Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Glossary
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Click one of the letters above to be taken to a page of all terms beginning with that letter.
- caducous search for term
- - a. (L. caducus, falling, from cadere, to fall) said of a plant part, such as a sepal, petal, or leaf, that falls off quickly or early.
- callus search for term
- - n. (L. callus, callum, hard skin) a hard protuberance or callosity; new tissue covering a wound.
- calyx search for term
- - n (Gr. kalyx, a calyx, cup) the outer covering of a flower external to the corolla, which it encloses, and consisting of a whorl of leaves, or sepals, usually of a green color and less delicate in texture than the corolla.
- calyx tube search for term
- - tube formed by wholly or partially fused sepals. Not the floral tube of an epigynous or perigynous flower.
- cambium search for term
- - n. (L. cambiare, to exchange, more at change) the layer of tissue between the bark and wood in woody plants, from which new wood and bark develops.
- campanulate search for term
- - a. (Dim. of LL. campana, a bell) bell-shaped, usually applied to calyx and corolla.
- cancellate search for term
- - a. (L. cancellatus, pp., of cancellare, to make like a lattice) latticed, or resembling a latticed construction, usually said of a surface such as that of an achene or seed.
- capillary search for term
- capillary - a. (L. capillaris, from capillus, hair, from caput, head) resembling hair in the manner of growth; very slender, threadlike.
- capitate search for term
- - a. (L. caput, head) enlarged or swollen at tip, gathered into a mass at apex, as compound stigma; a knoblike stigma terminating a style.
- capitulum search for term
- - n. (L. capitulum, small head) an infloresence forming a head of sessile flowers or florets crowned together on a receptacle and usually surrounded by an involucre.
- capsule search for term
- capsule - n. (L. capsula, a little chest) a case, pod, or fruit, containing seeds, spores, or carpels; it usually bursts when ripe.
- carinate search for term
- - a. (L. carinatus, from carina, a keel) shaped like the keel of a ship; having a longitudinal prominence on the back, like a keel; applied to a calyx, corolla or leaf.
- carpel search for term
- - n. (Gr. karpos, fruit) a simple pistil, regarded as a modified leaf; also, any of the two or more carpels that unite to form a compound pistil; the unit of structure of the female portion of a flower.
- carpophore search for term
- - n. (Gr. karpophorus, bearing fruit; karpos, fruit, and pherein, to bear) generally the organ that supports the carpels; specifically, a very much elongated axis to which the carpels are attached.
- caryopsis search for term
- - n. (Gr. karyon, a nut, and opsis, an appearance) a small one-seeded, dry, indehiscent fruit, in which the seed adheres to the thin pericarp, so that the fruit and seed are incorporated into one body, as in wheat and other kinds of grain.
- Castanea search for term
- - n. (L., a chestnut, from Gr. kastanon) a genus of trees typified by the common chestnut.
- castaneous search for term
- - a., relating to or having the color of a chestnut.
- cataphyll search for term
- - n. (L. from cata, and -phyll) any rudimentary leaf, as a bud scale, preceding the true foliage leaves.
- cataphyllary leaves search for term
- - rudimentary or scale-like leaves which act as a covering of buds.
- catkin search for term
- - n. (L. a dim. of cat, from its resemblence to a cat's tail) a scaly spike, the flowers of which are unisexual and petalless.
- caudex search for term
- - n. (L. caudex, stem of a tree) the base of a perennial plant; the axis or stem of a woody plant, especially of a palm or tree fern.
- caulescent search for term
- - a. (L. caulis, a stem and -escent) having a well-developed stem above ground level.
- cauline search for term
- - a. (L. caulis, stalk or stem) stem.
- cellulose search for term
- - n. (Fr. from L. cellula, dim. of cella, a small room) the chief substance composing the cell walls or woody part of plants; a carbohydrate of unknown molecular structure but having the composition represented by the empirical formula (C6H10O5)x.
- centrum search for term
- - n. (L. from Gr. kentron, center) central portion.
- cespitose search for term
- - a., growing in tufts or clumps; matted.
- chaff search for term
- - n. (AS. ceaf, chaff) dry scales or bracts, as those on the receptacle subtending the flowers in the heads of certain Compositae.
- channeled search for term
- - having a deep longitudinal groove.
- chartaceous search for term
- - a. (L. chartaceus, from charta, a leaf of paper) having the texture of thin but stiff paper.
- chasmogamy search for term
- - n. (Gr. chasma, an opening, chasm, and gamos, marriage) the opening of the perianth of a flower for the purpose of fertilization; contrast with cleistogamous.
- chlorosis search for term
- - n. (Gr. chloros, pallid) abnormal condition characterized by absence of green pigments in plants.
- choripetalous search for term
- - a. (Gr. choris, apart, and petalon, leaf) polypetalous; having unconnected or separate petals.
- ciliata search for term
- - a. (L. cilium, eyelid) with marginal hairs that form a fringe.
- circumscissile search for term
- - a. (L. circum, around; scindere, to cut) opening splitting by a transverse fissure around the circumference, leaving an upper and lower half; said of certain seed pods or capsules.
- clavata search for term
- - a. (L. clava, a club) club-shaped; having the form of a club; growing gradually thicker toward the top, as certain parts of a plant.
- claw search for term
- - n. (AS. clawu, a claw, hoof) the narrowed, stalklike base of some sepals or petals.
- cleft search for term
- - a. (AS. cleofan, to cut) divided halfway down to the midrib or further, or generally, any deep lobe or cut.
- cleistogamy search for term
- - n. (Gr. kleistos, closed; gamos, marriage) the condition of having flowers which never open and self-pollination occurs, and the flowers are often small and inconspicuous.
- clone search for term
- - n. (Gr. klon, a twig) a group of plants all of whose members are directly descended from a single individual.
- coherent search for term
- - a. (L. cohaerere, to stick together) having parts united.
- collar search for term
- - n. (L. collare, a band or chain for the neck) region of junction between blade and leaf sheath of grasses.
- collenchyma search for term
- - n. (L. from Gr. killa, glue, and enchyma, an infusion) living, supportive tissue with chloroplasts generally just beneath the surface consisting or more or less elongated cells usually thickened unevenly in a manner somewhat variable in different groups of plants.
- colonial search for term
- - a. (Fr. colonial, from L. colonia, a colony) usually used to describe cloning by vegetative reproduction, the seemingly separate plants having arisen from rhizomes, stolons, or roots of a single or of neighboring "parent" plants.
- colony search for term
- - n., a stand, group, or population of neighboring plants of one species, the origin having been colonial, from seeds, or both.
- colpate search for term
- - adj. (Gr. kolpos + E-ate, of pollen grains) having longitudinal germinal furrows in the exine.
- coma search for term
- - n. (L. coma; Gr. kome, hair) a tuft of soft hairs, as at the apices or bases of seeds; a bunch of branches; a terminal cluster of bracts on a flowering stem, as in pineapples.
- commissure search for term
- - n. (L. commissura, a joining together) a place of joining or meeting, as where one carpel joins another in the Umbelliferae.
- comose search for term
- - a. (L. comosus, hairy, from coma, hair) having a tuft of hair.
- competition search for term
- - n. (L. competitio, an agreement, rivalry) involves the removal or reduction of some factor from the environment by a plant or group of plants that is sharing the same habitat. Competition can be by an individual or groups of plants of the same or different species. Factors that may be reduced include water, minerals, food, and light.
- concretion search for term
- concretion - n. (L. concretion, concretio, to grow together) the act or process of making or becoming solid.
- connate search for term
- - adj. (LL. connatus, past part) congenitally united.
- connivent search for term
- - a. (L. connivere, to close the eyes) approximate but not organically united; converging; arching over so as to meet.
- convolute search for term
- - a. (L. cum, together; volvere, to wind) said of parts rolled or twisted together when in an undeveloped stage, as in some corollas in the bud stage.
- cordate search for term
- - a. (L. cor, cordis, a heart) with a sinus and rounded lobes at the base, the overall outline usually ovate; often restricted to the base rather than to the outline of the entire organ; heart-shaped.
- coriaceous search for term
- - a. (L. coriaceus, from corium, leather) leathery; tough.
- coriaceous search for term
- - a. (L. coriaceus, from corium, leather) leathery; tough.
- corm search for term
- - n. (L. cormus; Gr. kormus, the trunk of a tree with the boughs lopped off) an enlarged solid subterranean stem, often rounded in shape but of no distinct characteristic shape or size in some species, filled with nutrients, composed of two or more internodes and covered externally by a few thin membranous scales or cataphyllary leaves.
- Cormophyta search for term
- - n. (Gr. kormus, the trunk of a tree with the boughs lopped off; phyton, plant) in older classifications, a division comprising all plants that have a stem and root.
- cormophyte search for term
- cormophyte - n., a plant of the division Cormophyta.
- corolla search for term
- - n. (L. corolla, a little crown) the inner, usually colored or otherwise differentiated, whorl or whorls of the perianth; the petals of a flower as a whole.
- corymb search for term
- - n. (Gr. korys, a helmet) a racemose type of inflorescence in which the lower pedicels are successively elongated forming a more or less flat-topped inflorescence, the outer flowers opening before the inner.
- cotyledon search for term
- - n. (Gr. kotyle, a hollow or cavity) the first leaf or leaves of a seed plant, found in the embryo of the seed which may form the first photosynthetic leaves or may remain below ground.
- creek search for term
- - n. (ME. creke, crike, from ON. -kriki, bend, concavity; akin to ON. krikr, bend, bay) a natural stream of water normally smaller than and often tributary to a river.
- crenate search for term
- - a. (L. crena, a notch) having a notched, indented, or scalloped edge, as certain leaves.
- crown search for term
- - n. (L. corona, a crown, wreath) that part of a stem at or just below the surface of the ground; an inner appendage of a petal or the throat of a corolla; an appendage or extrusion standing between the corolla and stamens, or on the corolla; an outgrowth of the staminal part or circle as in milkweeds.
- culm search for term
- - n. (L. culmus, a stalk, stem) the stalk or stem for such plants as grasses and sedges, usually jointed and hollow.
- cuneate search for term
- - a (L. cuneatus, wedge-shaped, from cuneus, a wedge) narrowly triangular with the acute angle toward the base; wedge-shaped; tapering toward the point of attachment.
- cusp search for term
- - n. (L. cuspis, a point) rigid, sharp point, especially on a leaf.
- cuspidate search for term
- - a. (L. cuspidare, to make pointed) tipped with a short, rigid point.
- cuticle search for term
- - n. (L. cutis, skin) a continuous layer of fatty substances covering over the outer surfaces of the epidermis of plants; it contains cutin and protects against water and gases.
- cutin search for term
- - n., a waxy substance which, together with cellulose, forms the outer layer of the skin of many plants.
- cyathium search for term
- - n. (Gr. kyathos, cup) a type of inflorescence characteristic of some members of Euphorbiaceae; consisting of a cuplike involucre bearing unisexual flowers; staminate on its inner face, pistillate from the base.
- cyme search for term
- - n. (Gr. kyein, to swell) a cluster of flowers in which each main and secondary stem bears a single flower, the bud on the main stem blooming first; determinate inflorescence in which each growing point ends in a flower.
- cymose search for term
- - a., bearing a cyme or cymes.
- cystolith search for term
- - n. (Gr. kystis, bladder; lithos, stone) a mass of calcium carbonate concretion, occasionally silica, formed on ingrowths of modified epidermal cell walls in some plants, esp. of the Acanthaceae family.