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Botanical Glossary: A - I

Botanical Glossary: A - I

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A Short Botanical Glossary
compiled by Jim Croft
of the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/

A - I

abaxial:
on the side of a lateral organ away from the axis or stem (cf. adaxial)

aberrant:
departing from the normal or usual

abortive:
imperfectly developed; defective; barron

abscise:
to cut off; hence abscission, abscissive, abscissile

acaulescent:
lacking a distinct stem

accrescent:
increasing abnormally in size with age

acerose:
narrow with a sharp, stiff point

-aceus:
suffix meaning 'resembling', eg myrtaceus, foliaceus

acicula, acicle:
a needle-shaped projection; hence acicular: needle-shaped

aciculate:
finely striated by minute, needle-like bristles

acro-:
prefix meaning 'of or towards the tine' (cf. basi-)

acropetal:
produced in succession towards the apex (cf. basipetal, centripetal, centrifugal)

acrophyll:
an upper leaf or frond, especially of high-climbing ferns (cf. bathyphyll)

acroscopic:
the side of the organ directed towards the apex of the axis on which it is bourne (cf. basiscopic)

acrostichoid:
Acrostichum-like, of exindusiate sori densly covering the lower surface of the frond, or large areas of it; the lamina may be contracted or not

actino-:
prefix meaning star-shaped or radial

aculeate:
prickly or spiny

acuminate:
tapering and drawn out into a narrow point (cf. acute, mucronate)

acute:
evenly narrowed into a point at an angle of less than 90 degrees (cf. acuminate, obtuse)

adhesion hence adherent:
of two dissmiilar organs or parts touching each other, +/- adhesively but easily separated and not fused or grown together (cf. coherent, adnate, connate)

adiaxial:
on the side of a lateral organ towards the axis or stem (cf. abaxial)

adnate:
of dissimilar organs united or fused together (cf. connate, adherent, adnate)

adpressed = appressed

adventitious:
arising in an irregular or unusual position, such as roots along a stem

adventive:
intoduced recently, in particular since colonization by man (cf, exotic, introduced, indigenous)

aerenchyma:
a tissue of thin-walled cells with many air spaces, especially common in aquatic plants

aerial roots:
roots growing in the air

aero-:
prefix to do with 'air'; hence aeration etc

aerophores:
an outgrowth of tissue concerned with gas exchange, often at the base of pinnae in ferns (cf. pneumathodes)

ala:
a wing; hence alate:
winged or with wing-like appendages

allopatric:
of two or more species with geographic ranges that do not overlap (cf. sympatric)

alpine:
pertaining to or occurring on very high and cold mountains

alternate:
indivually inserted at different positions along the axis (cf. opposite, decussate)

alveolus:
a cavity, pore or pit; hence alveolate

amphi-:
prefix meaning 'both'

amphibious:
capable of growing both in water and on land; growing with part of the plant in the water or mud and part in the air (cf. rheophyte, aquatic, terrestrial, marine)

amphiphloic siphonstele (= solenostele):
a cylindrical stele with a parenchymatous centre with phloem on both the inside and the outside (cf. ectophloic siphonostele, medullated protostele)

amplexicaul:
stem-clasping

anadromic, anadromous:
with the first subbranch of a lateral branch produced on the acroscopic margin, mostly of venation in bipinnate ferns (cf. catadromic, catadromous)

anastomose:
to join together, principally of veins (cf. reticulum)

anastomosis:
union of one vein (or other linear structure) with another

ancipital:
flattened, as in 2-angled stems

angiosperm:
flowering plant, plants with ovules enclosed in ovary (cf. gymnosperm)

anisophyllous:
of leaves, usually a pair, of differing size and shape

annual:
completing the life-cycle within one year (cf. perennial)

annular:
in the form of a ring (n. sing. annulas)

annulus:
the arrangement of thick-walled cells involved in opening the sporangium in ferns

anomalous:
irregular; abnormal

anterior:
forward, towards the front; the side away from the main axis (cf. posterior)

antheridium:
the structure on the pteridophyte prothallus (viz) that produces the mobile male gametes (pl. archegonia) (cf. archegonium)

