A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z
Abortive Only partially developed, such as
incomplete seed or frost-nipped bud.
Abscission The falling of leaf, twig-tip,
etc, from a clean-cut scar, by a self-healing wound.
Accent plant Attention-getting plant due
to its color or form.
Accessory buds Buds found beside or above
the true bud at a node.
Achene A dry, one-seeded fruit.
Acid soil A soil with a pH lower than 7.0
is an acid soil. pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium)
contained in your soil.
Acre A measure of land totaling 43,560 square
feet. A square acre is 208.75 feet on each side.
Acuminate Having a sharp, gradually tapered
Adult phase the stage of plants capable of
producing fruit and flowers.
Adventitious Not in the usual place.
Adventious bud an extra or special bud not
found in the axil of a leaf.
Aerate Loosening or puncturing the soil to
increase water penetration.
Aerial roots Roots produced above ground,
often used for climbing.
Aggregated Joined together, confluent, as
applied to bundle traces.
Aggregate flower A single flower heaped
or crowded into a dense flower cluster.
Aggregate fruit A fruit formed by the coherence
or the connation of pistils that were distinct in the flower.
Air layering A specialized method of plant
propagation accomplished by cutting into the bark of the plant
to induce new roots to form; a process of producing a new plant
by forming soil around a stem.
Alba/albus/album White or whitish, usually
applied to flowers
Albo-maculata Spotted in white.
Albo-marginata White edged or margined.
Albo-striata striped or striated in white.
Usually a variegated plant.
Alkaline soil A soil with a pH higher than
7.0 is an alkaline soil. pH is a measure of the amount of lime
(calcium) contained in your soil.
Alpina/alpinus/alpinum Epithet meaning from
an alpine area or just a very dwarf plant. It is also used to denote
smaller species in a large genus.
Alpine Any plant that is normally found in
wild on mountains or in mountainous areas.
Alt Latin prefix meaning tall.
Alternate Said of leaf scars or leaves
occurring one at each node.
Amplexicaul Encircling the stem.
Anatomy The internal structure of plant.
Anchor root A large root that holds a
plant in a physical soil mass.
Androecium Stamens of a flower, as a
Annual A plant that germinates, grows,
flowers, produces seeds in one growing season.
Annual ring A concentric circle of wood
produced by one years growth in a tree trunk.
Annuals Plants whose life cycle lasts
only one year, from seed to blooms to seed.
Anther The pollen-bearing portion of
a flower; a male part.
Anthracnose A fungus disease that causes
spots and often death of foliage.
Aquatic plants Plants that grow in, or
live in or on water.
Arboretum Organized collection of trees
and other woody plants; a garden with a large collection of
trees and shrubs cultivated for scientific or educational purposes.
Arboriculture The science of the culture
or care of trees.
Arborist A certified/licensed tree doctor
Arcuate Arched, bent like a bow.
Aril A fleshy appendage of the seed,
usually a fleshy seedcoat.
Aromatic Fragrantly scented, especially
when broken or crushed.
Articular A membrane consisting of the
thin, enlarged base of the petiole, on which the leaf scar
Articulate Having nodes or joints where
separation may naturally occur.
Annular Ring-like; said of leaf scars
that encircle the bud, or bundle scars that are circular with
an opening in the center.
Anterior On the front side, away from
the axis, toward the subtending bract.
Anther The pollen bearing part of a stamen,
borne at the top of a filament or sessile.
Apetalous Without petals.
Apex The tip or terminal end.
Aphid a small green or white insect that
sucks juices from plant parts
Apical Describes the apex or tip.
Apiculate Ending in an abrupt pointed
Apomixis process of producing viable
seed without fertilization
Appressed Flattened against the twig;
Arborcide a type of herbicide chemical
that kills trees.
Arboreal Tree-like or pertaining to trees.
Arborescent Tree-like; defined arbitrarily
as pertaining to a woody plant at least 20 feet high in maturity
with a single stem and more or less definite crown.
Ascending Curving indirectly or obliquely
Asexual propagation multiplying plants
without use of seeds
Attenuate Showing a long gradual slender
taper; usually applied to apices, but equally appropriate for
bases of leaves, petals, etc.
Atro- Botanical name prefix meaning dark
or intensely colored.
Atrosanguinea Dark or blood red or maroon.
Atrovirens Dark or blackish green.
Aurescent Becoming yellow or yellow part
of the season.
Auxin A chemical that stimulates plant
Awn A bristle-like appendage.
Axil The angle between a petal and a
stem; where buds occur above a leaf; the point above a leaf
Axillary In the axil.
Axis The main stem or central support
of a plant.
Azurea/azureus/azureum Azure or deep
B & B Balled and
burlapped, a method of digging and holding woody plants.
Baccate Pulpy, fleshy.
Backcross A hybrid of two plants crossed
once again back to one parent.
Barbed Bristles With terminal or lateral
spine-like hooks that are bent sharply backward.
Bareroot Said of plants with the soil
removed from their roots; not shipped in pots or with a full
Bark The rough outer part of the cortex;
loosely used for the entire cortex.
Basal Pertaining to the extremity of
an organ by which it is attached to its support; leaves located
at the base of the plant only.
Beaked Ending in a point, especially
Beard Patch of hairs on a flower or other
Bi- Prefix meaning twice or doubly.
Bicolor A plant or flower in two colors.
Biennial A plant that usually only lives
two years, normally producing flowers and seed the second year;
a plant that grows foliage the first year and flowers the second
Bifida/bifidum Divided into two parts.
Bifurcate Forked, Y-shaped.
Bigeneric hybrid Species formed by crossing
two different genera.
Biomass Substance of living tissue, often
a measure of weight or volume.
Bipinnate Twice compound with the leaflets
along each side of a common axis. The leaflets are further
divided into pinnules.
Bisexual Said of a flower with both stamens
Blade The expanded part of a leaf.
Blush Pink or reddish tint to a plant
Bloom A waxy coating sometimes found
on stems, leaves, flowers and fruits.
Bole The stem of a tree.
Bolting Vegetables quickly flowering
rather than producing the food crop. Usually caused by late
planting and too warm temperatures.
Bonsai A living woody plant dwarfed by
careful pruning and container culture.
Botanical name The Latin or scientific
name of a plant, usually composed of two words, the genus and
Bottom heat The undersurface heat provided
in the soil by electric cables or hot water pipes.
Bract Leaf-like or petal-like structure,
which may appear with or below flowers, or have a bright flower-like
Bristly With stiff hairs.
Bronzing A metallic bronze or coppery
color, especially of foliage after a winter.
Bud The rudimentary or resting end or
branch of a stem; usually referring to the stage in which the
growing tips pass the winter or dry season; also applied to
undeveloped flowers or flower clusters. A dormant growth point
that is usually covered by scales.
Bud count Number of early buds.
Bud eye A potential growth point that
is used for budding.
Bud scale A modified leaf or stipule
(there may be one, a few, or many) protective of the embryonic
tissue of the bud.
Bud union A swollen and distinct node
when a bud has been grafted.
Bulb The thickened underground storage
organ of the group of perennials which includes daffodils and
tulips. A modified underground stem comprised of shortened
central axis surrounded by fleshy scale-like leaves.
Bulbil Small bulbs arising around the
Bulblet Small bulbs arising in the leaf
Bundle scar Small dots or lines on the
surface of the leaf scar marking the point of original departure
of the vascular conducting strands into the leaf. Also called
Bur Any rough or prickly seed envelope.
Burl A knot or woody growth of very irregular
Butterfly garden Planting to attract,
feed and support Lepidoptera.
Button center A double rose flower with
unexpanded central petaloid parts.
Buttressed With supporting wings.
Caducous Falling away
early or prematurely.
Calcarate Having a spur.
Calcium nitrogen A quick-acting fertilizer
with about 48% calcium and 16% nitrogen.
Callus A thickened tissue that develops
at the base of stem cuttings; new tissues formed in response
to a wound.
Calyx Sepals and often greenish bracts
underneath a flower; the outer floral envelope. The outer set
of perianth segments, usually green in color and smaller than
the inner set.
