaf sheath, or a strap-shaped corolla, such as that of a ray floret in plants in the daisy family
LoamA fine rich sandy soil
Lobed, lobataLeaves or flower petals that are divided into incompletely separated, rounded or bristle-tipped sections
LobuleA small lobe or subdivision of a lobe
LoessSoils deposited by the winds
LucidusBright, shining, or clear
Lute, luteaYellow
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MacrophyllaLarge leaves
MacropterousHaving long or large wings or fins
MajalisFlowering in May
MannoxylicWood in which there is a great deal of parenchyma tissue among the xylem is called mannoxylic.  Cycads and pteridosperms have mannoxylic wood.  Contrast with pycnoxylic
MargaritaceaPear like
MedullaThe internal tissue of a plant
MeiosisA specialized type of cell division which reduces the chromosome number by half occuring in all sexually reproducing eukaryotes, including animals, plants, and fungi
Melanism, Melanistic, MelanosisThe occurrence of an increased amount of dark pigmentation (skin, feathers, eyes, hair) in an organism
MelanocarpaBlack fruit
MeridionalisFlowering at mid day
Microlepidoptera, micro-mothAn artificial (unranked) grouping of moth families, generally having wingspans of under 20mm
MiddenIs an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation.  The toilet area of an animal
MollisSoftly hairy
MonocarpicA plant that flowers only once in its life and then dies
MonocotSeedlings with one cotyledon
MonoeciousSeparate male ♂ and female ♀ flowers on the same plant
MonogynousSpecies where a colony have a single queen, I.e. ants
MontanaFound in mountainous areas
MoschataMusk scented
MutabilisFlowers that change colour
MyceliumThe vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread-like hyphae
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Nana, nanusDwarf
NapellaResembling a small turnip
NecrosisSmall patches or areas of plant tissue that have died because of disease or freezing
NectarA sugar rich liquid produced by plants either to attract pollinators or as a nutrient source to animal mutualists who in turn provide protection.  The main sugar source for honey
NemerosaOf woods
NeotenyIs the retention of juvenile characteristics in adults of a species, similar to but not the same as progenesis
NigrBlack or very dark green
NipponicusJapanese in origin
NivSnow or a snow white colour
NodeThe region of a stem between two internodes, where there is branching of the vascular tissue into leaves or other appendages
NuciferaNut bearing
NudifloraFlowering naked, flowers before or after the leaves have appeared
NutaNodding, flowers as pendant or drooping clusters
NymphThe immature form of some invertebrates, particularly insects
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ObovateEgg shaped and flat, with the narrow end attached to the stalk
OfficinalisA plant that was sold as an herb or used by an apothecary
OmnivorousEating both animal and vegetable foods
OppositeLeaf or bud arrangement where leaves and buds are arranged in opposing pairs along a twig
OrganCollection of tissues which perform a particular function or set of functions in an plant's body.  The leaf, stem, and root are plant organs
OrganelleA specialized sub-unit within a cell that has a specific function
OrganicOf or relating to an organism, a living entity
OvateOval-shaped leaves, petals, or sepals
OvaryThe part of a flower which encloses the ovules, after pollination it matures to becomes a fruit
OvipositorAn ovipositor is an organ used by some animals, mainly insects, for the laying of eggs, consisting of up to of three pairs of appendages formed to transport the egg, prepare a place for it, and to place it properly
OvuleIn seed plants, the structure which gives rise to the seed
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Palmate, PalmataLeaves shaped like a hand
Palp, palpusAn elongated, often segmented appendage usually found near the mouth in invertebrate organisms, the functions of which include sensation, locomotion, and feeding
PalustrisFound in swamps or marshes
Panicle, PaniclesCluster of flowers or inflorescence where the flowers are borne on stalks that branch off larger stalks
PaniculataBearing flowers in panicles
PannosaFelt like appearance
Parasite, parasitised, parasitism, parasitoidA non-mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host
Parthenogenetic, ParthenogenesisA reproductive process whereby eggs develop without undergoing fertilisation
PappusA feathery down terminating each seed
ParenchymaThe bulk of a substance.  In animals it comprises the functional parts of an organ and in plants it is the ground tissue of nonwoody structures
ParviAs part of a species name, small
Patens, patulusSpreading
PaviaFlesh coloured
PectinataComb like
PectoralThe fins on the sides of the body of a fish
PedicelThe stalk attaching an individual flower in an inflorescence
PeduncleThe supporting stalk, stem or branch of an inflorescence
PelageA mammal's coat, composed of fur and/or guard hairs
PeltateStalk of a flower is attached somewhere other than the margin of the leaf
Pericarp the part of a fruit enclosing the seeds that develop from the wall of the ovary
