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Glossary
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Glossary

 

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Term

Sample usage

Part of sp.

Definition

 

 

 

 

 

 

aerial root

 

n.

grows above ground instead of below; usually supports the trunk, then also called a "stilt root"

 

apex

(leaf ~, leaflet ~)

n.

tip

 

arching

(~ leaves, ~ leaflets)

adj.

having a curved or arch shape, not erect

 

armament

 

n.

protection; see also "armed"

 

armed

  

adj.

having spines or thorns

 

ascending

(~ leaves)

adj.

upward growing

 

bifid

(~ leaves, ~ leaflet apexes, ~ fibers)

adj.

divided or forked into two parts, or deeply notched

 

bipinnate

(~ leaf)

adj.

twice divided, featherlike leaf

 

blade

(leaf ~)

n.

flat or expanded part of the leaf; the part that is palmate or pinnate

 

bloom

 

n.

thin, waxy film covering the surface of a leaf or other part of a plant

 

bract

 

n.

leaflike structure on the inflorescence, typically protecting parts of the young inflorescence (see also "inflorescence bract," "peduncular bract," and "bracteole")

 

bracteole

 

n.

small bract subtending a flower (see also "bract")

 

branched

(~ stem, ~ inflorescence, ~ leaflet)

adj.

split into two or more parts

 

bulbous

(~ trunk)

adj.

bulging, swollen, bulb-shaped

 

cabbage

(palm ~)

n.

edible growth center of a palm, usually called heart-of-palm

 

cane

 

n.

thin or reedlike stem or trunk

 

cirrus

 

n.

[pl. cirri] long extention of the leaf midrib with hooks used by the plant to climb, whiplike climbing organ (see also "flagellum")

 

climbing palm

 

n.

has a long, thin trunk that uses other trees for support

 

clump

 

n.

group or cluster

 

clumping

(~ palm)

adj.

forming clumps or groups (see also "clustering" and "suckering")

 

clustering

(~ palm, ~ habit)

adj.

growing side shoots and developing into groups of stems (see also "clumping" and "suckering")

 

coco-fiber

 

n.

planting compost made from coconut husks

 

 

 

 

 

cone of stilt roots

 

n.

mass of stilt or aerial roots forming a cone shape

 

conical

(~ trunk)

adj.

shaped like a cone

 

conservatory

 

n.

greenhouse for tender plants

 

container plant

 

n.

grown in a container or pot instead of the ground, typical for nursery production

 

costa

 

n.

the part of the leaf stalk extending into the leaf blade in a costapalmate leaf

 

costapalmate

(~ leaves)

adj.

shaped like the palm of a hand with part of the leaf stalk extending into the leaf blade

 

crown

 

n.

head of leaves

 

crownshaft

 

n.

tubular leaf sheaths or leaf bases tightly wrapped around each other forming a cylinder on top of the trunk

 

cultivar

 

n.

distinct form of a plant in cultivation, for instance dwarf or variegated

 

cultivate

 

v.

to grow or raise, aided by humans vs. wild grown

 

dichotomous

(~ stem)

adj.

equally forking

 

diminutive

(~ palm)

adj.

undersized

 

distichous

(~ leaf arrangement)

adj.

arranged in two opposing rows on either side of a trunk

 

distribution

 

n.

area of natural occurance

 

divided

(~ leaves, ~ leaflets)

adj.

not entire

 

dwarf

(~ palm)

adj.

small or undersized

 

elliptic

(~ leaflets, ~ leaves)

adj.

like a flattened circle or oval in shape

 

endemic

 

adj.

growing only in a specific area

 

entire

(~ leaves, ~ leaflets)

adj.

undivided, whole

 

erect

(~ trunk, ~ leaves, ~ leaflets)

adj.

stiffly upward or upright

 

fan

(~ leaf)

adj.

palmate; shaped like the palm of a hand, semicircular or circular, with leaf segments radiating from a single point

 

feather

(~ leaf)

adj.

pinnate, divided in segments like a feather

 

feather-duster

(~ crown)

adj.

shaped like a feather-duster or shuttlecock

 

fibrous

 

adj.

having or made up of fibers

 

fissured

(~ trunk)

adj.

having clefts or splits

 

flagellum

 

n.