Cambium The thin membrane located just
beneath the bark of a plant.
Campanulata Latin name for a plant having
campanulate or bell-like flowers.
Cane Stem from a thin multi-stem plant;
a long woody pliable stem rising from the ground.
Canescent Ash-colored, with gray hairs.
Canker Bacterial or fungal disease causing
Capillary Hair-like; very slender.
Capitata Latin name for a plant with
a head-like or large clustered feature.
Capitate Headlike, in a dense rounded
Capsule A dry fruit holding many seeds
and coming from two or more carpels; a dry fruit derived from
a compound pistil.
Cardinalis/cardinale Bright glowing red.
Carpel A single pistil in a female flower
part containing several pistils
Caryopsis The fruit of members of the
Castaneous Dark brown.
Catkin A single-sex spike with no petals;
a slender, spikelike, drooping flower cluster. A spike-like
inflorescence comprised of scaly bracts subtending unisexual
Caudiform A plant with a fleshy swollen
base that is not a true bulb.
Caulescent Having an evident leaf bearing
stem above ground.
Cauliflorous Flowering on the trunk or
on specialized spurs from it or from the larger branches.
Cellar gardening Using a basement to
grow plants with artificial light.
Cernuous Drooping or nodding.
Certified/certification Seed or stock
verified to be true or lacking viruses.
Chalk white limestone product or soil.
Chambered Said of pith when divided into
small, empty compartments separated by transverse partitions;
with cavities separated by plates or disks.
Channeled Grooved lengthwise.
Chaparral A collective Western USA planting
of scrubby underbrush.
Charcoal A soil additive to increase
Chimera/chimaera A fusion of unrelated
tissues such as in all variegated leaves; a man-made fusion
of tissue caused by grafting.
Chlorophyll A group of green molecules
used to convert light to energy.
Chlorosis The yellowing of plant tissue
due to nutrient deficiencies or disease.
Chromosome A unit of heredity material
in all living cells.
Ciliate With short fine hairs as on a
leaf or petal margin.
Clasping A stalkless leaf, with the base
partly surrounding the stem.
Claw The constricted petiole-like base
of petals and sepals of some flowers.
Clean cultivation Gardening practice
of removing all weeds at all times.
Cleft Divided to or about the middle
Cleistogamous A small, closed self-fertilized
flower, usually near the ground.
Climber A vine-like or rambling plant
that raises its foliage by supporting itself on surrounding
objects, either by twining or coiling around them, by the aid
of tendrils or aerial roots, or by scrambling over them.
Clinal variation/cline With a spectrum
such as blue to green in spruces,
Clone A line of plants propagated from
a single mother plant, identical to each other and to the parent.
Club root A fungal disease causing swollen
Clustered Said of leaves, crowded so
as not to be clearly opposite or alternate, also said of the
red or bright red.
Colchicine A toxic chemical used to double
chromosome numbers in seeds.
Cold frame A low frame with clear top
used to acclimatize plants to, or protect them from, cold.
Collateral Said of extra or supernumerary
buds that are inserted on either side of a normal axillary
bud. Said of buds that grow side by side.
Comose Tufted with hairs.
Companion plant A plant making an showy,
contrasting display or providing pollination
Complete fertilizer A plant food with
all three of the primary elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and
Complete flower One that has corolla,
calyx, stamens and one or more pistils.
Compost An organic soil amendment resulting
from the decomposition of organic matter.
Compound leaf A leaf of two or more leaflets,
in some cases the lateral leaflets may have been lost and only
the terminal leaflet remain.
Compressed Flattened from the sides,
as applied to nodes or buds.
Cone A coniferous fruit, having a number
of woody, leathery, or fleshy scales, each bearing one or more
seeds, and attached to a central axis; the seed-holding structure
of trees like pines and spruce.
Conifer A cone-bearing plant, with tiny
needlelike leaves, that may be evergreen or deciduous.
Coniferous Cone bearing.
Continuous Said of pith which is solid;
not spongy, chambered or interrupted by cavities.
Coppice growth Arising from sprouts at
the stump; bushy.
Cordiform Heart-shaped or formed.
Cordoned Having been espaliered.
Corky Soft and springy.
Corm Fleshy underground stem that resembles
a true bulb, which produces roots, leaves and flowers during
the growing season.
Cormel A tiny corm (fleshy stem base)
around a large mother corm.
Cornuta/cornutum/cornutus Epithet meaning
Corolla The petals and normally colored
portion of a flower; the inner floral envelope, consisting
Corona/crown A fused flower tissue as
in the cup of a Daffodil; the point at which a plants
roots and top join.
Cortex The rind or outer covering of
a stem; technically it lies outside of the vascular bundles,
which constitute the stele.
Corymb A more or less flat-topped indeterminate
inflorescence whose outer flowers open first.
Cotyledon The primary leaves of the embryo,
present in the seed.
Cover crop A crop that is planted in
the absence of the normal crop to control weeds and add humus
to the soil when it is plowed in prior to regular planting.
Creeping Growing and spreading over the
Crenate Scalloped; with rounded teeth.
Crenate-serrate Having a mixture of blunt
and sharp teeth.
Crenulate Finely crenate.
Creosote An oil-based preservative used
to treat wood used in gardens.
Crisped Wavy on the margin; short and
curly when applied to pubescence.
Crown The part of a budded plant when
the scion and understock meet.
Crucifer A member of the Mustard family.
Cruciform Cross shaped.
Cryptogam A plant reproducing by spores
such as most ferns and algae.
Culm An upright flowering stem from a
rhizome; stem of grasses and sedges.
Cultigen Any plant arising from cultivation
and not the wild.
Cultivar A cultivated variety; does not
Cultivar group An association of related
cultivars with a species, subspecies, or variety due to common
origin or groups of traits.
Cupped A flower with depressed or concave
Cuticle The outermost layer of epidermal
Cuttage The process of rooting cuttings.
Cutting Any stem or vegetative part of
a plant used for propagation.
Cymbiform Boat shaped.
Cyme A more or less flat-topped determinate
inflorescence whose outer flowers open last.
Cytology The study of cells and often
Damping off Decay of
young seedlings at ground level following fungal attack. Often
the result of soil borne diseases or over watering.
Deadheading The processing of removing
old or spent flowers to prevent them from setting seed. This
will promote continued bloom.
Decidua A deciduous species in a normally
Deciduous A plant that loses its leaves
in the autumn; falling or not persistent as in maple or oak
trees each fall; leaves or stipules which do not persist in
a green condition throughout the winter.
Decompound Repeatedly compound.
Decumbent Reclining on the ground with
the tip ascending; trailing stems on the ground with lateral
Decurrent Continued down the stem in
a ridge or wing, as applied to leaf-bases.
Defoliate/defoliation Loss of leaves
such as premature summer leaf drop; casting off or falling
off of leaves.
Dehiscent Opening to discharge the seeds
Deliquescent Breaking up into fine branches.
Deltoid Triangular, with equal sides.
Dense Crowded together, thick, compact.
Dentate Having marginal teeth whose apices
are perpendicular to the margin and do not point forward.
Denuded Naked through the loss of covering.
Determinate Said of an inflorescence
when the terminal flower opens first and the prolongation of
the axis is thereby arrested.
Dethatch Process of removing dead stems
built up beneath lawn grasses.
Di- A prefix meaning two.
Diaphragmed Said of pith which is solid
with transverse bars of denser tissue at intervals between
the nodes or at the nodes.
Dibble A stick or tool that makes planting
holes in soil or media.
Dichotomous Forked in pairs.
Dicot A plant of the angiosperm group
having two cotyledons.
Dieback Death of shoot tips such as by
winter cold or chemical damage.
Diffuse Loosely or widely spreading,
an open form.
Digitate Spreading like the fingers,
the leaflets leaving the petiole at one point as applied to
compound leaves. The same as palmate.
Dimorphic Having two forms.
Dioecious A species having unisexual
flowers, each sex confined to a separate plant.
Diploid Having two set of chromosomes.
