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A Short Botanical Glossary

compiled by Jim Croft

Under construction - comments to Jim Croft (jrc@anbg.gov.au)


a-:

prefix meaning 'not' or 'without' cf. ex-)

ab:

prefix meaning 'away from' or 'departing'

abaxial:

on the side of a lateral organ away from the axis or stem (cf. adaxial)

aberrant:

departing from the normal or usual

abortive:

imperfectly developed; defective; barron

abscise:

to cut off; hence abscission, abscissive, abscissile

acaulescent:

lacking a distinct stem

accrescent:

increasing abnormally in size with age

acerose:

narrow with a sharp, stiff point

-aceus:

suffix meaning 'resembling', eg myrtaceus, foliaceus

acicula, acicle:

a needle-shaped projection; hence acicular: needle-shaped

aciculate:

finely striated by minute, needle-like bristles

acro-:

prefix meaning 'of or towards the tine' (cf. basi-)

acropetal:

produced in succession towards the apex (cf. basipetal, centripetal, centrifugal)

acrophyll:

an upper leaf or frond, especially of high-climbing ferns (cf. bathyphyll)

acroscopic:

the side of the organ directed towards the apex of the axis on which it is bourne (cf. basiscopic)

acrostichoid:

Acrostichum-like, of exindusiate sori densly covering the lower surface of the frond, or large areas of it; the lamina may be contracted or not

actino-:

prefix meaning star-shaped or radial

aculeate:

prickly or spiny

acuminate:

tapering and drawn out into a narrow point (cf. acute, mucronate)

acute:

evenly narrowed into a point at an angle of less than 90 degrees (cf. acuminate, obtuse)

adhesion hence adherent:

of two dissmiilar organs or parts touching each other, +/- adhesively but easily separated and not fused or grown together (cf. coherent, adnate, connate)

adiaxial:

on the side of a lateral organ towards the axis or stem (cf. abaxial)

adnate:

of dissimilar organs united or fused together (cf. connate, adherent, adnate)

adpressed

= appressed

adventitious:

arising in an irregular or unusual position, such as roots along a stem

adventive:

intoduced recently, in particular since colonization by man (cf, exotic, introduced, indigenous)

aerenchyma:

a tissue of thin-walled cells with many air spaces, especially common in aquatic plants

aerial roots:

roots growing in the air

aero-:

prefix to do with 'air'; hence aeration etc

aerophores:

an outgrowth of tissue concerned with gas exchange, often at the base of pinnae in ferns (cf. pneumathodes)

ala:

a wing; hence alate: winged or with wing-like appendages

allopatric:

of two or more species with geographic ranges that do not overlap (cf. sympatric)

alpine:

pertaining to or occurring on very high and cold mountains

alternate:

indivually inserted at different positions along the axis (cf. opposite, decussate)

alveolus:

a cavity, pore or pit; hence alveolate

amphi-:

prefix meaning 'both'

amphibious:

capable of growing both in water and on land; growing with part of the plant in the water or mud and part in the air (cf. rheophyte, aquatic, terrestrial, marine)

amphiphloic siphonstele (= solenostele):

a cylindrical stele with a parenchymatous centre with phloem on both the inside and the outside (cf. ectophloic siphonostele, medullated protostele)

amplexicaul:

stem-clasping

anadromic, anadromous:

with the first subbranch of a lateral branch produced on the acroscopic margin, mostly of venation in bipinnate ferns (cf. catadromic, catadromous)

anastomose:

to join together, principally of veins (cf. reticulum)

anastomosis:

union of one vein (or other linear structure) with another

ancipital:

flattened, as in 2-angled stems

angiosperm:

flowering plant, plants with ovules enclosed in ovary (cf. gymnosperm)

anisophyllous:

of leaves, usually a pair, of differing size and shape

annual:

completing the life-cycle within one year (cf. perennial)

annular:

in the form of a ring (n. sing. annulas)

annulus:

the arrangement of thick-walled cells involved in opening the sporangium in ferns

anomalous:

irregular; abnormal

anterior:

forward, towards the front; the side away from the main axis (cf. posterior)

antheridium:

the structure on the pteridophyte prothallus (viz) that produces the mobile male gametes (pl. archegonia) (cf. archegonium)

antrorse:

directed towards the apex (cf. rectorse)

apex:

tip or summit

aphyllous:

leafless

apical:

at or towards the tip of an organ or axis

apiculus:

a short sharp point in which an organ may end; hence apiculate (cf. cuspidate)

apogamy:

the development of the sporophyte from the prothallus without fertilisation

apospory:

the development of prothalli from direct outgrowths the fern frond, without the production of spores

appendage:

an attachment developed on and projecting beyond the surface of an organ

applanate:

flattened out and horizontally expanded (cf. explanate)

apposite:

side by side

appressed:

closely applied to the supporting organ or axis for the entire length (also adpressed)

approximate

close together (cf. remote)

aquatic:

growing in water (cf. marine, amphibious, rheophyte, terrestrial)

arachnoid:

cobweb-like; formed of tangled hairs or fibres

arborescent:

tree-like in size and habit (cf. dendroid)

archegonium:

the structure on the pteridophyte prothallus (viz) that produces the sessile female gametes (pl. archegonia) (cf. antheridium)

arcuate:

curved or arched, fairly strongly (cf. falcate)

areole:

an enclosed space in a reticulum (viz.), a portion of the lamina enclosed by veins ; hence areolate (cf. reticulate)

arista:

an awn or bristle; hence aristate, bearing or tapering into an awn or bristle ( pl. aristae; dimin. aristulate)

armature:

covering or occurrence of spines, hooks or prickles; hence armed (cf. unarmed)

aromatic:

with a resinous, spicy or distinctive smell

articulate:

with one or more joints or points of apparent separation, usually marked by a swelling, line or abrupt change in colour

ascending:

growing obliquely at first but finally upwards; rising or growing upwards

asexual:

withiut the involvement of ferilisation; of propogation by division or the production of bulbils or stolons etc (cf. sexual vegetative)

aspera:

rough to the touch; hence asperites, asperate; rough or harsh (dimin. asperulous)

atro-:

prefix meaning 'dark'

attenuate:

gradually narrowed or tapered

auricle:

ear-shaped appendage or lobe; hence auriculate

auto-:

prefix meaning 'self'

autonym:

the name of a species automatically applied at the infraspecific level to the type when another infrospecific taxon is described in that speciies (cf. synonym, basionym)

autotrophic:

independent of other organisms in respect of organic nutrition (cf. heterotrophic)

awn:

a stiff, bristle-like projection from the back or tip of an organ; hence awned

axil:

the apical angle between two organs, eg between a leaf and the stem; hence auxillary

axis:

the main or central line or stem about which the lateral organs or parts are arranged (pl. axes; adj. axile)

barbate:

bearded, provided with tufts of long, weak hairs

barbed:

bearing sharp, spine-like hooks which are bent backwards (dimin. barbellate)

barren:

sterile, incapable of reproducing

basal:

at or towards the base of an organ or axis

basi-:

prefix meaning 'of or towards the base' (cf. acro-)

basifixed:

attached at the base

basionym:

the synonym (viz.) or combination (viz.) from which the specific epiphet was derived

basipetal:

produced in succession towards the base (cf. acropetal, centipetal, centrifugal)

basiscopic:

the side of the organ directed towards the base of the axis on which it is borne (cf. acroscopic)

bathyphyll:

a lower leaf or frond, especially of high-climbing ferns (cf.acrophyll)

beak:

a pointed projection, a prominent projection of an organ

bearded:

having a tuft or tufts, or zone of hairs

bi-:

prefix meaning 'two' (cf. di-, duo-)

bicolorous:

with white or clear walls and dark red or brown septae as in some hairs

biconvex:

in section with both surfaces curved outwards away from the centre

biennial:

a plant which lives for more than one but less that two years (cf. annual, perennial)

bifarious:

arranged in two opposite rows

bifid:

divided into two +/- equal parts, usually c. half way

bifurcate:

split in two, hence bifurcation

bilabiate:

two-lipped

bilateral:

of, on, or with equal sides, eg bilaterally symmetric, bilaterally flattened or compressed etc (cf. radial,dorsiventral)

binate:

almost or quite divided into two parts, eg leaflets, bristles etc

bipartitite:

divided into two +/- equal part, to the base or almost so

bipinnate:

twice or doubly pinnate (cf. pinnate)

biseriate:

arranged in two rows (cf. distichous)

bivalved:

with two valves or flaps

blade:

the expanded part of a leaf, petal etc

bloom:

a white or glaucous (viz.) powdery covering (cf. glaucous)

boss:

a protuberance with a rounded surface

brackish:

of a mixture of salt and fresh waters (cf. estuarine)

bract:

usually a +/- modified leaf subtending an axis; hence bracteate (dimin. bracteole, bracteolate)

bristle:

a +/- linear epidermal appendage, circular in section, stiff several to many cells wide at the base (cf. hair, scale)

bulbiferous:

bearing bulbs or bulbils for vegetative propogation

bulbils:

a small bulb developing on some fern fronds and often developing into a new plant

bulbous:

bulb-shaped; swollen like an onion

bullate:

bubble-like; puckered or blistered, describing a layer of tissure (part of a leaf, scales etc) strongly arched and raised between the margins

caducous:

short-lived and falling early in the development of the plant or organ (cf. deciduous, fugacious)

caespitose:

tufted or matted, growing in tufts or patches

calcareous:

derived from limestone, or with an excess of lime (calcium carbonate)

calyptra:

a cap-like covering hence calyptrate

campanulate:

bell-shaped

canaliculate:

longitudinally channeled or grooved

canescent:

with a grey-white pubescence

canopy:

the cover of foliage layer of a community especially forests

capillary:

hair-like

capitate:

head-like, rounded (dimin. capitellate)

capitiform:

shaped like a head, somewhat globose

capitulum:

a knob-like swelling; hence capitulate

capsule:

a dry, dehiscent fruiting body; hence capsular

carina:

a keel; hence carinate, longitudinally keeled

carpophore:

the stalk of the sporocarp

cartilaginous:

hard, tough, without chlrophyll and vasculature; like cartilage

catadromic, catadromous:

with the first subbranch of a lateral branch produced on the basiscopic margin, mostly of venation in pinnate ferns (cf. anadromic, anadromous)

caudate:

tailed excessively acuminate so that the tip is long and weak

caudex:

the compact stem or trunk of a tree-fern or other erect fern (cf. rootstock)

cauline:

of or relating to the stem

cell:

the small structural components of which all plant tissue is composed

centri-:

prefix pertaining to the centre of an organ

centifugal:

tending outwards or developing from the centre outwards (cf. centripetal, acropetal, basipetal)

centripetal:

tending inwqrds or developing towards the centre from the outside (cf. centrifugal, acropetal basipetal)

cernous:

drooping

chaff:

thin, membranous scales or bracts; hence chaffy

chartaceous:

of a thin papery texture (cf, coriaceous)

chlorophyll:

the green colouring in plants concerned with the production of sugars

chromosomes:

deep-staining thread-like bodies containing the genetic material in the cell nucleus, the number usually constant for a given species

ciliun (pl. cilia):

a hair or bristle; hence ciliate, usually with marginal hairs

cinerous:

light, ashy grey

-cipital:

suffix meaning -headed, eg multicipital

circinnate:

coiled, with the apex innermost (n. circinnus), as in many developing fern fronds

circumscissile:

splitting completely around the centre, the top valve coming off like a lid

cirrhose:

tendril-like, with a slender, coiled or wavy tip

cladode:

a flattened stem resembling a leaf in form and function (cf. phyllode)

clathrate:

in the form of a lattice; used to describe scales with a single layer of translucent cells with dark cross-like walls