antrorse:
directed towards the apex (cf. rectorse)

apex:
tip or summit

aphyllous:
leafless

apical:
at or towards the tip of an organ or axis

apiculus:
a short sharp point in which an organ may end; hence apiculate (cf. cuspidate)

apogamy:
the development of the sporophyte from the prothallus without fertilisation

apospory:
the development of prothalli from direct outgrowths the fern frond, without the production of spores

appendage:
an attachment developed on and projecting beyond the surface of an organ

applanate:
flattened out and horizontally expanded (cf. explanate)

apposite:
side by side

appressed:
closely applied to the supporting organ or axis for the entire length (also adpressed)

approximate close together (cf. remote)

aquatic:
growing in water (cf. marine, amphibious, rheophyte, terrestrial)

arachnoid:
cobweb-like; formed of tangled hairs or fibres

arborescent:
tree-like in size and habit (cf. dendroid)

archegonium:
the structure on the pteridophyte prothallus (viz) that produces the sessile female gametes (pl. archegonia) (cf. antheridium)

arcuate:
curved or arched, fairly strongly (cf. falcate)

areole:
an enclosed space in a reticulum (viz.), a portion of the lamina enclosed by veins ; hence areolate (cf. reticulate)

arista:
an awn or bristle; hence aristate, bearing or tapering into an awn or bristle ( pl. aristae; dimin. aristulate)

armature:
covering or occurrence of spines, hooks or prickles; hence armed (cf. unarmed)

aromatic:
with a resinous, spicy or distinctive smell

articulate:
with one or more joints or points of apparent separation, usually marked by a swelling, line or abrupt change in colour

ascending:
growing obliquely at first but finally upwards; rising or growing upwards

asexual:
withiut the involvement of ferilisation; of propogation by division or the production of bulbils or stolons etc (cf. sexual vegetative)

aspera:
rough to the touch; hence asperites, asperate; rough or harsh (dimin. asperulous)

atro-:
prefix meaning 'dark'

attenuate:
gradually narrowed or tapered

auricle:
ear-shaped appendage or lobe; hence auriculate

auto-:
prefix meaning 'self'

autonym:
the name of a species automatically applied at the infraspecific level to the type when another infrospecific taxon is described in that speciies (cf. synonym, basionym)

autotrophic:
independent of other organisms in respect of organic nutrition (cf. heterotrophic)

awn:
a stiff, bristle-like projection from the back or tip of an organ; hence awned

axil:
the apical angle between two organs, eg between a leaf and the stem; hence auxillary

axis:
the main or central line or stem about which the lateral organs or parts are arranged (pl. axes; adj. axile)

barbate:
bearded, provided with tufts of long, weak hairs

barbed:
bearing sharp, spine-like hooks which are bent backwards (dimin. barbellate)

barren:
sterile, incapable of reproducing

basal:
at or towards the base of an organ or axis

basi-:
prefix meaning 'of or towards the base' (cf. acro-)

basifixed:
attached at the base

basionym:
the synonym (viz.) or combination (viz.) from which the specific epiphet was derived

basipetal:
produced in succession towards the base (cf. acropetal, centipetal, centrifugal)

basiscopic:
the side of the organ directed towards the base of the axis on which it is borne (cf. acroscopic)

bathyphyll:
a lower leaf or frond, especially of high-climbing ferns (cf.acrophyll)

beak:
a pointed projection, a prominent projection of an organ

bearded:
having a tuft or tufts, or zone of hairs

bi-:
prefix meaning 'two' (cf. di-, duo-)

bicolorous:
with white or clear walls and dark red or brown septae as in some hairs

biconvex:
in section with both surfaces curved outwards away from the centre

biennial:
a plant which lives for more than one but less that two years (cf. annual, perennial)

bifarious:
arranged in two opposite rows

bifid:
divided into two +/- equal parts, usually c. half way

bifurcate:
split in two, hence bifurcation

bilabiate:
two-lipped

bilateral:
of, on, or with equal sides, eg bilaterally symmetric, bilaterally flattened or compressed etc (cf. radial,dorsiventral)

