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Glossary of commonly used botanical terms and their definitions. Use the search bar below to look up a botanical term.

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15 Random Botanical Terms

Nut - A dry fruit with one seed and a thick hard wall.

Needle - The long and narrow leaf of pines and related species.

Irregular flower - A flower unequal in the size, form, or union of its similar parts; zygomorphic or bilaterally symmetrical. Example: Fabaceae (Legume Family).

Lanceolate - Having the shape of a spear-head or lance.

Simple - Not divided into parts, e.g., a leaf with the blade in one piece.

Twig - A small branch.

Annual - A species that grows from seed, flowers, fruits and dies within one year's time. See also, Winter Annual.

FAC* - Facultative - Hydrophyte. Occurs in wetlands and non-wetlands. Occurs only in the South Pacific Islands subregion.

Halophyte - A plant which tolerates a salty environment.

Pistillate flower - A flower with pistils, but no stamens.

Runcinate - Leaf having incised margins with the lobes or teeth curved toward the base.

Pinnate - Arranged along an axis. Leaves may be pinnately compound (see below) and/or pinnately lobed; they may also have pinnate venation, with veins extending from the midrib.

Phyllary - A term sometimes used for individual bracts below the head of flowers in Asteraceae (Sunflower Family), so designated to avoid confusion with bracts on the flower stem.

Perfect - A flower with both male and female reproductive organs; bisexual, hermaphroditic or monoclinous.

Basal leaves - The leaves that are concentrated near the base of the main stem.