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Botanical Glossary: J - R

Botanical Glossary: J - R

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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/

J - R

jugate:
yoked together in a pair, mostly of pairs, of pinnae in a pinnate leaf; also as a suffix, bijugate, 4-jugate etc.

juvenile:
young, immature

juvenile leaves:
the first-formed leaves, especially when they differ from the mature leaves

karyotype:
gross morphology of the chromosomes; hence karyology

keel:
a ridge, usually on the back, like the keel of a boat; hence keeled (cf. carinate)

kleptotype:
a fragment removed from or stolen from the type; a highly illegal and immoral procedure

labium:
lip; hence labiate (pl. labia)

lacerate:
with an irregular, ragged margin, as though torn

laciniate:
deeply, usually irregularly divided into very narrow, pointed segments

lacuna:
a gap, a space enclosed by but free from veins; hence lacunose, lacunate

lamella:
thin plate or layer; hence lamellar (pl. lamellae)

lamina:
a thin, flat organ or part, especially the expanded blade of a leaf; hence laminate (dimin. lamella, lamellate)

lanate:
clad in woolly, usually intertwined, hairs

lanceolate:
lance-shaped, of a plane several times longer than wide, widest in the basal third, tapering gradually towards the tip, more rapidly towards the base (cf. oblanceolate)

lateral:
to the side (cf. apical, axillary, terminal, basal etc.)

latex:
a milky exudate, drying rubber-like

latrorse:
directed laterally or sideways (cf. extrorse, introrse, retrorse)

lax:
loosely arranged or distantly placed

leaf-gap:
the break in the vasculature of the stem where the leaf-trace(s) leaves the stem to enter the petiole

leaf-trace:
the vascular bundle from the stele entering the petiole

leaflet:
the basic element of a compound leaf (cf. pinna, pinnule)

lectotype:
a specimen or similar element selected from the original material to serve as the nomenclatural type when a holotype was not originally designated, or as long as it is missing (see type)

lenticular:
shaped like a biconvex lens

lepidote:
clad in small scurfy scales

lepto-:
prefix meaning 'thin', 'slender' or 'narrow'

leptosporangiate:
of the more advanced ferns with sporangial walls one cell thick, originating from a single cell (cf. eusporangiate)

liana, liane:
a woody, climbing plant; hence lianoid

ligule:
a strap-shaped body; an appendage near the base of leaves in Selaginella and Isoetes; hence ligulate

liguliform:
tongue- or strap-shaped

line:
as a measurement, 1/12 inch (=c. 2mm)

linear:
long and narrow with paralell margins

lingulate:
tongue-shaped

lithophyte:
a plant growing on rocks

littoral:
coastal, or growing along the beach

lobe:
partial portion of a leaf or other organ, especially when rounded; hence lobed, lobate (dimin. lobule, lobulate)

locule, loculus:
a compartment or cavity of an organ; hence loculate

lorate:
strap- or thong-shaped

lucid:
with a shining surface

lunate:
crescent-shaped

lyrate:
pinnatifid with the terminal lobe much larger that the others

macro-:
prefix meaning 'large' (cf. mega-, micro-)

macrogametophyte :
= megagametophtye

macrosporangium:
= megasporangium

macrospore:
= megaspore

macrosporophyll:
= megasporophyll

macula:
spot or blotch; hence maculate

mamillate:
with nipple-like projections

marginal:
attached or occurring at or along the margin or edge

marine:
pertaining to the sea or salt water (cf. brackish, estuarine, saline)

maritime:
pertaining to the sea; coastal

marsh:
a waterlogged area, a swamp

massula:
rounded mass of hardened cytoplasmic foam containing one or more spores in the Salvineales (pl. massulae)

mealy:
covered with a coarse flour-like powder (cf. farinose)

medial:
attached near or at the middle, especiallly midway between costa and margin

median:
pertaining to the middle

medulla:
parenchymatous tissue within the vascular cylinder (cf. cortex, pith)

medullated protostele:
a cylindrical stele with a nonvascular, parenchymatous centre, with the phloem around the outside only, also known as an ectphloic siphonostele (cf. solenostele)

mega-:
prefix meaning 'large' (cf. macro-, micro)

megagametophyte (also macrogametophyte):
the gametophyte developing vegetatively from the megaspore of a heterosporous plant, female (cf. microgametophyre)

megasporangium (also macrosporangium):
the sporangium in heterosporous plants where the megaspores develop (pl. megasporangia) (cf. microsporangium)

megaspore (also macrospore):
the largest of the spore types in heterosporous plants, producing the female gametes (cf. microspore)

megasporophyll (also macrosporophyll):
specialised leaf bearing or subtending one or more megasporangia (cf. microsporophyll)

meiosis:
division of diploid cells at the sexual stage of a life-cycle when the chromosome number is halved in the production of haploid gametes; hence meiotic (cf. mitosis)

membrane:
a thin, soft, flexible, +/- translucent piece of tissue; hence membranous

meniscoid:
venation in which the veins are arranged pinnately from a main vein and anastomose with the neighbouring group to form a single excurent vein

meristele:
the individual vascular bundle of a complex stele such as a dictyostele (viz.)