binate:
almost or quite divided into two parts, eg leaflets, bristles etc

bipartitite:
divided into two +/- equal part, to the base or almost so

bipinnate:
twice or doubly pinnate (cf. pinnate)

biseriate:
arranged in two rows (cf. distichous)

bivalved:
with two valves or flaps

blade:
the expanded part of a leaf, petal etc

bloom:
a white or glaucous (viz.) powdery covering (cf. glaucous)

boss:
a protuberance with a rounded surface

brackish:
of a mixture of salt and fresh waters (cf. estuarine)

bract:
usually a +/- modified leaf subtending an axis; hence bracteate (dimin. bracteole, bracteolate)

bristle:
a +/- linear epidermal appendage, circular in section, stiff several to many cells wide at the base (cf. hair, scale)

bulbiferous:
bearing bulbs or bulbils for vegetative propogation

bulbils:
a small bulb developing on some fern fronds and often developing into a new plant

bulbous:
bulb-shaped; swollen like an onion

bullate:
bubble-like; puckered or blistered, describing a layer of tissure (part of a leaf, scales etc) strongly arched and raised between the margins

caducous:
short-lived and falling early in the development of the plant or organ (cf. deciduous, fugacious)

caespitose:
tufted or matted, growing in tufts or patches

calcareous:
derived from limestone, or with an excess of lime (calcium carbonate)

calyptra:
a cap-like covering hence calyptrate

campanulate:
bell-shaped

canaliculate:
longitudinally channeled or grooved

canescent:
with a grey-white pubescence

canopy:
the cover of foliage layer of a community especially forests

capillary:
hair-like

capitate:
head-like, rounded (dimin. capitellate)

capitiform:
shaped like a head, somewhat globose

capitulum:
a knob-like swelling; hence capitulate

capsule:
a dry, dehiscent fruiting body; hence capsular

carina:
a keel; hence carinate, longitudinally keeled

carpophore:
the stalk of the sporocarp

cartilaginous:
hard, tough, without chlrophyll and vasculature; like cartilage

catadromic, catadromous:
with the first subbranch of a lateral branch produced on the basiscopic margin, mostly of venation in pinnate ferns (cf. anadromic, anadromous)

caudate:
tailed excessively acuminate so that the tip is long and weak

caudex:
the compact stem or trunk of a tree-fern or other erect fern (cf. rootstock)

cauline:
of or relating to the stem

cell:
the small structural components of which all plant tissue is composed

centri-:
prefix pertaining to the centre of an organ

centifugal:
tending outwards or developing from the centre outwards (cf. centripetal, acropetal, basipetal)

centripetal:
tending inwqrds or developing towards the centre from the outside (cf. centrifugal, acropetal basipetal)

cernous:
drooping

chaff:
thin, membranous scales or bracts; hence chaffy

chartaceous:
of a thin papery texture (cf, coriaceous)

chlorophyll:
the green colouring in plants concerned with the production of sugars

chromosomes:
deep-staining thread-like bodies containing the genetic material in the cell nucleus, the number usually constant for a given species

ciliun (pl. cilia):
a hair or bristle; hence ciliate, usually with marginal hairs

cinerous:
light, ashy grey

-cipital:
suffix meaning -headed, eg multicipital

circinnate:
coiled, with the apex innermost (n. circinnus), as in many developing fern fronds

circumscissile:
splitting completely around the centre, the top valve coming off like a lid

cirrhose:
tendril-like, with a slender, coiled or wavy tip

cladode:
a flattened stem resembling a leaf in form and function (cf. phyllode)

clathrate:
in the form of a lattice; used to describe scales with a single layer of translucent cells with dark cross-like walls

clavate:
club-shaped, gradually thickened towards the apex

clone:
a set of organisms produced from one parent by vegetative reproduction, hence genetically identical

coalescent:
separate organs unifying by growth (cf. concrescent)

coenosorus:
an extended sorus or series of sori that have united ot coalesced

cohesion, hence coherent:
of two similar organs or parts touching one another, +/- adhesively but easily separated and not fused or grown together (cf. adherent, adnate, connate)