[pl. flagella] whiplike climbing organ with hooked spines, derived from a flower stalk. (see also "cirrus")

 

flange

 

n.

flat ridge or protrusion; also called a wing

 

flexuous

 

adj.

lax or flexible

 

flower

 

n.

reproductive organ

 

flush

 

n.

fresh, new growth

 

forked

 

adj.

divided into two equal parts

 

fronds

 

n.

leaves of palms, ferns, or the like

 

fruit

 

n.

seed-bearing organ

 

genus

 

n.

group of closely related species (for example, Trachycarpus, Sabal, Phoenix, etc.) in the Linnean system of biological taxonomy & classification

 

germinate

 

v.

to sprout a seed

 

glaucous

 

adj.

dull grayish green or blue usually created by a waxy bloom covering a surface

 

habit

(clustering ~)

n.

mode of growth

 

habitat

 

n.

natural environment in which a plant grows

 

hardy

(cold ~)

adj.

able to withstand adverse conditions for prolonged periods of time (see also "tolerant")

 

hastula

 

n.

protrusion at the joint between leafstalk and leafblade in a palmate leaf

 

humus

(~ rich soil)

n.

decomposing organic matter

 

hybrid

 

n. or adj.

offspring of two plants of different species or genera, not pure

 

inflorescence

 

n.

flower stalk

 

inflorescence bract

 

n.

a leaflike structure on the rachis of the flowerstalk subtending a partial flowerstalk (see also "bract")

 

infructescence

 

n.

fruit stalk; like an inflorescence but in fruit vs. in flower

 

interandean

(~ valleys)

adj.

dry, high altitude valleys between the main ridges of the Andes mountains in South America

 

internode

 

n.

space between "nodes" or points of leaf attachment on a trunk or stem

 

irregular

(~ly arranged)

adv. or adj.

unevenly arranged, leaflets are inserted at different distances from each other

 

lanceolate

(~ leaflets)

adj.

shaped like a spearhead, tapering to each end

 

leaf base

 

n.

lower, expanded part of the leaf that attaches to the trunk

 

leaf blade

 

n.

lamina; upper, expanded part of the leaf; part most commonly thought of as the leaf itself

 

leaf segment

 

n.

section of a palmate or costapalmate leaf

 

leaf sheath

 

n.

leaf base or lowest part of the leaf that is enveloping or "sheathing" the trunk. Tubular while developing, then splitting or remaining entire (if entire, then it is called a "crownshaft")

 

leaf stalk

 

n.

petiole; part of leaf found between the base and the blade

 

leaflet

 

n.

segment of a pinnate leaf

 

leathery

 

adj.

having a texture like leather, thick and strong vs. papery

 

marbled

 

adj.

showing various colors in blotches; mottled

 

midrib

 

n.

main vein of a leaflet

 

montane

 

adj.

specific zone of altitude in mountains, at least 500 m (1600 ft.)

 

mottled

 

adj.

having blotches of various colors; marbled

 

mulch

 

n.

top dressing (wood chips, peat, straw, leaves, etc.) around a plant's roots

 

mulch

 

v.

to apply a top dressing

 

nodal scar

 

n.

scar left on the stem where a leaf was attached

 

nodding

(~ leaves, ~ leaflets)

adj.

drooping

 

node

 

n.

point where a leaf is or was attached to the stem; see also "internode"

 

notch

 

n.

small V-shaped cut in leaf or leaflet

 

orbicular

(~ leaf blade)

adj.

spherical or circular, like an orb

 

palmate

(~ leaf)

adj.

shaped like a fan, or the palm of a hand, semicircular or circular, with leaf segments radiating from a single point

 

peat

 

n.

decomposed peat moss, partly carbonized

 

peduncle

 

n.

inflorescence stalk

 

peduncular bract

 

n.

a leaflike structure subtending the inflorescence stalk

 

pendent

 

adj.

drooping

 

pendulous

(~ leaflets)

adj.

drooping, suspended (strongly ~, hanging vertically)

 

petiole

 

n.

leaf stalk, located between the base and the blade

 

pinna

 

n.

[pl. pinnae] primary leaflet of a pinnate leaf

 

pinnate

(~ leaves, ~ palm)

adj.

featherlike in appearance with leaflets on either side of the leaf midrib [rachis] (regularly ~, leaflets are the same distance from each other; finely ~, having thin pinnae; sparsely ~, having few pinnae)

 

pinnule

 

n.

secondary leaflet of a bipinnate leaf

 

plumose

(~ leaves)

adj.

bushy, feathery; having leaflets orientated in different directions

 

pollen

 

n.

plant "sperm"

 

pollination

 

n.

transference of genetic material through the pollen from a male flowering organ to a female flowering organ

 

pot plant

 

n.

usually grown in a pot inside a house vs. in the greenhouse or outside

 

prickly

(~ crownshaft)

adj.

indicates it has spines

 

pseudostem

 

n.

literally "false stem," looks like a stem but is actually tightly packed leafbases

 

pseudotrunk

 

n.

literally "false trunk," looks like a trunk but is actually tightly packed leafbases

 

pubescence

 

n.

felt of hairs

 

rachis

 

n.

midrib of a leaf or inflorescence

 

recurved

(~ leaves)

adj.

strongly arching

 

regular

(~ outline)

adj.

even

 

rein

 

n.

threadlike tissue connecting the leaftips of developing leaves in pinnate palms

 

rhizome

 

n.

underground stem or rootstock

 

ring

 

n.

nodal scar

 

ring scars

 

n.

internodes

 

ringed

(~ trunk)

adj.

having nodal scars

 

roof-shaped

 

adj.