meristem:
region of tissue actively involved in cell division and production

mesophyll:
the photosynthetic tissue of a green plant borne beneath the epidermis

micro-:
prefix meaning 'minute' (cf. macro-, mega-)

microgametophyte:
the gametophyte developing vegetatively from the microspore of a heterosporous plant, male (cf. megagametophyte)

microphyll:
the sterile leaves of Lycopodiaceae, Selaginellaceae etc.

microsporangium:
the sporangium in heterosporous plants where the cicrospores develop (pl. microsporangia) (cf. megasporangium

microspore:
the smaller of the spore types in plants with two sizes of spore, producing the male gametes (cf. megaspore)

microsporophyll:
specialised leaf bearing or subtending one or more microsporangia (cf. megasporophyll)

midrib (also mid-vein):
the main or central vein of a leaf ir similar organ (cf. costa)

minute:
so small as to be difficult to see with the naked eye

mitosis:
the regular division of cells without the reduction in chromosome number; hence mitotic (cf. meiotic)

mixed sporangia:
sporangia of all ages borne at all levels in sorus (cf. gradate)

moniliform:
constricted at intervals and appearing like a string of beads

mono-:
prefix meaning 'one' or 'solitary' generally bean-shaped; also referred as 'bilateral' (cf. trilete)

monomorphic:
having only one form (cf. isomorphic, dimorphic, polymorphic)

monophyletic:
derived from a single ancestral line (cf. polyphyletic)

monopodium:
an axis in which the growth is continued from year to year by the same growing point; hence monopodial (cf. sympodial, dichotomous, pseudodichotomous)

monostelic:
with a single stele

monotypic:
having only one representative, eg a genus or family with a single species (cf. polytypic)

montane:
pertaining to, occurring in mountains

-morphic:
suffix pertaining to 'form', eg. dimorphic, polymorphic etc.

morphology:
form and structure; the study of these

motile:
actively moving, self-propelled

mucilage:
a vegetable gelatine of slimy consistency, water-soluble; hence mucilaginous (cf. gelatinous)

mucro:
a short, sharp tip, such as a prolong midrib; hence mucronate

mucronate:
produced into a short, sharp tip, or mucro (cf. acuminate)

multi-:
prefix meaning 'many' (cf. poly-, pauci, pluri-)

multifarious:
many-ranked, in many rows (cf. polystichous)

multifid:
divided into many parts

multiseriate:
arranged in many rows

muricate:
rough, with short, hard tubercular excrescences

muticous:
blunt; lacking a distinct process

mycorrhiza:
a fungus associated with the root of a plant, the association of mutual benefit; hence mycorrhizal

myrmecophilous:
ant-loving, of plants inhabited by ants and offering specialised shelters and food for them

naked :
lacking bracts or epidermal appendages (cf. glabrous)

navicular, naviculariform:
boat-shaped (cf. cymbiform)

nectary:
gland secreting a sweet fluid (nectar) commonly in insect-pollinated flowers but not restricted there

neo-:
prefix meaning 'new' (cf. paleo-)

neotrophics:
the tropical areas of the 'New World', central America and the northern part of south America (cf. paleotrophics)

neotype:
a specimen selected to serve as the nomenclatural type as long as the original material is missing

nerve:
strand of vascular and supporting tissue in a leaf or similar structure (cf. vein)

nest-leaves:
specialised sterile leaves modified for catching leaves and debris

net-veined:
reticulate

New World:
the area of central America and northern south America (cf. Old World, neotropic, paleotropic)

node:
a point on the stem where leaves or branches are inserted (cf. internode)

nodose:
knotty or knobbly (dimin. nodulose)

nodule:
a small, +/- spherical swelling; hence nodular

nomen:
(Latin) name

nomen conservandum:
the name of a taxon internationally agreed upon to be exempt from the rules of priority of publication