Perennial, PerennisA plant which continues to grow after it has reproduced, living for usually more than one year
PerfoliateLeaf arrangement of plants such as honeysuckle, where two opposing leaves are fused and appear to be pierced by the stem or branch
PerianthAll the sepals and petals of a flower make up the perianth, literally "around the anthers"
PeridiumFruiting body or spore sac of a fungi
PetalOne of a circle of modified leaves immediately outside the reproductive organs of a flower, usually brightly coloured, located between the outer sepals and the stamens
PetraeaGrowing on rocks
Petiole, petiolateThe stalk supporting a leaf
Phenotype, PhenotypicalAny observable characteristic or trait of an organism, the result from the expression of an organism's genes as well as the influence of environmental factors
PheromoneA secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species
PhloemNutrient conducting tissue of vascular plants
PhotosynthesisA biochemical process where light energy is absorbed by chlorophyll the green pigment of most plants, a process that produces molecular sugar which the plant used as "food"
PhotoxinA chemical substance which make the skin very sensitive to the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight
PhylumThe first level in the plant kingdom, after phylum come class, order, family, genus, and species
PileusThe top, or cap
pinaculaFlattened sclerotized plates on a caterpillar that bear the setae
Pinnate, Pinnated, Pinnately compoundLeaves which are divided up like a feather.  An arrangement of feather-like or divided features arising from both sides of a common axis
PinnatifidPinnately divided, but not all the way down to the central axis
PinguifoliaFat or fleshy leaves
PisiferaBearing pea like seeds
PistilThe central set of female ♀ reproductive organs in a flower composed of one or more carpels
PithAny central region of parenchyma tissue within a plant stem
PitsThin regions of the cell wall in xylem conducting cells, an important characteristic for recognizing different kinds of wood
PlatyspermicHaving seeds which are flattened and disc-like.  Contrast with radiospermic
PleometrosisColonies started by more than one Queen ♀, E.G. Ants
PlicateFolded like a paper fan, eg. the leaves of palms, cyclanthoids, and some orchids
PluviaOf rain, flowers after the rain
PleurocarpousMainly horizontal trailing stems and lateral reproductive parts
PoolardA pruning system where the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches commonly used to maintain trees at a predetermined height, also for fodder to feed livestock, or for wood particularly for fence rails and posts
PollenA granular or powdery substance produced by an anther, which is then transferred to a stigmatic surface of the same or another flower to produce fertilisation.  Collected by Bees who then turn it into honey
PolliniaA mass of fused pollen produced by many orchids
PollinationProcess of transferring the pollen from the anther to the stigma, a process accomplished by the use of wind, water, insects, birds, bats, or other means.  Usually followed by fertilization, in which sperm are released from the pollen grain to unite with the egg cell
PodA dryish fruit of some plants, containing one or more seeds and usually flattened, splitting down one or both sides
PolychromaMany colours
PolyphagousFeeding on many different kinds of food
PraecoxFlowers early in the year
PratenseGrowing in meadows
ProboscisExtendable "beak" of an insect, used to probe and obtain food
Prokaryotic, prokaryoteOrganisms whose cells lack a cell nucleus
PronotumIn Bugs, the rear part of the head, next to the abdomen.  The upper surface of the first segment of the thorax.  Shape of the pronotum is often important in identification of beetles, and many other groups
Prostrate, procumbaLays flat on the ground, growing closely along the ground
PruinoseHaving a very fine whitish powder on a surface
PterostigmaA cell in the leading edge of the outer wing of insects which is often thickened or coloured. Particularly noticeable in dragonflies, but present in other insect groups
PuberulentWith soft short fine hairs.  Slightly pubescent
PubescentWith soft short hairs
PulmonatesAre an informal group of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air
PumilaSmall or dwarf
PungensSharp pointed
Pupae, pupate, pupalThe third stage in the life stage of some insects undergoing complete metamorphosis.  There are four stages - embryo, larva, pupa and imago
PustuleA small swelling of a leaf surface containing purulent material usually consisting of necrotic inflammatory cells
PycnoxylicWood in which there is little or no parenchyma tissue among the xylem is called pycnoxylic.  Conifers and flowering plants have pycnoxylic wood.  Contrast with mannoxylic
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QuercifoliaShaped like oak leaves
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RacemesA type of inflorescence
RadicansWith rooting stems or aerial roots that grow along stems
RadicleThe first embryonic root of a seedling, which becomes it's first primary root
RadiospermicHaving seeds which are round or ovoid.  Contrast with platyspermic
