Glossary
Abaxial
The surface or portion of a lateral structure away from the bearing axis; the lower surface

Achene
Small, dry, one-seeded fruit.   See drawing of fruits.

Acuminate
Gradually tapering to a sharp point.   See leaf apex drawings.

Acute
Abruptly terminating in a sharp point.   Less tapering than acuminate, i.e. at a sharper angle. See leaf apex drawings.

Adaxial
The surface or portion of a lateral structure toward the bearing axis; the upper surface

Aerole, Areola
1. small space on a surface, usually in reference to a space bounded by veinlets on a leaf surface; 2. small, spine-bearing area on a cactus.

Alternate
Leaves placed singly one above the other, usually on alternate sides of the stem. See drawing of leaf arrangements.

Annual
A plant that lives only one year or season.   The plant must grow from seed each year.

Anther
The part of the stamen which contains pollen.   See drawing of flower parts.

Anthesis
Flowering, or the point in time when pollination takes place.

Antrorse
Directed upward or toward the apex.

Apiculate
Ending in a small, flexible, short-pointed tip.   See leaf apex drawings.

Arillate
Having an aril.

Ascending
Sloping or angled upward.   See drawing of stem forms.

Attenuate
Gradually narrowing to a long, slender point, more extreme than acuminate.

Auricle
Small ear-like projections. Found at the junction of the blade and the sheath in grasses.   See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Awn
A slender, stiff, bristle-like extension of a plant part, such as the beard on wheat.   See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Axil
The angle formed between two plant parts.   Usually refers to the upper angle between a leaf and stem.

Barbellate
Having barbels (short, straight bristles).

Bearded
Having long or stiff hairs arranged in a row or tuft.

Berry
A fruit that is fleshy throughout.

Biennial
A plant which completes its life cycle in two years.   Usually has leaves and stores food in underground parts the first year and then blooms, produces seeds and dies the second year.

Bifid
Two-cleft.

Blade
The flat, expanded part of a leaf that is above the sheath and away from the stem.   See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Bract
A reduced or modified leaf, often below a flower or flower cluster.

Bulb
An underground leaf bud enwrapped in fleshy scales or coats.

Bunch grass
A grass that forms a more or less circular, compact bunch.

Calyx
The outer part of the floral envelope (perianth).   Composed of the sepals and usually green in color.   A collective term for the sepals.

Canescent
A fine, gray or white pubescence.

Catkin
Long, spike-like inflorescence of small unisexual flowers without petals, each flower subtended by a bract.

Cathartic
A substance that purges or cleanses, usually in reference to the bowels
.
Cauline
Borne on the stem, rather than basally.

Chasmogamous
Flower that is open at time of pollination.

Ciliate
Fringed with hairs on the margin.

Clasping
Surrounding or partially wrapping around a stem.   See drawing of leaf attachments.

Cleistogamous
Small flowers that remain closed and are self-pollinated.

Collar
The portion of a grass leaf where the sheath and blade join.

Connivent
Coming together but not actually fused.

Cordate
Heart-shaped , with the point upward.   See drawing of leaf shapes.

Corm
Short, solid, bulb-like underground stem that produces leaves and flowering stalks.

Corolla
The inner part of the floral envelope (perianth), immediately surrounding the stamens.   Composed of petals and often brightly colored.  A collective term for the petals.

Corymb
A flat-topped or convex flower cluster with the outer flowers blooming first.   See drawing of inflorescence types.

Crenate
Rounded, shallow teeth or scallope

Culm
The stem or stalk of a grass or sedge.   Usually has a seed head at the top.

Cyathia
In Euphorbia, the cuplike involucre containing the staminate and pistillate flowers.

Cyme
A flat-topped or convex flower cluster with the central flowers blooming first.   See drawing of inflorescence types.

Decoction
A liquid preparation made by boiling a plant in water.

Decreaser
A plant that decreases in abundance under grazing.

Decumbent
The stems or branches recline on the ground, but the seed head is upright.   See drawing of stem forms.