clavate:

club-shaped, gradually thickened towards the apex

clone:

a set of organisms produced from one parent by vegetative reproduction, hence genetically identical

coalescent:

separate organs unifying by growth (cf. concrescent)

coenosorus:

an extended sorus or series of sori that have united ot coalesced

cohesion, hence coherent:

of two similar organs or parts touching one another, +/- adhesively but easily separated and not fused or grown together (cf. adherent, adnate, connate)

collateral:

standing side by side

colleter:

mucinagious hairs that secrete gum

columella:

central axis of a cone etc

coma:

a tuft of hairs, hence comose

combination:

taxonomically the name of a genus combined with a specific epithet (cf. synonym)

commisure:

joint or seam

community:

an assemblage of plants living in the same place

composite:

compound (viz cf. simple)

compound:

composed of several +/- similar parts (cf. composite, simple)

compressed:

flattened

conceptacle:

the fruit-case of the sporocarp (viz.) in Marsileaceae

concolorous:

of uniform colour, eg on both sides o a leaf (df. discolourous)

concrescent:

growing together; hence concrescence (cf. coalescent)

conduplicate:

folded lengthwise with the upper surface inwards, eg on a leaf folded along the midrib

cone:

geometrically a solid, circular in cross-section, triangular in longitudinal section, hence conical; botanically a series of spirally arranged wooden scales or sporophlls (cf. strobilis)

confluent:

merging together or blending

conform:

of the same or similar shape, eg pinnate fronds with the apical pinnae similar to the lateral

confluent:

blending or running together

congeneric:

belonging to one and the same genus (cf. conspecific); hence congener (n.)

congested:

crowded, clustered

conical:

of a solid in the form of a cone, attached be the broad end (cf. obconcical

connate:

of similar organs united or fused together (cf. adnate, coherent, adherent)

connivent:

converging together, usually of organs with their bases separate and their appices approaching each other, not touching or fused (cf. convergent, divergent)

conspecific:

belonging to one and the same species

contigous:

adjacent and touching but not united

contorted:

twisted

contracted:

narrowed and/or shortened

convergent:

growing or lying towards one another (cf. connivent, divergent)

convolute:

rolled together longitudinally

copious:

very much, very many

cordate:

heart-shaped, basally rounded with a deep notch (dimin. cordulate)

coriaceous:

of a thick leathery texture (cf. chartaceous)

cortex:

the region of a stem or root surrounding the vascular cylinder but inside the epidermis (cf. medulla)

cosmopolitan:

world-wide in distribution

costa:

rib, especially the midrib of a leaf or pinna; hence costate (pl. costae; dimin. costule)

costal:

pertaining to or near the costa (dimin. costular)

costule:

midrib of higher order pinnule or lobe; hence costulate

crater:

a bowl; hence craterous, crateriform

crenate:

with shallow, rounded teeth (dimin, crenulate) (cf. dentate, serrate)

crested:

with an elevated ridge or line along the summit of an organ

crisped:

with the margins finely wavy, curled or crumpled

cristate:

with an appendage resembling a crest

crown:

part of a tree, shrub, etc, above the first branching

crozier:

the coiled young fronds of ferns

cruciate, cruciform:

in the shape of a cross

cryptogam:

plants reproducing by spores and not seeds, eg. ferns, mosses, fungi etc. (cf. phanerogam)

cucullate:

hooded or hood-shaped

cultigen:

plant known only in cultivation, apparently originating under domestication

cultivar:

a distinct true-breeding race or form, established in cultivation

cuneate:

wedge-shaped, with straight sides converging at the base

cupule:

a cup-like structure the subtends flower or fruit

cusp:

a sharp, rigid point; hence cuspidate, with the apex abruptly narrowed into a point (cf. apiculate)

cuticle:

waxy layer covering the epidermis (viz.) of the plant

cyathium:

a cup; hence cyaniform; cup-like

cymiform:

boat-shaped (cf. navicular)

deciduous:

falling off at maturity, often referrring to the loss of leaves in response to seasonal variations

declinate:

curved downwards

decompound:

several times divided or compound

decumbent:

lying along the ground with the tip ascending

decurrent:

extending downwards beyond the point of insertion, eg. the base of leaf blade tapering into the stem

decurved:

curved downwards

decussate:

four-ranked, in opposite pairs alternately at right angles (cf. quadrifarious, distichous)

definite:

of precise and constant number or extent (cf. indefinite, determinate, indeterminate)

deflexed:

bent downwards towards the base of the stem

dehisce:

to split open; hence dehiscence, dehiscent (cf. indehiscent)

deltoid:

broadly triangular and attached at the base

dendriform, dendroid:

tree-like, mainly of branching and form but not in size

dentate:

with sharp teeth perpendicular to the margin (dimin. denticulate) (cf. serrate, crenate, edentate)

denticle:

a small tooth

depauperate:

reduced in size, as if starved; impoverished, poor in composition (eg. few species, forms etc) (cf. rich)

depressed:

flattened from above

determinate:

of definite or limited growth (cf. indeterminate)

di-:

prefix meaning two (cf. bi-, duo)

dichotomous:

forking into two equal branches (cf. pseudodichotomous, monopodial, sympodial)

dictyostele:

a complex stele with large overlapping leaf-gaps, in section composed of many meristeles (viz.)