RecurvedCurved downwards or backwards can refer to either the leaves or petals
RemontantA plant which bloom twice in one season
ReptansCreeping or low
ResupinateFlowers that grow inverted or upside down (like most orchids)
ReticulateWebbed or netted, usually refers to leaves that have a pronounced network of veins
RhizineHair like growths that anchor a thallus to its substrate
RhizomeA horizontal underground stem, such as found in many ferns, where only the leaves may stick up into the air
RhizomorphsA fungal underground stem or root system made up of a bundle of thread like filaments or hyphae
RiparianRiparian areas are vegetated areas on each side of streams and rivers.  They serve several functions, including purifying water by removing sediments, reducing the risk of flooding, reducing erosion, supporting a diversity of plant and wildlife species, maintaining a habitat fish " wildlife
RivGrowing by streams
RootUsually the below ground portion of a plant
RoseaRose coloured
RosetteA series of whorls of leaves or leaf-like structure produced at the base of the stem, just above the ground
RuderalGrowing in rubbish, poor land, or waste ground
Rugose, RugosaWrinkled
RupestrisGrowing on rocks
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SalicifoliusLeaves shaped like willow leaves
SamaraType of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall
SanguineaBlood red
Saprophyte, SaprobicA plant that feeds on dead or decayed matter, saprophytes do not have chlorophyll, E.g fungi
SaponinsA class of chemical compounds which produce a soap like foam in aqueous solutions
SarmentosaProducing runners
SaxatilisGrowing on rocks
ScabrousHaving or covered with scales or small projections and rough to the touch
ScaleThin, membrane like covering of a bud or twig base, or a fine grainy surface material on bark, a leaf, or a twig
ScapeTypically a long leafless flowering stem rising directly from a bulb, rhizome, or similar subterranean or underwater structure
ScopulorumFound in rocky areas or cliffs
ScutellumShield like bony plate or scale, on the thorax of some insects, can form a triangular plate between the top of the elytra
Secondary growthPlant growth which does not occur at the tips of the stems or roots, produces wood and bark in seed plants
SeedStructure that develops following fertilization of an ovule
SegmentsSubdivision of an animal's body or appendage
Sempervirensevergreen, stays green all year long
SepalOne of the outermost circle of modified leaves surrounding the reproductive organs of a flower, usually green
SerrulateHaving very small sawlike projections on the margin
SessileWithout a stalk
Seta, SetaeDerived from the Latin word for "bristle", referring to a number of different bristle or hair like structures
SetosaDensely hairy
SheathThe lower part of the leaf that wraps around the stem, usually in grasses
ShootUsually the above ground portion of a plant, bearing the leaves
ShrubWoody plant of one or more equally strong stems to a maximum height of about 5M (16 feet)
SinuateIn Mycology, having wavy indentation on its border or edge, attachment of the gills to the stipe
SoraliaIn Llichens a small outgrowth of fungus and alga which then detaches to be distributed by the breeze or animals to a new location
SoriA spore bearing cluster in ferns, fungi and lichens
SpadixA type of spike inflorescence having small flowers borne on a fleshy stem
SpatheA large bract that forms a sheath to enclose the flower cluster of certain plants such as palms and arums
SpeciesPopulations whose individuals freely breed with one another and vary only slightly from one another
Speciosa, spectabilisShowy
SpermatophyteA seed plant
SpicataSpiked, flowers which occur in spikes
SiphunculiPaired protruding organs near the end of the abdomen of Aphidoidea insects through which a sugary secretion (Honey Dew) is extruded
SpikesA type of inflorescence or cluster of fruits with a narrow, finger like shape.  The individual flowers or fruits either do not have separate stalks, or very short ones
SpinosaSpiny or deeply divided leaves
SorediaSpecialised structure of a lichen containing a loose aggregation of algal cells surrounded by a few fungal filaments
SporeIn plants, a reproductive cell that is capable of developing into a multicellular adult without fusion with another cell, usually formed as the products of meiosis
Spore PrintPrint of a mushroom's spores, these vary widely in colour and are made by placing a mushroom cap on a piece of paper
SportA sport is a part of a woody plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant. Often propagated to derive new cultivars
SquamataScaly, usually referring to the bark of trees
StagnalisGrowing in still water
StamenMale ♂ reproductive organ of a flower composed of an anther, where pollen is produced, and filament which supports the anther
StemMain axis of plant growth above ground, bearing the buds, leaves, and flowers
StigmaThe sticky tip of a flower pistil (receives pollen during fertilisation)
StipeMycology - the stem or stalk-like feature supporting the cap of a mushroom
Botany - a stalk that supports some other structure, the meaning differs within taxonomic groups
