Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Glossary

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

acetabuliform:
saucer-shaped

acrodromous:
with veins curving towards the apex

actinodromous venation:
a leaf vein pattern with 3 or more primary veins diverging radially from a single point

actinomorphic:
radially symmetrical on a single plane

adventitious roots:
roots arising from stem tissue

aerial roots:
roots growing in the air

alternate (leaves):
one leaf per node

alternate (stamens):
stamens alternate with the petals

amorphic:
flower shape without definite symmetry; usually with an indefinite number of stamens and carpels and subtended by (above) variously colored petals.

anemochory:
dispersal by wind

anemophilous:
wind-pollinated

annual:
a plant that completes its life cycle within a single year

antepetalous:
stamens opposite the petals

antesepalous:
stamens opposite the sepals

apical:
at the tip

appressed to stem:
pressed close and flat against the surface

autochory:
dispersal via expulsion mechanisms

autogamous:
self-pollinating; pollination occurs within a closed flower

autotrophic:
a plant that produces its own nourishment

awned:
with an apical projection

axillary buds:
buds occuring at nodes along the twig

basal acrodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with 2 or more primary or strongly developed secondary veins arising from the base and running in convergent arches toward the leaf apex

basal palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with the primary veins diverging in a series of dichotomous branchings starting at the base of the leaf

biennial:
a plant that completes its life cycle in 2 years

bracteoles:
the structures that subtend (occur below) a single flower in an inflorescence

bracts:
structures found at the base of a pedicel or peduncle

brochidodromous venation:
a veination pattern with the secondary veins united forming a series of distinct arches

bud scales:
specialized leaves that protect the bud

bulb:
underground stem surrounded by fleshy, overlapping leaf bases

campanulate:
bell-shaped

campylodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with several primary veins or their branches arising at, or nearly at, a single point and forming strongly recurved arches before converging toward the apex (tip)

cantharophilous:
beetle-pollinated

caudice:
woody, overwintering stem base found in some herbaceous perennials

cauliferous:
on the stem (i.e. cauliferous flowers)

chamaephyte:
woody or herbaceous evergreen perennial from 25-50 cm tall or whose shoots die back periodically

chambered pith:
compartmentalized pith

chartaceous:
thin and papery

chiropterogamous:
bat-pollinated

cladodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with secondary veins freely ramified (branching) toward the margin

clustered buds:
without readily discernible internodes between buds

connate:
united or jointed

continuous pith:
pith without walls or compartments

coriaceous:
thick and leathery

corms:
underground stem covered with thin, dry leaves

crateriform:
bowl-shaped

cuneate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

deciduous:
usually losing its leaves with the approach of winter

decumbent:
flat on the ground, but with upturned tips

decussate:
positioned opposite on the stem but with nodes in two planes alternating at right angles to one another along the stem

deltate:
a shape with a length to width ratio of 1:1, widest at base, and with straight margins

depressed obovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest above the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

depressed ovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2; symmetrically curved margins, and widest below middle

diadelphous:
stamens with filaments in 2, connate groups

didynamous:
4 stamens; 2 long and 2 short

diplostemonous:
stamens in 2 whorls, the outer whorl of stamens alternate with the petals; the inner whorl of stamens opposite the petals

distichous:
leaves alternate, but with nodes occuring in one plane on the stem

elliptic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest at middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

endozoochory:
dispersal through animal ingestion and excretion

epipetalous:
stamens arising from the petals

epiphyte:
plants that germinate and root on other plants

epizoochory:
dispersal by attachment to fur or feathers

equitant:
leaves overlapping, but in 2 ranks

erect:
more or less perpendicular to the ground

eucamptodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with secondary veins upturned and gradually diminishing apically inside the margin, connected to the superadjacent secondary veins by a series of cross veins without forming prominent marginal loops

evergreen:
retains its leaves throughout the winter

exfoliating:
peeling irregularly

exserted:
stamens projecting beyond the perianth

extrorse:
stamens facing outward

fascicle:
a cluster of flowers or leaves

fibrous roots:
threadlike and frequently numerous roots

flabellate palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with several to many equally fine basal veins diverging radially at low angles and and branching apically

furrowed:
with longitudinal grooves

geminate stellate hairs:
hairs with more than 5 rays in clusters superimposed on one another

geophyte:
perennial or biennial herbaceous plants with periodic shoot reduction to a remnant shoot system to storage organs

glabrescent:
becoming glabrous with age

glabrous:
having no hairs

haplomorphic:
flower type with numerous parts spirally arranged semispherically; petals colored