didymous:

twinned, the two parts similar and attached by a short portion of their inner surface (cf. geminate)

difform:

dissimilar (cf. conform)

diffuse:

of opening or straggling form; spreading and much-branched

digitate:

with the parts spreading from the centre like the fingers of a hand (cf. palmate)

dimidiate:

of a leaflet or pinnule with the lamina lacking or nearly lacking on the basiscopic side

dimorphic, dimorphous:

existing in two easily recognisable forms (cf. monomorphic, polymorphic)

diploid:

with a complement of two sets of chromosomes (cf. haploid, polyploid)

disarticulate:

to separate at a joint or articulation

discolorous:

of different coulour, eg. when two sides of the leaf are different colours, also variegated (cf. concolorous)

discrete:

clearly seperate from each other, not united

dissected:

deeply divided or cut into many segments(cf. -sect)

distal:

towards the free or developing end of an organ (cf. proximal)

distichous:

arranged in two opposite rows (cf. biseriate, decussate, polystichous)

divaricate:

spreading at a very wide angle, extremely divergent

divergent:

spreading away from one another, usually at a wide angle (cf. convergent, connivent)

dommatia:

pits or pockets, sometimes with tufts of hair in the axils of nerves on the lower surfaces of leaves

dorsal:

pertaining to or attached to the back of body or organ (cf. ventral)

dorsifixed:

attached at or by the back

dorsiventral:

with a distinct upper and lower surface, eg. dorsiventally flattened (cf. bilateral, radial)

duo-:

prefix meaning 'two' or 'paired' (cf. bi-, di-)

e-:

prefix meaning 'lacking', eg. ebracteate

ebracteate:

without bracts

echinate:

bearing prickles or spines (dimin. echinulate)

ecostate:

lacking a costa or midrib

ecto-:

prefix meaning 'outside' (cf. endo-)

ectophloic siphonostele:

a cylindrical stele with a parenchymatous central strand and phloem around the outside only (= medullated protostele) (cf. amphiphloic siphonostele, solenostele)

edaphic:

pertaining to the soil

edentate:

lacking teeth (cf. dentate)

effuse:

spreading loosely

eglandular:

lacking glands (cf. glandular)

elater:

a spirally thickened cell associated with spores and aiding in dispersal; spore appendages in Equisetum

eligulate:

lacking a ligule (viz.)

ellipsoid:

of a solid body with an elliptic section or outline

elliptic:

of a plane with the shape of an ellipse, longer than wide and rounded at both ends, the widest part near the middle

elongate:

drawn out in length

emarginate:

notched at the extremity (dimin. emarginulate)

embossed:

with a small central nodule

embryo:

developing zygote in the fertilised seed or archegonium

enation:

an epidermal outgrowth; hence enate

endemic:

confined to a given region

endo-:

prefix meaning 'inside' (cf. ecto-)

ensiform:

sword-shaped

entire:

with a smooth, even margin, lacking teeth or other indentations

ephemeral:

a plant, or of a plant with a very short life-cycle (cf. perennial, annual)

epi-:

prefix meaning 'on or above' (cf. hypo)

epidermis:

outermost layer of cells covering the plant, beneath the cuticle; hence epidermal

epiphyllous:

borne on the leaves or leaf-like organs

epiphyte:

an organically independent plant growing on another, not connected to the ground, not parasitic

ephispore:

= perispore

equitant:

conduplicate (viz.) and overlapping in two or more ranks

erect:

upright

erecto-patent:

between spreading and erect

erose:

with an irregular, jagged margin, as if torn or bitten

erubescent:

inclined to be reddish

-escent:

suffix meaning 'inclined to be' or 'becoming', eg. accrescent, coalescent

esetose:

lacking setae

estaurine:

pertaining to estuaries or river mouths, usually brackish conditions (cf. brackish)

eu-:

prefix meaning 'good'

eusporanagiate:

of primative ferns with sporangial walls more than one cell thick originating from several cells (cf. leptosporangiate)

even-pinnate:

= paripinnate (cf. odd-pinnate, imparipinnate)

ex-:

prefix meaning 'without or lacking' (cf. a-); or meaning 'outwards' (cf. re-)

excrescence:

outgrowth from the surface

excurrent:

running or proceeding outwards, away from the axis or costa (cf. recurrent); or of a vein that proceeds beyond the margin

exfoliate:

to come away in scales or flakes

exindusiate:

lacking an indusium

exine:

the outer coat of a pollen grain or spore

explanate:

spread out flat (cf. applanate)

exotic:

introduced from abroad (cf. adventive, introduced, indigenous)

exserted:

projecting beyond (cf. included)

extrafloral:

of nectaries borne outside flowers

extrorse:

directed outwards (cf. introrse, latrorse, retrorse)

exudate:

a liquid, resinous or gelatinous substance secreted by organs or parts of the plant, or yielded when the plant is damaged

facultative:

occasional; not essential; incidental (cf. obligate)

falcate:

strongly curved, sickle-like (cf. arcuate)

false indusium:

a covering of the sorus formed from the reflexed margin of the lamina (cf. indusium)

false veins:

zones of epidermal cells of similar appearance to veins but not associated with vascular tissue, eg. in some Davallia and Hymenophyllaceae

family:

a taxonomic grouping of similar genera; similar families grouped into orders

farina:

a mealy or flour-like covering; hence farinose, farinaceus

fascicle:

a close cluster or bundle; hence fascicled, fasciculate

fastigiate:

of erect and clustered branches

ferruginous:

rust-covered

fertile:

producing seeds, spores or pollen capable of germination; of a plant with reproductive organs (cf. sterile, vegetative)

fibrillose:

finely fibrous furnished with thread-like structures

-fid:

suffix meaning 'dividend or lobed =/- half way', eg. bifid, trifid, 6-fid, pinnatifid etc (cf. -sect)

filament:

any thread-like body, especially the stalk of stamens

filiform:

thread-like

fimbriate:

fringed, the edge bordered by slender processes (dimin. fimbrillate)

fistular:

cylindrical and hollow like a pipe

flabellate, flabelliform:

fan-shaped

flaccid:

limp, not rigid or turgid (viz.)