StipuleAn appendage at the base of petioles or leaves, usually somewhat resembling a small leaf in texture and appearance
StolonA specialised type of horizontal shoot growing from an axillary bud near the base of the plant.  Often called runners, they root from nodes on their length forming new plants.  Plants connected by stolons form a single genetic individual
StoloniferaSpreading by stolons
StomataOpenings in the epidermis of a stem or leaf which permits gas exchange with the air
StratifySeeds subjected to a period of cold, moist treatment to aid germination
StrictusErect or upright
StridulationStridulation is the act of producing sound by rubbing together certain body parts, mostly associated with insects
Strobilus, strobiliA tightly clustered group of sporophylls (spore-bearing structures) arranged on a central stalk, commonly termed a "cone" or "flower"
SuaveolensSweetly scented
StyleThe narrow stalk of the pistil, located above the ovary but below the stigma
SylvestriOf the woods, woodland species
SymbiosisIs a close long-term interaction between two or more different biological species, usually providing some form of benefit for those species
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TardifloraLate flowering
Tarsus, tarsiEnd part of an insect's leg beyond the tibia.  The distal part of the leg of an insect, usually subdivided in the adult into two to five segments
TectoraGrowing on roofs
TendrilClasping, twining, slender outgrowth of a vine's stem used to grasp other plants or supporting structures to enable the plant to climb
TenuiSlender or thin
TepalWhen the sepals and petals of a flower are indistinguishable
TergiteThe hardened dorsal abdominal plate of an insect
TetraploidA plant with twice the normal number of chromosomes, can be larger or have more blooms than normal plants.  See also Diploid
ThalloidPlants which have no roots, stems, or leaves, eg. Liverworts and Hornworts
ThallusThe non-vascular plant body of algae, fungi, and other lower organisms showing no clear distinction of roots, stem, or leaves
ThornSharp, woody outgrowth of the stem
ThoraxA division of an animal's body that lies between the head and the abdomen
TilthRefers to the texture of a soil which is fine and crumbly due to tilling and the addition of organic material
TinctoriaUsed for dye
TranspirationThe process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from its parts, such as leaves but also from stems and flowers
TreeWoody plant, usually with a single trunk or stem, which generally grows more than 6M (20 feet) tall.  Any tall plant including many conifers and flowering plants
TrichomeFine outgrowths or appendages on plants with diverse structures and functions.  Examples are hairs, scales, and papillae
TrifoliateTrifoliolate or ternate leaves is a leaf shape characterised as divided into three leaflets
TripinnateFrom pinnate, an arrangement of feather-like or divided features arising from both sides of a common axis, in this case sub-divided three times.  
TrunkThe main stem of a tree
TuberAn underground stem which has been modified for storage of nutrients
Tubercle, tuberculeAn enlarged modified specialized leaf base or petiole
TuberosaTuberous or rhizomatous roots
TunicThe loose covering over a bulb or corm
Turgor pressureForce exerted outward on a cell wall by the water contained in the cell, gives the plant rigidity, and may help to keep it erect
TurionA specialised over-wintering bud produced by aquatic plants
TwigEnd subdivision of a branch
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UmbellataFlowers that appear in umbels
UmbelsA type of inflorescence usually flat topped without an obvious central axis, an umbel is really a shortened raceme
UvariaFlowers like a bunch of grapes
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VariegatedA plant, animal, or fungi which has two or more colours in patches or stripes
VascularRefers to the xylem and phloem tissues, which conduct water and nutrients through the plant body
Vegetative growthGrowth of a plant by division of cells, without sexual reproduction
VeinBranch of the sap-conducting tissue of a leaf, petal, scale, bract, seed coat, etc
VenationThe pattern of veins on a leaf, a flower, or insect's wing
VernalisBlooms or grows in the spring
VernalizationThe need for a plant to undergo a chilling period in order for them to form buds or start new growth
VerruculosaWarty appearance
VillosusCovered in soft hair
VineA climbing plant which climbs by using tendrils or suckers.  See also Bine
VirgatusTwiggy looking or wand like
ViviparousGiving birth to live young
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WhorlsA type of inflorescence or arrangement of three or more leaves (or other organs) arranged in a circle from one point on a shoot or stem, rather like the spokes of a wheel
WoodA secondary tissue found in seed plants which consists largely of xylem tissue
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XylemWater conducting tissue of vascular plants
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ZoophagousInsects that feed on other animals
ZygomorphicCapable of being cut in one plane so that the two halves are mirror images

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