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Gardening Dictionary, Botanical Terminology


-ACEAE

New Latin suffix, meaning "the plants of the nature of", which is used to form names of families of plants. Examples are Liliaceae, Rosaceae, etc
ABRUPTLY PINNATE

This describes a pinnate leaf that ends without an odd leaflet or tendril. It ends in a matched pair of leaflets
ABSORPTION

The process of taking up water through the roots
Achene  Identifier Achene

A small, dry, single seed. An indehiscent fruit; a seed that does not split open. Has only a one chamber ovary. The Asteraceae or Daisy Family typically has achenes.
Acid Soil

Soil with a pH value of less than 7, or lacking in lime. See also alkaline and neutral.
Acid Soil

soils with a pH lower than 7 are considered to be acidic. Several things can contribute to acidic soil. One of them is a lot of rainfall. Other things include the amount of rock under laying the soil. An area with a lot of limestone, for example, would have soil that is less acidic. A pH of 6 is considered slightly acid, pH 5 is acid, and pH4 is very acid. Most flowering plants will do fine in a garden with a pH between 6 and 7, the exception being very acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons
Acidify

To lower the soils pH to meet the level of acid soil
Acidity

The level of acid present in the soil
Activator

Any substances, such as microorganisms and nutrients, which are added to a compost pile to speed the breakdown of organic matter. Also called compost activator and compost inoculant.
Acute

tapering to a sharp-pointed apex with more or less straight sides along the tip
Adventive

Not native to and not fully established in a new habitat or environment; locally or temporarily naturalized
Amensalism

Amensalism between two species involves one impeding or restricting the success of the other without being affected positively or negatively by the presence of the other. It is a type of symbiosis. Usually this occurs when one organism exudes a chemical compound as part of its normal metabolism that is detrimental to another organism.

The bread mold Penicillium is a common example of this; penicillium secrete penicillin, a chemical that kills bacteria. A second example is the black walnu
Annual  Identifier Annual

A plant that fully matures and produces seeds within one year. The annual dies every year.

Flower annuals include: Verbenias, Petunias, Ageratum, Diascia, Marigold, Alyssum, Geranium, New Guinea Impatiens, African Daisy, and many more.
Anther

The pollen-bearing part at the upper end of the stamen of a flower. Most anthers occur at the tip of a slender, stemlike filament and have two lobes. Each lobe contains two pollen sacs. When pollen matures in the pollen sacs, the lobes of the anthers burst open in the process known as dehiscence to release the pollen.
Apex

Apex: The tip, or the top. The point of a leaf. The top of the plant.
Apomixis

Process in which plants develop seeds without fertilization.
Areoles

Areoles are the distinctive feature of cacti, and identify them as a separate family from other succulent plants. Areoles give rise to spines or, on certain cacti, small, detachable glochids which are an additional form of protection. The areoles on cacti are clearly visible. They generally appear as small light to dark colored bumps, out of which grow clusters of spines.
Axillary  Identifier Axillary

The axillary bud lies at the junction of the stem and petiole of a plant.
Balsamiferous

sticky and aromatic, like balsam
Banner

the upper petal of a pea flower
Basal

Referring to the Base of a plant or creature. Basal leaves are found near the ground.
Bearded  Identifier Bearded

With long or stiff hairs.
Biennial  Identifier Biennial

A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle.

Picture example: Sweet William
Bract

A leaflike or scalelike plant part, usually small, sometimes showy or brightly colored, and located just below a flower, a flower stalk, or an inflorescence.
Bract  Identifier Bract

A leaflike or scalelike plant part, usually small, sometimes showy or brightly colored, and located just below a flower, a flower stalk, or an inflorescence.

A leaf, usually small and scaly, growing at the base of a flower.

A modified leaf growing just below a flower or flower stalk. Bracts are generally small and inconspicuous, but some are showy and petallike, as the brightly colored bracts of bougainvillaea or the white or pink bracts of flowering dogwoods.
Bracteoles

Bracteoles are special bracts associated directly with the flowers. It is the bract that protects the early floral bud, and each flower has one or more bracteoles, but each bracteole is associated with only one flower.

A small bract-like structure borne singly or in pairs on the pedicel or calyx of a flower.
Bristle  Identifier Bristle

A stiff hair, usually erect or curving away from its attachment point.
Bulb

an underground plant part derived from a shoot that is enclosed in numerous overlapping thickened leafy scales whose purpose is to store food
Bulb  Identifier Bulb

Bulbs (which are referred to as "true bulbs") grow in layers, much like an onion. At the very center of the bulb is a miniature version of the flower itself. Helping the bulb to stay together is something called a basil plate, which is that round and flat hairy thing (those are the beginnings of roots) on the bottom of the bulb.
Cacti

Cacti is the plural form of cactus. A cactus is any member of the spine plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas.




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