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| A – L | N – Z |
Achene: a (typically small) ‘seed-like’, one-seeded fruit which does not open to release the seed.
Alkaloids: a heterogeneous group of chemicals with nitrogenous bases which occur naturally in plants. Many produce a strong physiological reaction when introduced into animals.
Allergen: a substance which produces an abnormal (and repeatable) hypersensitivity (allergy) in some individuals.
Alternate: not diametrically opposite but occurring singly at different heights; usually refers to an arrangement of leaves.
Anther: pollen-containing sac of stamen at the summit of the filament.
Apex: the growing point of a stem; the tip of a leaf.
Auricles: paired appendages often at the base of leaf blades in grasses and at the base of some other leaves.
Awn: a bristle-like appendage (common in grasses).
Axil: the upper angle between the stem (or other axis) and any organ (usually a leaf) arising from the stem (adj. axillary).
Berry: a fleshy fruit with few to many seeds derived from a single pistil.
Biennial: living for more than one but less than two (calendar) years.
Bipinnate: twice pinnately divided (usually referring to leaves).
Blade: the expanded part (lamina) of a leaf or bract; particularly of a grass leaf.
Bract: a leaf-like structure or scale often surrounding flowers or inflorescences.
Bulb: a storage organ, usually underground, consisting of a short stem and swollen leaf bases surrounded by dry leaf bases (as in onions) (adj. bulbous).
Bulbil: a small bulb.
Calyx: the sepals collectively (outer whorl) of a flower; sepals may be combined into one structure.
Capitulum: a dense cluster (inflorescence) of flowers combined into a structure which often has the appearance of a single flower (common in the Asteraceae) (pl. capitula).
Capsule: a dry fruit containing at least two seedbearing structures.
Carpel: the combined unit of the female flower parts usually consisting of stigma, style and ovary.
Compound: usually referring to leaves in which the blade is divided into separate leaflets. Also used in relation to inflorescences which are composed of several units such as spikes.
Corm: a solid part of the stem, usually underground, surrounded by dry leaf bases.
Corolla: the petals of a flower collectively.
Corymb: an inflorescence which is a raceme, but has pedicels graded in length so that the flowers are in the same horizontal plane (adj. corymbose).
Cotyledon: the first leaf or leaves of a plant emerging from a seed.
Crown: tissue at the junction of the root and stem.
Cultivar: a ‘cultivated variety’ within a species created artificially (by breeding) or selected for cultivation by humans which is given a vernacular name (cf. variety).
Cyme: a branched inflorescence in which each flower is terminal to a shoot including tile main stem (adj. cymose).
Disc: (floret) a small flower, usually tubular in shape, borne on the central part of flower heads in the Asteraceae.
Elliptical: shaped like an ellipse.
Emergent: refers to parts of aquatic plants growing above the water surface.
Entire: (of a leaf margin) smooth, without incisions or lobes.
Epicotyl: the part of the stem of a seedling between the first leaves and the cotyledons.
Exotic: from abroad.
Family: a taxonomic group of related genera.
Female: pistillate organs of a flower; or flowers which only contain (functionally) pistillate organs (style, stigma, ovary).
Floret: an individual flower, usually small, forming part of an inflorescence, as in the Poaceae and Asteraceae.
Flower: the sexual reproductive structure of higher plants.
Frond: the ‘leaf’ of a fern.
Fruit: seed-bearing structure in higher plants developed from the ovary after fertilisation.
Genus: a taxonomic group of closely-related species (pl. genera).
Glabrous: without hairs (leaf).
Gland: a structure which secretes nectar, oil or other substances (adj. glandular).
Glume: a bract (usually in pairs) at the base of a grass spikelet or in an inflorescence in the Cyperaceae.
Herb: a plant without a woody stem, usually broad leaved (i.e. not grass) (adj. herbaceous).
Herbarium: a systematically-arranged collection of dried plant specimens for botanical reference and research.
Herbicide: a chemical product having deleterious effect upon plants.
Hybrid: offspring of parents of different species.
Hypocotyl: the stem of a seedling between the cotyledons and the roots.
Inflorescence: a group of flowers arising from one main stem.
Internode: the part of a stem between two adjacent nodes.
Involucre: a whorl or several whorls of bracts (phyllaries) surrounding a flower or inflorescence.
Lamina: the expanded portion of a leaf (as in the blade of grass leaves).
Lanceolate: lance-shaped; much longer than broad, widening above the base and tapering to the apex.
Lateral: (veins) veins arising from a midvein or midrib.
Latex: a milky fluid in some plants.
Leaflet: unit of a compound leaf.
Legume: fruit pod of the family, Fabaceae (e.g. a wattle).
Lemma: the lower (outer) of two bracts enclosing other floral parts in grasses.
Ligule: membranous (or hairy) structure at the inner junction of the leaf sheath and blade of grasses (adj. ligulate).
Linear: long, narrow, straight , parallel-sided (especially most grass leaf blades).
Lobed: with convex projections.