Decurrent
Extending downward from the point of attachment.   See drawing of leaf attachments.

Dentate
A toothed leaf margin with the teeth projecting outward.

Diadelphous
Stamens with filaments united in two groups, often unequal in number.

Diffuse
Loosely spreading.

Dioecious
The staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers occur on separate plants.

Discoid
Applied to flower heads of Asteraceae having only tubular flowers; or flattened and round like a disk (solid shape).

Disturbed
Habitats impacted by settlement.

Diuretic
A substance that increases the amount of urine passed.

Dropsy
A medical condition where fluid gathers in parts of the body, causing swelling.

Drupe
A fleshy fruit with one seed enclosed in a stony endocarp.

Elliptic
Oval-shaped, with the widest part in the middle and tapering toward both ends.   See drawing of leaf shapes.

Elongate
Narrow, with the length many times the width.

Emarginate
A notch at the rounded apex.   See leaf apex drawings.

Emersed
Reaching above the surface of the water.

Emetic
Something that causes vomiting.

Entire
A continuous margin without any kind of teeth or lobes.   See drawing of leaf margins.

Erect
Upright.   See drawing of stem forms.

Erose
Irregularly notched at the tip.   Appears "gnawed" or eroded.

Escaped
Plants that have been cultivated, but spread from that location into the wild.

Exserted
Projecting or protruding beyond.

Family
A taxonomic category higher than a genus.   A group of plants with biologically similar features.   For plants, family names end in -aceae.

Filament
The part of the stamen which supports the anther.   The stalk of the stamen.   See drawing of flower parts.

Filiform
Long and slender, thread-like.   See drawing of leaf shapes.

Fillaries
Involucral bracts that surround the heads of composites like Asteraceae.

Flexous
Zigzag or wavy.

Floret
Small, individual flower.   The ray and disc florets make up the compound flower in the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae), while the lemma, palea and included flower make up a floret in a grass plant.   See drawing of flower parts and drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Flower
The reproductive part of a plant.  It is usually composed of petals, sepals, stamens, and a pistil.

Follicle
A dry, dehiscent fruit, produced from a simple ovary, which opens along one suture.

Forb
Non-woody or non-grass or grass=like plants whaose above ground stem does not survive the winter.   Forbs have solid stems and generally have broad, net veined leaves.   Their flowers are often large, colorful, and showy.   See drawing of plant group characteristics.

Fruit
The ripe seed, berry, or grain.

Fusiform
Spindle-shaped; widest at the middle and each end narrowed to a point, round in cross-section.

Geniculate
Bent sharply, like a knee.

Genus
A group of closely related species.   Ranks next above the species and next below the family.   The genus name is capitalized and immediately precedes the species name in a scientific description of an organism.

Glabrous
Smooth and hairless.

Glaucous
Covered with a wax-like coating that gives a bluish-green color.

Glochid
A small barbed hair or bristle.

Glomerule
Small, dense, head-like cluster of minute flowers.

Glumes
The lowermost and empty bracts at the base of a grass spikelet.   Usually there are two.   See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Grass
Plants of the family Poaceae (Gramineae).   Grasses are characterized by rounded, hollow or pithy jointed stems (culms), and narrow sheathing leaves with parallel veins. The leaves alternate on two sides of the stem.  The junction of the blade and sheath often bears an erect fringe of hairs (ligule) and sometimes also earlike projections (auricles).  Flowers are borne in reduced spikes (spikelets).  See drawing of plant group characteristics.

Grazing Value
The worth of a plant to livestock, as determined by its palatability, nutritive quality, volume of forage produced, longevity, and area of primary distribution. Good grazing value applies to a plant that is in top volume production, is highly palatable (not necessarily in all seasons), and nutritious.  Fair grazing value means that the plant is less desirable in palatability, quality, or volume of production. Poor grazing value indicates that the plant rates the lowest in one or more basic requirements in most areas where found.  An abundance of such plants indicates a range in poor condition.

