achene: a small, dry, one-seeded, nut-like fruit.
axil: the angle between a leaf and a stem.
calyx: The sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud. Compare with corolla.
capsule: in seed plants, a dry fruit composed of more than one carpel and splitting open at maturity; in non-flowering plants, a spore-containing sac.
carpel: a basic, female reproductive structure consisting of an ovary, a style and a stigma.
corm: a short, vertical, thickened underground stem without thickened leaves.
corolla: The petals of a flower, typically forming a whorl within the sepals and enclosing the reproductive organs. Compare with calyx.
follicle: a dry fruit that is derived from a single carpel and opens on one side only to release its seeds.
herb: a plant without woody, above-ground parts, the stems dying back to the ground each year.
inflorescence: the complete flower head of a plant including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers.
lanceolate: shaped like the head of a lance; of a narrow oval shape tapering to a point at each end.
marsh: a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs.
palmate: divided into lobes or leaflets diverging from a common point, like fingers on a hand.
perennial: living for more than two years.
petiole: stalk that joins a leaf to a stem; leafstalk.
pinnate: (of a compound leaf) having leaflets arranged on either side of the stem, typically in pairs opposite each other.
raceme: a flower cluster with the separate flowers attached by short equal stalks at equal distances along a central stem. The flowers at the base of the central stem develop first.
rhizome: an underground stem, usually elongated.
sessile: attached directly by the base: not raised upon a stalk.
swamp: a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog or muskeg. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater.
tepal: a segment of the outer whorl in a flower that has no differentiation between petals and sepals.
terete: cylindrical or slightly tapering, and without substantial furrows or ridges.
Return to Plant List