flagellum:

a whip-like hair, usually motile (pl. flagella); hence flagelliform, whip-like; flagellate, bearing flagella

flexible:

easily bent but recovering the original form

flexuose:

of a wavy, zig-zag form

floccose:

with tufts of soft, wooly hairs

flora:

the assemblage of plant species in any area; a book or treatise on this

flush:

a period of rapid vegetative growth, often involving the expansion of non-green or pale green leaves at the soot extremeties

foetid:

with a stinking odour; smelling offensively

foliaceus:

leaf-like

foliar:

pertaining to the leaves or leaf-like parts

foliate:

leaved, clothed in leaves; also as a suffix, eg. bifoliate

-foliolate:

suffix denoting a leaf made up of leaflets, eg. trifoliolate, unifoliolate

foliose:

bearing numerous crowded leaves

forest:

a community dominated by trees with long trunks

-form:

suffix meaning '-like', eg. fusiform, falciform (cf. -aceus, -oid)

forma, form:

a taxonomic division below the level of variety

fovea:

a pit; hence foveate (dimin. foveolate)

free:

individually arising or inserted, not united, nor fused, adherent, adnate, connate etc.

frond:

the leaf, especially of a fern or palm, including the stipe, often finely divided

fruticose:

shrub-like; hence frutescent, becoming shrub-like

fugacious:

falling very early (cf. caducous)

fulvous:

yellow, tawny, dull yellow with a mixture of grey or brown

furcate:

forked, also as bifurcate, trifurcate etc.

furfuraceus:

scurfy, provided with soft scales

furrowed:

with +/- parellel longitudinal grooves or channels

fuscous:

dusky, blackish, of a brownish or greyish brown colour

fused:

joined and growing together (cf. free)

fusiform:

a spindle- or cigar-shaped, a solid swollen in the middle and tapering at both ends

gamete:

the male and female sexual cells that combine at fertilisation to form the zygote; in pteridohytes produced on the prothallus (gametophyte) by the antheridia (male) and archegonia (female)

gametophyte:

the sexual or haploid stage in the life cycle of crytogams producing the ova and sperm; in pteridophytes it is a separate, inconspicuous and short-lived generation (cf. prothallus, sporophyte)

gelatinous:

of a slimy, clear sticky nature, water soluble, like gelatine (cf.glutinous, mucilaginous)

geminate:

twinned, arranged in pairs (cf. didymous)

gemma:

a vegetative bud which a species propogates and disperses itself (pl. gemmae)

gene:

the hereditory factor producing a character in an organism, borne on the chromosomes (viz.); hence genetic

genetics:

the study of inheritance of characters

geniculate:

with a knee-like bend

genus:

a taxonomic grouping of similar species (pl. genera); similar genera are grouped into families

gibbous:

somewhat swollen on one side, usually near the base, forming a pouch or sack

glabrescent:

becoming naked or devoid of covering at maturity

glabrous:

naked, lacking hairs or scales

gland:

an organ or part that secretes oil, resin or other liquid; hence glandular

glandular:

bearing glands or of the nature of a gland (cf. eglandular)

glaucescent:

slightly glaucous or becoming so

glaucous:

with a distinct bluish, waxy bloom or powder on the durface (cf. bloom)

globose:

of a solid of almost spherical shape

glochidium:

a very dense cluster; hence glomerulate

glutinous:

covered with sticky exudate (cf. mucilaginous, gelatinous)

gradate:

graded, or stepped, of a sorus with the youngest sporangia at the apex and the older ones lower down (cf. mixed sorus)

granular:

of a surface like grains of sand etc.

grassland:

a community dominated by grass species (cf. savannah)

gymnosperm:

plant with the ovules borne naked or unprotected, the conifers or cone-bearing plants and their allies (cf. angiosperms)

habit:

the general appearance of the plant

habitat:

the kind of place in which a plant grows

hair:

an epidermal appendage, either unicellular or consisting of a single row or cells (cf. bristle, scale)

halophyte:

a plant which grows in and tolerates salty environments

haploid:

with a complement of one set of chromosomes (cf. diploid, polyploid)

haplotype:

a specimen where doubt exists if the author actually handled the specimen mention in the description

hastate:

with the shape of an arrow head with the basal lobes pointed and narrow and spreading at a wide angle

haustaurium:

absorbing organ through which a parasitic plant absorbs nourishment from its host (pl. haustoria)

hemi-:

a prefix meaning 'half'

hemiparasite:

a parasitic (viz.) plant capable of limited photosynthetic production of sugars etc. (cf. holophyte, saprophyte)

herb:

a vascular plant which is not wood; hence herbaceous

hermaphrodite:

bearing both sexes, usually in the same flower

hetero-:

prefix meaning 'dissimilar'

heteromorphic, heteromorphous:

existing in two or more easily recognisable forms (cf. isomorphic, monomorphic, dimorphic, polymorphic

heterosporous:

bearing spores of distinctly different types (cf. homosporous)

heterotrophic:

dependent external sources of organic nutrients (cf. autotrophic, parasite, saprophyte)

hexa-:

prefix meaning 'six'

hirsute:

with distinct hairs, often rather stiff or bristly

hispid:

with stiff or rigid spreading hairs or bristles (dimin, hispidulous)

hoary:

covered with hairs so fine as to not be readily visible to the naked eye, giving the surface a pale greyish hue

holophyte:

a plant maintained entirely by its own organs (cf. parasite, saprophyte)

holotype:

the one specimen designated by the author to which the name of the taxon is permanently attached (see type)

homo-:

prefix meaning 'even' or similar' )cf. iso-, hetero-)

homonym:

the same name; a combination (viz.) where the genus-species pair is exactly the same as an already existing combination, based on a different type (viz.) (cf. synonym, basionym)

homosporous:

bearing spores of uniform type (cf. heterosporous)

host:

the plant on which a parasite (viz.) lives and from which it derives its nourishment; also the plants on which epiphytes (viz.) grow

hyaline:

translucent, usually thin

hybrid:

the progeny of different taxa (genera or species), often of intermediate appearance; hence hybridism

hybrid swarm:

a population of hybrids and plants derived from backcrossing the hybrids with the parent species (cf. introgression)

hydathode:

water-secreting gland on the surface of margin or leaf, at the ends of veins, often indicated by a white deposit of salts

hydrphyte:

a plant growing submerged, or almost so, in water

hygroscopic:

absorbing water and changing shape as a result

hypo-:

prefix meaning 'beneath' or 'under' (cf. epi-)

idioblast:

a specialised cell which differs from its neighbours in size, structure and function

imbricate:

with overlapping edges, as in scales on a fish

immersed:

imbedded in another organ

imparipinnate:

pinnate with the rachis terminated by a single leaflet or tendril (cf. odd-pinnate, even pinnate, paripinnate

impressed:

sunk or immersed below the level of the surface

in-:

prefix meaning 'not' or 'inwards'

incertae sedis:

(Latin) of uncertain position, used taxonomically

incised:

cut sharply, sometimes and rather deeply; hence incisure (cf. dissected, -sect)

included:

enclosed, not protruding (cf. exserted)

inconspicuous:

not easily seen

incrassate:

thickened

incumbent:

resting or leaning upon

incurved:

curved upwards or to the adaxial (upper) side (cf. recurved)

indefinite:

of unlimited, or apparently unlimited number of extent (cf. definite, determinate, indeterminate

indehiscent:

not splitting open at maturity (cf. dehiscent)

indeterminate:

of indefinite growth, or apparently capable of unlimited growth (cf. determinate)

indigenous:

native, occurring naturally in an area; hence indigene (cf.introduced, adventive, exotic)

indumentum:

any covering of a plant surface, especially hairs and scales

induplicate:

the margins bent inwards, and the external faces of these edges applied to each other, without twisting

indurated:

hardened and toughened

indusium:

the protective membrane covering a sorus, not originating from the margin of the lamina (cf. false indusium)

inferior:

situated below another organ or part (cf. superior)

inflexed:

turning sharply inwards (cf. reflexed)

infraspecific:

of taxonomic divisions of a lower rank than species; similarly infrageneric, infrafamilial etc.

infra-:

prefix meaning 'lower than' (cf.supra-)

innovation:

a new vigorous shoot, carrying on the continued growth of the plant

insectivorous:

trapping and supposedly feeding on insects

inserted:

attached to or growing upon; hence insertion, the place or modeof attachment

integument:

a covering (in particular the covering of an ovule)

internode:

the portion of stem between two adjacent nodes (viz.)

interruped:

broken or discontinous

intramaginal:

situated within the margin and near the edge

introduced:

not indigenous (viz.), not native to the area in which it now occurs, brought in by accident or design (cf. adventive, exotic)

introgression:

the modification of species by the back-crossing of the hybrids with the parent species (cf. hybrid swarm)

introrse:

directed inwards (cf. extrorse, latrorse, retrorse)

invest:

to clothe, hence invested

involucre::

one or more whorls of bracts surrounding an inflorescence

involute:

rolled inwards or to the adaxial (upper) side (cf. revolute)

iso-:

prefix meaning 'same' or 'equal' 9cf. homo-, hetero-)

isobilateral:

having the same structure on both sides

isodiametric:

of a shape (eg. a cell) with all diameters +/- equal

isomorphic:

of the same form or appearance (cf. monomorphic, dimorphic, polymorphic)

isotype:

a duplicate of the holotype, a specimen made from the same collection as the holotype (see type)

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

sac:

a pouch-like structure; hence saccate

sagenoid:

of anastomosing venation with regular areoles with included, free, often branched veinlets pointing in all directions; like species of Tecaria

sagittate:

shaped like an arrow head

saline:

salty (cf. brackish, marine)

saprophyte:

an organism using decaying or non-living organic matter for nourishment; hence saprophytic (cf. parasite, holophyte, hemiparasite)

sarmentose:

producing long, flexuose runners or stolons

satiny:

of an indumentum of fine haris closely apprese to form a complete, very smooth, more or less shiny cover

savanna (savannah):

a community dominated by species of grass with scattered trees; mostly strongly seasonal

scabrid, scarbrous:

rough to touch due to minute, hard projections (dimin. scabridulous, scaberlous)

scalariform:

ladder-like, the markings suggestive of a ladder, eg. venation

scale:

a small, often leaf-like organ, wider than thick, often dry and membranous (cf. hair, bristle)

scandent:

climbing, usually without special climbing organs

scape:

a peduncle arising from near the ground, leaflets or with scale-like leaves

scarious:

thin, dry and +/- translucent

sclerenchyma:

mechanical tissue of cells with immensely thickened walls, often without living cell matter; hence sclerified, sclerenchymatous

scrobiculate:

marked with minute depressions

scrub:

a community dominated by shrubs

scurf:

fine scaly covering; hence scurfy

-sect:

suffix meaning 'deeply divided or lobed almost to the base' eg. pinnatisect, palmatisect (cf. dissected, -fid)

scutellum:

a shield; hence scutate, scutelliform, shield-shaped (pl. scutella)

secondary thickening:

the production of additional vascular and supporting tissue through the activities if a vascular cambium

section:

a subgroup of a genus used to identify closely related species

secund:

with the parts directed to one side only

segment:

each free part of a divided whole, eg. the subdivisions of a divided leaf

semi-:

prefix meaning 'half'

septum:

a partition or cross-hall; hence septate, internally divided by transverse partitions (pl. septa)

seriate:

suffix indicating arranged in rows, eg. uniseriate, biseriate, multiseriate etc.

