Organic & Natural Products

Page 2

DownrightNatural Glossary

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R  S  T   U   V  W   X   Y   Z



A horizon (n.): The soil horizon below the O horizon and above the B horizon. In this layer, humus and other organic materials are mixed with mineral particles, while finer particles and soluble substances are washed out.

Abaxial (Adj.): (L. ab, from; axis, axle) that surface of any structure which is remote or turned away from the axis, such as the lower surface of a leaf.

Abbreviatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): short.

Abiotic: Relating to things that are not alive. Used to describe the physical attributes of a land-use system (for example, soil, climate).

Acaulescent (Adj.): (Gr. a, without; kaulos, stalk) having no stem or seemingly without a stem.

Acaulescent (Adj.): Leafless.

Acceptable Name : An established name that is not a (non-conserved) later homonym and thus may potentially be an accepted name.

Accepted Name : The name that must be adopted for a taxon under this code.

Accessory Flower Parts: sepal and petal organs found on flowers. The sepals and petals are not essential for pollination but may aid in attracting insects or other organisms.

Achene (n.): (Gr. a, not; chainein, to gape) any small, dry fruit with one seed whose outer covering (pericarp) does not burst when ripe. A small, dry, one-seeded fruit that does not split open; from an ovary with a single chamber.

Acicular (Adj.): (L. acicula, a small needle) slender and pointed; needle-like and with a sharp point.

Acicular: Needle-like.

Acid Rain (n.): Sulfur and nitrogen oxides (released into the atmosphere by heavy industry and auto emissions) transform into acids, which fall to earth in rain and snow.

Acid Soil: Soil with a pH of <7.0.

Acorn (n.): The fruit of an oak; A one-seed nut fixed in a woody cup.

Acropetal (Adj.): (Gr. akros, summit; L. petere, to seek) developing upward from the base toward the apex.

Actinomorphic (Adj.): (Gr. aktis, ray; morphe, form) descriptive of a flower or set of flower parts which can be cut through the center into equal and similar parts along two or more planes; having radial symmetry.

Active Layer (n.): Upper zone of soil that (in higher latitudes) experiences daily and seasonal freeze and thaw.

Aculeus (n.): (L. aculeus, prickle) a prickle growing from bark. pL. aculei.

Acumen (n.): (L. acumen, a point, a sting) the point of an acuminate leaf.

Acuminate (Adj.): drawn out into a long point; tapering point.

Acuminatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): long tapering point.

Acute (Adj.): (L. acutus, sharpened) sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point.

Acutifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with sharp leaves.

Acyclic (Adj.): Having floral parts that are arranged spirally (instead of in whorls).

Adaxial (Adj.): (L. ad, to; axis, axle) pertaining to the side of an organ toward the axis, such as the upper surface of a leaf.

Adiabatic (Adj.): A process where no heat enters or leaves the system. In the atmospherie, when air rises, it expands because of a reduction in pressure. In the absence of non-adiabatic processes (condensation, evaporation, radiation), expansion causes the air to cool at about 1 degree per 300 feet.

Adnate (Adj.): (L. adnatus, to be born, to grow to) fusion of unlike structures or parts.

Adpressus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): pressed together, pressed against.

Adscendens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): going up.

Adventitious (Adj.): (L. adventitius, extraneous) plant structures or tissue occurring in an abnormal positon.

Adventive (Adj.): (L. advenire, to arrive) a plant that is not native to the environment.

Aerenchyma (n.): (Gr. aer, air; enchyma, an infusion) parenchyma tissue with large and abundant intercellular air spaces; air-storing tissue; resembles the tissue of cork.

Aerius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of the air, as air-roots.

Aerobic (Adj.): Able to live only in the presence of free oxygen.

Affinus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): related, with an affinity.

Afforestation : 1. Conversion of bare land into forest land by planting of forest trees. 2. The planting of a forest crop on land that has not previously, or not recently, carried a forest crop.

Africanus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Africa.

Aggregate (Adj.): (L. ad, to; gregare, to collect into a flock) crowded into a cluster; a number of separate fruits from a single flower aggregated together; an aggregate flower is formed by a cluster of carples.

Agrarian Policy: A policy concerned with the land or landed properties.

Agricultural System: A system with agricultural outputs and containing all the major components.

Agroecological Zone : 1. A major area of land that is broadly homogeneous in climatic and edaphic factors, but not necessarily contiguous, where a specific crop exhibits roughly the same biological expression. 2. Zones of similar agricultural performance as defined by soil and climate.

Agroecosystem: The collection of physical, environmental, economic and social factors that affect a cropping enterprise.

Agroforestry System: A land-use system in which woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms, bamboos) are deliberately used on the same land management unit as agricultural crops (woody or not), animals or both, either in some form of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence. In agroforestry systems there are both ecological and economic interactions between the different components.

Agronomy: That part of agriculture devoted to the production of crops and the management of the soil on which they are grown. The scientific utilization of agricultural land.

Agropastoral System: A land-use system in which crops and livestock (but not trees) are the only components.

Agrosilvicultural System: An agroforestry system for the concurrent production of agricultural crops (including woody perennial crops) and forest crops. The forest crops serve in either a productive or a service role. Woody perennial and agricultural crops are chosen first for their productive capacity.

Agrosilvipastoral System: Any agroforestry system that includes trees or shrubs and herbaceous food crops and pastures and animals.

Akene (n.): A small, hard, indehiscent one-seeded fruit from a 1-chambered ovary. Often it appears as a naked seed, such as a sunflower seed.

Alate (Adj.): Having wings or wing-like structures.

Alatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): winged.

Albescens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): pale, whitish.

Albidus, Albus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): white.

Albiflorus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with white flowers.

Alien Species (n.): A species that is not native to (i.e., not found in, unless imposed by humans) a region.

Alkaline (Adj.): Soils that are basic rather than acidic with a PH value greater than 7.0. They contain large amounts of salts of sodium and potassium, and other soluble minerals.

Allele (n.): (Gr. allelon, one another) one of a pair or more of alternative hereditary characters; a gene which can occupy the same locus as another gene in a particular chromosome.

Allelochemicals: compounds that have an allelopathic effect.

Allelopathic (Adj.): Producing chemical compounds that inhibit the growth of other plants close by.

Allelopathy (n.): (Gr. allelon, one another; pathos, suffering) the influence or effect of one living plant upon another; refers to biochemical interaction between all types of plants and its effect depends on a chemical compound being added to the environment.

Alley Cropping: An agroforestry intercropping system in which species of shrubs or trees are planted at spacings relatively close within row and wide between row, to leave room for herbaceous cropping between, that is, in the 'alleys' (syn hedgerow intercropping).

Alpine Zone (n.): The region above timber line. Grassy slopes (moss and lichens at higher elevations) and tundra vegetation.

Alpinus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of the alpines, mountains.

Alternate (Adj.): (L. alteratus, one after another) said of leaves occurring one at a node; said also of members of adjacent whorls in the flower when any member of one whorl is in front of or behind the junction of two adjacent members of the succeeding whorL. A leaf arrangement in which the leaves along the axis are not opposite to each other and not whorled.

Alternation Of Generations: the occurrence in one life history of two or more different forms differently produced, usually an alternation of a sexual with an asexual form.

Alternative Farming: Farming not in the current, conventional manner; for example, not using fertilizers and pesticides, or by using intermediate technology and renewable energy sources.

Alternus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): alternating, usually means NOT directly opposite.

Altus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): altitude, taL.

Alveola (n.): (L. alveolus, small cavity) a pit on the surface of an organ.

Alveolate (Adj.): (L. alveolatus, pitted) deeply pitted so as to resemble a honeycomb, as are the surfaces of some seeds or achenes.

Amabilis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): pretty.

Amino Acids (n.): Synthesized by plants from nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Used to construct proteins.

Amphibius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): adaptable either to land or water.

Anaerobic (Adj.): Able to live in the absence of, or not requiring, molecular oxygen.

Anaerobiosis (n.): (L. Gr. an, without; aer, air; biosis, manner of life) life in the absence of air or free oxygen; anaerobic respiration, respiration occurring in the absence of oxygen.

Anastomosis (n.): (Gr. ana, up to; stoma, mouth) connecting by cross-veins and forming a network.

Anatomy (n.): (L. anatomia, dissection) the branch of morphology that deals with the structure of plants, esp. the internal structure as revealed by the microscope.

Ancestor : An entity from which another entity is descended.

Androecium (n.): (Gr. andros, man; oikos, house) male reproductive organs of a plant; a collective term applied to all structures of the stamen whorl or whorls.

Androecium (n.): The male home of the flower consisting of several stamens. Usually a stamen has a thin stalk-like filament (stamen) with an enlarged end anther) where pollen is produced ("the male house").

Androgynal (Adj.): (Gr. andros, man; gonos, woman) bearing staminate and pistillate flowers on the same parent stem.

Androgynous: staminate flowers above the pistillate flowers in the same inflorescence.

Androgynous (Adj.): Having flowers with stamens and flowers with pistils in the same inflorescence.

Androphore (n.): (Gr. aner, man; phoros, carrying) a support or column, formed by fusion of filaments, on which the stamens are borne.

Anemophily (n.): (Gr. anemos, wind; philein, to love) pollination by wind.

Angiosperm (n.): A flowering plant whose seeds are enclosed in an ovary that ripens into a fruit. Angiosperms are divided into monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Compare angiosperm with gymnosperm.:

Angiospermae (n.): (Gr. anggeion, vessel; sperma, seed) a major division of the plant kingdom, commonly called flowering plants as their reproductive organs are in flowers, having seeds which develop in a closed ovary made of carpels, a very reduced gametophyte, and endosperm develop from a triple fusion nucleus. pL. Angiosperms.

Angulosus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): angled, turning every which way.

Angustifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with narrow leaves (seldom used, more.

Animal (n.): Multicellular organism that includes  eukaryotic cell type, mitochondria, and a complex nervous system.

Annual (Adj.): (L. annualis, yearly, from annus, year) a plant which completes its life history within a year.

Annual (n.): A plant that completes its life cycle (from germination from a seed to the production of new seeds) in one year; then it dies.

Annual Plant: A plant that completes its life cycle within one year.

Another Plant (Used in Bonsai – Latin)

Anoxia (n.): (L. an, not; and oxygen) lack of oxygen or not enough oxygen.

Anterior (Adj.): On the front side of the plant, away from the axis.

Anther (n.): (Gr. antheros, flowery, from anthein, to bloom) the top of the stamen, usually elevated by means of a filament, which contains the pollen.

Anther (n.): The part of the stamen that develops and bears pollen.

Anthesis (n.): (Gr. anthesis, bloom, from anthein, to bloom) stage or period during which the flower bud is fully open; flowering.

Antrorse (Adj.): (L. ante, before; vertere, to turn) forward or upward.

Apetalous (Adj.): (Gr. a, without; petalon, leaf) having flowers without petals; having no corolla.

Apex: Tip; as in tips of leaves.

Apical (Adj.): (L. apex, the tip or top of a thing) at the tip or summit. Located at the tip or apex.

Apiculate (Adj.): (L. apiculatus, point) terminated abruptly by a small, distinct point, an apiculus or apicule.

Apiculture: Beekeeping.

Apocarpous (Adj.): (Gr. apo, away; karpos, fruit) having separate carpels.

Apomixis (n.): (Gr. apo, away; mixis, a mixing) in general, reproducing without sexual reproduction; often used to denote seed production without a sexual process having been involved.

Apomorphy : A derived character state; a new feature that arose during the course of evolution.

Apomorphy-Based Clade : A clade conceptualized in terms of an apomorphy (i.e., a clade stemming from the ancestor in which a particular apomorphy originated); a clade whose name is defined using an apomorphy-based definition.

Apomorphy-Based Definition : A definition that associates a name with a clade originating with the first ancestor of specified organisms and/or species (internal specifier taxa) to evolve a particular apomorphy (internal specifier apomorphy).

Apomorphy-Modified Node-Based Definition : A node-based definition that incorporates wording from apomorphy-based definitions to include certain (usually extant) organisms as internal specifiers without explicitly naming them. Apomorphy-modified node-based definitions can be used to associate names with crown clades when basal relationships within the crown are poorly understood or when the author intends to include in the named taxon subsequently discovered extant organisms that possess a particular apomorphy.

Apophysis: Outer portion of a cone scale which is exposed on a closed cone.

Appressed: a., adv. (L. ad, to; pressare, to press) lying flat or close against something. Often used for hairs.

Aquaculture: Fish farming. In a broad sense, producing any product under water, for example, algae (seaweed), Crustaceae (shrimp).

Aquasilvicultural System: An agroforestry system that combines trees with the raising of aquatic animals.

Aquatic Plants: plants that must grow in water whether rooted in the mud or floating without anchorage; plants that must complete part or all of their life cycle in or near the water.

Aquatic Vascular Plants: aquatic plants containing the conductive vascular tissue, phloem and xylem.

Aquaticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of the water, water-loving.

Aquifer (n.): Sand, gravel, or porous rock through with groundwater flows.

Arable Land: Refers to land under crops, land under temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens (including cultivation under glass) and land temporarily fallow or lying idle. Hence 'arable farming'.

Arachnoid (Adj.): (Gr. arachme, spider, cobweb; eidos) like a cobweb; covered with or consisting of soft fibers or hairs so entangled as to give a cobwebby appearance.

Arborescens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): growing like a tree, woody like a tree.

Arborescent (Adj.): Similar to the size and habit of a tree.

Arboretum: A collection of specimen trees, preferably growing close to a nursery, from which seeds and cuttings can easily be gathered.

Arboriculture: A general term for the cultivation of trees.

Arctic (Or Nirval) Zone (n.): Near and above the permanent snow line. Lichens on bare rock. A few hardy flowing plants.

Arctic Climate (n.): No month above 10ºC. Usually tundra. Also see climate.

Arcuate (Adj.): (L. arcuatus, pp. of arcuare, to arch, bend like a bow, from arcus, a bow) bent or curved in the form of a bow.

Arenatius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): found in sandy places.

Argenteus, Argentus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): silvery.

Aril (n.): (Fr. arrile, Sp. arillo, L. arilli, dried grapes, from aridus, dry) an additional covering that forms on some seeds after fertilization, and developing from the stalk of the ovule.

Aristate (Adj.): (L. arista, awn) awned; having an awn.

Aristatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bearded.

Armed: Bearing prickles, spines, or thorns.

Arrectus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): straight up, erect.

Articulate (Adj.): (L. articulatus, jointed, pp. of articulare, to join) having joints; jointed; provided with places where separation may take place.

Ascendens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): going up, ascending.

Ascending (V.): (Fr. scandere, to climb) rising or curving upward.

Asepalous (Adj.): (Gr. a, without; L. pelatum, petal) without sepals.

Asexual Reproduction: Propagation of plants from vegetative parts, such as stems, leaves or roots; or from modified stems such as bulbs, tubers, rhizomes and stolons. This is accomplished without union of gametes (syn  asexual regeneration).:

Asiaticus, Asiatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Asia.

Atlanticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): Atlantic.

Atmosphere (n.): The gases surrounding the earth. From the sea level to 8 miles up is the troposphere, in which the temperature decreases with height. Above that is the stratosphere, in which the temperature is constant.

Atropurpureus, Atropurpurea (Used in Bonsai – Latin): purple, sometimes dark red.

Atrosanguineus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dark blood-red.

Atroviolaceus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dark violet.

Atrovirens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dark green.

Attenuate (Adj.): (L. attenuare, to thin) gradually narrowed to a long point at apex or base.

Augustus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): important in size or appearance, imposing.

Aurantiacus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): orange-red.

Aureus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): golden.

Auricle (n.): (L. auricle, small ear) any ear-like lobed appendages.

Austral (Adj.): Southern. Opposite of boreal.

Aut- Or Auto-: comb. form. (Gr. from autos) a combining form meaning self.

Autoecology (n.): Ecology of individual organisms or species. More simple than synecology.

Autogamous (Adj.): relating to, or reproducing by autogamy.

Autogamy (n.): (aut- + -gamy, Gr. -gamia, fr, gamos, marriage) self-fertilization, pollination of a flower by its own pollen.

Autogenic Succession (n.): Succession driven by the modification to the enviroment that the plant community itself causes.

Autotroph (n.): A "self-nourishing" organism. Any organism that obtains its energy from simple chemical reactions. Green plants, which make their own food through photosynthesis, are autotrophs.

Auxins: growth promoting hormones that cause cell elongation, and are responsible for many developmental responses including phototropism.

Awn (n.): (IceL. ogen, chaff) a stiff, bristlelike appendage, usually at the end of a structure.

Axil (n.): (L. axilla, armpit) the angle found between any two organs or structures. The upper angle (or cavity) at the junction between a leaf and stem, or two other structures or organs.

Axillary (Adj.): (L. axilla, armpit) in an axil, growing in an axil, as buds.

Azureus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): light blue, azure.

Back to Top


B Horizon (n.): The soil horizon below the A horizon and above the C horizon. In this layer, clay is enriched because of being washed down from the A horizon. Iron and aluminum oxides are similarly enriched. (Sometimes the precipitation of iron can cause the development of a hardpan.) Calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, and other salts also accumulate.

Babylonicus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): Babylonian, from Babylon.

Balticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from the Baltic.

Bamboo: A vegetation type consisting of woody graminaceous species from the subfamily Bambusoideae. Found as dense thickets or forest in the high-altitude tropics that have only a sparse ground cover of herbs, grasses, mosses and ferns. Sometimes also in the lowlands.

Banner (n.): The upper petal of a pea-like flower.

Barbellate (Adj.): (L. barba, beard) provided, usually laterally, with fine, short points or barbs.

Bark (n.): (ME. barke; AS. bare, bark or rind) the outermost covering of trees and some plants. This is composed of the cuticle or epidermis, the outer bark or cortex, and the inner bark or fiber.

Bark (n.): The skin or covering of branches and roots of a tree. A relatively waterproof layer that protects the tree from insects, fungus, etc., and stops it from drying out. As the trunk grows, for many trees, the bark cracks as it expanded around the trees.

Bark: All tissue external to the vascular cambium; includes phloem and periderm.

Barrier Hedge: A hedge planted so as to prevent runoff.

Bay (n.): (Fr. baia; L. baia, bay) a part of a sea or lake indenting the shore line; the word is often applied to very large tracts of water around which the land forms a curve, as Hudson's Bay.

Bayou (n.): (Fr. boyau, a gut, long narrow passage) a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake, river, etc.; also a backwater.

Beak (n.): A firm and pointed terminal appendage.

Bedrock (n.): Solid, unweathered rock close to the Earth's surface.

Bengalinis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Bengal.

Berry (n.): (AS. berie, berry) any fleshy simple fruit with one or more seeds and a skin, as a tomato, cranberry, banana, grape, etc.; a several-sided indehiscent fruit with a fleshy pericarp and without a stony layer surrounding the seeds.

Berry: A simple, pulpy fruit developed from a single ovary. The fruit may contain few or many seeds, but no stones.

Biennial : 1. A plant that ordinarily requires two years, or at least part of two seasons, with a dormant period between growth stages, to complete its life cycle.2. A plant that flowers only in the year following that in which it germinates from seed.

Biennial (Adj.): (L. biennialis, from biennis; bis, twice, and annus, year) a plant requiring two years in which to complete its life cycle, the first year growing only vegetatively, the second flowering, fruiting, then dying.

Biennial (n.): A plant with a two-year life cycle. Usually it grows only stems and leaves in the first year; in the second year it flowers, seeds, and dies.

Biennis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): biennial.

Bifid (Adj.): (L. bifudus, forked; from bis, twice and findere, to cleave, divide) forked; divided by a cleft.

Biflorus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): two flowered.

Bifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): two leaved.

Bifurcation Ratio (n.): Quantitative ratio between parts of systems that display branching. In particular, a tree's trunk bifurcates into smaller branches, which in turn bifurcate or branch. The ratio between the branches that are derived from a larger branch or main stem is the bifurcation ratio.

Bilateral (Adj.): (L. bilateralis; bi, two, and latus, a side) having two sides. having two lips, as a bilabiate corolla of a flower.

Bilaterally Symmetrical: said of corolla or calyx (or flower) when divisible into equal halves in one plane only; zygomorphic.

Bilocular (Adj.): divided into two cells or compartments.

Biodiversity (n.): Biological diversity. It includes, species diversity (that is, diverse species), genetic diversity (the genetic variability among individuals within each species), and ecosystem diversity (the variety of ecosystems). The level of abundance of life forms co-existing in a given environment.

Biological Control : 1. Using living organisms to reduce populations of pest organisms.2. Any of a wide variety of substances or methods Used in pest control that emphasize the use of living organisms or products derived directly from them.

Biomass: Strictly, the quantity of biological matter present on a unit area; may be 'total' or often only 'above-ground'. May be separated into plant and animal mass, or further divided into the mass of standing crop, or the tree portion of a stand, and then into foliage, branch, stem, flowers, and so on.

Biomass (n.): (Gr. bios, life; massein, to squeeze) weight of all living material in a unit area at an instantaneous time. May be expressed as g/m2, mt/ha, or other similar expressions.

Biomass (n.): Total mass of a species or group of organisms in a particular habitat.

Biome (n.): A geographic region that contains a varying number of ecosystems.

Biosphere (n.): The portion of the Earth that supports life.

Biotic: The influence of animals and plants on associated plant or animal life as contrasted with climatic influences and edaphic (soil) influences.

Biotic Potential (n.): The powers of a population to increase.

Bisexual (Adj.): (L. bis, twice; sexus, sex) having both female and male reproductive organs present and functional in the same flower; hermaphrodite; amphisporangiate; said of a plant having all bisexual flowers.

Bisexual (Adj.): Has stamens and pistils.

Blade (n.): (AS. blaed, leaf) the leaf of a plant, especially grass; the flat or expanded portion of a leaf; lamina.

Blade (n.): The expanded leaf or petal; the leaf excluding the stalk.

Block : 1. A set of experimental units under treatment or observation, which have been grouped to minimize environmental effects or initial differences between units in respect of the variables being studied, for example, a set of contiguous or non-contiguous experimental plots initially giving the same experimental response.2. In forestry, the primary subdivision and major territorial unit of a forest estate, generally bounded by natural features. It is divided into compartments.

Bloom (n.): (ME. blome, a blossom) a blossom; the flower of a plant; an expanded bud; the opening of flowers in general, leaves, flowers, or fruits.

Blossom (n.): (ME. blossome, a flower) a flower or bloom, esp. of a fruit bearing plant. A state or time of flowering, literally, and figuratively.

Bog (n.): (Ir. bogach, a bog, from GaeL. bog, soft moist) a quagmire covered with grass or other plants; wet, spongy ground; a small marsh; plant community on wet, very acid peat.

Bole : 1. Tree stem once it has grown to substantial thickness, capable of yielding timber or large poles.2. The trunk of a tree. It may extend to the top of the tree as in some conifers, or it may be lost in the ramification of the crown, as in deciduous species.

Bole: The main stem or axis of a tree; merchantable portion of a tree stem.

Boreal (Adj.): Northern. Opposite of austral.

Boreal Forest (Adj.): Forest of High to mid latitudes; dominated by coniferous forest. Predominant tree species are spruce, fir, pine, and cedars. Also called taiga.

Bottomland: n., lowlands along streams and rivers, usually on alluvial floodplains that are periodically flooded.

Brackish (Adj.): mixed with salt; briny.

Bract (n.): (L. bractea, a thin metal plate) a modified leaf, growing at the base or on the stalk of a flower. It usually differs from other leaves in shape or color.

Bract (n.): A modified leaf or a reduced leaf, which appears over or under or in association with a flower cluster; the scale-like leaves of an inflorescence. Modified leaf; bracts often subtend reproductive structures, such as a flowers or an ovuliferous cone scale.

Bracteolate (Adj.): furnished with bracteoles.

Bracteole (n.): (NL. bracteola, from L. a thin gold leaf) a small bract; especially one on a floral axis. pL. bracteoles.

Branch (n.): (L. branca, paw) a natural division of a plant stem.

