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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

Apex - The topmost or distal portion of a plant or plant part.

Involucre - A whorl of distinct or united leaves or bracts beneath a flower or cluster of flowers commonly found especially on species in Asteraceae but also in Apiaceae, Dipsacaceae and Polygonaceae. Also a bract or bract pair subtending the inflorescence of some members of Betulaceae, especially Carpinus and Corylus.

Spike - Flowers are attached directly to the main stem; no pedicels are present. The youngest flowers or buds are at the top. Spp. Abbreviation for plural of "species."

Actinomorphic - Refers to flowers that can be divided into equal halves along any axis (radially symmetric).

Regular flower - A flower equal in size, form, and union of its similar parts; radially symmetrical. Example: Solanaceae (Potato Family).

Attenuate - A tapering leaf base with concave margins that form an angle less than 45 degrees.

Bark - Tough outer covering of trunks or stems of trees, shrubs, and vines.

Whorled - Three or more leaves or flowers arranged in a circle around a stem.

Internode - The part of the stem between leaves or branches.

Tap - The main, central root of a plant.

Cork - Bark tissue that is harvested for commercial use.

Peduncle - The stalk of a solitary flower or of a cluster of flowers.

Crenate - Having rounded teeth along the margin.

Staminate flower - A flower with stamens but no pistil.

Compound Pistil - A pistil made up of two or more partially or completely united carpels.

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center