reduplicate; A-shaped in cross section (as opposed to induplicate or "valley-shaped")

 

root hardy

 

adj.

surviving the winter underground by the means of rhizomes, bulbs, etc

 

rotund

 

adj.

rounded

 

runners

 

n.

long, extended rhizomes

 

savanna

 

n.

dry tropical or subtropical grassland or very open forest

 

scale

 

n.

dry, flattened plates

 

seed

 

n.

mature ovule

 

seedling

 

n.

very young plant, recently germinated

 

segment

 

n.

section of a palmate or costapalmate leaf

 

self-cleaning

(~ trunk)

adj.

the leaves falling off completely, leaving a smooth trunk

 

serpentine

(~ soil)

adj.

mineral or rock that is rich in magnesium. Soil derived from serpentine is ultrabasic and poor in nutrients

 

sheath

 

n.

leaf base or lowest part of the leaf that is enveloping or "sheathing" the trunk. Tubular while developing, then splitting or remaining entire (if entire, then it is called a "crownshaft"); (see "leaf sheath")

 

sheathing

 

v.

enveloping the trunk or another organ of the plant

 

shuttlecock

(~ crown)

adj.

looking like a feather-duster or the tail feathers of a rooster

 

sickle-shaped

 

adj.

curved, wide at one end, tapering towards the other

 

side shoot

 

n.

sucker or sprout off the main trunk

 

simple

(~ leaves)

adj.

undivided

 

sinker

 

n.

the elongated leaf stalk of the first leaf (shoot) produced in some palms after germination, whose purpose is to push the plant down into the soil

 

site

 

v.

to place in the landscape

 

solitary

(~ palm, ~ stem, ~ trunk)

adj.

not suckering, only producing a single stem

 

spathe

 

n.

sheathing bract that encloses and protects the young flower stalk

 

species

 

n.

taxonomic group of closely related plants with common characteristics that set it apart from another group. Subdivision of a genus in the Linnean system of biological taxonomy & classification (for example, fortunei, martianus, humilis etc.; see also "genus")

 

sphagnum

 

n.

fresh peat moss

 

spicate

(~ inflorescence)

adj.

unbranched, spikelike

 

spike

 

n.

inflorescence, usually unbranched

 

spine

 

n.

protruding, thornlike protective organ

 

spreading

(~ crown)

adj.

expansive, not upright

 

sprout

 

n.

germinated seed

 

stalk

 

n.

see "leaf stalk," "flower stalk," etc

 

stem

 

n.

main axis of a plant; trunk

 

stilt root

 

n.

prop root, grows above ground instead of below and supports the trunk (also see: "aerial root")

 

stratification

 

v.

process of planting seed in moist sand and exposing it to low temperatures to trigger germination

 

subcanopy

 

n.

plants in a forest that grow taller than the understorey but do not quite reach the canopy

 

subterranean

 

adj.

underground

 

subtropical

 

adj.

climatic region between temperate and tropical

 

sucker

 

n.

sideshoot or sprout off the main trunk

 

suckering

(~ trunk, ~ stem)

adj.

clumping, clustering vs. solitary

 

tap root

 

n.

thick root that grows vertically into the soil to tap a source of water

 

taxonomy

 

n.

classification of plants or animals

 

temperate

 

adj.

roughly, a climate where the yearly amplitudes of temperature are greater than the daily amplitudes

 

tolerant

 

adj.

suggests a plant will tolerate conditions for a limited period of time but is not necessarily "hardy" towards those conditions (see also "hardy")

 

tomentose

 

adj.

covered with fine scales, fur, hair, or wool

 

tomentum

 

n.

layer of thin scales, fur, hair, or wool

 

toothed

(~ leaf, ~ leaflet, ~ leafstalk)

adj.

with toothlike edges

 

tristichous

(~ leaf arrangement)

adj.

arranged in three vertical rows on a trunk

 

tropical

 

adj.

roughly, a climatic area where the daily amplitudes of temperature are greater than the yearly amplitudes. Geogaphically located roughly between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the South

 

trunk

 

n.

stem

 

trunkless

 

adj.

without a trunk or with a subterranean trunk

 

undergrowth

 

n.

lowest layer of plants in a forest

 

understorey

 

n.

lower layers of plants in a forest that do not reach the canopy and are shade loving

 

undivided

(~ leaves)

adj.

entire, whole, not broken down into segments or leaflets

 

undulate

 

adj.

wavy

 

upright

(~ crown, ~ leaves, ~ trunk)

adj.

erect, vertical

 

valley-shaped

 

adj.

induplicate; V-shaped in cross section, trough-shaped (as opposed to reduplicate or "roof-shaped")

 

vein

 

n.

the conducting tissue of leaves

 

viable

 

adj.

alive and able to germinate

 

wild

 

n. or adj.

n. natual habitat; adj. unaided by humans (~ collected, collected in its natual habitat vs. from cultivated plants)

 

 

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