U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Alturas Field Office|
Glossary of Plant Terms
Annual. Completing life cycle (seed germinations, flowering, and death) in one year or growing season.
Appressed. Pressed against. Especially hairs that are parallel or nearly parallel to an often in contact with the surface or axis of origin.
Awn. A slander bristle-like appendage usually at the end of a structure.
Basal. Of or at the base.
Biennial. Completing the life cycle in two growing seasons.
Bract. A small leaf or scale-like structure associated with and subtending an inflorescence or cone.
Capsule. A dry fruit of more than one carpel which opens to release the seeds.
Cespitose. Growing in tufts
Clasping. Leaf partly or wholly surrounding the stem.
Corolla. Inner whorl of floral parts; collective name for petals.
Creeping. To grow along the ground or some structure.
Culm. The jointed stem of a grass that supports the leaves and elevates the flowering structure.
Cyme. Branched inflorescence in which the central or uppermost flower opens before the peripheral or lowermost flower on any axis.
Diminutive. Very small or tiny.
Floret. Small flower, especially one in a dense cluster; a grass flower.
Flower. Seed producing structure of a plant.
Fruit. Ripened ovary and its structures that enclose it at maturity.
Glandular. Bearing glands.
Glume. In grasses, each of generally two sheathing bracts that are the lowermost parts of a spikelet.
Habitat. Natural setting where a plant grows. Usually refers to a specific plant community.
Herb. Plant with little or no wood above ground; above-gound parts are of less than one year or growing season duration.
Inflorescence. T he flower cluster of a plant.
Lateral. Referring to side(s) of a structure.
Leaflet. Segment of compound leaf.
Leafy. Having numerous leaves.
Lemma. In grasses, the lower, generally larger of two sheathing bracts that occur directly below a flower.
Ligule. In grasses, an appendage at the juncture of leaf sheath and blade, generally with a membranous or fringed margin.
Linear. Resembling a line; long and narrow of uniform width.
Lobe. A major expansion or bulge-like shape, as at the margin of a leaf or petal.
Monoculture. Only one species present.
Oblong. Two to four times longer than wide with the sides nearly parallel as in a leaf.
Ovate. With the outline of an egg in longitudinal section, widest below the middle.
Ovule. Structure containing an egg; a seed prior to fertilization.
Pedicel. Stalk of an individual flower or fruit.
Pedicellate. Having a pedicel.
Peduncle. The stalk of a flower or of a flower cluster.
Perennial. Living more than two years or growing seasons.
Perianth. The floral envelopes; collectively, the calyx and corolla, especially when they are alike.
Persistent. Remaining attached after like parts normally fall off.
Petal. One of the leaves of a corolla, often conspicuously colored.
Petiole. Leaf stalk.
Phyllaries. Phyllary; the name of the bract on the head of a sunflower.
Pinnate. Compound leaf with the leaflets on two opposite sides of an elongated axis.
Pistil. The ovule-bearing organ of a flower, consisting of stigma and ovary, usually with a style in between.
Pod. A dry, dehiscent fruit.
Pubescence. Covered with short, soft hairs.
Recurved. Gradually curved downward or backward.
Scarious. Thin, dry, pliable, dark-colored or translucent but not green. Often like a dry onion peel.
Sepal. A leaf or segment of the calyx.
Serrate. Having margins with sharp teeth.
Sessile. Without a stalk of any kind; said of a leaf or flower coming right off of a stem.
Silique. A many-seeded capsule of the Mustard (Brassicaceae ) family, with two valves splitting from the bottom and leaving the placentae with the false partition between them.
Spiciform. Shaped like a spike.
Spikelet. In grasses, the smallest aggregation of florets plus any occurring below the glumes.
Stamen. The male organ of the flower which bears pollen.
Stigma. The receptive part of the pistil on which the pollen germinates.
Stipule. Appendage at base of leaf stalk, often leaf- or scale-like.
Stout. Thick, sturdy, not slender.
Style. The contracted portion of the pistil between the ovary and the stigma.
Terminal. At the tip of a structure.
Toothed. A small marginal lobe; as on a saw, dentate.
Tuber. A thickened, short, usually subterranean stem having numerous buds called eyes; like a potato.
Tufted. Cluster-like growth habit.
Winter Annual. An annual plant that germinates in the fall, completing its life cycle the following year.