NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Botanical Glossary

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AnnulusThick-walled ring of cells on the sporangiumg-sporangium.png
AnomalicidalOne that dehisces irregularly, as in Ammanniag-anomalicidal.png
AnteriorAnterior Lobes - The lobes away from axis, toward the subtending bract, abaxial lobes; Anterior Ridg...g-anterior-posterior.png
Anterior LobesThe lobes away from axis, toward the subtending bract; abaxial lobes.g-anterior-posterior.png
Anterior RidgesThe lines, grooves, ridges in or on the dorsal side, abaxial, within the perianth.g-anterior-posterior.png
AntherThe pollen-producing portion of the stamen typically borne at the tip of a stalk or filament.g-androgynophore.png
AntheridiumThe male sex organ producing the sperm
AnthesisTime of flowering; opening of flower with parts available for pollination
AnthocarpousHaving a body of combined floral and fruit parts, as in multiple fruits
AnthophytaWithin the Plant Kingdom, the division of flowering plants.
AnthotaxisArrangement of sporophylls, primarily reproductive in function
AnthropophilyPollinated by man
AntipetalousOpposite the petalsg-antipetalous.png
AntisepalousOpposite the sepalsg-antisepalous.png
AntitropousWith radicle pointing away from hilum
AntrorseBent or directed upward
ApetalousNo petals or corolla
ApexThe portion of a plant structure (such as a leaf, bud, stem, etc.) farthest from its point of attach...
Apex obcordateLobe rounded; sinus depth 1/8-1/4 distance to midpoint of blade; margins convex and/or straight
AphyllopodicWithout blade-bearing leaves at base of plant
AphyllousWithout leaves, no whorls of leaves
ApicalAttachment of ovules at the top or apex of the ovary. (Compare with basal placentation.)
ApiculateEnding abruptly in a small, slender, point that is not stiff and often slightly curved. (Compare wit...g-apiculate.png
ApocarpousWith carpels separateg-apocarpous.png
ApogamyProducing sporophytes from a gametophyte without fertilization
ApopetalousWith petals distinct, not fused. (Compare with sympetalous.)
ApophysisThe outer portion of a cone scale which is exposed when the cone is closed.
AposepalousWith sepals distinct, not fused. (Compare with synsepalous.)
AposporyProducing gametophytes directly from a sporophyte without producing spores
ApostemonousWith separate stamens
AppendicularTypical stamen with a variously-shaped or modified, protruding connective, as in Violag-appendicular.png
ApplanateFlat, without vertical curves or bends
appositionLeader displacement as a short-shoot. Usually a single lateral becomes dominant; e.g., Terminalia.
AppressedPressed upwardly close or flat against the bearing structure, thus more or less parallel to it. (Com...
AquaticLiving in water.
Aquatic-emergentGrowing in water with stem and leaves extending above the surface. (Compare with aquatic-floating an...
Aquatic-floatingGrowing in water with leaves floating on the surface. (Compare with aquatic-emergent and aquatic-sub...
Aquatic-submergedGrowing in water with stem and leaves beneath the surface. (Compare with aquatic-emergent and aquati...
ArachnoidWith fairly sparse, fine, white, loosely tangled hairs; cobwebby.g-arachnoid.png
ArborescentTree-like in appearance and size
ArchegoniumThe female sex organ producing the egg
ArcuateCurved like a crescent, can be downward or upward
AreolateDivided into many angular or squarish spaces
AreolesThe spaces formed by a vein network
ArhizousWithout roots, no whorls of roots
ArilOutgrowth of funiculus, raphe, or integuments; or fleshy integuments or seed coat, a sarcotesta at b...
ArillateGeneral term for an outgrowth from the funiculus, seed coat or chalaza; or a fleshy seed coat
AristateBearing a prolonged, slender, stiff, usually straight tip; awned or bristled. (Compare with apiculat...g-aristate.png
ArmatureAny kind of sharp defense such as thorns, spines, or prickles.
ArmedBearing any kind of sharp defense such as thorns, spines, or prickles.
ArticulateGenerally meaning having a joint as in leaves, leaflets or stems, as in heterophyllous species of Se...
AscendingSpreading at the base and then curving upward to an angle of 45 degrees or less relative to the bear...
AsepalousNo sepals or calyx
Asexual reproductionReproduction that does not depend on the coming together of male and female sex cells.
AsperousHaving a rough surface
AssurgentDirected upward or forward
AstemonousNo stamens or androecium
AstylocarpellousWithout a style and a stipeg-astylocarpellous.png
AstylocarpepodicWithout a style, with a stipeg-astylocarpepodic.png
AstylousStyle absent
AsymmetricNot divisible into essentially equal halves along any plane. (Compare with bilaterally symmetric and...
AtropousWith straight body so that funicular attachment is at one end and micropyle at other
AttenuateTapering gradually to a narrow base.g-attenuate.png
AuriculateWith ear-shaped appendages at the base.g-auriculate.png
AuriculiformUsually obovate with two small rounded, basal lobesg-auriculiform.png
AutogamySelf-fertilization in a single flower
AutotrophicAble to synthesize the nutritive substances an organism needs from the non-living environment; in pl...
AutumnalAppearing in autumn
Awl-shapedNarrowly triangular and sharply pointed, like an awl. (Compare with acicular and ensiform.)
Awl-shaped LeafSubulate; narrow, flat, stiff, sharp-pointed, usually less than 1/2 in. long; e.g., Juniperus
AwnA slender, more or less straight and stiff, fine-pointed appendage; may be located at the tip of a l...
AxialWith branches arising from buds in leaf axil
AxilThe point of the upper angle formed between the axis of a stem and any part (usually a leaf) arising...
AxileAttachment of ovules at or near the center of a compound ovary which has more than one inner compart...g-axile.png
AxillaryOn the stem just above the point of attachment of a leaf (or leaf scar) or branch; borne in the axil...
Axillary budBuds in the axils of leaves or leaf scars.g-superposed-bud.png
Axillary leavesLeaves borne in the axils of branches, as in heterosporous species of Selaginella.
AxisAny relatively long, continuous, supporting structure that typically bears other organs laterally, a...
BaccacetumAn aggregation of berries, as in Actaea.g-baccacetum.png
BaccateJuicy and very succulent
BalaustaMany-seeded, many- loculed indehiscent fruit with a tough, leathery pericarp, as in Punica
BandedTransverse, or horizontal, stripes of one color crossing another. (Compare with striped.)
BannerThe upper, usually wide petal in a papilionaceous corolla.
BarbateWith long trichomes usually in a tuft, line or zone
BarbedWith short, rigid reflexed bristles or processesg-barbed.png
BarbellateMinutely barbed
BarkThe outermost layer of a woody stem, usually with one or more corky layers that prevent water loss a...
BasalAt or very near the base of a plant structure.g-basal.png
BaseThe portion of a plant structure (such as a leaf, bud, stem, etc.) nearest the point of attachment o...g-base.png
Base attenuateAcuminate with concave margins
Base cuneateMargins straight to convex forming a terminal angle 45-90
Base narrowly cuneateMargins straight to convex forming a terminal angle of less than 45
BasicGenerally applied to soils and rocks having high levels of basic (base-cation) minerals, such as cal...
BasicaulousWith basal branches
Basicidal CapsuleOne that dehisces through basal slits or fissures, as in some species of Aristolochiag-basicidal-capsule.png
BasifixedAnther attached at its base to apex of filamentg-basifixed.png
BasipetalDeveloping downward, toward base
BasipetiolarAt the base of the petiole
BasiramousLeaves on lower part of branch
BasiscopicFacing basally
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