Direct seeding Germination of seed in
their final spot as opposed to in a nursery.
Disarticulating Falling away by abscission,
leaving a clean cut scar, as with most leaves, many flowers,
some twig tips, etc.
Disbudding The processing of removing
extra buds to promote larger flowers.
Discoid The same as chambered, when applied
Disease A fungus or virus infection.
Disk An enlarged tip, as applied to tendrils.
Disk flower The tubular flower in the
center of the usual Compositae inflorescence.
Dissected Cut, lacerated or divided in
narrow, slender segments, said of fringed petals or leaves.
Dissectum Deeply cut, as in foliage.
Distal Toward the apex, away from the
Dish garden A miniature planting in a
Display index Percentage of peak display
for flowers or other showy part.
Distichous Two ranked.
Diurnal blossoms Opening only during
Divaricate Spreading very wide apart.
Divided Deeply lobed when applied to
leaves; separated to the base into divisions.
Dividing/division A method of propagating
plants by separating each one into two or more sections and
Domestica A plant having been domesticated
or cultivated near residences.
Dormancy A state of suspended growth;
the yearly cycle in a plants life when growth slows and
the plant rests.
Dorsal Relating to the back or outer
portion of a plant part; of or on the back or outer surface
of a leaf.
Double A flower with numerous and full
Double digging Soil bed preparation done
by two or more spading sessions, preparing the soil by systematically
digging an area to the depth of two shovels.
Double nose Said of bulbs with two growing
Doubly serrate Serrations bearing minute
teeth on the margins.
Downy With soft short straight hairs.
Drip irrigation Watering plants by small
droplets over a long period of time each day.
Drip line The circle which would exist
if you drew a line below the tips of the outer most branches
of a tree or plant.
Drupe A stone-bearing fruit, such as
Dwarf Said of a genetically smaller plant,
often 1/4 or less normal size.
Edging plant A compact,
short plant used to line or trim borders.
Edible landscape A landscape planted
with vegetables and fruit plants.
Ellipsoid Elliptical in section, like
Endangered species A species likely to
Endemic Native or local to an area.
-ensis Botanical name suffix meaning
from a region or country.
Entire Neither toothed nor lobed, as
applied to leaves.
Ephemeral Persisting for one day only,
of short duration.
Epidermis Outer skin of the twig; sometimes
peeling or cracking during the first winter; ultimately destroyed
by growth in diameter of the twig.
Epiphyte A plant that grows in the air
or on another plant but gets its nourishment from the air and
rainfall. A plant growing on another without being a parasite
or on a rock or tree trunk.
Erect Upright habit of growth.
Erosion The wearing away, washing away,
or removal of soil by wind, water or human activity.
Espalier Process of training a tree or
shrub so its branches grow in a flat pattern.
Ethylene Naturally occurring gas to ripen
Etiolation Stretching of a plant and
loss of color due to a lack of needed light.
Escape A garden plant that has been seeded
or spread into the wild.
Espalier Any plant trained lattice fashion
in one plane; woody plant trained in a lattice-like or fence-like
pattern on some support.
Evergreen Holding or having green foliage
through the winter.
Everlasting A flowering plant that retains
colors when cut and dried.
Evaporation Process by which water returns
to the air.
Evapotranspiration Process of loss of
water from a plant's tissue and soil.
Excavated Hollowed out, as applied to
pith, making the stem fistulous.
Exfoliating Peeling away; bark that peels
and sheds off.
Exotic Said of a plant not native; rare
or tropical plants.
Explant Any removed portion of a plant
used for tissue culture.
Exserted Projecting beyond, as stamens
beyond a corolla.
Extra-axillary Above rather than in the
axil. Same as supra-axillary.
Eye An undeveloped bud growth which will
ultimately produce new growth; a vegetative or leafy bud.
F1 hybrid/f1 hybrid A
first generation of a cross of different plants.
Falcate Sickle shaped.
Falls The outer whorl of petals of an
iris flower, often broader than the inner petals and often
drooping or flexuous.
Fasciated Much flattened or cockscomb-like
growth; seemingly several units fused together.
Fastigiate With upright branches; having
a narrowly columnar or pillar-like growth form.
Flat A shallow box or tray used to start
cuttings or seedlings.
Feathering Spreading out roots before
planting a potted plant.
Fertile Capable of producing seed.
Fertilizer Organic or inorganic plant
food used to amend the soil in order to improve the quality
or quantity of plant growth.
Fiddlehead An unfurling fern frond that
resembles the end of a violin.
Filament The slender stalk or stem of
the anther or pollen sac.
Fireblight A serious bacterial disease
that kills members of the rose family.
Fibrous Having long narrow shreds or
Filiform Thread-like, long and very slender.
Fissured Torn lengthwise, in vertical
furrows, as applied to bark, or to pith, for which the more
general term spongy is used.
Fistulous Hollow, with excavated pith.
Flaking Shredding, but with short segments.
Fleshy For a stem, not hard and woody;
for a fruit or bud scales, not dry. Succulent.
Floret Technically a minute flower; applied
to the flowers of grasses and Composites.
Floriculture The study of producing and
marketing fresh flowers.
Florida With abundant flowers.
Floriferous Having many flowers compared
to most cultivars or species.
Foliar Of or concerning foliage or leaves
Follicle A small dry fruit opening down
Focal plant A plant with form or color
calling attention or focus to an area.
Foliar feeding Fertilizer applied in
liquid form to the plants foliage in a fine spray.
Forcing The process of hastening a plants
growth to maturity or bloom, stimulation of flowers or growth
by controlling light and temperature.
Form A botanical variation of a variety
differing in only one trait, such as color. A subdivision of
species that occurs occasionally in the wild, seldom breeds
true, and does not develop a natural population or distribution.
Foundation plant A plant suitable for
planting around houses and below windows.
Fragmented Not continuous, as applied
to bundle scars.
Fringed Ciliate with glands or scales
rather than fine hairs.
Frond The term used to describe the branch
and leaf structure of ferns or palms.
or shrub-like, in the sense of the stems being woody. Often
in a genus of smaller form.
Fumigation Use of gas or vapors that
sterilize soils or containers
Fungicide A chemical used to kill fungus,
ills, diseases or viruses.
Fusiform Spindle-shaped; tapering to
each end from a smaller mid-section.
Gall A swelling on a leaf
or stem caused by fungi or insects like wasps.
Genotype The true genetic makeup of a
Genus A group of species possessing fundamental
traits in common but differing in other lesser characteristics.
Germinate The process of a seed sprouting.
Germination Development of seeds into
seedlings or leafy young plants; the first stage in the development
of a plant from seed.
Gibberellin A group of compounds that
naturally control stem elongation.
Girdle To intentionally remove bark for
grafting or to kill a plant. The choking of a branch by a wire
or other material, most often in the stems of woody plants
that have been tied to tightly to a stake or support.
Girdling Root Roots that strangle a plant
by encircling it tightly.
Glabrate Nearly glabrous.
Glabrescent Becoming smooth.
Gland Secreting organ. A pore or hair
that release liquid or air.
Glandular-bristly With stiff gland-tipped
Glandular-ciliate Fringed with small
Glandular-pubescent With gland-tipped
Glauca/glaucum/glaucus Covered with a
white or bluish waxy bloom.
Globose Shaped like a globe; spherical.
Glossy Shining, reflecting more light
than if lustrous.
Graft Inserting a bud or stem into another
plant for purposes of propagation.
Grafting wax A wax used to seal a bud
or graft from water and air.
meaning larger flowers than normal for a species; a class of
roses with large and clustering blooms.
Green fertilizer/manure A fast-growing
crop used to add organic matter when plowed under.
Growth habit General appearance or mode
Grafting The process of joining a stem
or bud of one plant on to the stem or root stock of a different
Ground cover A group of plants usually
used to cover bare earth and create a uniform appearance; a
spreading short plant used to cover soil; a living mulch.
Growing media/growing medium A material
used to culture plants.
Growing season The number of days between
the average date of the last killing frost in spring and the
first killing frost in fall
Growth regulator A chemical used to increase
growth or shorter stems.
