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Northeast Wetland Flora

Glossary


Achene
A one-seeded, dry, indehiscent fruit with the seed coat not attached to the mature ovary wall.

Annual
Living only for one year.
Anther
The pollen-producing part of a stamen.
Arcuate
Curved.
Auricle
An ear-like lobe.
Auriculate
Bearing ear-shaped lobes.
Awn
A bristle-like appendage.
Axil (Axillary)
Referring to the angle formed between any two organs.
Axis
The angle where two structures join; for example, where a leaf joins the stem.
Bearded
With a tuft of hairs.
Berry
A fruit with the seeds surrounded only by fleshy material.
Biennial
Living for two years.
Bract
An accessory structure at the base of some flowers, usually appearing leaflike.
Bracteole
A secondary bract.
Bractlet
A small bract.
Bristle
A stiff hair.
Bundle Trace
A small scar representing where a vein has broken off in a leaf scar.
Calyx
All the sepals of a flower.
Capsule
A dry, dehiscent fruit splitting into 3 or more parts.

Cilia
Marginal hairs.
Ciliate
Bearing marginal hairs.
Clasping
Said of leaves that partially encircle the stem at the base.
Claw
An abrupt, narrow base, such as on a petal.
Compressed
Flattened.
Connate
Union of like parts.
Cordate
Heart-shaped.
Corm
An underground, tuber-like stem that stores food.
Corolla
All the petals of a flower.
Corymb
a type of flat-topped, branched inflorescence.
Crest
A small ridge.
Cyme
A type of inflorescence in which the central flowers open first.
Cymose
In the form of a cyme.
Deciduous
Falling off.
Dehiscent
Splitting at maturity.
Diaphragmed
Divided by partitions.
Dichotomous
Forking regularly in pairs.
Disk (Disc)
The central group of flowers in the head of the aster family; a fleshy growth that sometimes surrounds the ovary.
Drupe
A fruit with the seed surrounded by a hard, dry covering which, in turn, is surrounded by fleshy material.
Drupelet
A small drupe.
Ellipsoid
Referring to a solid object that is broadest at the middle, gradually tapering to both ends.
Elliptic
Broadest at the middle, gradually tapering to both ends.

Exfoliating
Pealing off in strips or plats (for example, bark of some trees).
Exserted
Projecting.
Fascicle
A bundle or cluster.
Fibrous
Referring to a cluster of slender roots, all with the same diameter.
Filament
The stalk of a stamen.
Fissured
Grooved.
Follicle
A dry, dehiscent fruit that splits along one side at maturity.

Furrowed
Grooved.
Fusiform
Spindle-shaped; that is, swollen at the middle and narrowing gradually toward each end.
Gemma (pl., gemmae)
A bud by which some plants propagate.
Glabrous
Without hairs or scales.
Glandular
Bearing swollen sturctures, or glands, that usually contain a liquid.
Glaucous
Having a white or bluish waxy coating.
Globose
Round.
Glume
A sterile scale found in grasses
Hastate
Arrowhead-shaped, except that the basal lobes spread outward.
Head
A group of flowers tightly crowded together in a more or less rounded structure.
Hemispherical
Half-round.
Indehiscent
Not splitting open at maturity.
Indusium
The covering over a group of sporangia in ferns.
Inferior
Referring to the position of the ovary when it is below the point of attachment of the sepals and petals.

Inflorescence
A cluster of flowers.
Internode
The area between two nodes.
Involute
Rolled up lengthwise; inrolled.
Keel
Ridge.
Lanceolate
Lance-shaped; broadest near base, gradually tapering to the narrower apex.

Lanceoloid
Referring to a solid object that is broadest near base, gradually tapering to the narrower apex.
Latex
Milky sap.
Lemma
A fertile scale found in grasses.
Lenticel
A small opening on a stem.
Lenticular
Lens-shaped.
Ligule
A structure on the inside at the junction of the leaf blade and leaf sheath.
Linear
Elongated and uniform in width throughout.

Mucronate
With a short point sticking out the tip.
Nerve
Vein.
Node
That place on a stem where leaves and buds arise.
Nutlet
A small nut.
Obconic
Reverse cone-shaped.
Oblanceolate
Reverse lance-shaped; broadest at the apex, gradually tapering to narrower base.

Oblong
Broadest at the middle, and tapering to both ends, but broader than elliptic.