sericeous:

clothed with soft, straight appressed hairs

serrate:

with sharp teeth, oblique to the margin, pointing apically like a saw (dimin. serrulate) (cf. crenate, dentate)

sessile:

without a stalk, attached directly to the axis or organ

seta:

fine, bristle-like structure; hence setose, with bristles (pl. setae; dimin. setulose)

setaceus:

with the character of a bristle

setiferous:

bearing bristles

setiform:

bristle-like

sexual:

concerned with reproduction through the union of male and female gametes to form a zygote which develops into a new plant (cf. asexual, vegetative)

sheath:

a +/- tubular structure surrounding an organ or part

siliceous:

containing crystals of silica

silky:

with a covering of very fine, more or less appressed, lustrous hairs

simple:

composed of one piece or series, not divided (cf .composite, compound)

sinous:

shallowy curved

sinus:

the gap or recess between two lobes or segments

sinus membrane:

a hyaline flap of tissue occurring in the base of the sinus in some ferns

siphonestele:

a cylindrical stele with a hollow parenchymatous centre; amphiphloic siphonostele (= solenostele) has phloem on both the inside and outside of the cylinder, an ectophloic siphonostele (=medullated protostele) has phloem on the outside only

slender:

long and thin

solitary:

borne singly, not grouped together

soriferous:

bearing sori

sorophore:

specialised sporangia-bearing lobes of the leaf margin in species of Schizaeaceae

sorus:

a group or arrangement of sporangia in ferns (pl. sori)

spathulate:

+/- spoon-shaped

species:

the fundamental unit of taxonomy, a group of plants of the same morphology, capable of interbreeding, sometimes with +/- distinct varieties; similar species are grouped into genera

spicular:

spiky

spike:

an unbranched, elongate, indeterminate inflorescence with sessile flowers; the arrangement of sporangia in Ophioglossaceae; hence spicate

spine:

stiff process with a sharp point derived from subepidermal tissue; hence spinose, spinous (dimin. spinulose) (cf. prickle)

spinescent:

terminated by a spine; modified to form a spine

spiniform:

thorn-like

spiral:

borne at different levels along the axis, in an ascending spiral

sporangiosphore:

the stalk of a sporangium

sporangium:

a case or body that contains the spores (pl. sporangia)

spore:

a single, vegetative, reproductive cell that does not contain an embryo, in cryptogams

sporeling:

a very young fern plant developing from the prothallas after fertilisation

sporocarp:

a thick-walled body containing sporangia (eg. Marsilea)

sporogenous:

of tissue or cells in which the spores are formed

sporophyll:

leaf-like or foliaceus organ bearing reproductive parts or organs (particularly spores)

sporophyte:

the diploid stage that produced the spores; the dominant and asexual stage in the life cycle of ferns (cf. gametophyte)

squamose:

scaly or scale-like (dimin. squamulose)

squamule:

a small papery scale; hence squamulose

squarrose:

with spreading or divergent processes or scales

stele:

the arrangement of vascular tissue in a stem

stellate:

star-shaped

sterile:

barren, not producing seed, pollen or spores capable of germination; of a plant lacking reproductive organs (cf. fertile, vegetative)

stilt-roots:

oblique adventitious roots from the stem

stipate:

pressed together, crowed

stipe:

a stalk or support; the petiole of a fern frond; hence stipitate

stipule:

one of a pair of leaf-derived organs inserted at or near the base of a petiole; hence stipulate

stock:

= rootstock (cf. caudex)

stolon:

a +/- horizontal, elongate stem rooting at the nodes and at least partly above the ground (cf. runner)

stoma:

a pore in the epidermis (especially of leaves) for the exchange of gases; (pl. stomata)

stomium:

the opening of the annulus in a sporangium through dehiscence occurs and the spores are shed, often marked by thin-walled, enlarged cells (pl. stomia)

stramineus:

straw-coloured

stria:

a fine longitudinal line or ridge; hence striate (pl. striae)

strict:

upright, straight and rigid

strigose:

provided with pointed, appressed, rigid, hair-like scales or bristles

strobilus:

a scaly, cone-like structure that bears spores; an aggregation of sporophylls (pl. strobili) (cf. cone)

sub-:

prefix meaning 'not quite', 'almost', 'slightly' or 'somewhat', eg. subepiphytic, subpeltate

suberose:

corky in texture

subfamily:

a grouping of similar genera within a family, a category above tribe (viz.)

subspecies:

a grouping within a species used to describe geographically isolated variants, a category above variety (viz.)

substrate:

the surface or medium to which the plant is anchored, not necessarily providing nourishment

subtend:

to occur immediately below as in a bract subtending a flower

subterranean:

underground

subulate:

awl-shaped, narrow and gradually tapering to a fine point

succulent:

juicy or fleshy

sucker:

a vegetative shoot of underground origin

sulcus:

a furrow or groove (pl. sulci.); hence sulcate, longitudinally grooved

superficial:

on the surface, away from the margin

superior:

situated above another organ or part (cf. inferior)

supra-:

prefix meaning 'higher than' (cf. infra-)

suprafamilial:

above the rank of family; similarly supra generic etc.

suture:

a seam or line formed at the junction of two margins

sympatric:

of two or more species having coincident or overlaping ranges of geographic distribution (cf. allopatric)

sympodium:

an axis made up of the basal portions of several branches, the apex of each branch dying and growth continued by an axillary bud; hence sympodial (cf. monopodial, dichotomous, pseudodichotomous)

syn-:

a prefix meaning 'together'

synangium:

a sorus-like structure formed by the fusion of two or more sporangia, a single body divided internally into several locules each bearing spores

synonym:

another name for the same taxon, either the result of independent description, or the transference or combination of different taxa (cf. basionym, nomenclatural synonym, taxonomic synonym)

syntype:

one of two or more specimens used by the author without designating a holotype for one of two or more specimens designated as the type (see type)

tautonym:

an inadmissable name where the genus name is the same as the species name (cf. homonym, synonym)

taxon:

a group of plants of the same type, eg. species, genus, family, order etc; hence taxonomy, the study of taxa (pl.)

taxonomic synonyms:

synonyms (viz.) with different basionyms (viz.) or based on different types (viz.) (cf. nomenclatural synonym)

taxonomy:

the study of the division of life forms into similar and distinct categories (cf. nomenclature)

temperate:

pertaining to the cooler areas of the world with moderate climates (cf. tropic)

tendril:

a slender twining appendage or extension by which a climbing plant may attach itself

terete:

cylindrical, circular in transverse section

terminal:

at the end of a stem or axis (cf. apical, axillary, lateral, basal, etc.)