Guano Bat or bird dropping used as a
fertilizer high with about 13% nitrogen.
Habit Growth form or
overall plant shape.
Habitat Type of region in which a plant
Ha-ha Hidden ditch used to keep out people
Halophyte Salt-loving or salt-tolerant
Half- or sub-shrub A plant with stems
that are woody at the base, usually dying back to the woody
stems or even back to the ground after severe winters.
Hardened A plant condition created by
various factors enabling it to withstand environmental stresses.
Hardening off The process of gradually
acclimatizing greenhouse or indoor grown plants to outdoor
Hardiness/Hardy The ability of a plant
to withstand low temperatures or frost, without artificial
Hardpan The impervious layer of soil
or clay lying beneath the topsoil.
Hardscape Constructed elements of a landscape
such as decks, walls fences and driveways. Structures
and features of a landscape constructed from materials other
than plants, such as walks, walls, and trellises made of wood,
stone, or other materials, pathways, pools and ponds.
Hardwood A deciduous tree.
Hardwood cutting A cutting taking from
mature or lignified stems.
Harvesting The removal of a desirable
Heading back Cutting an older branch
or stem back to a stub or twig.
Healing The process of closing of a plant
wound or graft union.
Heaving Lifting of soil and plants due
to frost and ice.
Hedge A linear planting of plants as
Heeling in Temporarily setting a plant
into a shallow trench and covering the roots with soil to provide
protection until it is ready to be permanently planted.
Heirloom Any open-pollinated plant that
has a history of domesticity and that has been grown for at
least 50 years.
Heliotropic A plant that responds to
sun or light.
Herb Any fleshy plant. Used mostly to
denote edible aromatic ones. A plant dying to the ground at
the end of the season; one whose aerial stems are soft and
Herbaceous Plants that die down in winter
and sprout forth the following spring; a plant with soft or
Herbarium A collection of pressed and
dry specimens for research purposes.
Herbicide A chemical used to kill specific
plants or all plants in its path.
High centered Having petals taller or
more pointed than outer petals.
Hip Fruit of a rose.
Hirsute Hairy; with hairs.
Hoary White or whitish.
Honeydew The sticky secretion produced
by sucking insects such as aphids.
Horizontalis/horizontale Having habit
or branches very horizontal; branches spreading outward rather
than being erect.
Horticulture The science and art of growing
fruit, flowers, ornamental plants, and vegetables in gardens. The
cultivation of flowers, fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.
Hortus Latin word for garden.
Hotbed A heated soil bed used for propagation
as with cuttings in winter.
Humus The rich, brown or black organic
part of the soil resulting from the partial decay of leaves
and other matter.
Husk Outer covering of a fruit or seed.
Hybrid The offspring of two plants of
different species or varieties of plants. Hybrids are created
when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate
and entirely different variety, resulting in a new plant altogether.
Hybrid seed will not be true therefore it isn't suitable for
Hydroculture Long-term plant growing
in water-based nutrient solutions.
Hydroponics The science of growing plants
in mineral solutions or liquid, instead of soil.
-iana Suffix meaning commemorative,
or in memory of.
IAA Indole-3-acetic acid; used to promote
rooting in cuttings.
IBA Indolebutyric acid; used to promote
rooting in cuttings.
-ii Suffix on plant names honoring the
person who found it.
Imbricate Scales that overlap like shingles;
the opposite of valvate in which the scales meet along a line
Incised Cut by sharp and irregular incisions
more or less deeply, but intermediate between toothed and lobed.
Included Not protruding as stamens not
projecting beyond a corolla; as opposed to exserted.
Incomplete flower One which lacks
any one or more of these parts; calyx, corolla, stamens, and
Indehiscent Not opening, as applied to
Indeterminate Said of those kinds of
inflorescence whose terminal flowers open last, hence the growth
or elongation of the main axis is not arrested by the opening
of the first flowers.
Inequilateral With unequal sides.
Inflorescence A flower cluster.
Imperfect flower A flower that lacks
either stamens or pistils.
Imposter clone A clone that has incorrectly
replaced the true clone in the trade.
Inarching A type of grafting that attaches
a parent plant using an arched stem.
Inbred/inbreeding An undesirable plant
made by crossing two related plants.
Indicator plant A sensitive plant that
alerts to some condition such as drought.
Inermis Without thorns or less thorny.
Inorganic Something that was never alive;
of human manufacture.
Internode The stem space between leaf
or flower nodes.
Interspecific Between species; hybrid
Interstem/interstock A piece of stem
tissue grafted between a rootstock and a scion.
Introduced A plant that is exotic or
brought from another region; a plant brought and sold in the
nursery trade for the first time.
Involucrate With an involucre or cluster
Involucre A cluster of modified leaves
about a flower cluster.
meaning from Japan; such plants are widely Asian
Jointed Having nodes or points of real
or apparent articulation.
Juvenile An early non-reproductive phase
of plant growth, usually characterized by different leaf shapes
or by non-flowering, vigorous increase in size, and often thorniness.
Keel A ridge on the back
of a leaf or bud scale; fused boat-shaped petals in members
of the pea family.
Key A small indehiscent fruit with a
Knees bent projection of trunk; pointed
or dome-like outgrowths such as those at the base of a bald
cypress from cypress roots rising above the water.
Labiate Having lips as
in the two lips in flowers in the mint family
Lacebark With exfoliating or bi-colored
bark, usually with a fine texture.
Lacinate Cut or dissected as in leaf
margins or some lacy flower petals.
Lanceolate Shaped like a lance-head.
Larva Immature insects such as caterpillars.
Lateral Said of buds which appear along
the sides of the twig; at or along the side.
Lateral bud A bud borne in the axil of
a previous seasons leaf.
Lath An overhead structure of evenly
spaced slats of wood or other materials used to create shade.
Lathhouse A shaded environment created
using slats of wood.
Latifolia Epithet meaning wider leaves
than normal for a genus or species.
meaning wider lobes or tissues sections in a leaf or flower.
Lawn Any expansive planting of grass,
mowed to keep it short.
Layering A method of propagation, by
which a branch of a plant is rooted while still attached to
the plant by securing it to the soil with a piece of wire or
other means; propagation method to root attached portions of
Leaching The removal or loss of excess
salts or nutrients from soil. The soil around over fertilized
plants can be leached clean by large quantities of fresh water.
Areas of extremely high rainfall sometimes lose the nutrients
from the soil by natural leaching.
Leader The primary or terminal shoot;
the trunk of a tree.
Leaflet Flat division of a leaf; one
of the divisions of a compound leaf.
Leaf mold Partially decomposed leaf matter,
used as a soil amendment.
Leaf scar Mark on a twig or stem left
where a leaf was detached.
Leafspot One of many types of fungal
or bacteria diseases causing round marks.
Leggy Abnormally tall and spindly growth;
a lot of stem space between leaves.
Legume A pod; the characteristic fruit
of the pea family.
Lenticels Very small wart-like structures,
breaking through the bark of most young twigs. Corky in texture
and made of loosely packed cells, providing gaseous exchange
between the inner tissues of the stem and the atmosphere.
Lifting A form of transplantation usually
involving little root disturbance.
Lignified Woody, hardened.
Ligule A strap shaped organ; a minute
projection from the top of the leaf sheath in grasses; the
strap shaped corolla in the ray flower of Composites.
meaning flowers like a lily; with big white trumpets.
Limy soil A soil with traces of calcium/lime.
Line A group of plants used for breeding.
Liquid manure A fertilizer made by running
water through or into solid manure
Linear Long and narrow.
Lineate Lined; bearing thin parallel
Lined Lightly ridged or ribbed.
Loam A rich soil composed of clay, sand,
and organic matter.
Lobed Divided deeply, as applied to leaves.
Lustrous Having a slight metallic gloss,
less reflective than glossy.
Lutea/luteum/luteus Epithet meaning yellow,
often a lighter shade than aurea (golden).
meaning larger flowers.
meaning spotted or mottled in color.
