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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

Bract - A reduced or modified leaf occurring at the base of a flower or group of flowers. Bracts are sometimes arranged in rows, like shingles on a roof, usually closely cupping the blossoms of Asteraceae (Sunflower Family); cf. Phyllary. Sometimes brightly colored or petallike, as in Castilleja spp. (paintbrush), or threadlike, as in Daucus carota (Queen Anne's Lace). ...

FACU* - Faculative Upland - Nonhydrophyte. Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands. Occurs only in the South Pacific Islands subregion.

Hastate - A triangle with two sides abruptly concave; in the form of two pointed lobes pointing outwards.

Nectar - A sweet fluid produced in flowers.

Pubescent - Said of stems or leaves with soft hairs.

Subshrub - Shorter than a shrub, often weakly woody and persisting for only a few years.

Apical - Situated at or near the tip.

Pedicel - The stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers.

Cyme - A usually flattish inflorescence in which the central or terminal flower matures first.

Leafless - Without leaves.

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

Bipinnate - Twice-pinnate.

Campanulate - Bell-shaped.

Annual - A species that grows from seed, flowers, fruits and dies within one year's time. See also, Winter Annual.

Basal leaves - The leaves that are concentrated near the base of the main stem.

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center