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Adnate Cap: Gills that are broadly attached to the stalk of a mushroom (See diagram).

Alternate: Leaves that sprout on alternating sides of a twig, not opposing each other. (See diagram).

Apex:  Highest point of an object; the top or tip.

Attached Gills: (See diagram).

Axis: The central stem of a compound leaf around which the leaflets are arranged. (See diagram).

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Basal Bulb: Bottom section of a stalk that is round.

Basal: A leaf or growth structure that grows at the very bottom of a plant of tree. A basal leaf is the leaf that grows the closest to the ground.

Bell-Shaped Cap: (See diagram).

Biennial: A growth or flowering pattern that occurs once every two years. For example, Common Burdock has flowers that only bloom once every two years.

Bolete: A fleshy mushroom with a tube-like layer under the cap.

Bract: A modified leaf located near flower or cluster of flowers. Can be leafy, petal-like, or woody; can by colorful or green.

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Calyx: The outermost whorl sepals (modified leaves) that surrounds the flower, usually green.

Cap: The top of a mushroom.

Chevron: A marking on a plant in the shape of a “V.” For example, grey birch has bark marked with chevrons. Red Clover has leaves with white chevrons against the green background.

Close Gills: (See diagram).

Compound Leaf: A leaf with two or more distinct leaflets on a single leafstalk (See diagram).

Conical Cap: (See diagram).

Convex Cap: (See diagram).

Corm: Often thought of as a root or bulb. It grows underground for some plants. It consists of a tough outer layer and a starchy solid inner layer.

Crowded Gills: (See diagram).

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Descending Gills: Gills (or pores) that run down the stalk (See diagram).

Disk flower: The flowers with small petals located in the center of composite flowers, and are surrounded by ray flowers.

Distant Gills: (See diagram).

Down Curled Margin: See incurved.

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Egg-Shaped Cap:  (See diagram).

Evanescent Ring: A ring that disappears quickly.



False Gills: Not structurally distinct units rather are mere folds in the mushroom's under surface.

Flat Cap: (See diagram).

Flesh: The interior tissue of a mushroom.          

Free Gills: Gills that do not reach the stalk (See diagram).

Fungus: (plural fungi) An organism that lack chlorophyll and possesses spores.

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Gill: A radial bladelike plate that bears spores, located under the cap of the mushroom.

Granule: A small particle or grain on the cap of a mushroom.



Incurved Margin: Rolled inward (See diagram).

Inrolled Margin: (See diagram).

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Leaf Blade: The thin flat part of the leaf from the petiole to the tip. (See diagram).

Leaflets: The leaflet is a leaf structure, with a stem, that when clustered together with others along an axis, makes a compound leaf. Note: leaflets do NOT have an axillary bud at their base. (See diagram).

Lobe: A division or projection in a leaf, but not separate leaflets. Can be rounded or pointed, toothed or smooth. (See diagram).

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Margin: The edge of the cap of the mushroom.

Mesic: a term used to describe soil types, meaning characterized by moderate moisture (not too much, not too little.)

Monoecious: A species where the male and female reproductive structures, such as flowers or cones, are located on the same plant.

Mushroom: The fruiting body of a fungus.

Mycelium: The vegetative portion of a fungus.

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Opposite: Leaves arranged in pairs, opposite each other on a twig. (See diagram).



Partial Veil: A tissue that covers and protects the immature gills or tubes of gilled mushroom or boletes.

Perithecium: A minute flask-shaped vessel containing the asci (saclike cell that produces spores). 

Petiole: The stalk of a leaf. (See diagram).

Pinnate: A feather-like arrangement of leaflets in a compound leaf. (See diagram).

Pore: The mouth or opening of the tube in boletes and polypores.

Puffballs: Mushrooms that produce spores enclosed inside a spore case.

Pulvinus: (plural pulvini) a swelling at the base of a petiole, common in the Family Fabaceae. For example, the Eastern Redbud has distinctive pulvini.


Ray Flower: Has a ray of fused petals. These are located along the outer edge of a composite flower, surrounding the disk flowers.

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Sepal: A modified leaf that surrounds the flower, and is located at its base. Usually green. A whorl of sepals makes up the calyx.

Simple Leaf: A leaf with a single whole leaf blade on a leafstalk. (See diagram).

Sinus: The negative space between lobes on a leaf. (See diagram).

Spadix: The stem-like flesy flower spike with many tiny florets. Typical of members of the Family Araceeae, such as Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Skunk Cabbage. It is then surrounded or sheathed by the spathe.

Spathe: A growth of leaves or bracts (sub-leaves) fused together which forms a shield around the spadix (protruding flower spike) of the flower.

Spore Print: The pattern made by the spores as they are discharged from the gills or tubes.

Spore: The reproductive unit of a fungus.

Stalk: The portion of the mushroom that supports and elevates the cap for spore disposal.

Stamen: The male organ of a flower. The stamen is comprised of two parts: the anther and the filament. The filament is the stalk upon which the anther sits.

Stigma: (plural stigmata) The uppermost tip of the female reproductive part of a flower; it receives pollen.

Stuffed Stalk: A stalk that is filled with loose flesh.

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Tubes: A hollow cylinder that contains the basidia where spores are produced in bolete or polypore.



Underside: The area under the cap.

Universal Veil: A tissue that encloses the ENTIRE immature stage of some gilled mushrooms and boletes.

Uplifted Margin: (See diagram).

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Veil: A tissue that covers and protects the immature stage of some gilled mushroom and boletes.



Xeric: A term used to describe soil types, meaning characterized by low moisture.

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