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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

Ray - The outer irregular flowers in the heads of many Compositae (Sunflower Family). Each has a single, tongue-shaped corolla.

Obtuse - Blunt or rounded at the tip.

Tubercle - A more or less pyramidal knob rising from the stem surface of a cactus and having an areole on or near its summit.

Orbicular - Circular or nearly so.

Scape - A naked flower stem rising from the ground.

Sinus - The depression or recess between two lobes.

Threatened - An animal or plant species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

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

Oval - Having the general form, shape, or outline of an egg; egg-shaped.

Endemic - Occurring naturally only in a single geographic area.

Thorn - A sharp-pointed structure formed by a modified branch.

Stolon - A horizontal above ground stem.

Corymb - A flat-topped or convex flower cluster, with the lower or outer stems longer; the flowers on these stems open first.

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

Sessile - Lacking a stalk of any kind: a flower without a pedicel or a leaf without a petiole.

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center