nomen illegitimum:
an illegitimate name

nomen nudum:
a name published without an accompanying description

nomen rejeciendum:
a name proposed for conservation but rejected by the committee

nomenclatural synonyms:
synonyms (viz.) with the same basionym (viz.) or based on the same type (viz.), the result of the transference of a species from one genus to another (cf. taxonomic synonyms)

nomenclatural type:
see type

nomenclature:
the study of the application of the names of taxa (cf. taxonomy)

ob-:
prefix meaning 'inverted', eg. obconic, oblanceolate, obcordate

obconic (-al):
inversely conic (-al), a cone attached at the narrow end (cf. conic (-al))

oblanceolate:
of a plane several times longer than wide, widest in the apical third, tapering gradually towards the base, more rapidly towards the apex (cf. lanceolate)

obligate:
mandatory, essential, unable to exist under other conditions (cf. facultative)

oblique:
with the sides unequal

oblong:
longer than broad, with parallel margins and rounded ends

obovate:
inversely ovate, of a plane with the outline of an egg, attached at the narrower end (cf. ovate)

obovoid:
inversely ovoid, of a solid with the form of an egg, attached at the narrower end (cf. ovoid)

obsolescent:
not functional, but not reduced to a rudiment

obsolete:
lacking or rudimentary

obtuse:
evenly narrowed into a blunt point at an angle of 90 degrees or more (cf. acute)

ochraceus:
ochre-coloured; dull yellow with a tinge of red

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

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

Old World:
the area of Africa, SE Asia and the western Pacific (cf. New World, Paleotropic, Neotropic)

oligo-:
prefix meaning few (cf. pauci-, multi-, poly-)

olivaceous:
olive-coloured, a yellowish green darkened with black

ontogeny:
the development of a single organism, the stages through which it passes in its lifetime (cf. phylogeny)

opposite:
of a pair of organs arising at the same level on opposite sides of the stem (decussate, alternate)

orbicular:
rounded or circular in outline (cf. rotundate)

order:
a taxonomic grouping of similar families

organism:
a complete, living individual of a species

ortho-:
prefix meaning 'straight'

orthostichous:
in a vertical row

osseus:
bony

oval:
broadly elliptic, narrowing somewhat from the middle to rounded ends

ovate:
of a plane with the outline of an egg, attached at the broad end (cf. obovate)

ovoid:
of a solid with the form of an egg, attached at the broad end (cf. obovoid)

palea:
a scale; hence paleate, clothed with scales

paleaceus:
furnished with chaffy scales

pales-:
prefix meaning 'old' (cf. neo-)

paleotropics:
the tropical areas of the 'Old World', Africa, SE Asia and the western Pacific (cf. neotropics)

palmate:
radially lobed or divided like the fingers of a hand (cf. digitate)

palmatifid:
radially lobed +/- half way (cf. digitate)

palmatisect:
radially lobed almost to the base (cf. digitate)

palynology:
the study of pollen and spores

pandurate:
fiddle-shaped, +/- obovate but with a waist

panicle:
an elongate inflorescence with compound branching; hence panicled or paniculate

pantropic(-al):
found throughout the tropics

papilla:
a small rounded superficial projection; hence papillose, papillate (pl. papillea)

paraphysis:
a sterile filament or hair borne among the sporangia (pl. paraphyses)

parasite:
an organism living in or on another (the host), and deriving nourishment from it (cf. holophyte, hemiparasite, saprophyte, epiphyte)

paratype:
specimens cited at the same time as the original description, other the holotypes and isotypes (see type)

parenchyma:
a tissue of thin-wall, little differentiated cells

parietal:
pertaining to the wall of an organ

paripinnate:
pinnate with the cachis terminate by a pair of leaflets or pinnae (cf. even-pinnate, odd-pinnate, imparipinnate)

-partite:
suffix meaning 'deeply divided to the base or almost so, into +/-equal parts', eg bipartite, tripartite, 4-partite etc.

patent:
spreading

pauci-:
prefix meaning 'few' (cf. oligo-, poly-, multi-)

pectinate:
comb-like; deeply divided with the segments narrow and close

pedate:
palmately divided but with the lateral lobes themselves divided

pedicel:
the stalk of an individual flower in an inflorescence; the stalk of a sporangium or of a conceptacle; hence pedicellate

peduncle:
stalk of a flower or inflorescence; hence pedunculate

pellucid:
transmitting light, transparent (cf. translucent)

peltate:
attached by the lower surface, remote from the margin

pendent:
hanging down from its support

pendulous:
hanging, drooping

penicillate:
like a tuft of hairs

penniform:
with ribs, the upper segments confluent at the apex

penninerved, -veined:
with pinnately arranged lateral veins

penta:
prefix meaning 'five'

pentagonous:
five-angled

per-:
prefix meaning 'very' or 'all over'

perenate:
maintain a dormant state through the non-growing season; hence perennating buds etc.