Manure Organic matter, excreted by animals,
which is used as a soil amendment and fertilizer. Green manures
are plant cover crops that are tilled into the soil.
Margin The edge of a leaf.
Maritima/maritimus/maritimum From a seashore
or maritime area.
Mature A later phase of plant growth
characterized by flowering, fruiting, and a reduced rate of
Media/soil media Any substrate (organic
or not) used to hold plant roots.
Meristem The growing tissue area in a
plant; all buds contain a meristem. Areas of actively dividing
cells and plant growth; capable of developing into specialized
Metamorphosis Changing from one state
to a different one.
Microclimate Variations of the climate
within a given area; a very local or small-scale climate such
as valley or woodland.
Micro nutrients Mineral elements which
are needed by some plants in very small quantities.
Midrib/midvein The rib or central vein
running down the center of a leaf.
Mold A type of fungus that grows on decaying
Mollis A covering of soft hairs.
Moniliform Repeatedly constricted laterally
and appearing bead-like.
Monocarpic Fruiting once and then dying.
Monoclonal cultivar A cultivar that correctly
represents a single clone.
Monocot A plant of the angiosperm group
having one cotyledon.
Monoculture Growing only one particular
type of plant.
Monoecious A species with unisexual flowers,
having both sexes on the same plant.
Monopodial Continuing growth from a terminal
bud each year.
Morifolium Epithet meaning leaves like
mulberry, such as mums.
Morphology The study of structure or
Mother block A certified group of plants
used to derive propagation tissues.
Mucronate Ending in a fine, slender tip.
Mulch Any loose material placed over
the soil to control weeds and conserve soil moisture. Usually
a coarse organic matter, such as leaves, clippings or bark.
Multiple Applied to several buds in or over
an axil, instead of the customary single or solitary bud.
Multiple fruit A fruit formed from several flowers
included in a single structure having a common axis.
Multi-stemmed Having more than one stem
Mummy A dried, shriveled fruit.
Mutation A change in the expected genetic
or tissue makeup of a plant. A sudden change in genetic material
resulting in an altered individual. Generally disadvantageous
to the mutated plants survival.
Mycelium/mycelia Thread-like growth parts
of many fungi, often white or gray.
Naked Said of a bud which
is not covered by scales; the outer pair of leaves serves the
same purpose; a flower with no floral envelope (perianth).
Nana/nanus/nanum Epithet meaning dwarf
Nascent In the act of being formed.
Native Original to an area.
Native plant Any plant that occurs and
grows naturally in a specific region or locality.
Naturalism Planting to create the effect
that plants grew in that space without human intervention;
gardening to keep or enhance existing natural features.
Naturalized Thoroughly established, but
originally from a foreign area.
Nematode mostly microscopic worm-like
organisms that damage plant roots
Net veined/netted venation With veins
reticulated and resembling a fish net; the interstices close.
Neutral flower A sterile flower consisting
of perianth without any essential organs.
Niger/nigrum/nigrus/nigra Dark or blackish
that bloom only in dark or shade.
Nitrate of soda A strong alkaline fertilizer
with about 15% nitrogen.
Nitrification The process of oxidizing
ammonium salts into nitrogen for plants.
Notched With V-shaped indentations.
Nocturnal Active at night, night-blooming.
Nodal At or pertaining to a node.
Node The point where a leaf or other
structure meets a stem node; the part of a stem from which
a leaf or new branch starts to grow.
Nodule Round bacteria-filled swellings
on the roots of legume plants.
Nomenclature The study of naming plants
including spelling and format.
Novae-angliae Epithet meaning from New
NPK Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash;
the three main food elements necessary for plant life. Nitrogen
is required for foliage and growth, phosphorous for flowers
and potash for roots.
Nut A hard and single-seed fruit found
in many trees and shrubs.
Nutrient A chemical required by a plant
Ob- A prefix meaning inversion.
Obcordate A leaf with rounded lobes at
Oblique Lop-sided, as one side of a leaf
base being larger, wider or more rounded than the other.
Obovate Inversely ovate, broadest above
Obscure Not easily made out, hidden.
Obtuse With sides forming an angle of
more than 90 degrees; having a rounded and blunt apex.
Occidentalis/occidentale Globally western
Odd pinnate A compound pinnate leaf with
a terminal or odd numbered leaflet at the tip.
Oedema Corky portions of leaves caused
by excessive humidity.
Offset Small bulb or plantlet used to
propagate new plants.
-oides Plant name suffix meaning like
or similar to.
Open-pollinated Seeds produced from plants
that are allowed to pollinate naturally, primarily through
insects, wind and water.
Opposite Said of leaves or leaf scars
that are paired on opposite sides at each node.
Orbicular Rounded in two-dimensional
outline as many plant leaves
Orbiculate Circular or disc-shaped.
Organic gardening A method of gardening
utilizing only materials derived from living or once-alive
Organic Something that was or is alive;
Organic material Any material which originated
as a living organism.
Ornamental Showy or visually pleasing.
Ornamentals Popular abbreviation for
a division of Horticultural Science dealing with plant cultivated
for landscape or display value.
Ovary The ovule-bearing part of a pistil;
the female part of a flower containing immature seeds (ovules).
Ovate Egg shaped, broadest below the
Ovoid Said of a bud that is egg-shaped,
with the broadest portion near the base.
Ovule The egg-containing unit of an ovary,
which after fertilization becomes the seed.
Pad and fan cooling The
use of a moistened surface and fans to cool a greenhouse.
Pacifica/pacificum/pacificus From near
the Pacific ocean or the Western US.
Palmate Radiating, fan-like from a common
point; as of leaflets of a palmately compound leaf or veins
of a palmately-veined leaf.
Pandurate Fiddle shaped.
Panicle A branched cluster of stalked
Parasitic plant A plant which lives on,
and acquires its nutrients from another plant.
Parterre An ornamental flower garden
where beds and paths are arranged to form a pattern. A formal
garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting
beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging and gravel
paths arranged to form a pleasing pattern.
Parvi- Botanical name prefix meaning
small or reduced.
Parviflora Having smaller flowers.
Parvifolia Having smaller or shorter
Pathogen An organism that causes a plant
Peat moss An organic soil additive from
Sphagnum and related mosses. The partially decomposed remains
of various mosses. This is a good, water retentive addition
to the soil, but tends to add the acidity of the soil pH.
Pedate A palmately divided or compound
leaf whose two lateral lobes are again cleft or divided.
Pedicel The stalk of a flower or fruit
when in a cluster or when solitary.
Peduncle The stalk of a flower cluster
or a single flower when the flower is solitary, or the remaining
member of a reduced inflorescence.
or drooping with branches hanging down from a central stem;
a weeping or spreading cultivar.
Perennial A plant that dies down to the
ground during winter and survives to grow again each spring;
plants that persist for more than two years.
Perfect flower A flower having both functional
stamens and pistils; a plant with both functioning male and
Pergola An arbor with an open roof of
rafters supported by posts or columns; an overhead covering
for an outdoor structure. An open framework over a walkway
or path, which is usually designed to be covered in climbing
Perianth The two floral envelopes of
a flower; a collective term embracing both corolla and calyx
as a unit.
Perlite A light weight white-colored
soil additive from volcanic materials.
Persicifolia Having leaves shaped like
Persistent Not deciduous, as applied
to leaves; not disappearing, as applied to pith, pubescence,
epidermis, etc. Adhering to a position instead of falling,
whether dead or alive.
Pest Any insect or animal which is detrimental
to the health and well being of plants or other animals.
Petals Modified leaves forming the inner
Petiole Leaf stalk.
Petiolule Leaflet stalk.
pH The scale used to denote the acidity
or alkalinity (lime content) of a soil or growing compost.
6.5 pH is considered neutral and supports most plant life.
Phenotype The visual appearance of a
plant regardless of genetics.
Photosynthesis The internal process by
which a plant turns sunlight into growing energy. The formation
of carbohydrates in plants from water and carbon dioxide, by
the action of sunlight on the Chlorophyll in the leaves.
Physiology The study of chemical function
of any organism.
