NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Botanical Glossary

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CartilaginousHard and tough but flexible
CarunculateWith an excrescent outgrowth from integuments near the hilum, as in Euphorbia; fibrous with stringy ...
CaryopsisA more or less small, dry fruit that does not split open at maturity (indehiscent), with a thin wall...g-caryopsis.png
CasingCylindrical part of the hypanthium.
CatadromousHaving the first lobe or segment of a pinna arising acroscopically in compound leaves
CataphyllRudimentary scale leaf produced by seedling, usually in cryptocotylar species
CatkinA pendent, more or less flexible, spike-like inflorescence with numerous small flowers, typically of...g-catkin.png
CaudateEnding in a long, tapering, straight or curved, flexible tip; tailed. (Compare with apiculate, arist...g-caudate.png
CaudexA short, thick, vertical or branched perennial stem usually subterranean, or at ground level
CaulineWith leaves positioned along the stem above ground level. (Compare with basal.)
CaulocarpicPlants having the stem living for many years, bearing flowers and fruits
CaulousWith branches more or less evenly spaced along trunk
CenobiumSeparating nutlets which are dry,indehiscent 4-parted fruits with a hard pericarp around a gynobasic...
CentralIn the middle or middle plane of a structure.
Central CanalThe large centrally located air space in the stem
CentrifugalDeveloping from the inside outward, or from top downward
CentripetalDeveloping from the outside inward, or from bottom upward
CentroramousAt the center of the branch
CeraceousWaxy
CernuousDroopingg-cernuous.png
CespitoseShort, much-branched, plant forming a cushion
ChaffScale or bract at base of tubular flower in composites.g-chaff.png
ChalazaEnd of ovule opposite micropyleg-ovule.png
ChalazogamyPollen tube entrance through chalaza
ChamberedInterrupted by more or less regularly spaced cavities. (Compare with continuous, diaphragmed and hol...g-pith-chambered.png
Chambered PithSolid core of pith cells absent, only distinct partitions present.g-pith-chambered.png
ChannelledWith a longitudinal groove.
ChartaceousPapery, opaque and thin
Chasmantheric PollinationPollen transferred from a normally dehisced anther by a pollinating agent with pollen grain germinat...
CheckeredBark divided into small squarish plates, resembling alligator leather, as in flowering dogwood (Corn...
CheiropterophilyPollinated by bats
ChlamydeousWith perianth
ChlorophyllThe green pigment in plants that harnesses the Sun's energy during photosynthesis.
ChoripetalousWith separate petals.
ChorisepalousWith separate sepals.
CiliateWith a fringe of hairs along the margin.g-ciliate.png
CiliolateWith tiny or small marginal trichomes
CincinnusA tight, modified helicoid cyme in which pedicels are short on the developed sideg-cincinnus.png
CircinateWith lamina rolled from apex to base with apex in center of coilg-circinate.png
CircularRound in cross section.
CircumalateWinged circumferentially
CircumferentialEncircling the twig.
CircumneutralGenerally applied to soils and rocks having moderate levels of basic (base-cation) minerals, such as...
Circumscissile capsuleA capsule that splits open (dehisces) by a horizontal line around the fruit, the top coming off as a...g-circumscissile-capsule.png
Circumscissle CapsuleOne that dehisces circumferentially, as in Plantagog-circumscissile-capsule.png
CirrhoseSee cirrhous.g-cirrhous.png
CirrhousMore than 10:1 l/w, coiled and flexuousg-cirrhous.png
CladodeA flattened main stem resembling a leafg-cladode.png
CladodromousWith a single primary vein, the secondary veins not terminating at the margin and freely ramified to...
CladoptosicShedding of branches, stems and leaves simultaneously, as in Taxodium
ClamberingSprawling across objects, without climbing structures
ClaspingThe base partly surrounding the stem.
ClathrateLatticed
ClavateClub-shapedg-clavate.png
ClawThe long, narrow petiole-like base of a sepal or petalg-claw.png
CleftIndentations or incisions cut 1/4-1/2 distance to midrib or midveing-cleft.png
Cleistantheric PollinationPollen not transferred from a normally dehisced anther by a pollinating agent; pollen grain germinat...
ClimbingGrowing upward by means of tendrils, petioles, or adventitious roots
ClinanthiumThe compound receptacle of the composite head
CloudedColors are unequally blended together.
Club mossesWithin the Plant Kindgom, primitive vascular plants of the division Lycophyta. These plants are not ...
ClusteredLeaves grouped closely together at the point of attachment and tending to diverge from one another, ...
clustered lateral branchesMain axis with periodic lateral branch production; e.g., Bombax.
CoalescedWith like or unlike parts or organs incompletely separated; partially fused in a more or less irregu...
CoalescentWith like or unlike parts or organs incompletely separated; partially fused in a more or less irregu...
CochleateSnail-shapedg-cochleate-aestivation.png
CoenocarpiumMultiple fruit derived from ovaries, floral parts, and receptacles of many coalesced flowers, as in ...
CoetaneousFlowering as the leaves expand; synantherous
CoherentWith like parts or organs joined, but only superficially and without actual histological continuity
ColeoptileProtective sheath around epicotyl in grassesg-seed-corn.png
ColeorhizaProtective sheath around radicle in grassesg-seed-corn.png
Collateral budIn pairs, within or straddling the leaf axils; often located on either side of an axillary bud. (Com...g-collateral-bud.png
ColletExternal demarcation between hypocotyl and root
ColumellaThe sterile central part within a mature sporangium or capsule
ColumnWith fused stamens and carpels (stigma and style) as in Orchis
ColumnarErect with a stout main stem or trunk
ComoseWith a tuft of trichomes, usually apicalg-comose.png
ComplanateFlattened
CompleteLeaf with blade, petiole, and stipules; flower with four types of floral parts
Complete DimorphismLeaves completely fertile or vegetative.
CompositeA family of flowering plants (Asteraceae or Compositae) in which the distinctive feature is that rel...
CompoundDivided into two or more equivalent parts, as a leaf that consists of multiple, distinct leaflets; n...
Compound CorymbA branched corymb.g-compound-corymb.png
Compound CymeA branched cymeg-compound-cyme.png
Compound dichasiumA determinate, cymose inflorescence with the main axis bearing a terminal flower and a pair of oppos...g-compound-dichasium.png
Compound LeavesLeaves consisting of two or more blades or leaflets.
Compound ovaryAn ovary formed by the fusion of the bases of two or more carpels; recognizable by the presence of m...
Compound umbelAn inflorescence composed of several branches that radiate from almost the same point, like the ribs...g-compound-umbel.png
CompressedFlattened
ConduplicateLongitudinally folded upward or downward along the central axis so that ventral and/or dorsal sides ...g-conduplicate.png
ConeReproductive structures in conifers comprised of scales and/or other types of modified leaves densel...
ConglomerateDense structures with varied angles of divergence
ConicRounded in cross section, broadest at the base and essentially triangular in outline; cone-shaped.
ConicalHaving figure of true coneg-conical.png
ConiferCone-bearing plants, such as pines (Pinus).
ConifersVascular woody plants that bear their seeds in cones. They are usually evergreen and have needle-lik...
ConjugateFused pairs, as the fruits of Lonicera
ConnateWith like parts or organs integrally fused to one another with histological continuity
Connate-perfoliateHaving bases of opposite leaves fused around the stem.g-connate-perfoliate.png
ConnectiveFilament extension between thecae
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