collateral:
standing side by side

colleter:
mucinagious hairs that secrete gum

columella:
central axis of a cone etc

coma:
a tuft of hairs, hence comose

combination:
taxonomically the name of a genus combined with a specific epithet (cf. synonym)

commisure:
joint or seam

community:
an assemblage of plants living in the same place

composite:
compound (viz cf. simple)

compound:
composed of several +/- similar parts (cf. composite, simple)

compressed:
flattened

conceptacle:
the fruit-case of the sporocarp (viz.) in Marsileaceae

concolorous:
of uniform colour, eg on both sides o a leaf (df. discolourous)

concrescent:
growing together; hence concrescence (cf. coalescent)

conduplicate:
folded lengthwise with the upper surface inwards, eg on a leaf folded along the midrib

cone:
geometrically a solid, circular in cross-section, triangular in longitudinal section, hence conical; botanically a series of spirally arranged wooden scales or sporophlls (cf. strobilis)

confluent:
merging together or blending

conform:
of the same or similar shape, eg pinnate fronds with the apical pinnae similar to the lateral

confluent:
blending or running together

congeneric:
belonging to one and the same genus (cf. conspecific); hence congener (n.)

congested:
crowded, clustered

conical:
of a solid in the form of a cone, attached be the broad end (cf. obconcical

connate:
of similar organs united or fused together (cf. adnate, coherent, adherent)

connivent:
converging together, usually of organs with their bases separate and their appices approaching each other, not touching or fused (cf. convergent, divergent)

conspecific:
belonging to one and the same species

contigous:
adjacent and touching but not united

contorted:
twisted

contracted:
narrowed and/or shortened

convergent:
growing or lying towards one another (cf. connivent, divergent)

convolute:
rolled together longitudinally

copious:
very much, very many

cordate:
heart-shaped, basally rounded with a deep notch (dimin. cordulate)

coriaceous:
of a thick leathery texture (cf. chartaceous)

cortex:
the region of a stem or root surrounding the vascular cylinder but inside the epidermis (cf. medulla)

cosmopolitan:
world-wide in distribution

costa:
rib, especially the midrib of a leaf or pinna; hence costate (pl. costae; dimin. costule)

costal:
pertaining to or near the costa (dimin. costular)

costule:
midrib of higher order pinnule or lobe; hence costulate

crater:
a bowl; hence craterous, crateriform

crenate:
with shallow, rounded teeth (dimin, crenulate) (cf. dentate, serrate)

crested:
with an elevated ridge or line along the summit of an organ

crisped:
with the margins finely wavy, curled or crumpled

cristate:
with an appendage resembling a crest

crown:
part of a tree, shrub, etc, above the first branching

crozier:
the coiled young fronds of ferns

cruciate, cruciform:
in the shape of a cross

cryptogam:
plants reproducing by spores and not seeds, eg. ferns, mosses, fungi etc. (cf. phanerogam)

cucullate:
hooded or hood-shaped

cultigen:
plant known only in cultivation, apparently originating under domestication

cultivar:
a distinct true-breeding race or form, established in cultivation

cuneate:
wedge-shaped, with straight sides converging at the base

cupule:
a cup-like structure the subtends flower or fruit

cusp:
a sharp, rigid point; hence cuspidate, with the apex abruptly narrowed into a point (cf. apiculate)

cuticle:
waxy layer covering the epidermis (viz.) of the plant

cyathium:
a cup; hence cyaniform; cup-like

cymiform:
boat-shaped (cf. navicular)

deciduous:
falling off at maturity, often referrring to the loss of leaves in response to seasonal variations

declinate:
curved downwards

decompound:
several times divided or compound

decumbent:
lying along the ground with the tip ascending

decurrent:
extending downwards beyond the point of insertion, eg. the base of leaf blade tapering into the stem

decurved:
curved downwards

decussate:
four-ranked, in opposite pairs alternately at right angles (cf. quadrifarious, distichous)

definite:
of precise and constant number or extent (cf. indefinite, determinate, indeterminate)

deflexed:
bent downwards towards the base of the stem

dehisce:
to split open; hence dehiscence, dehiscent (cf. indehiscent)