Phyto- Prefix meaning plant.
Phytogenetics The study of plant genetics
Phytopathology The study of plant diseases.
Picta/pictum/pictus Painted; often a
variegated or multicolored plant.
Pilose Shaggy with soft hairs.
Pinching back Nipping off the very tip
of a branch or stem. Pinching promotes branching, and a bushier,
Pistil The seed-bearing organ of a flower,
consisting of the ovary, stigma, and style.
Pinna A leaflet of a compound leaf; when
applied to ferns, the primary division attached to the main
Pinnate A compound leaf with leaflets
or segments along each side of a common axis or rachis; feather-like.
Pinetum Woody plant collection emphasizing
Pinnata/pinnatum/pinnatus Having pinnate
or feather-patterned veins or leaflets. Pinnatio means many
small, lateral branches growing off a rib or axis.
Pisifera/pisiferus Literally, pea-bearing.
Pinnule The leaflet of a pinna; a secondary
leaflet of a pinnately decompound leaf.
Pistil The female part of a flower composed
of ovary, style and stigma.
Pistillate An imperfect flower with a
pistil, or seed organ, but having no functional stamens (male
pollen producing organs).
Pith The central part of a twig, similar
Plicate Folded, as in a folding fan,
or approaching this condition.
Plug A small but well-rooted seedling
raised in a cellular tray.
Plumose Feather-like, plumy.
Plume Feather-like erect inflorescence.
Pollination Process of transfering pollen
from a stamen to a pistil.
Pollinator Cultivar, often a male clone,
proven to pollinate other cultivars.
Polyclonal cultivar A cultivar representing
two or more distinct clones.
Post-harvest physiology A science relating
to fruit and vegetable storage and quality.
Potting soil A growth substrate suitable
for container gardening. A soil mixture designed for use in
container gardens and potted plants. Potting mixes should be
loose, light, and sterile.
Potting Compost Medium for potting plants
or for sowing seeds.
Potting on Placing a plant into a larger
pot to promote growth etc..
Pod A dry dehiscent fruit; capsule, legume,
Pollen The male cells or microspores
produced by the stamens.
Pollination The transfer of pollen from
the stamen (male part of the flower) to the pistil (female
part of the flower), which results in the formation of a seed.
Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant
is used to pollinate and entirely different variety, resulting
in a new plant altogether.
Polycarpic Flowering and fruiting many
Polygamous Bearing unisexual and bisexual
flowers on the same plant.
Pome A type of fleshy fruit represented
by the apple, pear or related genera. A fruit with a papery
or bony core at the center and with sepals or scars from which
the sepals have fallen at the blossom end.
Posterior At or toward the back; opposite
the front; nearest the axis; away from the subtending bract.
PPAF Acronym for Plant Patent Applied
Precocity Tendency of a given species/cultivar
to mature early.
Preformed Already with definite shape
or structure, as with leaves within a bud.
Prehensile Clasping, coiling in response
Pricking out Transplanting small seedlings
into larger trays or containers.
Prickles Slender, sharp outgrowths of
the stem tissues beneath the epidermis.
Primocane The first years shoot
or cane of a biennial woody stem.
Procumbens An epithet meaning trailing
low along the ground.
Progeny testing the evaluation of seedlings
of a particular cross or source.
Propagation Various methods of starting
new plants ranging from starting seeds to identical clones
created by cuttings or layering.
Provenance The geographic wild origin
in terms of site and population.
Propagation Method of increasing the
number of plants by dividing roots, layering or start from
Procumbent Lying flat on the ground but
the stem not rooting at nodes or tip.
Prominent Projecting outward, conspicuous.
Prostrate Lying flat on the ground; a
Protogynous Having the stigma receptive
to pollen before the pollen is released from the anthers of
the same flower.
Proximal Toward the base, away from the
Pruning Reducing the growth on a shrub/tree
to promote new flowers, stems or foliage. Also for cosmetic
reasons. The cutting and trimming of plants to remove dead
or injured wood, or to control and direct the new growth of
Ptero- Botanical name prefix meaning
Puberulent Minutely hairy.
Punctate With translucent or covered
dots, depressions or pits.
Pungent With a sharp, hard point; sharp
and acid to taste or smell.
Purity The relative stability and uniformity
of a breeding line.
Quadrangular Four angled,
or pith or a twig.
Quick dip Treating cuttings with a liquid
Raceme A simple indeterminate
inflorescence with pedicel led flowers. An elongated , unbranched
cluster of stalked flowers.
Rachis The axis along which the leaflets
of a pinnate leaf are arranged .
Radial Arranged around and spreading
from a common center.
Radical Of or pertaining to the root.
Radicle The embryonic root of a seed.
Ranked Foliage Arranged in longitudinal
planes around the stem.
Ray flower A flower with a strap-shaped
corolla, usually found on the outer edge of a Compositae inflorescence.
Recurved Bent or curved backward, usually
roundly or obtusely so.
Reblooming Typically said of a plant
with a spring and later fall blooming
Rebloomer A plant with two or more flowering
Recurrent A plant more or less blooming
in two or more sessions or months.
Reflexed Bent abruptly backward or downward.
Relative humidity The measurement of
the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.
Reticulate Like a net, the interstices
closed. Usually referring to the veins of a leaf.
Registered Said of a cultivar cataloged
with an International Registrar (IRA).
Registrar An international authority
that catalogues cultivar names (IRA).
Reniformis/reniforme Epithet meaning
Rhizome An underground stem, capable
of storing food, and from which roots and stems of new plants
can emerge. An underground stem distinguishable from a root
by the presence of nodes, buds or scale-like leaves.
Rib A conspicuous vein of a leaf; or
a prominent ridge.
Rhombic With four nearly equal sides,
but unequal angles, diamond shaped.
Root anchor A large root that holds a
plant in a physical soil mass feeder; a small surface root
which easily absorbs nutrients and water.
Root ball The network of roots, with
attached soil, of any given plant.
Rootbound A condition which exists when
a potted plant has outgrown its container. The roots become
entangled and matted together, and the growth of the plant
becomes stunted. When repotting, loosen the roots on the outer
edges of the root ball, to induce them to once again grow outward.
Rooting Hormone A growth hormone in powder
or liquid form, which promotes the formation of roots at the
base of a cutting.
Rosette A crown of leaves radiating from
a stem, and at or close to the surface of the ground.
Rudiment The beginning of an undeveloped
Rufous Reddish brown.
Rugose Wrinkled, usually covered with
Runner A slender trailing shoot that
usually roots at the tip and some nodes; a long offshoot of
a plant. A slender stem growing out from the base of some plants,
which terminates with a new offset plant. The new plant may
be severed from the parent after it has developed sufficient
Samara A dry indehiscent
fruit bearing a wing.
Saccate With a sac-like shape.
Saggitate Shaped like an arrowhead.
or blood red.
Sanitation The process of keeping a clean
and disease-free growing area.
Saprophyte A plant that lives on decaying
organic matter, such as mushrooms.
Scab A fungal scale disease that leaves
spots on foliage and fruit.
Scabrous Rough to the touch as with many
hairy leaves or stems.
Scald Burning due to strong sun or light
Scale A small and usually dry bract or
vestigial leaf or a structure resembling such; a small bract
or leaf-like covering of a flower or leaf bud. A small round
Scandent Climbing, usually without tendrils.
Scape A leafless stalk bearing flowers;
a leafless peduncle arising from the basal rosette. A scape
may be one or many-flowered.
Scarification Deliberate wounding of
a seed to allow water to enter
Scion A short length of stem, taken from
one plant which is then grafted onto the rootstock of another
plant; the top "slip"
or desirable propagated tissue in a grafted plant
Scorch Injury to plant parts due to burning
by wind or water loss; sometimes used as a synonym of scald,
such as burning by the sun.
Scree Rock garden planting bed made of
crushed stone and soil.
Screen A tall hedge of many plants used
to block wind or a bad view.
Schizocarp A dry dehiscent fruit that
splits into two halves.
Scrambler A plant that climbs without
twining or grasping in some way.