haplostemonous:
stamens in 1 whorl

hemi-epiphyte:
plants that germinate on other plants and then establish soil contact; or plants that germinate on the ground and later terminate soil contact

hemicryptophyte:
perennial or biennial herbaceous plants with periodic shoot reduction to a remnant shoot system that lies more or less flat on the ground

heterotrophic:
plants that depend on other organisms for nourishment

hydrochory:
dispersal by water

hydrophilous:
water-pollinated

hyphodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with only the primary vein present; all others veins are rudimentary or concealed in coriaceous or fleshy tissue

imbricate:
overlapping

imparipinnate:
compound leaves with a single terminal leaflet

imperfect acrodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with acrodromous veins running less than two-thirds the distance to the apex

imperfect marginal palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with veins arising on the lateral actinodromous primary veins covering less than two-thirds of the blade area and reaching the margins

imperfect reticulate palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with veins arising on the lateral actinodromous primary veins covering less than two-thirds of the blade area and not reaching the margins

included:
stamens not projecting beyond the perianth

infundibuliform:
funnel-shaped

introrse:
stamens facing inward

lanceolate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest toward the base, and with symmetrically curved margins

lenticel:
a small pore with loosely arranged cells involved in gas exchange

lenticellate:
with lenticels

linear:
a shape with length to width ratios of 12:1 and parallel margins

linear obtriangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 12:1, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

linear triangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 12:1, widest at base, and with straight margins

margin:
edge

melittophilous:
bee-pollinated

membranaceous:
thin and flexible

mixed craspedodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with some of the secondary veins ending at the margin and a more or less equal number of (usually intervening) secondaries

monadelphous:
stamens with filaments connate most of their lengths, forming a tube around the style

monoclinous:
with both male and female structures in the same flower

myophilous:
fly-pollinated

myrmecochory:
dispersal by ants

myrmecophilous:
ant-pollinated

narrow oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, and with parallel margins

narrowly elliptic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1, widest at the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

narrowly obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest toward the apex, and with straight margins

narrowly rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest at the middle, and with straight margins

narrowly transversely elliptic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:3-1:6, widest at the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

narrowly transversely oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:3-1:6, and with parallel margins

narrowly transversely rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:3-1:6, widest at middle, and with straight margins

narrowly triangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest at the base, and with straight margins

narrowly trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest toward the base, and with straight margins

obdeltate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

obdiplostemonous:
stamens in 2 whorls; the outer whorl of stamens opposite the petals, the inner whorl of stamens alternate with the petals

oblanceolate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 6:1-3:1, widest toward the apex, and with symmetrically curved margins

oblate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest at the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, and with parallel margins

obovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest above the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

obtriangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest toward the apex, and with straight margins

opposite (leaves):
with 2 leaves at the same node

opposite (stamens):
stamens opposite the petals

ornithogamous:
bird-pollinated

oval:
egg-shaped

ovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest below the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

papillose:
small epidermal outgrowths

parallelodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with 2 or more primary veins running from the leaf base and parallel to the margin and converging at the apex

paripinnate:
compound leaves with all leaflets are more or less paired; therefore leaves lack a single terminal leaflet

peduncle:
"stalk" supporting either a single flower or an inflorescence

peltate scales:
shield-shaped structures attached to the surface by a stalk

perennial:
plants that live several to many years

perfect acrodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with acrodromous veins well developed, extending at least two-thirds the distance to the apex

perfect marginal palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with ramifications of the lateral actinodromous veins occupying at least two-thirds of the blade area and reaching the margins

perfect reticulate palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with ramifications of the lateral actinodromous veins occupying at least two-thirds of the blade area, but not reaching the margins

perigon:
the term used for tepals collectively

phalaenophilous:
moth-pollinated

phanerantherous:
stamens with anthers projecting beyond the perianth

phanerophyte:
woody or herbaceous evergreen perennials, taller than 50 cm, or whose shoots do not die back

plated:
with shallow, circular depressions

polyadelphous:
stamens with filaments in several, connate groups

porrect scales:
scales occuring in a cluster with the central scale larger than the others

porrect stellate hairs:
hairs with more than 5 rays, with the central larger than others

prickles:
epidermal extensions not associated with nodes (i.e., not spines or thorns)

procumbent:
flat, but loosely on the ground

prostrate:
flat on and close to the ground

psychophilous:
butterfly-pollinated

quadrate rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest at the middle, and with straight margins

