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term defintion
ABC SOIL None
ABERRANT This describes a plant or species that is different in some way from the group in which it is placed.
ABLASTOUS Means without germ or bud.
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.
ACANTHA A botanical word that refers to a spine, thorn or prickle.
ACARPOUS This describes a plant that is sterile.
ACAULESCENT A plant that is stemless. The word Acauline is also used.
ACCRETIVE Increasing or adding by growth; continued development within.
ACCUMBENT Lying against. Mainly used to describe the first sprouts of an embryo when they lie against the body of the seed.
-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.
ACEPHATE A man-made, systemic insecticide that is used to control numerous pests such as aphids, scale and thrips, of most ornamental plants.
ACERVATE Growing in heaps or in compact clusters.
ACHENE This is a small, dry, hard, one-celled, one-seeded fruit that stays closed at maturity.
ACICULAR Needle-shaped.
ACIDIFY To lower the soil's pH to meet the level of acid soil.
ACIDITY The level of acid prescent in the soil.
ACID SOIL Soil with a pH value of less than 7, or lacking in lime. See also alkaline and neutral.
ACINACEOUS Consisting of or full of kernels.
ACINACIFOLIOUS Having scimitar-shaped leaves.
ACINACIFORM Shaped like a scimitar (usually describes a leaf shape). An acinaciform leaf has one edge convex and thin and the other edge straighter and thick. This term is also used to describe the shape of the pods of some beans.
ACINARIOUS Covered with little round, stalked, grape-like sacs, as in some algae.
ACINIFORM Having the form of grapes, or growing in grape-like clusters; acinose.
ACROGEN A plant that increases by growth at the summit or terminal buds only. The acrogens form a division of the Cryptogams, including ferns, fern allies, liverworts, and mosses.
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.
ACUMINATE Tapers toward the end into a long point.
ACUTE Sharp-pointed.
ADDITIVE Something that is added to a fertilizer to improve its chemical or physical condition.
-ADELPHOUS Means having stamens united into sets; used mostly in combination, as in monoadelphous.
ADNATE In botany, grown together or attached.
ADNATION Fusion of unlike parts such as the labellum (of an Orchid) with the column.
ADNEXED In botany, annexed or touching, but not attached.
ADOBE SOIL Dense, clay-like soil, also called gumbo, that is also high-alkaline.
ADOSCULATION In botany, the fertilization of plants by the falling of the pollen on the pistils.
ADPRESSED Lying close and flat against.
ADSORB To accumulate on the soil's surface.
ADSORTION Condensation on the soil's surface.
ADVENTITIOUS In botany, appearing in an abnormal or unusual position or place; occurring as a straggler or away from its natural position, such as roots on aerial stems.
ADVENTITIOUS BUDS Buds appearing in an unusual place; for example, buds on leaves.
ADVENTIVE A plant that has been introduced, but isn't naturalized yet.
AERATE 1. to expose to the air 2. to charge with air.
AERATION An exchange of air in the soil with air from the atmosphere. Earthworms do this as does digging and turning the soil to loosen it.
AERATOR Any implement that is used to break up compacted soil and facilitate air and gas exchange.
AERATOR SANDALS Sandal-type shoes or spikes strapped onto regular shoes used to break up compacted soil in lawns.
AERENCHYMA This is spongy tissue full of air pockets that helps leaves and stems of aquatic plants to float on the surface of the water.
AERIAL ROOT This is a root that grows from the stems or shoots of a plant and helps to sustain it by absorbing moisture from the air. Many Orchids and other tropical plants have aerial roots.
AEROBIC Living or acting only in the presence of air.
AGGREGATE Fine soil particles that are held together in a single mass.
AIR LAYERING This is a method of propagation in which roots are induced to form around a plant's stem. This is done by removing a very narrow strip of bark from around the branch or stem, about 8 to 12 inches from the tip of the shoot, or at that same distance from the tip, a cut can be made about a third way through the branch in an upward direction and a sliver of wood can be inserted into the cut to keep it open. Next, a bundle of moist sphagnum moss is tied securely around the cut area. The moss must always remain moist (this may be done by wrapping it in polyethylene film) and the roots of the plant somewhat dry. New roots will soon sprout from the incision. The new plant is then cut off below the moss, potted and kept in a humid atmosphere until it is established.
AIR PLANT An epiphyte (go see). Many epiphytic Orchids and Bromeliads are popularly called air plants.
ALBUMEN In botany, any form of nutritive matter stored within the seed. Also called endosperm.
ALKALI SOIL 1. Highly alkaline soil with a pH of 8.5 or higher. 2. Soluble salt or a mixture of soluble salts present in a soil.
ALKALINE SOIL Soil with a pH value more than 7, or lime-rich. See also acid and neutral.
ALLOGAMY The process of cross-fertilization in which the pollen of one plant fertilizes the flower of another.
ALLUVIAL SOIL Referring to the sediment deposited by flowing water.
ALLUVIUM Clay, silt, sand and/or gravel deposited on land by running water.
ALPINE Connected with the Alps or any high mountains. Refers to plants growing on mountains above the tree line, which is where the climate becomes too cold for trees to grow.
ALPINE HOUSE An unheated, well-ventilated greenhouse used for cultivating alpine and bulbous plants.