Scurfy Describes a surface covered with
bran-like or flaky particles.
Seascape A landscape planted near the
seashore or beach.
Secund One sided.
Seed A fertilized ripened ovule that
contains an embryo; a ripened plant ovary capable of germinating
to produce another plant.
Seedling A young plant grown from seed.
Seed coat The covering or protective
layer around a seed.
Seed Pods The hardened protective shell
that contains the maturing seeds of a plant.
Self To cross a plant with its own flowers
or one of identical type; said of flowers of one color as opposed
to a bicolor.
Self-fertile A plant capable of producing
viable seed with its own pollen.
Self-pollination A plant capable of pollinating
its own flowers.
Self-sterile A plant not capable of reproducing
with its own pollen.
Semi-double A flower with only a few
stamens converted to petals; a flower with less than twice
the normal number of petals.
Semi-evergreen A plant whose foliage
is retained all year in warm climates but not in colder ones;
some of the foliage is retained in most climates where hardy.
Semp A common abbreviation for Sempervivum
and related genera.
Sempervirens Sepal Modified leaves
forming the outer floral envelope.
Serrate Saw-toothed, the teeth pointing
Serrulate Minutely serrate.
Sessile Without a stalk.
Sepal The divided part of a calyx or
outer whorl of a flower.
Septum A portion of a fruit.
Setaceous Bristle-like, very narrow;
resembling or having a bristle.
Shade A low light planting environment.
Sheath An elongated, more or less tubular
structure enveloping an organ or plant part; a tube-shaped
part containing a leaf of a grass or similar plant.
Short-season crop A plant capable of
producing parts in a minimum of days.
Shrub A woody plant that is usually under
15 feet tall and has many stems.
Shrubby Applied to woody plants which
at maturity are less than 20 ft. high, have more than one stem,
and no definite crown shape (a purely arbitrary definition);
See also "Arborescent".
Sib Shorthand for sibling or sister/brother
in a seedling population.
Simple Said of a leaf when not compound,
or of an inflorescence when unbranched.
Sinensis/sinense Epithet meaning from
China; from Asia generally.
Single flower A flower having only a
minimum number of petals for that variety of plant.
Sinuate With a wavy margin.
Sinus The recess between lobes of a leaf
or petal; the space between two lobes, segments, or divisions;
as of leaves or flower parts.
Slimeflux Exuded mass from a cut or wound
woody plant trunk.
Slip A plant cutting.
Sludge Processed sewage, high in nitrogen,
which is used as fertilizer.
Smut A fungal disease that often has
gray or black spores.
Softwood cutting A herbaceous (often
green) cutting of young stems.
Soil drench A media treatment to kill
Soilless mix A substrate for plant roots
with manmade materials.
Soil pH The measure of the amount of
lime (calcium) contained in soil.
Solitary Single, one.
Sooty mold A fungus that develops on
Spaghetti irrigation/spaghetti tube The
popular name for drip irrigation because of long narrow tubes
Sphagnum Dried bog moss. Most peat moss
is composed primarily of sphagnum moss. This moss is also packaged
and sold in a fresh state, and used for lining hanging baskets
and air layering.
Spathe A large hood-like bract enclosing
Spatulate Spoon shaped.
Speciation the evolutionary process of
a wild population becoming a new distinct species.
Species A natural group of plants composed
of similar individuals which can produce similar offspring,
usually including several minor variations; a unit of botanical
classification capable of reproducing itself.
Spicate With spikes; having the shape
or form of a spike.
Spike A usually unbranched, elongated,
simple, indeterminate inflorescence whose flowers are sessile;
an unbranched stalk full of flowers.
Spine A modified very sharp leaf, similar
to thorn and prickle; sharp outgrowths of the twig, sometimes
but not always paired at the nodes.
Spinosa Epithet meaning with spines,
prickles or thorns.
Spinose/spinosissima With many spines.
Spittle bug Frog hoppers that suck sap
from plant stems and produce saliva.
Spongy Irregularly interrupted by small,
sometimes scarcely distinguishable cavities; porous.
Spore A minute reproductive body comprised
of a single gametophytic cell; a simple reproductive cell of
ferns, mosses or fungi.
Sporocarp A body containing sporangia
Sporophyll A spore bearing leaf.
Sport A shoot that differs from a plant
and can be reproduced as such.
Spreading Growing outward or horizontally.
Spur shoots Short stubby branches with
greatly crowded leaf scars and very slow growth, often bearing
Spreader A mechanical device to spray
chemicals; a chemical used to disperse pesticides uniformly
over a plant surface.
Spur A projection of a flower; a short
thick stem that produces flowers and fruit.
Stake A piece of wood/plastic/metal used
to support stems or flowers.
Stalk A supporting structure of a leaf,
flower or fruit.
Stalked Said of buds with scales elongated
perceptibly below the lowest scales.
Stamen The male part of a flower composed
of the anther and filament; the pollen bearing male part of
a flower; organ of a seed plant.
Staminate An imperfect flower with stamens
or pollen producing structures, but with no pistil, or seed
Staminate Having or pertaining to a stamen
or pollen-bearing part of a flower.
Standard A small tree commonly produced
by grafting a weeping or dwarf form on a trunk of the desired
height. An upright single-stemmed plant as grafted tree roses;
an upright petal as in many members of the pea family.
Starch A stored carbohydrate in plant
Stellate Star-shaped as in radiating
petals or minute plant hairs.
Stem The trunk and its branches; one
of the three fundamental parts of a higher plants- root, stem
and leaf. A vascular growing axis of a plant with buds and
Sterile Lacking fertility or reproductive
potential; said of a soil heated or treated to remove harmful
organisms. Barren, not able to produce seed.
Sterilization The process of killing
insects and disease in soil; process of killing harmful organisms
on cultured plant tissue.
Stick Verb used when one places cuttings
in a rooting medium or bed.
Stigma The receptive female portion,
usually the distal end of a pistil, of a flower that receives
Stipe The stalk of a fern frond or stalk
of a flower pistil.
Stipel A stipule of a leaflet.
Stipellate Having stipules at the base
of the leaflets.
Stipular Having stipules at the base
of the leaves.
Stipules Small leaf-like organs occurring
in pairs on either side of the leaves; occasionally each one
extends half way around the twig, respectively.
Stipule scars A pair of marks left after
the stipules fall off, to either side of the leaf scar.
Stock The basal or rooted part of a grafted
plant; a group of preserved nursery plants used for propagation.
Stolon A slender horizontal stem which
produces new plants; a horizontal stem that roots at its tip
and grows a new plant.
Stoloniferous Producing stolons.
Stomata A minute pore in the epidermis,
especially in the lower surface on the leaf. The breathing
pores of a leaf.
Stomate A breathing or water pore of
a plant leaf or stem; sweat gland.
Stool A clump of roots used for propagation,
usually applied to layering
Strain A race within a species reproduced
by seed; many are now cultivars.
Stratification A temperature treatment
of seed used to break dormancy.
Stratified Arranged in horizontal layers.
Striate Striped or having long lines,
channels or ridges.
Strike To produce roots, as with a cutting.
Strobilus A term for a conifer cone.
Style The long female stalk or pistil
between the stigma and ovary.
Sub- A prefix meaning nearly or almost.
Subcontinuous pith With occasional but
not regular gaps in the pith.
Suberization A formation of corky bark
on wounded cuttings or stems.
Submerged bud A bud hidden by the petiole
or embedded in the callus of the leaf scar.
Subopposite Said of paired leaf scars
that are close, but not at exactly the same height on the twig
Subshrub A partly woody plant.
Subtending Standing below.
Succulent A fleshy plant that hold water
in itself, usually in the leaves or stem. Thickened, juicy,
fleshy tissues that are more or less soft in texture.
Sucker A vigorous shoot arising from
a plant base or from below ground; also the adhering discs
of a vine. A growth originating from the rootstock of a grafted
Suffrutescent A plant with stems that
are woody at the base, usually dying back to the woody stems
or even back to the ground after severe winters. Half- or sub-shrub.
