NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Botanical Glossary

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AbaxialAway from the axis; the lower surface of the leaf; dorsalg-dorsal-ventral.png
AbcissentFalling off or separating at a specific separation (abcission) layer, as in most deciduous plants
AbsentNo hypanthium present.
AcarpousNo carpels or carpellate whorl; no pistil
AccessoryBuds lateral to or above axillary buds.
Accessory BudBuds lateral to or above axillary buds; Accessory Organs - The calyx and corolla
Accessory fruitA fruit or group of fruits that ripen together and include some accessory tissue (i.e. structures no...
Accessory OrgansThe calyx and corolla.
Accessory parts of fruitsStructures consisting of, or derived from, floral parts other than the pistil, such as sepals, hypan...
AccrescentGrowing after flowering or bud development has occurred, as the sepals in Hypericum and bud scales i...
AccumbentReclinate with cotyledon edges against hypocotylg-accumbent.png
AceroseNeedle-shaped; sharp
AcheneA more or less small, dry fruit that does not split open at maturity (indehiscent), with a typically...g-achene.png
AchenecetumAn aggregation of achenes, as in Ranunculusg-achenecetum.png
AchlamydeousWithout perianth
AcicularVery long and slender, gradually tapering to a point, like a needle; needle-shaped. (Compare with aw...
Acicular LeafNeedle-like, long and slender; e.g., Pinus.
AciculateFinely marked as with pin pricks, fine lines usually randomly arranged
AcornA nut with a persistent, cup-like structure (cupule) attached at the base consisting of numerous par...
AcrocaulousWith terminal branches
Acrocidal CapsuleOne that dehisces through terminal slits, or fissures, as in Staphyleag-acrocidal-capsule.png
AcrodromousWith two or more primary or strongly developed secondary veins diverging at or above the base of the...
AcropetalDeveloping upward, toward apex
AcroramousLeaves terminal, near apex of branch
AcroscopicFacing apically
ActinodromousWith three or more primary veins diverging radially from a single point at or above the base of the ...
ActinomorphicFlowers with radial symmetry and parts arranged at one level; with definite numbers of parts and siz...g-actinomorphic.png
ActinosteleA protostele having a xylem core in the form of radiating ribs, as viewed in transverse section
AculeatePricklyg-aculeate.png
AcuminateGradually tapering to a sharp point, forming concave sides along the tip. (Compare with acute.)g-acuminate.png
AcuteTapering to a pointed apex with more or less straight sides, the sides coming together at an angle o...g-acute.png
AdaxialNext to the axis; facing the stem; ventralg-dorsal-ventral.png
AdherentWith unlike parts of organs joined, but only superficially and without actual histological continuit...
AdnateWith unlike parts or organs integrally fused to one another with histological continuity
AdpressedPressed closely to axis upward with angle of divergence 15 degrees or less
AdventitiousStructures or organs arising in a position that is unusual for their type, as roots originating on t...
Adventitious rootRoot arising from part of plant other than root; usually produced laterally on aerial stems.
AeratingVertical or horizontal aboveground roots.g-knee.png
AerialFibrous, adventitious roots, frequently with an adhesive disk; a crampon.
Aerial rootsRoots that grow above ground and are not covered by soil or water.
Aerial stemA prostrate to erect, above ground stem.
AerocaulousWith aerial stems
AerophyllousWith aerial leaves
AestivalAppearing in summer
AgamandrousInflorescence with neuter flowers inside or above and staminate outside or below (agamandrocephalous...g-agamandrous.png
AgamogynousInflorescence with neuter flowers inside or above and pistillate outside or below (agamogynecephalou...g-agamogynous.png
AgamohermaphroditicInflorescence with neuter flowers inside or above and hermaphroditic outside or below (agamohermaphr...g-agamohermaphroditic.png
AgamousWithout sex; sexual organs abortiveg-neuter.png
AgglomerateDense structures with varied angles of divergence
AggregateDense structures with varied angles of divergence
Aggregate fruitA cluster of fruits that stick together or are fused, originating from two or more separate pistils ...
AianthousWith flowers appearing throughout the year
AlateWinged
AlbuminousWith food reserve in endosperm or albumen, derived from fertilized polar nuclei
AlgaA simple and primitive group of photosynthetic organisms formerly placed in the Plant Kingdom but no...
AlgaeA simple and primitive group of photosynthetic organisms formerly placed in the Plant Kingdom but no...
AllagostemonousHaving stamens attached to petal and torus alternately
AllautogamyCross- and self-fertilization in same plant, as in Viola
AllogamyCross-fertilization in plants
AllopatricIsolated, separated
AlluvialSoil composed of sand, clay or silt which has been dispersed by water.
AlternatePositioned singly at different heights on the stem; one leaf occurring at each node. (Compare with o...g-alternate-aestivation.png
AlveolateHoney-combed
AmentA unisexual spike or elongate axis with simple dichasia that falls as a unit after flowering or frui...
AmorphicFlowers without symmetry; usually with an indefinite number of stamens and carpels, and usually subt...g-amorphic.png
AmphicarpousWith fruits in two environments; e.g., aerial and subterranean
AmphiflorousFlowers above and below ground, as in Amphicarpum
AmphisarcaA berry-like succulent fruit with a crustaceous or woody rind, as in Lagenaria
AmphitropousWith body bent or curved on both sides so that the micropyle is near the medially attached funiculusg-amphitropous.png
AmplexicaulCompletely clasping the stemg-amplexicaul.png
AmplexicauleSee amplexicaul.
AmpliateEnlarged; dilated
AnadromousHaving the first lobe or segment of a pinna arising basiscopically in compound leaves
AnandrousNo stamens or androecium
AnatropousWith body completely inverted so that funiculus is attached basally near adjoining micropyle areag-anatropous.png
AncipitalTwo-edged
AndragamousInflorescence with staminate flowers inside or above and neuter flowers outside or below (andragamoc...g-andragamous.png
AndrodioeciousSome plants with staminate flowers and some with perfect flowers
AndroeciumA collective term for all the stamens and any closely associated structures in a flower.g-androecium.png
AndrogynecandrousInflorescence with staminate flowers above and below pistillate, as in the spikes of some species of...g-androgynecandrous.png
AndrogynophoreThe stipe or column on which stamens and carpels are borneg-androgynophore.png
AndrogynousInflorescence with staminate flowers inside or above and pistillate outside or below (androgynecepha...g-androgynous.png
AndrohermaphroditicInflorescence with staminate flowers inside or above and hermaphroditic outside or below (androherma...g-androhermaphroditic.png
AndromonoeciousPlant with staminate and perfect flowers
AnemophilyPollinated by wind
AngiospermPlants that bear their seeds enclosed in an ovary; the flowering plants. (Compare with gymnosperm.)
AngiospermsThe flowering plants. Plants that produce flowers in which the egg cells (ovules) are covered by a t...
AngustateNarrow
AnisocarpousWith unequal carpels
AnisocotylousWith unequal cotyledons
AnisolateralWith unequal sides
AnisomerousWith different number of members in different whorls
AnisopetalousWith unequal petals
AnisophyllousWith unequal leaves
AnisostylousWith unequal styles
AnnotinalAppearing yearly
AnnualNormally living one year or less; growing, reproducing, and dying within one cycle of seasons.
Annual RingUsually one year's growth of wood; spring and summer wood.
AnnularRing-like
AnnulusThick-walled ring of cells on the sporangiumg-sporangium.png
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