rachis:
an extension of the peduncle serving as the axis of an inflorescence

repent:
more or less horizontal, creeping

resin:
a usually sticky, volatile substance

reticulodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with secondary veins losing their identities toward the leaf margin by repeated branching into a vein reticulum

revolute:
inrolled half way to the midrib or more

rhizomes:
underground stem with reduced leaves and internodes

rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest at the middle, and with straight margins

ridged:
with "prominent" longitudinal ribs

rosulate:
basal and appearing as a rosette

rotate stellate hairs:
hairs more than 5 rays in one plane

semicraspedodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with secondary veins branching just within the margin, one of the branches ending at the margin, the other joining the superadjacent secondary

sessile scales:
usually flat structures directly against the surface

shallowly deltate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest at the base, and with straight margins

shallowly obdeltate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

shallowly obtriangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

shallowly triangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest at the base, and with straight margins

shrubs:
branching near the base and therefore with several to many trunks near the base

simple craspedodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with all secondary veins and their branches ending at the margin

soboliferous:
shoots arising from the ground in clumps; usually applied to shrubs or small trees

spines:
sharp projections developed from modified leaves

spinulose:
stipules modified into spines

spurred:
with any basal or dorsal projections

square:
a shape with length to width rations of 1:1, and with parallel margins

stellate hairs:
hairs with more than 5 rays in more than one plane

stereomorphic:
flower shapes that are radially symmetric; 3-dimensional flowers

stolons:
above ground stem rooting at nodes

striate:
with "fine" longitudinal ribs

subopposite:
2 leaves almost opposite one another at the same node

suprabasal acrodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with 2 or more primary or strongly developed secondary veins arising some distance above the base and running in convergent arches toward the leaf apex

suprabasal palinactinodromous venation:
a leaf venation pattern with primaries diverging in a series of dichotomous branchings starting some distance above the base

syngenesious:
stamens with connate anthers

tap root:
primary root that more or less enlarges and grows downward

terminal bud:
the bud at the end of a twig

tetradynamous:
6 stamens; 4 long and 2 short

therophte:
annuals; plants that die after seed production and complete their entire life cycle within one year

thorns:
twigs modified into spinelike structures which may support leaves

transversely depressed obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest toward the apex, and with straight margins

transversely depressed trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest toward the base, and with straight margins

transversely elliptic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest at the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

transversely linear:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:12, and with parallel margins

transversely oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, and with parallel margins

transversely rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.5-1:2, widest at the middle, and with straight margins

transversely widely oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, and with parallel margins

trees:
with a single or few trunks near the base

triangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest at the base, and with straight margins

trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 2:1-1.5:1, widest toward the base, and with straight margins

tuberous roots:
a root, or portion of a root, enlarged for storage

tubers:
underground stem tip which is enlarged and fleshy

tubular:
cylindrical

tufted stellate hairs:
hairs with more than 5 rays on distinctly raised mounds of epidermal tissue

urceolate:
urn-shaped

valvate:
adjacent to but not overlapping one another

vascular bundle scar:
the scar formed by the vascular tissue when a leaf falls off the twig

vascular parasite:
a parasite that grows on living plants

vascular saprophyte:
growing on dead organic matter

vascular semi-parasite:
green plants growing attached to other living, autotrophic plants

ventricose:
inflated

very shallowly obtriangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:3-1:6, widest at the apex, with straight margins

very shallowly triangular:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:3-1:6, widest at the base, with straight margins

very widely obovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest above the middle, with symmetrically curved margins

very widely obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest toward the apex, with straight margins

very widely ovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest below the middle, with symmetrically curved margins

very widely trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1, widest toward the base, with straight margins

warty:
with "knobby" lumps on the twig surface

whorled:
with 3 or more leaves at the same node

widely deltate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest at the base, and with straight margins

widely depressed obovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest above the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

widely depressed obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest toward the apex, and with straight margins

widely depressed ovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest below the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

widely depressed trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest toward the base, and with straight margins

widely elliptic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest at the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

widely obdeltate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest at the apex, and with straight margins

widely oblong:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, and with parallel margins

widely obovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest above the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

widely obtrullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest toward the apex, and with straight margins

widely ovate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest below the middle, and with symmetrically curved margins

widely rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest at the middle, and with straight margins

widely transversely rhombic:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1:1.2, widest at the middle and with straight margins

widely trullate:
a shape with length to width ratios of 1.2:1, widest toward the base, and with straight margins

winged:
with an extension emanating from the stem

zygomorphic:
flower shapes that are bilaterally symmetrical

Brooklyn Botanic Garden