Seed ID

Illustrated Glossary


Word Definition
A Back to index
Achene acheneA small, dry, indehiscent, one-seeded, usually hard fruit in which the ovary wall is free from the seed.
Acuminate acuminateGradually tapering to a diminishing point and with the margin bowing inward; long pointed.
Acute acuteSharp-pointed, but less tapering than acuminate.
Alternate alternateAny arrangement of parts along the axis other than opposite or whorled; situated regularly between other organs, as stamens alternate with petals.
Angular, Angulate Angled. Used when an organ shows a derminate number of angles.
Apex The tip of an organ.
Apiculate To terminate abruptly in a little point.
Areole A spot in the form of a pit or a raised area marking an opening through the epidermis from which leaves, spines, or other structures grow.
Auricle An ear-shaped appendage, Auricular, auriculate, or auriform (ear-shaped).
Axil Upper angle formed by a leaf or branch with the stem. See Alternate
B Back to index
Berry berryA pulpy indehiscent fruit with no true stone, as the tomato.
Bipinnate bipinnateDoubly or twice pinnate; when both primary and secondary divisions of a leaf are pinnate.
Biternate Doubled ternate which means "in threes", i.e. leaf consisting of three leaflets.
C Back to index
Calyx calyxThe external, usually green, whorl of a flower, contrasted with the inner showy corolla; the sepals of a flower considered collectively.
Campanulate campanulateBell-shaped
Capsule capsuleA dry dehiscent fruit composed of more than one carpel.
Catkin A scally deciduous spike; ament.
Compound compoundComposed of two or more similar parts united into a whole.
Cordate cordateHeart-shaped with the notch at the base and ovate in general outline. Cordiform - shaped like a heart.
Corolla corollaThe inner perianth of a flower, composed of colored petals, which may be almost wholly united.
Corymb corymbA flat-topped or convex racemous flower cluster, the lower or outer pedicels longer, their flowers opening first.
Cyme cymeA determinate flower cluster in which the first flower is terminal on the main axis, the next flower(s) terminal on axes arising from the axils or bracts subtending the first flower, and so on..
Cuneate, Cuneiform cuneateWedge-shaped; triangular, with the narrow part at the point of attachment.
D Back to index
Dehiscent Opening spontaneously when ripe to discharge the contents, as an anther or seed vessel.
Dentate dentateHaving the margin cut with sharp salient teeth not directed forward.
Dicot dicotA class of angiosperms differentiated by possession of two cotyledons.
Disk, Disc disk flowerA fleshy development of the receptacle about the base of the ovary; in Asteraceae, the tubular flowers of the head as distinct from the ray.
Drupe drupeA fleshy one-seeded indehiscent fruit containing a stone with a kernel; a stone-fruit such as a plum.
E Back to index
Entire entireUndivided; the margin continuous, not incised or toothed.
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Falcate falcateSickle-shaped.
Farinose Covered with a mealyness.
Fascicles A close cluster or bundle of flowers, leaves, stems or roots.
Floccose With flocs or tufts of soft wooly hair.
Floret The individual flower of the Asteraceae (Compositae) and Poaceae (Gramineae); a small flower of a dense cluster.
Fusiform fusiformSpindle-shaped.
G Back to index
Glabrous Without hairs; incorrectly used in the sense of smooth, the antonym of rough.
Glaucous Covered or whitened with a bloom, as a cabbage leaf; bluish-white or bluish-gray.
Globose Spherical or rounded.
Glomerules A compact capitate cyme.
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I Back to index
Incised incisedCut rather deeply and sharply.
Indehiscent Not spliting open as in achene.
Inflorescence The flower cluster of a plant, or more correctly, the disposition of the flowers on an axis.
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K Back to index
L Back to index
Lanceolate lanceolateLance-shaped. Much longer than broad, tapering from below the middle to the apex and to the base.
Leaflet A segment of a compound leaf.
Lenticular Lens-shaped.
Linear linearResembling a line; long and narrow, of uniform width, as the leaf blade of grasses.
M Back to index
Monocot monocotA plant having but one cotyledon or seed leaf.
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O Back to index
Oblanceolate oblanceolateInversely lanceolate.
Oblong oblongMuch longer than broad with nearly parallel sides.
Obovate obovateInversely ovate.
Obtuse obtuseBlunt or rounded at the end.
Opposite oppositeSet against, as leaves when two at a node; one part before another, as a stamen in front of a petal.
Oval Broadly elliptic.
Ovate ovateWith the outline of a hen's egg in longitudinal section. The broader end downward.
P Back to index
Palmate palmateHand-shaped with the fingers spread; in a leaf, having the lobes or divisions radiating from a common point.
Palmately Compound palmately compoundLeaves radiating from one point.
Panicle panicleA compound racemose inflorescence.
Paniculate Growing or arranged in a panicle.
Panduriform Fiddle-shaped; obovate and with a contraction on eachside.
Pappus The modified calyx limb in Asteraceae, consisting of a crown of bristles or scales on the summit of the achene.
Pedicle The stalk of a single flower in a flower cluster or of a spikelet in grasses.
Peduncle The general term for the stalk of a flower or a cluster of flowers.
Penniform Having the form of a feather or plume.
Petiole A leaf stalk.
Petiolulate Having a petiole.
Phyllary The individual bract of the involucre of a member of the Asteraceae.
Pinnae A leaflet or primarty division of a pinnate leaf.
Pinnate pinnateA compound leaf, having the leaflets arranged on each side of a common petiole; feather-like.
Pinnately Compound pinnately compoundLeaves with leaflets opposite each other on each side of the midrib, like a bird's feather. They may be oddly pinnate, ending with a leaflet at the tip, or evenly pinnate, with no leaflet at the end.
Pistillate flowers Provided with pistils and without stamens; female.
Puberulous Slightly hairy.
Pubescent Covered with short hairs - downy.
Pyriform pyriformPear-shaped.
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R Back to index
Racemes racemeA simple, elongated, indeterminate inflorescence with each flower subequally pediceled.
Rachis The axis of a spike or raceme, or of a compound leaf
Ray ray flowerA primary branch of an umbel; the ligule of a ray floret in Asteraceae, the ray florets being marginal and differentiated from the disk florets.
Repand repandWith an undulating margin, less strongly wavy than sinuate.
Rhombic Somewhat diamond-shaped.
Rugulose The diminutive of rugose: wrinkled.
S Back to index
Sepals sepalsA leaf or segment of the calyx.
Serrate serrateSaw-toothed, the sharp teeth pointing forward.
Sinuate sinuateWith a strong wavy margin.
Spike spikeAn elongated rachis of sessile flowers or spikelets.
Spikelets A secondary spike; the ultimate flower cluster in grasses, consisting of two glumes and one or more florets, and in sedges.
Staminate flowers Having stamens but not pistils; said of a flower or plant that is male, hence not seed-bearing.
Stellate stellateStar-shaped.
Sulcate Longitudinally grooved, furrowed or channeled.
T Back to index
Tepals Used in the plural for sepals and petals of similar form and not readily differentiated, as in Amaryllidaceae.
Thyrse A compact, ovate panicle; strictly, with main axis indeterminate, but with other axes cymose.
Tomentose With tomentum; covered wiht a rather short, densely matted, soft white wool; felty.
Tuberculate Covered with tubercles.
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Umbel umbelA flat or convex flower cluster in which the pedicels arise from a common point, like rays of an umbrella.
Undulate Wavy; repand; with less pronounced "waves" than sinuate. See Repand
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