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Glossary of commonly used botanical terms and their definitions. Use the search bar below to look up a botanical term.

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15 Random Botanical Terms

Achene - A dry, usually one-seeded, indehiscent fruit.

Irregular flower - A flower unequal in the size, form, or union of its similar parts; zygomorphic or bilaterally symmetrical. Example: Fabaceae (Legume Family).

Truncate - Ending abruptly, e.g., a leaf blade squared at the base.

Berry - A fleshy, indehiscent fruit with few to many seeds.

Axillary - Growing from an axil.

Weed - Any plant growing where it is not wanted.

Capitulum - An inflorescence composed of multiple florets arranged in a flower head and surrounded by an involucre of bracts as found on many species in Asteraceae.

Palmately compound - Leaflets radiating from one point, resembling a hand with the fingers spread. Leaves may also be palmately lobed or have palmate venation.

Corolla - The petals collectively; usually colored or showy. These may be distinct or united to form a cup, trumpet, tube, or two-lipped body.

Compound leaf - A leaf that is completely separated into two or more leaflets.

Lanceolate - Having the shape of a spear-head or lance.

Endemic - Occurring naturally only in a single geographic area.

Scorpioid - Curled, like the tail of a scorpion.

FAC - Faculative - Hydrophyte. Occurs in wetlands and non-wetlands.

Obcordate - Inversely cordate, heart-shaped with petiole attached to point.

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center