deltoid:
broadly triangular and attached at the base

dendriform, dendroid:
tree-like, mainly of branching and form but not in size

dentate:
with sharp teeth perpendicular to the margin (dimin. denticulate) (cf. serrate, crenate, edentate)

denticle:
a small tooth

depauperate:
reduced in size, as if starved; impoverished, poor in composition (eg. few species, forms etc) (cf. rich)

depressed:
flattened from above

determinate:
of definite or limited growth (cf. indeterminate)

di-:
prefix meaning two (cf. bi-, duo)

dichotomous:
forking into two equal branches (cf. pseudodichotomous, monopodial, sympodial)

dictyostele:
a complex stele with large overlapping leaf-gaps, in section composed of many meristeles (viz.)

didymous:
twinned, the two parts similar and attached by a short portion of their inner surface (cf. geminate)

difform:
dissimilar (cf. conform)

diffuse:
of opening or straggling form; spreading and much-branched

digitate:
with the parts spreading from the centre like the fingers of a hand (cf. palmate)

dimidiate:
of a leaflet or pinnule with the lamina lacking or nearly lacking on the basiscopic side

dimorphic, dimorphous:
existing in two easily recognisable forms (cf. monomorphic, polymorphic)

diploid:
with a complement of two sets of chromosomes (cf. haploid, polyploid)

disarticulate:
to separate at a joint or articulation

discolorous:
of different coulour, eg. when two sides of the leaf are different colours, also variegated (cf. concolorous)

discrete:
clearly seperate from each other, not united

dissected:
deeply divided or cut into many segments(cf. -sect)

distal:
towards the free or developing end of an organ (cf. proximal)

distichous:
arranged in two opposite rows (cf. biseriate, decussate, polystichous)

divaricate:
spreading at a very wide angle, extremely divergent

divergent:
spreading away from one another, usually at a wide angle (cf. convergent, connivent)

dommatia:
pits or pockets, sometimes with tufts of hair in the axils of nerves on the lower surfaces of leaves

dorsal:
pertaining to or attached to the back of body or organ (cf. ventral)

dorsifixed:
attached at or by the back

dorsiventral:
with a distinct upper and lower surface, eg. dorsiventally flattened (cf. bilateral, radial)

duo-:
prefix meaning 'two' or 'paired' (cf. bi-, di-)

e-:
prefix meaning 'lacking', eg. ebracteate

ebracteate:
without bracts

echinate:
bearing prickles or spines (dimin. echinulate)

ecostate:
lacking a costa or midrib

ecto-:
prefix meaning 'outside' (cf. endo-)

ectophloic siphonostele:
a cylindrical stele with a parenchymatous central strand and phloem around the outside only (= medullated protostele) (cf. amphiphloic siphonostele, solenostele)

edaphic:
pertaining to the soil

edentate:
lacking teeth (cf. dentate)

effuse:
spreading loosely

eglandular:
lacking glands (cf. glandular)

elater:
a spirally thickened cell associated with spores and aiding in dispersal; spore appendages in Equisetum

eligulate:
lacking a ligule (viz.)

ellipsoid:
of a solid body with an elliptic section or outline

elliptic:
of a plane with the shape of an ellipse, longer than wide and rounded at both ends, the widest part near the middle

elongate:
drawn out in length

emarginate:
notched at the extremity (dimin. emarginulate)

embossed:
with a small central nodule

embryo:
developing zygote in the fertilised seed or archegonium

enation:
an epidermal outgrowth; hence enate

endemic:
confined to a given region

endo-:
prefix meaning 'inside' (cf. ecto-)

ensiform:
sword-shaped

entire:
with a smooth, even margin, lacking teeth or other indentations

ephemeral:
a plant, or of a plant with a very short life-cycle (cf. perennial, annual)

epi-:
prefix meaning 'on or above' (cf. hypo)

epidermis:
outermost layer of cells covering the plant, beneath the cuticle; hence epidermal

epiphyllous:
borne on the leaves or leaf-like organs

epiphyte:
an organically independent plant growing on another, not connected to the ground, not parasitic

