Glossary of Terms


alternate - leaves arranged singly, alternating from one side to the other.

bract - a modified leaf that lies underneath another structure.

branchlet - the second smallest division of a branch.

bud - a protuberance found at the end of or along a twig containing an immature leaf or flower.

cone scale - one of the woody flaps that makes up a cone.

conical - a tree with a shape somewhat like a cone with longer branches at the bottom and progressively small branches higher up the tree.

conifer - a plant that reproduces through cones.

deciduous - a plant that loses its leaves in the fall and grows new leaves in the spring.

erect - standing out instead of drooping.

evergreen - a plant that does not lose its leaves in the fall and remains green all year long.

family - a level of taxonomic organization containing a number of genera.

four-sided - having a square cross-section.

genus - a level of taxonomic organization containing a number of species. pl. genera.

irregular - a tree having a non-conical, non-symmetrical shape with non-uniform branch lengths.

opposite - leaves arranged in pairs on opposite sides of the twig.

order - a high level of taxonomic organization containing a number of families.

ornamental - a non-native, intentionally planted tree.

pitch - the sticky resinous sap of many conifers.

prickle - a sharp feature of some cones.

shoot - a young, newly growing branch.

species - the most specific level of the taxonomic organization of organisms.

spiral - leaves arranged around a twig in a pattern like candy-cane stripes.

stalked - attached to the twig with a green stalk instead of being attached directly.

stem - a stalk, connecting other parts of a plant.

taxonomy - the system of classifying organisms into groups.

three-sided - having a triangular cross-section.

twig - the smallest division of a branch.

whorl - a ring of branches coming off of a trunk at the same level.

woody - being made of wood.



Unless otherwise specified, all text and images are Copyright (c) Peter Kenlan 2002. This page may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the author.