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Botanical Terms




Achene one seeded dry indehiscent fruit
Acuminate long pointed, with narrow point
Acute pointed
Adnate attached the whole length
Alternate with one leaf at each stem node and pointing in different directions
Anther the male part of the flower containing pollen
Aristate with a bristle like projection
Awn bristle like projection, as in the flowering part of grasses
Berry fleshy single to many seeded fruit
Bifid split deeply in two
Bract scale or leaf-like upper leaf surrounding a flower or inflorescence
Bracteole small scale-like, often membranous bract, occurring on flower stalks
Bulb underground organ composed of densely packed fleshy scale leaves.
Calyx the sepals as a whole; either composed of spreading or reflexed free spirals, usually green in colour, or else combined in a calyx tube
Campanulate bell shaped
Capitate shaped like a head, head -like
Capsule dry fruit, consisting of several carpals, opening by pores or slits
Carpels the basic unit of the female reproductive organ of a flower, the gynoecium. A flower may have zero, one, or more carpels. Multiple carpels may combine into a single pistil, or into multiple pistils.
Cone the 'fruit' of coniferous trees, consisting of numerous overlapping scales
Connate joined together at the base
Cordate heart-shaped with point at the tip
Corolla the petals as a whole, free or combined
Crenate with a notched or scalloped margin
Culm flowering stem of grasses
Cyme inflorescence with growing points terminated by flowers, and having a terminal flower
Dentate toothed
Dichotomous branching in two
Dioecious male and female flowers on different plants
Drupe fruit with a fleshy exterior and inner stone like wall to the seed
Emarginated notched
Epicalyx calyx-like structure of several bracts close under the calyx
Filament the stalk below the anther in a stamen
Follicle fruit consisting of 1 carpel which opens only along 1 side
Glabrous without hairs of any sort
Glandular hairs have a small gland at the tip
Glume tough membranous leaf-like part of the flower of grasses, often with an awn
Halophyte plants of sandy soil
Head or capitulum flowers are densely packed into a compact head
Imbricate overlapping
Indehiscent seed heads in which the seeds are not enclosed in a pod
Inflorescence a flower branch or the part of the stem that carries the flowers
Involucre a collection of bracts
Keel the lowest petal and the wings are the two side petals
Lanceolate spear shaped
Leaf axil angle between leaf and stem
Leaf blade the broader lower part of a leaf, usually flat
Leaf sheath the broadened lower part of a leaf which enclosed the stem in a tube or pouch
Leaflet part of a compound leaf
Lemma a bract in the grass family
Ligule a small extension at the junction of the leaf sheath and blade (e.g., in grasses)
Limb the broader part of a petal
Lobed divided, but not into separate parts; some leaves have an enlarged terminal lobe
Mericarp one seeded section of a dry fruit
Monoecious flowers occur on the same plant male and female
Nectary nectar secreting glands that occur in various parts of the flower and attract insects
Obcordate heart-shaped, with the stalk in the notch, opposite to cordate
Obovate egg shaped, but upside-down, with the broadest part above
Opposite with one leaf on each side of the same stem node
Ovate egg shaped
Palmate or digitate branched or lobed like the fingers of a hand
Panicle branched in fluorescence with stalked flowers
Pappus hairs or bristles on the fruit of many compositae, taking the place of the calyx
Paripinnate pinnate without and terminal leaflet (i.e. the number of leaflets is even)
Pedicel stalk of a flower in an inflorescent
Perianth The floral envelope, consisting of the calyx and corolla (when present), whatever their form.
Peduncle stalk of a flower or inflorescence
Petal an inner perianth segment; petals are usually brightly coloured and surround a flower's reproductive organs
Petiole stalk of the leaf blade
Pinnate In two opposite rows along a common axis (e.g. of compound leaves)
Pinnatisect pinnately divided almost the midrib, but not into separate leaflets
Pod dry fruit consisting of one carpal, opening by a seam around both sides
Prickles hard prickly out growths of the outer surface of leaf and stem
Procum bent growing along the ground
Raceme an elongated florescence with stalked flowers, usually with a terminal flower
Reniform kidney shaped
Reticulate veined with veins in a network
Rhizome rootstock, a creeping underground stem
Rosette an arrangement of leaves, usually at the base of the stem
Sagittate arrow-head shaped
Scarious thin dry and not green
Schizocarp dry fruit that falls into several seeded sections (mericarps) when ripe
Sepal an outer perianth segment; known as calyx
Serrate saw edged with sharp teeth
Sessile without a leaf stalk
Siliqua fruit of the Cruciferae- more than three times long as wide
Spadix a fleshy spike, often with a club shaped appendage at the tip
Spathe a sheath enclosing an inflorescence
Spathulate spoon shape
Spike elongated inflorescence with sessile flowers
Stamen the pollen bearing male organ of a flower, consisting of a filament and an anther
Staminode a modified stamen that does not contain pollen
Stigrna tip of the style that receives pollen
Stipule scale or leaf-like appendage at the bases of the petiole, usually paired
Style the stalk that connects the ovary and the stigma in the female flower; styles lie in the centre of the flower
Tendril fragile structure, often spirally twisted, for attachment, developed out of a leaf or leaflet
Terete circular in cross section
Terminal at the end
Throat limb or mouth of corolla
Trifoliate having three leaflets
Tuber fleshy thickened part of root or stem
Tubercle a small swelling
Umbel umbrella shaped inflorescence, with flower stalks all rising from the same point
Unisexual a flower either with stamens (male flowers) or with ovaries (female flowers) only
Villous long, woolly, hairy, shaggy
Viscide sticky
Whorled or verticillate describes an arrangement with more than 2 leaves or flowers at each node
Xerophyte a plant of dry habitat (e.g. desert)
Zygomorphic Corollas divided into equal halves by one plane only, upper and lower parts are different

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See also Plant Anatomy at

More exhaustive list of plant botanical terms at

And at

Worksheets to practice on

More botany information including identification

"Leaves usually imparipinnate, rarely i-foliolate; leaflets many, entire, exstipulate. Stipules of various shapes. Flowers purple-reddish (yay, English!), in leaf-opposed racemes or solitary or in pairs in the axils of the leaves. Bracts present. Calyx-tube campanulate, S-teeth or lobes, subequal or equal, or the upper two united. Standard suborbicular, pubescent (hmmm, know the word, but in this context...7) outside; keel obtuse (ditto!). Stamens diadelphous; anthers obtuse (!!), uniform. Ovary sessile, linear, i-many ovuled; style incurved, glabrous or pilose, stigma capitate or nude. Fruit linnear, flattened, or ovoid, many-seeded, 2 valved, not septate between the seeds. Seeds flattened."



Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan