Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Alternate leaves: Leaves positioned singly along the length of the stem and not in pairs or whorls

Anther: pollen-containing structure that is part of the stamen

Aquatic: water-based environment

B

Basal leaves: leaves that grow out of the base of the stem

Berry: juicy or fleshy fruiting structure; descended from one ovary

Bilaterally symmetrical: referring to flowers, having one central axis of symmetry

Bract: a modified leaf

C

Calyx: portion of flower consisting of the sepals

Capsule: dry, thin-walled fruit

Carnivorous: having a complete or partial dependence on animal tissue, insects in the case of flowers, for nutrition

Catkin: spike-structure covered with scaly bracts and unisexual flowers

Clasping leaves: stalk-less leaves having bases that completely or partially wraps around the stem

Compound leaves: leaves comprised of leaflets

Compound umbels: Flower clusters comprised of (umbels) smaller flower clusters whose stalk bases are joined at a common point

Corolla: portion of flowers consisting of the petals

Creeper: a trailing, prostrate plant

D

Disk flower: small, often ray-less, flowers of the composite flower head

E

Epiphyte: a self-sustaining plant that grows on another plant


F

Female flower: a flower having pistils but no stamens

Flower head: referring to asters, a radially symmetrical flower cluster comprised of numerous, often rayless, stalk-less flowers


Fruit: seed-bearing structure descended from fertilized ovary or pistil

G

Gland: a substance-secreting structure

H

Herb: plant comprised of soft tissue: not woody or shrub-like

Humus: Soil, composed of partially decomposed organic matter

I

Infloresence: flower cluster

Infructesence: fruit cluster

L

Lanceolate: shaped like a lance; wide at the base, slightly wider in the middle, and tapered to a point at the tip

Leaflet: leaf-like component of a compound leaf

Lobed: protrusions formed by indentations in the margin

M

Male flower: flower having stamens but no pistil

Margin: the surrounding edge (perimeter) of a leaf or petal

O

Oblong: having a stretched, almost rectangular shape

Opposite leaves: leaves positioned along the stem in pairs; leaves stalks originate from a common axis

Ovary: the base of the pistil wherein seeds mature

Ovate: having an egg shape

P

Palmate leaves: leaves having three or more lobes that are spread out, like a hand

Parasite: having complete dependence on another organism for nutrition

Pea flower: characteristic bilaterally symmetrical flower structure of the Pea family; having a broad upper petal (banner/ standard), two lateral petals (wings), and two fused lower petals with an indented line of fusion (keel)

Petal: structural component of the flowering-structure corolla, often colored with highly variable shape


Pinnate leaves: compound leaves comprised on multiple long leaflets along a main leafstalk; feather-like structure

Petiole: leafstalk

Pistil: female reproductive organ; comprised of an ovary, style, and stigma

Pod: dry fruit; often opens to release mature seeds

Pollen: dust-like grains contained in the anther, reproductive medium

R

Radially symmetrical: referring to flowers, having a central point of symmetry on the facial plane of the flower

Ray flower: flowers of a composite flower that line the circumference of the flower head and have a single petal-like ray of fused petals

Reflexed: bent backwards or downwards

Rhizome: underground stem structure; in some cases used for propogation or food storage

Root: water- and nutrient- absorbing, underground structure from which the above-ground portion of the plant extends

Rose hip: fruiting structure of some members of the rose family; smooth, rounded, bearing seed-like fruits

Rosette, basal: crowded, radially symmetrical arrangement of basal leaves

S

Sap: fluid substance contained in plant tissue

Saprophyte: plant dependent on decaying organic matter for nutrition; lacking in chlorophyll

Sepal: structural unit of the calyx; usually green, sometimes petal-like

Sheath: tubular structure surrounding stem and found at leaf axil; sometimes visible as an upraised or discolored band

Shrub: relatively tall, fibrous to woody plant having many stems that arise from the base

Simple leaf: leaf comprised of only one structure; no leaflets (not compound)

Spadix: a spike of flowers

Spathe: modified bract or pair of bracts; surround and sometimes envelop flowers

Spatulate: having a spoon shape

Spike(let): elongated structure on which stalk-less flowers are arranged

Spur: hollow, often hooked projection of a flower structure

Stamen: the male reproductive organ; consisting of a filament topped with and anther

Stem: the main support of a plant; made of soft, fibrous, or woody tissue

Stigma: sticky, pollen catching tip of a style

T

Toothed: referring to leaves, having notched margins

Tuber: underground storage structure; usually very fleshy or floury

U

Umbel: flower cluster comprised of flowers stalks whose bases originate from a common point

W

Whorled: referring to leaves or flowers, positioned along the base of the stem in groups of three or more; petioles or flower stalks originate from a common point

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