ephispore:
= perispore

equitant:
conduplicate (viz.) and overlapping in two or more ranks

erect:
upright

erecto-patent:
between spreading and erect

erose:
with an irregular, jagged margin, as if torn or bitten

erubescent:
inclined to be reddish

-escent:
suffix meaning 'inclined to be' or 'becoming', eg. accrescent, coalescent

esetose:
lacking setae

estaurine:
pertaining to estuaries or river mouths, usually brackish conditions (cf. brackish)

eu-:
prefix meaning 'good'

eusporanagiate:
of primative ferns with sporangial walls more than one cell thick originating from several cells (cf. leptosporangiate)

even-pinnate:
= paripinnate (cf. odd-pinnate, imparipinnate)

ex-:
prefix meaning 'without or lacking' (cf. a-); or meaning 'outwards' (cf. re-)

excrescence:
outgrowth from the surface

excurrent:
running or proceeding outwards, away from the axis or costa (cf. recurrent); or of a vein that proceeds beyond the margin

exfoliate:
to come away in scales or flakes

exindusiate:
lacking an indusium

exine:
the outer coat of a pollen grain or spore

explanate:
spread out flat (cf. applanate)

exotic:
introduced from abroad (cf. adventive, introduced, indigenous)

exserted:
projecting beyond (cf. included)

extrafloral:
of nectaries borne outside flowers

extrorse:
directed outwards (cf. introrse, latrorse, retrorse)

exudate:
a liquid, resinous or gelatinous substance secreted by organs or parts of the plant, or yielded when the plant is damaged

facultative:
occasional; not essential; incidental (cf. obligate)

falcate:
strongly curved, sickle-like (cf. arcuate)

false indusium:
a covering of the sorus formed from the reflexed margin of the lamina (cf. indusium)

false veins:
zones of epidermal cells of similar appearance to veins but not associated with vascular tissue, eg. in some Davallia and Hymenophyllaceae

family:
a taxonomic grouping of similar genera; similar families grouped into orders

farina:
a mealy or flour-like covering; hence farinose, farinaceus

fascicle:
a close cluster or bundle; hence fascicled, fasciculate

fastigiate:
of erect and clustered branches

ferruginous:
rust-covered

fertile:
producing seeds, spores or pollen capable of germination; of a plant with reproductive organs (cf. sterile, vegetative)

fibrillose:
finely fibrous furnished with thread-like structures

-fid:
suffix meaning 'dividend or lobed =/- half way', eg. bifid, trifid, 6-fid, pinnatifid etc (cf. -sect)

filament:
any thread-like body, especially the stalk of stamens

filiform:
thread-like

fimbriate:
fringed, the edge bordered by slender processes (dimin. fimbrillate)

fistular:
cylindrical and hollow like a pipe

flabellate, flabelliform:
fan-shaped

flaccid:
limp, not rigid or turgid (viz.)

flagellum:
a whip-like hair, usually motile (pl. flagella); hence flagelliform, whip-like; flagellate, bearing flagella

flexible:
easily bent but recovering the original form

flexuose:
of a wavy, zig-zag form

floccose:
with tufts of soft, wooly hairs

flora:
the assemblage of plant species in any area; a book or treatise on this

flush:
a period of rapid vegetative growth, often involving the expansion of non-green or pale green leaves at the soot extremeties

foetid:
with a stinking odour; smelling offensively

foliaceus:
leaf-like

foliar:
pertaining to the leaves or leaf-like parts

foliate:
leaved, clothed in leaves; also as a suffix, eg. bifoliate

-foliolate:
suffix denoting a leaf made up of leaflets, eg. trifoliolate, unifoliolate

foliose:
bearing numerous crowded leaves

forest:
a community dominated by trees with long trunks

-form:
suffix meaning '-like', eg. fusiform, falciform (cf. -aceus, -oid)

forma, form:
a taxonomic division below the level of variety

fovea:
a pit; hence foveate (dimin. foveolate)

free:
individually arising or inserted, not united, nor fused, adherent, adnate, connate etc.

frond:
the leaf, especially of a fern or palm, including the stipe, often finely divided

fruticose:
shrub-like; hence frutescent, becoming shrub-like

fugacious:
falling very early (cf. caducous)

fulvous:
yellow, tawny, dull yellow with a mixture of grey or brown

furcate:
forked, also as bifurcate, trifurcate etc.

