An achene is a simple dry fruit grown by many flowering
plants. They do not open at maturity and are grown from
These types of plants have a two year life cycle. The
plant grows the first year, and flowers or grows fruits
during the second year.
A bract is a specialized leaf that is normally part
of the reproductive part of the plant. Some bracts attract
pollinators by being brightly colored.
This term refers to soil which has a high level of calcium
carbonate. This content makes the soil very alkaline.
The word calyx is used as a collective term for the
sepals of a flower.
When there is a nutrient deficiency that causes a plant
to fail to produce chlorophyll, a yellowing of the plants
tissue can occur, and the plant if referred to as being
The corolla is the overall structure of all the petals
of the flower.
A season's yield of a plant that is grown in large quantities.
Crops are usually grown as food for sale in grocery
markets, but also can be grown for livestock feed and
Originally the term culm referred to a stem of any kind.
It now refers to an above ground stem.
A cultivar results from the cross-breeding of plants,
which results in a new subspecies, or cultivar (hybrid).
A cyme is a variation of the arrangement of flowers
on a plant.
A deciduous plant is one that loses its leaves seasonally.
Loss of leaves normally is in conjunction with a seasonal
weather change, such as winter.
This is when flowers of a plant are one sex only, and
require a second plant with flowers of the opposite
sex to reproduce.
When a plant is said to be 'endemic', it means it is
confined, restricted, or found only in a particular
Plants that are said to be 'frost tender' can not survive
in any level of frost.
Germ cells, called gametes, from the male and female
plants fuse together during fertilization.
Parts of plants that are glabrous have no 'hairs'
on their surface.
The female reproductive part of the plant.
A hybrid plant is the result of interbreeding different
plant species of separate taxa.
This is a term describing the particular shape of leaves.
Lanceolate leaves are long leaves that are wider in
A lenticel is an area of spongy tissue on the outside
of vascular plants that allow for the exchange of gases
between the atmosphere and the inner tissue of the plant.
These plants have a limited life cycle. The plant will
grow, develop flowers, set their seeds, and the die.
The pappus surrounds the base of the corolla,
and in some species, allows the seeds to be carried
off by the wind (ie. Dandelion).
When a tree's branches are dangling or hanging loosely
in the shape of a pendulum, they are said to be pendulous.
If a plant lives for more than two years it is classified
as a perennial.
The perianth refers to the outer portion of a flower.
The perianth contains the petals, sepals, and tepals.
The fleshy and edible part of a plant, or the fruit,
is called the pericarp. It is the tissue that surrounds
The petals of a flower are the showy, usually brightly
colored parts of the flower head that surround the reproductive
This is the act of reproducing, spreading or distributing
plants through both artificial and natural methods.
Common methods are by using seeds or cuttings.
This is the first part to emerge from the seed during
germination, considered the embryonic root of the plant.
The radicle, once emerged, always grows downward in
The process of making parts of trees/plants smaller
is called ramification. This is usually accomplished
through pruning. (ie. Making a tree into a bonsai variant).
A root tuber is a lateral root, although modified. These
tubers are enlarged, and work as an organ for storage
of nutrients. A good example of a root tuber is the
The fruit of a plant that is in the shape of wings,
allowing the wind to carry them off. Often referred
to as a 'helicopter'.
The sepal of a flower lies underneath the petals. They
are usually green (but not always), and are of similar
shape to the petals.
This term refers to the male organs of a plant.
This type of tuber tends to develop
at the sides of the parent plant, and close to the soil.
The topside can grow stems and leaves, while the underside
develops roots. A potato is a specialized stem tuber.
Outgrowths located on either side of the leafstalk base.
Stipules come in all shapes and sizes; spines, scales,
A succulent plant is a plant that has adapted to hot
and arid weather/soil conditions by retaining water
in their stems, leaves and roots. Also known as 'fat
A flowers tepal is an element of the outer part of the
flower itself, and includes the sepals and/or petals.
When the petals and sepals are of similar shape and
color, the term tepal is normally used as a collective
A tuber is an enlarged plant structure used to store
nutrients, usually to provide sustenance for the plant
during the winter months, and to help regrow the plant
the following year. There are two types of tubers: stem
tuber and root tuber.
A whorl is when items on a plant surround a central
point. Example: Leaves that are whorled surround and
attach to the stem at the same point.