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Glossary of Botanical Terms
Alternate: describes leaves or flowers arranged singly along a twig or stalk. Compare this to opposite leaves or leaves found in whorls.
Axis: the central line of a cluster of flowers or leaves
Bark: the outermost covering of a tree. Like many aspects of plants in the natural world, bark can show remarkable variation.
Bud: a developing leaf or flower that is usually covered in protective scales
Compound leaf: a leaf that is divided into 3 or more distinct parts, called leaflets
Cone: a cylindrical or conical seed-bearing fruit. They are usually made of many scales organized around a central axis.
Conifer: a cone producing member of the Pine family. They are usually evergreen, though there are exceptions
Cultivated: not grown in the wild. These plants are grown and cared for by people.
Deciduous: describes a tree that sheds its leaves every year
Elliptical: oval shaped
Fruit: the mature seed-bearing ovary of a plant
Gland-dot: a small gland or pore that resembles a dot. They usually secrete a fluid.
Herbaceous: describes any non-woody plant
Leaflet: a leaf-like division of a compound leaf
Needle: the long narrow leaf characteristic of pines
Obovate: oval-shaped, but broader at the tip of the leaf
Ovate: oval-shaped, but broader toward the base, egg-shaped
Palmate: having 3 or more veins, leaves, leaflets originating from a central point
Pinnate: a linear arrangement of veins or leaves, which branch off from a central line
Tendrils: a modified leaf structure that occurs on climbing plants such as vines
Toothed: sharp, tooth-like projections that occur on the sides of some leaves
Whorled: describes an arrangement in which the leaves are arranged in groups of 3 or more around a central point.