perennial:
with a life cycle lasting two or more years (cf. annual, biennal, ephemeral)

perfoliate:
of a leaf or bract completely encircling the axis and so the stem apparently passing through it

perispore:
a wrinkled or folded outer covering to some spores (also epispore)

persistent:
remaining until the part that bears it is fully mature or longer that otherwise expected

perula:
scale of a leaf bud; hence perulate, scaly

petiole:
stalk of a leaf; hence petiolate (cf. sessile)

petiolule:
stalk of a leaflet; hence petiolulate

phanerogam:
seed-plant or spermatophyte, eg. the flowering plants and gymnosperms (cf. cryptogam)

phenotype:
the physical characteristics of an organism as opposed to its genetic composition or genotype; hence phenetic

phenology:
the study of flowering or fruiting periodicity of plants

phloem:
vascular tissue concerned with the transport plant products and sugars from the leaves to the roots (cf. xylem)

photosynthesis:
the production of sugars etc. from water and carbon dioxide with the aid of chlorophyll, using energy from sunlight; hence photosythetic (cf. autotrophic, heterotrophic)

phyllode:
a flattened and expanded petiole with the function and appearance of a leaf (cf. cladode)

-phil, -philous:
suffix meaning 'liking' or 'preferring'

-phyll, phyllo:
suffix or prefix meaning 'leaf'

phyllopodium:
an outgrowth of the rhizome in ferns to which the frond or stipe is joined

phyllotaxis, phylotaxy:
the arrangement of leaves etc. around an axis

phylogeny:
the evolutionary development of a group and its derivation from ancestors and the relationship between its members; hence phylogenetic (cf. ontogeny)

piliferous:
bearing hairs

pilose:
hairy, usually with long and distinct hairs

pinna:
the leaflet of a pinnate leaf, or the primary division of a bi- or tripinnate leaf (dimin. pinnule)

pinnate:
compound, with leaflets or pinnae, arranged in a single row each side of the common rachis (viz.)

pinnatifid:
pinnately lobed +/- halfway

pinnatipartite:
pinnately lobed half to two thirds the depth of the lamina

pinnatisect:
pinnately lobed almost to the rachis

pinnule:
the second or third order divisions of a bi- or tripinnate leaf; the ultimate free divisions of such a leaf

pith:
the central region of a stem, inside the vascular cylinder

pitted:
having numerous small depressions in the surface

plastic:
influenced in form by the environment

plectostele:
a complex stele with the vascular bundles arranged in several parallel ribbons

plicate:
folded into pleats, usually lengthwise

- plinerved:
of a leaf with lateral nerves similar to the midrib arising near the insertion of the petiole, eg. triplinerved, 5-plinerved etc.

plumose:
feather-like

pluri-:
prefix meaning 'several' (cf. poly-, multi, pauci-)

pluricellular:
of a hair of several cells and opposed to unicellular

pneumathodes:
bands or pores or aerating tissue, especially along the stipes of ferns (cf. aerophores)

pneumatophore:
aerating structures with many air vessels

pollen:
the microspores or the dust-like fertilising cells of gymnosperms and angiosperms

poly-:
prefix meaning 'many' (cf. multi-, pauci-, pluri-)

polygonous, polygonal:
having many angles

polyhedral:
having many faces or planes

polymorphic (polymorphous):
existing in several or many forms (cf. heteromorphic, isomorphic, monomorphic, dimorphic)

polyhphyletic:
composed of members that descended independently from two or more ancestral lines (cf. monophyletic)

polyploid:
a plant, or of a plant, with more than two sets (diploid) of the basic chromosome number (haploid) (cf. allopolyploid)

polystichous:
arranged in many rows (cf. multifarious)

polytypic:
of a taxon containing two or more tax of lower ranks (cf. monotypic)

porrect:
directed outward and forward

posterior:
towards the back, next to or towards the main axis (cf. anterior)

prickle:
a hard, sharp emergence of subepidermal tissue, not vascular (cf. spine)

process:
a projecting appendage

procumbent:
lying on the ground but not rooting

proliferous:
producing buds and/or new plants vegetatively (cf. bulbil)

prominent:
standing out beyond some other part (dimin. prominulous)

propagule:
body with the capacity to give rise to a new plant; eg. seed, spore, bulbil, fragment etc.