Oblongoid
Referring to a solid object that, in side view, is nearly the same width throughout.
Obovate
Broadly rounded at the apex, becoming narrowed below.

Obovoid
Referring to a solid object that is broadly rounded at the apex, becoming narrowed below.
Orbicular
Round.

Ovary
That part of the pistil that contains the ovules.
Ovate
Broadly rounded at the base, becoming narrowed above; broader than lanceolate.

Ovoid
Referring to a solid object that is broadly rounded at the base, becoming narrowed above.
Ovule
Immature seed.
Palmate
Divided radiately, like the fingers of a hand.

Panicle
An arrangement of flowers consisting of several racemes.

Pappus
Tufts of hairs attached to achenes of the aster family.
Pedicel
The stalk of a flower.
Peduncle
The stalk of an inflorescence.
Peltate
Attached at the middle.
Pendulous
Drooping.
Perennial
Living for 3 or more years.
Perforation
A circular opening.
Perianth
All the sepals and petals of a flower.
Perigynium
A sac-like structure enclosing the pistil and, at maturity, the achene in Carex.
Petiole
Leaf stalk.
Pinna (pl., pinnae)
The primary division of pinnate frond or leaf.
Pinnate
Divided once along an elongated axis into distinct segments.

Pinnatifid
Divided nearly to the axis.
Pistil
The ovule-producing part of the flower.

Pith
The central, often soft, part of a stem.
Plumose
Feathery.
Prostrate
Lying flat on the ground.
Raceme
A grouping of flowers along an elongated axis where each flower has its own stalk.

Rachis
The axis of a flowering branch or the cenral stalk of a compound leaf..
Ray
A flattened flower part in the aster family that is actually several petals fused together.
Receptacle
That part of the flower to which the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils are usually attached.
Recurved
Curving downward.
Reflexed
Turned downward.
Reticulate
Like a net.
Retrorse
Pointing downward.
Revolute
Turned under along the edges.
Rhizome
An underground, horizontal stem.

Ribbed
Bearing ridges.
Rosette
A cluster of leaves around the base of the plant.
Samara
An indehiscent winged fruit.

Scale
A tiny, usually dry, leaflike structure (for example, the structure that subtends each flower in a grass, sedge, or rush).
Septate
With cross-walls.
Sessile
Without a stalk.
Setose
Bearing bristles.
Sheath
The base of a leaf that encircles the stem.
Smooth
Not rough to the touch.
Sorus (pl., sori)
A structure found in ferns that contains the spore-producing sporangia.
Spadix
A fleshy axis in which flowers are embedded.
Spathe
A large bract subtending or sometimes enclosing a cluster of flowers.
Spatulate
Shaped like a spatula, broadest at the tip and tapering to the base.
Spike
A grouping of flowers along an elongated axis where each flower lacks a stalk.

Spikelet
A small spike.
Spinule
A small spine.
Spinulose
Bearing small spines.
Sporangia
Structures that bear spores.
Spore
A microscopic reproductive body in ferns and fern allies.
Sporophyll
A leaf that bears spores.
Spur
A slender, backward-pointing part of some flowers, or short, stout, spine-like branches.
Stamen
The pollen-producing organ of a flower.

Stigma
The terminal part of a pistil.
Stipule
A green, often leaf-like, structure found at the base of some leaves.
Stolon
A horizontal stem lying on the surface of the soil.
Striate
With parallel lines.
Style
That part of the pistil between the ovary and the stigma.
Subglobose
Nearly round, but slightly flattened.
Subtend
To extend under; found at the base of.
Subulate
Narrowed to a short point.
Succulent
Fleshy.
Superior
Referring to the position of the ovary when it is above the point of attachment of sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils.

Sutures
Seams, areas where splitting ocurs.
Tendril
A device, usually coiled, that enables some vines to climb.
Terete
Round in cross-section.
Ternate
Divided into 3's.
Thallus
The body of the plant in the family Lemnaceae.
Truncate
Cut straight across.
Tuber
A thickened, underground stem that stores food.
Tubercle
A wart-like structure.
Umbel
A cluster of flowers in which the flower stalks arise from the same level.

Undulating
Wavy.
Valvate
Placed edge to edge.
Valve
The section of a capsule; the wing of the fruit in Rumex.
Whorl
The arrangement of 3 or more structures at a point on the stem.

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