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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

Incomplete flower - A flower lacking one or more of the following: stamens, pistils, petals, sepals.

Infructescence - A group of fruits and associated parts arising from an inflorescence. An inflorescence with mature or maturing fruit.

Tepals - Collective term for sepals and petals when sepals are petal-like, as in Cooperia pedunculata (rain lily).

Two lipped flower - A flower that has an upper and a lower division, as in Labiatae (Mint Family).

Calyx - The sepals taken collectively. These may be distinct, or joined to form a cup or tube; they may be of any color but are usually green. When the calyx is present, it encloses the other parts of the flower in bud.

Areole - A spot in the form of a pit or a raised area on the surface of a cactus through which spines or other structures grow.

Oblanceolate - Inversely lanceolate with top wider than bottom.

Winter annual - An annual species that arises from seed in the summer or fall of one calendar year and completes its life cycle in the spring or summer of the following calendar year. E.g. Texas Bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis.

Spatulate - Paddle, or spoon shaped, broad at the tip and narrowed towards the base.

Hermaphroditic - Having the properties of a hermaphrodite, with both male and female structures located within the same flower.

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

Acute - Pointed apex with margins that form an angle between 45 and 90 degrees.

Parallel - A leaf whose veins run in parallel from the stem.

Genus - A group of related species classified within a family.

Acaulescent - Without a distinct stem.

© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center