Head
A dense cluster of stalkless (sessile) or nearly stalkless flowers that arise from a common point.

Herb
A plant whose above-ground stem does not survive the winter.   A non-woody plant.

Herbaceous
Having the character of a herb.

Hirsute
Covered with long straight, rather coarse hairs.   See pubescence drawings.

Hispid
Covered with rigid or bristly hairs.   Feels rough to the touch.   See pubescence drawings.

Hypanthium
Compound structure made up of the basal portions of the calyx, corolla, and stamens.

Imbricate
Overlapping.

Increaser
A plant that increases in abundance under grazing.

Indusium
Membranous outgrowth of the blade which covers the cluster of spore-bearing structures (sorus) of a fern.

Inflorescence
The whole flowering portion of a plant. See inflorescence types drawings.

Infusion
A tea made by pouring boiling water over a substance.   Steeping.

Internodes
The part of the stem between two successive nodes or joints.

Introduced
Plants brought into North America and not part of the original vegetation.

Invaders
Plants which come into areas after the climax vegetation has been diminished by overgrazing, drought, fire, or other disturbances.  Ranges in which these species are abundant are in poor condition.

Involucre
A whorl of bracts under a flower or flower cluster.

Involute
Rolled inward from the edges, toward the upper surface.

Keel
The sharp fold at the back of a sheath, blade, glume, or lemma in the Family Poaceae or the united lower petals of the flowers in the Family Fabaceae.  Similar to the keel of a boat.

Lanceolate
Lance-shaped, several times longer than wide and tapering at both ends.   Widest about a third above the base.   See drawing of leaf shapes.

Lanate
Woolly.

Leaf
A flat, thin outgrowth of a stem that is usually green in color.   It serves as the principal area for the manufacture of food for the plant (photosynthesis).

Legume
A plant of the Fabaceae Family.   A simple dry fruit, usually opening along two sides, and containing one row of seeds.

Lemma
The lower bract enclosing the flower of grass.   See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Lenticel
A corky spot on bark that serves as an air pore.

Ligule
(a) A thin, non-green membranous outgrowth or row of hairs often found on the upper and inner side of the leaf blade where it joins the sheath.  Occurs in many grasses and some sedges.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.  (b) A flattened, strap-shaped part of the ray corolla in the Asteraceae Family.

Linear
Long and narrow, with the sides almost parallel.   See drawing of leaf shapes.

Loment
A jointed fruit, usually constricted between the seeds, that breaks into one-seeded segments upon maturity.   See drawing of fruits.

Mericarp
Dry, indehiscent, 1-seeded section of a schizocrp.

Mesic
Characterized by a moderate amount of moisture.

Mid grass
A grass that grows two to four feet tall.

Monadelphous
Stamens that have their filaments united in single group around the pistil.

Monecious
Staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers occur at different locations on the same plant; all flowers unisexual.

Mucronate
Terminating with a short, sharp tip, resembling a spine.  See leaf apex drawings.

Native
Plants which are part of the original vegetation of the North American continent.

Node
A slightly enlarged portion of the stem where leaves, buds, and branches arise.

Oblong
Longer than wide, with the sides nearly parallel.  See drawing of leaf shapes.

Obovate
Egg-shaped, with the broadest part near the top.  See drawing of leaf shapes.

Obtuse
Blunt or rounded at the apex.  See leaf apex drawings.

Opposite
Leaves arranged in a pair directly across from one another.  See drawing of leaf arrangements.

Ovate
Egg-shaped, with the broadest part near the base.  See drawing of leaf shapes.

Palatable
Pleasing to the taste, i.e. to the palate.

Palmate
Radiating from a common point, like fingers on a hand.

Palea
The upper bract enclosing the flower of grass.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Panicle
An open, rebranching type of inflorescence.  The lower branches are longer than the ones above and the flowers are on stalks (pediceled).  See drawing of inflorescence types.

Papilioaceous
Corolla with a standard or banner, wings, and keel (Bean Family); "butterfly-like".