furfuraceus:
scurfy, provided with soft scales

furrowed:
with +/- parellel longitudinal grooves or channels

fuscous:
dusky, blackish, of a brownish or greyish brown colour

fused:
joined and growing together (cf. free)

fusiform:
a spindle- or cigar-shaped, a solid swollen in the middle and tapering at both ends

gamete:
the male and female sexual cells that combine at fertilisation to form the zygote; in pteridohytes produced on the prothallus (gametophyte) by the antheridia (male) and archegonia (female)

gametophyte:
the sexual or haploid stage in the life cycle of crytogams producing the ova and sperm; in pteridophytes it is a separate, inconspicuous and short-lived generation (cf. prothallus, sporophyte)

gelatinous:
of a slimy, clear sticky nature, water soluble, like gelatine (cf.glutinous, mucilaginous)

geminate:
twinned, arranged in pairs (cf. didymous)

gemma:
a vegetative bud which a species propogates and disperses itself (pl. gemmae)

gene:
the hereditory factor producing a character in an organism, borne on the chromosomes (viz.); hence genetic

genetics:
the study of inheritance of characters

geniculate:
with a knee-like bend

genus:
a taxonomic grouping of similar species (pl. genera); similar genera are grouped into families

gibbous:
somewhat swollen on one side, usually near the base, forming a pouch or sack

glabrescent:
becoming naked or devoid of covering at maturity

glabrous:
naked, lacking hairs or scales

gland:
an organ or part that secretes oil, resin or other liquid; hence glandular

glandular:
bearing glands or of the nature of a gland (cf. eglandular)

glaucescent:
slightly glaucous or becoming so

glaucous:
with a distinct bluish, waxy bloom or powder on the durface (cf. bloom)

globose:
of a solid of almost spherical shape

glochidium:
a very dense cluster; hence glomerulate

glutinous:
covered with sticky exudate (cf. mucilaginous, gelatinous)

gradate:
graded, or stepped, of a sorus with the youngest sporangia at the apex and the older ones lower down (cf. mixed sorus)

granular:
of a surface like grains of sand etc.

grassland:
a community dominated by grass species (cf. savannah)

gymnosperm:
plant with the ovules borne naked or unprotected, the conifers or cone-bearing plants and their allies (cf. angiosperms)

habit:
the general appearance of the plant

habitat:
the kind of place in which a plant grows

hair:
an epidermal appendage, either unicellular or consisting of a single row or cells (cf. bristle, scale)

halophyte:
a plant which grows in and tolerates salty environments

haploid:
with a complement of one set of chromosomes (cf. diploid, polyploid)

haplotype:
a specimen where doubt exists if the author actually handled the specimen mention in the description

hastate:
with the shape of an arrow head with the basal lobes pointed and narrow and spreading at a wide angle

haustaurium:
absorbing organ through which a parasitic plant absorbs nourishment from its host (pl. haustoria)

hemi-:
a prefix meaning 'half'

hemiparasite:
a parasitic (viz.) plant capable of limited photosynthetic production of sugars etc. (cf. holophyte, saprophyte)

herb:
a vascular plant which is not wood; hence herbaceous

hermaphrodite:
bearing both sexes, usually in the same flower

hetero-:
prefix meaning 'dissimilar'

heteromorphic, heteromorphous:
existing in two or more easily recognisable forms (cf. isomorphic, monomorphic, dimorphic, polymorphic

heterosporous:
bearing spores of distinctly different types (cf. homosporous)

heterotrophic:
dependent external sources of organic nutrients (cf. autotrophic, parasite, saprophyte)

hexa-:
prefix meaning 'six'

hirsute:
with distinct hairs, often rather stiff or bristly

hispid:
with stiff or rigid spreading hairs or bristles (dimin, hispidulous)

hoary:
covered with hairs so fine as to not be readily visible to the naked eye, giving the surface a pale greyish hue

holophyte:
a plant maintained entirely by its own organs (cf. parasite, saprophyte)

holotype:
the one specimen designated by the author to which the name of the taxon is permanently attached (see type)

