Glossary of Terms
|For the less experienced among us, there may be terms in this field guide that are not at first clear. In an effort to make this guide as accessible as possible to everyone, we have included this glossary of terms. Throughout the site, terms that are defined in this glossary are linked, and clicking on them will open this page in a new window, displaying the definition of whatever term you clicked on.|
|To go to a skip down to a specific letter of the alphabet, click on that letter on the menu below.|
|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|
Alternate leaves - Multiple leaves do not sprout from the same point on a branch; rather each individual leaf grows from its own, separate position on the branch.
Bud - An unopened, developing leaf, shoot, or flower located on the sides or end of a stem or branch.
Calyx lobes - The sepals of a flower; the outer floral leaves which may be separate or fused.
Compound leaves - Leaves which are comprised of 2 or more leaflets; each leaflet may in turn be made up of 2 or 3 leaflets of its own, making it doubly or triply compounded, respectively. (To determine which is a leaf and which is a leaflet, check the base of the stem, or petiole, that the leaf or leaflet is attached to. Remnants of buds, bud scars, are visible at the bases of leaves, but not leaflets.)
Conifer - Usually an evergreen tree, these trees bear cones and have thin, needle-like or scale-like leaves.
Deciduous - A type of plant that loses its leaves in the autumn, keeps them off in the winter while gaining sustinence from energy stored in the roots, and grows new leaves back in order to photosynthesize in the spring.
Disk flower - A small, five petaled flower found in the center, or disk, of a larger, composite flower such as the sunflower.
Double-toothed - On every tooth can be found smaller teeth, so there are two "levels" of toothing.
Exotic - A non-native plant species; a plant not usually found growing naturally in a specified region.
Fatal - See "Deadly."
Furrowed - Bark that is furrowed has small cracks and valleys along it, usually going vertically, or up and down the tree.
Hull - The outer coating of a seed or fruit; the persistent calyx.
Inflorescence - A cluster of flowers origionating from the same bud.
Key - The fruit of a tree in the Aceraceae (maple) family.
Leach - The process of boiling acorns, usually after they are chopped or ground, in several changes of water to remove bitter flavored tannin.
Lobe - An extended section of a leaf which bulbs out from the edge of the leaf; the “fingers” of a leaf.
Mucilaginous - A gelatinous, high sugar-content substance that exists in various plants, such as legumes and seaweeds; a gum or adhesive like solution.
Native - A species of organism which lives naturally in a given area; local, non-exotic.
Ovate - Oval-shaped.
Pectin - The basis of fruit jellies; a water-soluble substance that binds neighboring cell walls in plants together.
Pinnate leaves - A feathery, compound leaf with leaflets branching off a main midrib.
Prickle - A modified, epidermal outgrowth; sharp.
Red Oak group - A group of Oaks characterized by leaves with pointed lobes. Oaks in this group have acorns that take two years to mature, and thus have more tannin than Oaks in the White Oak group.
Rose hip - The fruit of a rose plant, left in the place of the flowers once they have died; small, reddish or orange fruits with 5 calyx lobes on top.
Simple leaves - Leaves with a single blade and main midrib.
Single-toothed - Leaves with a sharp point, or tooth, at the end of each vein (off the midrib) on the edge of the leaf. As differentiated from double-toothed.
Species - The most specific level of taxonomic organization; under the level Genus.
Stipule - Small leaflike structures found at the bottoms of certain leafstalks.
Taxonomy - The classification of an organism based on an accepted, scientific system; each organism is classified with a taxonomy including names in the 7 major classification groups: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.
True end bud - An end bud from which sprouts and actual leaf, stem, or twig. See “False end bud.”
Vine - An herbaceous or woody plant with tendrils and the ability to climb and grow over other plants or objects easily.
White Oak group - A group of Oaks having leaves with rounded lobes. Oaks in this group have acorns that take one year to mature, and thus have less tannin than Oaks in the Red Oak group.
Whorl - A collection of three or more leaf parts or branches which radiate from a single, central point.
Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.