ternate:

arranged or divided into threes; hence ternatifid, ternatisect

terrestrial:

growing on the ground (cf. aquatic, amphibious, epiphytic)

tesselate:

of a checker-work pattern or divided into squares or squarish pieces

tetra-:

prefix meaning 'four'

tetrad:

a group of four (cf. quadri-)

tetragonous:

having four angles

tetrahedral:

of a solid with four sides

thallous:

+/- flat, ribbon-shaped

thallus:

plant body not differentiated into leaves and stem; hence thalloid, thallose

thorn:

a reduced branch with a sharp, hard point (cf. spine, prickle)

tomentum:

a dense woolly or matted covering of +/- appressed hairs; hence tomentose

topotype:

a specimen collected from near the locality of the type (viz.)

trabecula:

a transverse partition dividing or partly dividing a cavity; hence trabeculate

translucent:

letting light through, almost transparent (cf. pellucid)

trapezoid:

trapezium-shaped, a four-sided figure with the opposite sides parallel

tri-:

prefix meaning 'three'

tribe:

a taxonomic grouping of similar genera, a division of the family below the level of subfamily

trichome:

an unbranched hair-like outgrowth of the epidermis, often glandular

trichotomous:

three-forked

trifid:

divided into three +/- equal parts, usually to about half-way

trifoliolate:

of a compound leaf with three radial leaflets

trifurcate:

split into three forks or branches

trigonous:

with three angles, of a solid body, triangular in cross-section with rounded corners (cf. triquetrous)

trilete:

of a spore with a radial, three-armed scar (cf. monolete)

tripartite:

divided into three +/- equal parts, to the base or almost so

tripinnate:

three times pinnate (cf. pinnate)

triplinerved:

with three main veins

triquetrous:

with three prominent acutely angled ridges (cf.trigonous)

tropic:

pertaining to the warmer or equatorial regions of the world; hence tropical (cf. temperate)

trullate:

shaped like a brick-layer's trowel

truncate:

with the base or apex flattened abruptly as though cut off

trunk:

the erect, unbranched portion of a tree-like plant

tube:

any hollow elongate body of an organ; hence tubular

tuber:

a swollen, usually underground, part of a stem or root; hence tuberous, swollen

tubercle, tubercule:

a small, wart-like swelling

tuberculate:

bearing knobbly projections or excrescences

tufted:

growing in small clumps

turbinate:

or a top-shaped solid

turgid:

swollen, rigid and stiff by means of internal pressure (cf. flaccid)

twiner:

a climbing plant supporting itself by winding spirally around an object

type, type specimen:

the nomenclatural type or specimen to which the name of a taxon is always attached (cf. holotype, isotype, neotype, lectotype, paratype, haptotype, syntype, topotype, kleptotype)

type genus:

the genus to which the name of a genus is permanently attached

type species:

the species to which the name of a genus is permanently attached

type subspecies, type variety:

the variety or subspecies of the species that contains the nomenclatural type of the species (cf. autonym)

umbo:

a rounded protuberance or elevation in the centre; hence umbonate, bearing a protuberance in the centre

unarmed:

without spines, hooks or prickles (cf. armature)

undulate:

corrugated or with the margin waved in a plane perpendicular to the surface (cf. sinuate)

uni-:

prefix meaning 'one' or 'solitary' (cf. mono-)

unifoliolate:

of a compound leaf reduced to a single leaflet

unilateral:

one-sided

unilocular:

with a single cavity

uniseriate, uniserial:

arranged in a single row

united:

fused together, growing together (cf. free)

urceolate:

hollow and contracted at the mouth like an urn or pitcher

valvate:

opening by doors or valves

valve:

a door of flap-like opening in some organs; hence valvate

variegated:

irregularly coloured in patches

variety:

+/- recognisable entities within species that are not genetically isolated from each other; below the level of subspecies

vascular:

of tissue containing the conducting elements of the plant, xylem and phloem (viz.)

vascular bundle:

the primary conducting system of plants consisting mainly of phloem and xylem (viz.

vegetation:

the total aggregation of plant communities within an area

vegetative:

of a plant lacking reproductive organs (cf. sterile, fertile)

vein:

strand of vascular conducting tissue in a leaf or similar structure (cf. nerve)

veinlet:

a small or secondary vein

velutinous:

covered with fine, soft, +/- patent hairs, +/- velvet-like

venation:

the arrangement of the veins, especially in leaves or leaf-like structures

ventral:

on or pertaining to the undersurface (cf. dorsal)

vernation:

the arrangement of unexpanded leaves in a vegetative bud

vernicose:

shining, as though varnished

verrucose:

with a warty, nodular surface (dimin. verriculose)

versatile:

attached at the middle and free to swing

verticellate:

in a circle or whorled about the axis (cf. whorl)

vesicle:

a small bladder or cavity filled with air or fluid; hence vesicular, blistered on the surface

vessel:

a duct or atriculated tube of cells, rendered continous by the absorbtion or perforation of transverse walls

vestigial:

reduced to a rudiment

villous (villose):

clad in long, soft hairs, not matted together

villus:

a long, weak hair (pl. villi)

virgate:

twiggy, elongate, straight and slender

viscid:

sticky or gluey (of surfaces)

viscous:

slow-flowing, often sticky (of a liquid)

viviparous:

germinating or spouting from a seed or bud while attached to the parent plant

whorl:

an arrangement of three or more similar parts or organs at the same level about an axis; hence whorled (cf. verticellate)

wing:

a membranous or lamina-like border or surround

wrinkled:

creased, folded up irregularly in every direction (cf. rugose)

xerophilous:

growing in dry places

xerophyte:

a drought resisting plant

xylem:

vascular tissue concerned with the transport of water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves and often with physical support (cf. phloem)

zygote:

the fertilised egg before it undergoes differentiation; the result of the union between male and female gametes


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Updated by Jim Croft (jrc@anbg.gov.au)
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