homo-:
prefix meaning 'even' or similar' )cf. iso-, hetero-)

homonym:
the same name; a combination (viz.) where the genus-species pair is exactly the same as an already existing combination, based on a different type (viz.) (cf. synonym, basionym)

homosporous:
bearing spores of uniform type (cf. heterosporous)

host:
the plant on which a parasite (viz.) lives and from which it derives its nourishment; also the plants on which epiphytes (viz.) grow

hyaline:
translucent, usually thin

hybrid:
the progeny of different taxa (genera or species), often of intermediate appearance; hence hybridism

hybrid swarm:
a population of hybrids and plants derived from backcrossing the hybrids with the parent species (cf. introgression)

hydathode:
water-secreting gland on the surface of margin or leaf, at the ends of veins, often indicated by a white deposit of salts

hydrphyte:
a plant growing submerged, or almost so, in water

hygroscopic:
absorbing water and changing shape as a result

hypo-:
prefix meaning 'beneath' or 'under' (cf. epi-)

idioblast:
a specialised cell which differs from its neighbours in size, structure and function

imbricate:
with overlapping edges, as in scales on a fish

immersed:
imbedded in another organ

imparipinnate:
pinnate with the rachis terminated by a single leaflet or tendril (cf. odd-pinnate, even pinnate, paripinnate

impressed:
sunk or immersed below the level of the surface

in-:
prefix meaning 'not' or 'inwards'

incertae sedis:
(Latin) of uncertain position, used taxonomically

incised:
cut sharply, sometimes and rather deeply; hence incisure (cf. dissected, -sect)

included:
enclosed, not protruding (cf. exserted)

inconspicuous:
not easily seen

incrassate:
thickened

incumbent:
resting or leaning upon

incurved:
curved upwards or to the adaxial (upper) side (cf. recurved)

indefinite:
of unlimited, or apparently unlimited number of extent (cf. definite, determinate, indeterminate

indehiscent:
not splitting open at maturity (cf. dehiscent)

indeterminate:
of indefinite growth, or apparently capable of unlimited growth (cf. determinate)

indigenous:
native, occurring naturally in an area; hence indigene (cf.introduced, adventive, exotic)

indumentum:
any covering of a plant surface, especially hairs and scales

induplicate:
the margins bent inwards, and the external faces of these edges applied to each other, without twisting

indurated:
hardened and toughened

indusium:
the protective membrane covering a sorus, not originating from the margin of the lamina (cf. false indusium)

inferior:
situated below another organ or part (cf. superior)

inflexed:
turning sharply inwards (cf. reflexed)

infraspecific:
of taxonomic divisions of a lower rank than species; similarly infrageneric, infrafamilial etc.

infra-:
prefix meaning 'lower than' (cf.supra-)

innovation:
a new vigorous shoot, carrying on the continued growth of the plant

insectivorous:
trapping and supposedly feeding on insects

inserted:
attached to or growing upon; hence insertion, the place or modeof attachment

integument:
a covering (in particular the covering of an ovule)

internode:
the portion of stem between two adjacent nodes (viz.)

interruped:
broken or discontinous

intramaginal:
situated within the margin and near the edge

introduced:
not indigenous (viz.), not native to the area in which it now occurs, brought in by accident or design (cf. adventive, exotic)

introgression:
the modification of species by the back-crossing of the hybrids with the parent species (cf. hybrid swarm)

introrse:
directed inwards (cf. extrorse, latrorse, retrorse)

invest:
to clothe, hence invested

involucre::
one or more whorls of bracts surrounding an inflorescence

involute:
rolled inwards or to the adaxial (upper) side (cf. revolute)

iso-:
prefix meaning 'same' or 'equal' 9cf. homo-, hetero-)

isobilateral:
having the same structure on both sides

isodiametric:
of a shape (eg. a cell) with all diameters +/- equal

isomorphic:
of the same form or appearance (cf. monomorphic, dimorphic, polymorphic)

isotype:
a duplicate of the holotype, a specimen made from the same collection as the holotype (see type)

A Short Botanical Glossary
compiled by Jim Croft
of the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/


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