Suffruticose Shrubby; densely bushy plants.
Summer annual A one year plant that sows
in spring and flowers in summer or fall.
Sunscald A burning of tissue due to strong
light on foliage or bark.
Superficial On the surface, not connected
to inner tissues.
Supine Lying flat, face upwards.
Suture A line of dehiscence or groove
marking a face of union.
Superposed Said of extra buds that appear above
the true axillary buds; usually flower buds.
Sylvestris/sylvestre Epithet meaning
of the woods.
Syncarp A rounded aggregation of fruits;
a fleshy aggregate fruit.
Systemic pesticide/systemic herbicide A
chemical that is absorbed by a plant and is translocated in
its vessels, either to kill feeding insects on the plant, or
to kill the plant itself.
Tap root The primary or
thick main root growing straight down from a plant.
Taxonomythe The science of plant classification
T-budding A type of grafting that places a bud
into a T-shaped cut on a stock.
Temperate zone Northern hemisphere of the world.
Tender plants Plants that are unable
to endure frost or freezing temperatures.
Tendril The twisting, clinging, slender
growth on many vines, which allows the plant to attach themselves
to a support or trellis; a twisting thread-like shoot used
to support the plant. A climbing organ metamorphosed from a
leaf, stipule or stem.
Tepal A segment of perianth not differentiated
into calyx or corolla.
Terminal The end bud beyond which no
further growth takes place normally until the following season.
At the tip or distal end.
Ternate In threes.
Terrarium A glass or plastic-enclosed
growing environment with high humidity
Texture The relative coarseness or fineness
of foliage in the landscape
Thallus A flat leaf-shaped part in the
early life cycle of a fern
Thatch The layer of dead stems that builds
up under many lawn grasses.
Throat The inner mouth-like opening of
a tubular flower.
Thinning Removing excess seedlings, to
allow sufficient room for growth and better size and quality
in the remaining plants. Removing stems or branches, to give
the plant a more open structure.
Thorns Sharp outgrowths of the twig that
represent modified branches; usually bearing leaf scars, or
Tomentose With a wooly covering of short
Tomentulose Microscopically tomentose
Tomentum Densely matted hairs.
Toothed A margin that is broken up into
small rather regular segments.
Torulose Twisted or knobby, irregularly
swollen at close intervals.
Top-dressing A fertilizer or compost
applied at the soil level.
Top working Grafting only the ends of
a plant, leaving branches intact.
Topiary The art of pruning and training
plants into specific shapes.
Topsoil The top layer of native soil.
This term may also apply to good quality soil sold at nurseries
and garden centers.
Trailing Prostrate, running down or along
the ground, or not rooting.
Translocation The movement of water and
nutrients through a plants vessels.
Transpiration The release of moisture
through the leaves of a plant.
Transplant A seedling that grows its
first true leaves, which resemble the adult plant leaves rather
than the seed leaves that first appear.
Transplanting The process of digging
up a plant and moving it to another location.
Transplantation The process of moving
a plant from one soil mass to another.
Transverse ridge A ridge that runs across
the stem from one leaf scar to its pair on the opposite side
of the twig.
Trench layering A method of propagation
using long branches rooted in a manmade ditch.
Trenching Digging a shallow ditch around
the border of a planting.
Trichomes Bristle or hairs.
Tricolored A plant with three colors.
Trifoiolate A leaf with three leaflets.
Triloba/trilobus/trilobum Epithet meaning
three major lobes in the leaf or other part.
Triploid With three sets of chromosomes;
many of these plants are seedless.
True Leaves The first hardy leaves, usually
the second pair, on a new plant.
Truncate With a leaf or part abruptly
Truss A non-technical term for a domed
Tuber A flat underground stem that stores
food and plant energy, with growing points from which a plant
Tubercle A miniature tuber, tuber-like
structure or projection.
Tuberous With tubers or part resembling
Turf A dense mat of lawn grasses cut
Tunicated With concentric layers, often
of fleshy scales.
Turgid A plant part that is swollen and
full of water.
Twiggy Having many divergent twigs.
Twining A stem winding around a support.
Type Identifies each plant according
to various accepted groupings such as shrub, perennial or grass.
A pressed herbarium specimen.
Umbel Usually a flat-topped
flower cluster, with pedicels and peduncles arising from a
common point, resembling the supports of an umbrella.
Unarmed Without either spines or prickles,
though the leaves may have sharp teeth at the margins or tip
Uncinate Hooked at the tip.
Undulate Wavy, as a leaf margin.
Unisexual flowers Flowers having either
pistils or anthers, but not both.
Unisexual Withonly one sex (male
or female) of flowers on a single plant.
Urban horticulture The study of stresses
affecting city trees, gardens and landscapes.
USDA United States Department of Agriculture.
USNA United States National Arboretum.
Vein The rib or branch
of vessels in a plant leaf or other flat part.
Valvate Applied to bud scales that meet
along a definite, usually longitudinal, line without overlapping;
the reverse of imbricate.
Variant A variation between strains;
a plant that is genetically different from the wild plant.
Variedad Spanish word for variety; a
Variegate A cultivar with variegated
Variegated Striped, margined or mottled
with colors other than green, where green is normal; having
markings or zones of tissue lacking green chlorophyll.
Variety One of possibly many closely-related
plant species. A naturally occurring variation of a wild species.
Variety Subdivision of a species having
a distinct though often inconspicuous difference, and breeding
true to that difference. Also refers to clones.
Vascular The vessels that conduct water
or nutrients in plants.
Vascular bundle A discrete group of conducting
Vascular bundle scar A minute spot within
the leaf scar where the vessels were positioned.
Vegetative The leafy or green portions
of a plant.
Venation Arrangement or pattern of veins
or vessels and their relative association.
Venulose With very fine hairs.
Verdant Characterized by abundance of
verdure, green in tint or color.
Verdure Lush greenness of flourishing
Vermiculite The mineral mica, heated
to the point of expansion. A good addition to container potting
mixes, vermiculite retains moisture and air within the soil.
Vernacular name A name in a common local
Vernal Related to spring.
Vernation The arrangement of leaves within
Verrucose Having a wart-like surface.
Verticillate Arranged in whorls or arranged
in a radiating patterns.
Vesicle A small bladdery sac or cavity
filled with air or fluid.
Vestige The remains of an exhausted or
dead plant structure.
Viable/viability Seed or spores capable
of germination with suitable treatment.
Villous Having long, soft, shaggy hairs
that are not matted.
Vine A slender stemmed plant that trails
and climbs by means of attaching parts and stems.
Virescent Becoming green.
the Southeastern USA.
Virus A deforming microorganism that
causes disease and death.
Vivipary/viviparous With live plantlets
on a mother plant.
Virus indexing A procedure to test plant
stock to determine if it has a virus.
Viscid Sticky or with appreciable viscosity.
Voluable Readily flowing, twining.
Wall garden A garden
against a man-made structure to protect plants.
Wardian case/Wardian An ornate 19th century
terrarium used for ferns and rare plants.
Waterlogged Said of soil that is oversaturated
Water sprout A vigorous sucker from the
base of a woody plant.
Whip A long scion used for tongue and
Whorled Arranged around a central point;
leaves not alternate nor opposite.
Wildlife garden Planting with plants
to attract, feed and house wild animals, insects and birds.
Willow water A solution of willow bark
that aids in rooting cuttings.
Winter annual A one year plant that sows
in fall/winter and flowers early spring.
Woody plant A tree or shrub; any plant
with lignified tissues.
Wounding Deliberately cutting plant stems
to increase root formation.
Weeping Dropping conspicuously, pendant.
Whorled An arrangement of three or more
structures arising from a single node.
Woolly Having long, soft, more or less
matted or tangled hairs; like wool.
X Indicates a hybrid.
Xeriphyte A plant naturally adapted to
drought or low moisture conditions.
Xeriscape A landscape made of plants
that require very little water or rain.
Zone An area distinguished
by a range of annual average minimum temperatures, used in
describing plant hardiness. Regions that share similar climatic
and rainfall conditions producing similar growing seasons.