prostrate:
lying trailing along the ground

prothallus:
the growth following a germinating spore, for the purpose of sexual reproduction, producing the antheridia and archegonia (viz.) (cf. gametophyte)

proto-:
prefix meaning 'first'

protologue:
the original or first publication of a taxonomic name

protostele:
a primative type of stele (viz.) with a solid vascular strand

protuberance:
a swelling or bump on the surface

proximal:
towards the attached end of an organ (cf. distal)

psuedo-:
prefix meaning 'false'

pseudodichotomous:
apparently dichotomous with a dormant terminal bud and two equal lateral branches (cf. dichotomous, monopodial, sympodial)

pteridophyte:
the general name for the ferns and their allies

puberulent:
minutely pubescent, the hairs soft and very short, scarcely visible to the naked eye

puberulous:
slightly hairy

pubescent:
covered with hairs, especially soft, downy hairs

pulvinus:
swelling at the base of a stalk or leaf or leaflet, sometimes glandular or responsive to touch; hence pulvinate

punctum:
a dot or pit; hence punctate, covered with dots or pits (pl. punctae)

punctiform:
reduced to a mere dot or point

pungent:
ending in a rigid or sharp point, acrid to taste

pustule:
a low projection like a blister or pimple, larger than a papilla; hence pustular, pustulate

putative:
reputed, generally regarded as such, supposed; eg. putative hybrids

pryriform:
pear-shaped

quadri-:
prefix meaning 'four' (cf. tetra-)

quadrifarious:
arranged in four close-set rows along the stem (cf. decussate)

rachis:
the axis (excluding petiole) of a pinnately compound leaf or inflorescence (also rhachis) (pl. rachises or rachides; dimin. rachilla)

radial, raiate:
spreading as in the spokes of a wheel, eg. radially symmetric (cf. bilateral, dorsiventral)

radical:
of leaves arising at the base of the stem and forming a rosette or tuft

radicant:
rooting, usually appplied to stems and leaves

rainforest:
a complex community dominated by trees, with high rainfall, many epiphytes and lianes

re-:
prefix meaning 'backwards'

receptacle:
the oftern enlarged end of a stalk or dish on which the flowers or fruiting bodies are borne

reclinate:
reclining, turned or bent downwards upon some other part

recurrent:
running or proceeding backwards towards the axis or costa (cf. excurrent)

recurved:
curved downwards or to the abaxial (lower) side (cf. incurved)

reflexed:
bent sharply backwards (cf. inflexed)

regular:
uniform or symmetrical in shape and structure

remote:
far apart, spaced (cf. approximate)

renascent:
springing up afresh each year

reniform:
kidney-shaped

repand:
shallow sinuate

resupinate:
turned through 180 degrees; reversed

reticulum:
a network (of veins or other linear structures), formed by repeated branching and anastomosis (viz.) (cf. areole, areolate)

retrorse:
directed downwards or backwards (cf. antrorse, introrse, extrorse, latrorse)

retuse:
the apex rounded with a small notch

revolute:
rolled downwards or to the abaxial (lower) side (cf. involute)

rhachis:
= rachis

rheophyte:
a flood persistent plant, living between the high and low water levels of rivers (cf. aquatic, amphibious, terrestrial)

rhizoid:
a filamentous root-like structure, as on a pteridophyte prothallus

rhizome:
a modified underground stem, usually growing horizontally; the stem of ferns; hence rhizomatous

rhizophore:
a specialised leafless stem which bears roots, as in Selaginella

rhomboid:
a plane of diamond shape

rich:
with many forms, species etc. (cf. depauperate)

root:
the typically underground extension of the stem that tends to grow downwards, not bearing leaves and absorbing minerals and water from the soil or substrate

rootstock:
a swollen root and/or part of all of a very short stem, sometimes partly above the ground (cf. caudex)

rosette:
a group of organs radiating from the centre, especially with numerous overlapping leaves appressed to the soil; hence rosulate

rostrate:
with a beak

rotound, rotundate:
rounded, almost circular (cf. orbicular)

rudimentary:
arrested at an early stage of development

rufous:
reddish, of all shades

rugose:
wrinkled, (viz.) (dimin. rugulose)

runcinate:
pinnately and rather sharply incised with the lobes directed backwards away from the apex

runner:
a slender, prostrate stem which terminates in a bud that produces leaves and roots (cf. stolon)

rupestral:
growing among rocks or on rock walls

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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