Pappus
In the Asteraceae, the modified calyx, usually consisting of a series of bristles, scales, or teeth.

Pedicel
The stem or stalk of an individual flower of an inflorescence or the stalk that supports a spikelet in grasses.

Peduncle
The stem or stalk of an inflorescence or a solitary flower.

Perfect
A flower that has both functional stamens and pistils.

Perfoliate
The bases of two opposite, sessile leaves are united around the stem so that the stem appears to pass through the leaf.

Perianth
The floral envelope, consisting of the calyx and corolla.

Perigynia
The inflated, sac-like sheath surrounding the pistil in Carex.

Perennial
Plant that lives for three or more years, producing leaves and stems each year from rootstock, crown buds, or branches.

Petal
One part of the corolla.  Often brightly colored and conspicuous.  See drawing of flower parts.

Petiole
The stalk of a leaf.  See drawing of leaf attachments.

Phyllaries
Involucral bracts subtending the flower head in Asteraceae.

Pilose
Covered with long, thin, soft, distinct hairs.  See pubescence drawings.

Pinnae
Primary division of a compound leaf.

Pinnate
A compound leaf with the leaflets arranged on both sided of the central axis.  Odd pinnately compound leaves have a single leaflet at the end of the central axis.  Even pinnately compound leaves have no leaflet terminating the central axis.

Pinnatifid
Divided pinnately into segments, but the segments are not distinct leaflets.  Not cleft all the way to the rachis.

Pinnule
Secondary segement of a compound blade.

Pistil
The female reproductive (seed-bearing) structure of a flower that receives the pollen.  Flowers may have one to several pistils.

Pistillate
A flower bearing pistils but no stamens.

Pleurisy
Inflammation of the lungs causing a dry cough and painful breathing.

Pollen
The dust-like male spores in the anther.

Poultice
A soft, moist pulp applied to sores and inflamed areas.

Prickle
Small, sharp spinelike outgrowth on the surface of a plant.

Prostrate
Lying flat on the surface of the ground.  See drawing of stem forms.

Pubescent
Covered with short soft hairs.

Raceme
A simple, elongated inflorescence with stalked (pediceled) flowers.  See drawing of inflorescence types.

Racemose
A raceme-like branch of the inflorescence.

Rachis
The central axis of a spike or raceme inflorescence or pinnately compound leaf.

Resinous
Producing or containing a sticky secretion or sap.

Retuse
A shallow notch at the rounded apex.  See leaf apex drawings.

Revolute
Rolled backward, toward the lower side.

Rhizome
An elongated, underground, horizontal stem.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Rosette
A circular and often flattened cluster of basal leaves radiating from a common point.

Root
The underground part of a plant that absorbs water, obtains and stores nutrients, and provides anchoring support in the soil.

Sagittate
Arrowhead-shaped, with the basal lobes pointing downward or toward the petiole or stem.

Salverform
A slender-tubed corolla that expands at the top into a flat portion.  See flower shape drawings.

Scabrous
Rough to the touch.  Feels like sandpaper.

Scape
Leafless stalk arising from the ground or a basal whorl of leaves and bearing one or more flowers.

Scarious
Thin, dry, membranous, and somewhat translucent.

Schizocarp
A dry fruit that seperates into indehiscent, 1-seeded segments called mericarps.

Scientific Names
There are three parts to a plant's scientific name.  The first part is the "genus", which is determined by similarities in morphology, flowering characteristics, or genetic relationships.  The second part of the scienctific name is the "epithet".  The genus and specific epithet together provide the name of the species.  Species are also determined by similarities in morphology, flowering characteristics, or genetic relationships.  The third part of the scientific name is the "authority".  This is the person first credited with naming and describing the plant.  Authorities appearing in parentheses had their work revised by a later plant taxonomist whose name follows.  Sometimes species are divided into varieties, which is denoted by the abbreviation "var.".  A scientific name that is no longer accepted is called a "synonym".  Synonyms are indicated by an equal sign.