ALTERNATE (of leaves) Occurring at different levels on opposite sides of a stem. No two leaves are directly across from each other.
ALUMINUM A silver-like metallic chemical element that can be found in soil.
ALUMINUM SILICATES Compounds that contain aluminum, silicon and oxygen.
ALUMINUM SULFATE A colorless salt used as a soil amendment to increase soil acidity.
AMENDMENT Anyconditioner or material (ie. Lime, gypsum, etc.) that is added or mixed into the soil to make in more productive.
AMENT A catkin; a slim spike-like and usually pendent flower cluster like those found on Willow, Poplar and Birch trees. Aments are either male or female. Some plants produce both male and female aments; others produce male aments on one plant and female on another.
AMINO ACID A nitrogen containing organic compound that is linked together to form a protein molecule.
AMMONIA 1. A colorless gas made up of one part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen. 2. A gas that can be liquified under pressure to be used as a fertilizer.
AMMONIFICATION The act of forming ammonium compounds from organic material by various organisms.
AMMONIUM ION A form that nitrogen takes in many commercial fertilizers.
AMMONIUM NITRATE 1. An organic fertilizer that will add nitrogen to the soil. 2. The form that nitrogen takes in numerous commercial fertilizers.
AMMONIUM SULFATE An inorganic fertilizer applied to soil (20.6 % N.).
AMPHICARPOUS Refers to a plant that produces two classes of fruit that differ either in form or in time of ripening.
AMPHITROPOUS Having the seed embryo curved or coiled back along the supporting stalk so that its base and the opening of the pollen tube bend close to each other.
AMPLEXICAUL Nearly surrounding or embracing the stem, as the base of some leaves.
AMPLEXIFOLIATE Having leaves that clasp the stem.
AMPULLA A small bladder of flask-shaped organ attached to the roots or immersed leaves of some aquatic plants, as in Nepenthes or Utricularia.
ANAEROBIC Having very little or nooxygen levels. Some aquatic plants can grow anaerobically while producing new growth in water.
ANDRODIOECIOUS Having hermaphrodite (bisexual) flowers on one plant of a species and male flowers on another plant of the same species, but no corresponding form with only female flowers.
ANDROECIUM The male organs of a flower; the assemblage of stamens.
ANDROPHORE The stalk or column supporting the stamens of certain flowers usually formed by a union of the filaments, as in the Malvaceae and in many genera of Leguminosae.
ANEMONE CENTERED (Of flowers) Flowers or flower heads in which the central petals or flowers (modified stamens) form a pincushion-like mound and the outer rim or petals or ray florets are flat and spreading, as in some chrysanthemums.
ANEMOPHILOUS None
ANGIOCARPIAN A plant that has its fruit enclosed in a husk.
ANGIOCARPOUS Having a fruit enclosed within a distinct covering, as the filbert within its husk.
ANGIOSPERM Any flowering plant that reproduces by seeds enclosed in a protective seed vessel. The term angiosperms is given to the larger of the two divisions of seed-bearing plants, in contrast to gymnosperms, which lack flowers and in which the seeds are naked (Examples are Coniferae, Cycadaceae, etc.)
ANGIOSPERMOUS Having seeds enclosed in a seed vessel, for example, this refers to the poppy, the rose, and most flowering plants, opposed to gymnospermous, or naked-seeded.
ANHYDROUS Dry or lacking water.
ANION An ion that is carrying a negative charge of electricity.
ANISOPHYLLOUS Having the leaves of a pair of two different shapes and sizes, as in conifers and many aquatic plants.
ANNUAL A plant that completes an entire life cycle in one growing season. A life cycle includes germination, growth to maturity, blooming, producing seeds and death.
ANNUAL RING In trees and other woody plants, this is the layer of wood produced each year that can be seed when the wood is cut into a cross section. The number of rings equals the age of the tree.
ANNULUS 1. A ring-like part, structure, or membrane. 2. The elastic ring that surrounds the sporecase of most ferns. 3. The raised ring around the center of a succulent flower.
ANTERIOR The underside of a leaf; otherwise called inferior or lower; the opposite of the posterior. Also used in flowers, as on a Snapdragon, where the lower lip is anterior and the upper lip posterior.
ANTHER The part of a stamen that produces pollen, usually located at the end of a thin stalk in the center of a flower.
ANTHERIDIUM The male reproductive organ in spore-bearing plants such as ferns, mosses, algae, and fungi. Corresponds to the anther in seed-bearing plants.
ANTHEROZOID The thread-like substance produced by the male with which the female organs are fertilized.
ANTHESIS The period during which a flower opens or the act of a flower opening; coming to full bloom.
ANTHOCYANIN The dissolved coloring matter (glycoside pigments) in blue flowers. Also anthocyan.
ANTHOGRAPHY The description of flowers.
ANTHOLEUCIN The dissolved coloring matter in white flowers.
ANTHOPHORE An elongated segment as the base of a flower, between the stem and the base of the petals, stamens, and pistil, as in pinks (Dianthus) or catch-fly (Silene). Also called anthophorum.
January 2014
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December 2013
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November 2013
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September 2013
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August 2013
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July 2013
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June 2013
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May 2013
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March 2013
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February 2013
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July 2012
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April 2011
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Hide first version Show first version 0 02:26, 17 April 2011
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