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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

Rhizobium - Soil-borne bacteria which form nitrogen-rich root nodules.

Zygomorphic - Refers to flowers capable of division by only one plane of symmetry (bilaterally symmetric).

Fern - Any of numerous flowerless and seedless vascular plants (pteridophytes) having true roots from a rhizome and fronds that uncurl upward; reproduce by spores.

OBL* - Obligate - Hydrophyte. Almost always occurs in wetlands. Occurs only in the South Pacific Islands subregion.

Tree - A woody perennial plant having a single main stem or trunk which generally grows more than 20 feet tall.

Disc flowers - The inner tubular flowers on the heads of Asteraceae (Sunflower Family).

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.

Stem - The main axis of a plant.

Bisexual - A flower with both stamens and pistils.

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

Alternate - Placed singly at different heights on the stem; not opposite or whorled.

Evergreen - Remaining green and leafy through the winter.

Petal - Unit of the corolla.

Emarginate - Having a shallow notch at the tip.

Axil - The upper angle between two structures or organs, as where a leaf or branch joins the stem.

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center