Secund
Directed to one side.

Sedge
A grass-like plant with a triangular stem often growing in wet areas.  See drawing of plant group characteristics.

Sepals
The outermost flower structures which usually enclose the other flower parts.  This part of the calyx is usually green, but can sometimes be brightly colored.  See drawing of flower parts.

Serrate
A leaf margin with sharp teeth pointing forward, like a saw.

Sessile
Without a stalk.  See drawing of leaf attachments.

Sheath
The lower part of the grass leaf which wraps around the stem.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Short grass
A grass that grows less than two feet tall.

Silicle
A short, broad, often flat, 2-celled fruit of the Mustard Family.  See drawing of fruits.

Silique
A long, slender, many-seeded, cylindrical fruit of the Mustard Family.  See drawing of fruits.

Sorus
A cluster of spore-bearing structures on the undersurface of a fern leaf. Plural sori.

Spadix
Fleshy, cylindric spike of small flowers.

Spathe
An enlarged leaf-like bract that surrounds or partially encloses an inflorescence.

Spatulate
Spoon-shaped.  See drawing of leaf shapes.

Species
The taxanomic category subordinate to a genus.  A group of like individuals.  The second part of a scientific name identifies a particular species.  (See Genus)

Spike
An elongated, unbranched inflorescence with the flowers or spikelets usually stalkless.  See drawing of inflorescence types.

Spikelet
A unit of inflorescence in grasses.  A small group of grass flowers.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Spore
Reproductive body capable of developing into a new individual (ferns).

Squarrose
Spreading or recurved at the end.

Stamen
The male reproductive (pollen-bearing) structure of a flower, composed of the anther and filament.

Staminate
A flower or plant that has only stamens.  A male plant or flower.

Staminode
A sterile stamen.

Stigma
The part of the pistil that receives the pollen.  See drawing of flower parts.

Stipitate
Having a stipe (small stalk).

Stipule
Leaflike appendages on either side at the base of the leaf petiole.

Stolon
A stem that grows horizontally along the surface of the ground.  These above-ground runners take root at the joints or tips, forming new plants.  See drawing of parts of a grass plant.

Striate
Marked with fine, parallel lines or minute ridges.

Strigose
Covered with short, stiff, straight hairs or bristles that are sharply bent at the base and appressed (flatly pressed against the surface).  See pubescence drawings.

Subulate
Taper from the base to a narrow or sharp point; awl-shaped.

Tall grass
A grass that grows more than four feet tall.

Taproot
The main root extending downward.

Thallus
Vegetative part of a shoot when not differentiated into stem and leaves.

Thyrse
An often slender, elongate, panicle-like inflorescence that consists of few-flowered cymes.

Tiller
A lateral shoot on or just under the surface of the ground.  A shoot from the base of a plant.

Tomentose
Densely covered with short, soft hairs that are matted.  Feels "woolly" to the touch.  See pubescence drawings.

Trifoliolate
Having three leaves or leaflets.

Truncate
Ending abrubtly.  The end appears cut-off straight across.

Tuber
An enlarged underground stem that serves as a food storage organ.

Tufted
Many stems growing in clusters which are attached at the base and free at the ends.

Umbel
A flat-topped or rounded flower cluster with the flowers on stalks (pedicels) arising from a common point. See drawing of inflorescence types.

Uncinate
hooked at the tip or in the form of a hook.

Utricle
A dry, indehiscent, one-seeded fruit with a thin pericarp and derived from a simple, superior ovary.

Verticillaster
Pairs of opposite cymes arranged in a circle around the stem.

Villose
Densely covered with long, soft hairs.  Appears "shaggy".  See pubescence drawings.

Weed
A plant that interferes with the management objectives at a particular location.  It is a plant growing where it is not wanted.  Under certain situations, the plant may not be totally undesirable.

Whorl
Three or more leaves, bracts or flowers attached in a circle or ring at the same point on a stem, like the spokes of a wheel. See drawing of leaf arrangements.