Branches (Used in Bonsai – Latin):.

Branchlet: n., a small usually terminal branch.

Breed (n.): A race or strain cultivated by humans.

Brefolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with short leaves.

Brevis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): short.

Brevisimus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): very short.

Brillian (Used in Bonsai – Latin): brilliant.

Bristle (n.): (AS. bristl, byrst, a bristle) stiff, strong but slender hair or trichome.

Brittanicus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Britain.

Broadleaved: Trees other than conifers that have (usually but not always) flat, broad leaves. Ovules are found in an ovary, and all reproductive organs appear in flowers. They belong to the angiosperm group of plants.

Brown Earth (Also, Brown Forest Earth) (n.): Below a litter layer and a humus layer, this first layer of true soil is dark and humus-rich. Such earth is usually acidic, never alkaline, and often develops over clays. It grades into slightly lighter colored subsoils.

Browse: Leaves, small twigs and shoots of shrubs, seedling and sapling trees, and vines available for forage for livestock and wildlife.

Browsing: The feeding on the above-ground parts of trees and shrubs (buds, shoots and leaves) by livestock or wild animals.

Brunneus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): brown.

Brush : 1. Undergrowth, often of a thicket and including the small trees and shrubs.2. Material such as twigs cut from undergrowth.

Bud (n.): (ME. budde; AS. budda, beetle) a small swelling or projection on a plant, from which a shoot, cluster of leaves, or flowers develops; a rudimentary, undeveloped shoot, leaf, or flower; gemma.

Bud (n.): An undeveloped stem, branch, or shoot of a plant. It holds undeveloped, preliminary leaves or flowers. An embryonic shoot.

Bud Scales: Modified leaves surrounding a bud.

Buffer Zone: An area around a forest, national park, or any other conserved place that provides the local community with products that they would otherwise take from the forest, or that provides an opportunity to produce alternative products.

Bulb (n.): (Fr. bulbe; L. bulbus; Gr. bolbos, a bulbous root) a specialized underground bud that sends down roots and consists of a very short stem covered with leafy scales or layers which store water and nutrients, the whole enclosing next year's bud. An underground food store of a plant; derived from a shoot enclosed in thick, overlapping, leafy scales.

Bulgarius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): Bulgarian.

Bund : 1. A barrier on the surface of the soil on sloping land to prevent runoff and soil erosion.2. The arrangement of organic material, for example, agricultural waste or soil, in lines along the contours of a slope, to control runoff or erosion.

Bundle Scar (n.): The scar that is left on a twig after a leaf falls.

Burl (n.): A woody swelling where the stem joins the roots.

Bush : 1. A general term for low tree–high grass vegetation occurring in semi-arid or seasonally arid regions. Can be further described by the dominant species present, for example, 'acacia bush', 'combretum bush'.2. A low, well-branched shrub.

Bush Fallow: The natural vegetation that arises when land is left uncultivated for some time. Composed of small trees, shrubs, grasses (and sedges) and herbaceous plants. Bush fallow may be grazed or browsed and firewood collected from it before it is returned to cultivation.

Buxifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with leaves like a boxwood, box-leaved.

Back to Top


C Horizon (n.): The soil horizon below the B horizon and above the R horizon. This layer comprises weathered bedrock.

Caducous (Adj.): (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.

Calamifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with reed-like leaves.

Californicus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from California.

Callus (n.): (L. callus, callum, hard skin) a hard protuberance or callosity; new tissue covering a wound.

Calyx: 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. Protects the flower's delicate parts while the flower is in the bud. Outermost or lowest whorl of the parts of the flower. Contains sepals, which are usually green though sometimes petal-like.

Calyx Tube: tube formed by wholly or partially fused sepals. Not the floral tube of an epigynous or perigynous flower.

Cambium (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.

Cambium (n.): In exogenous plants, a layer from which bark and new wood are formed.

Cambium: Layer or zone of dividing cells that produce xylem in the inner portions of the plant, and phloem in the outer portions of the plant. Also called vascular cambium.

Campanulate (Adj.): (Dim. of L. campana, a bell) bell-shaped, usually applied to calyx and corolla.

Campestris (Used in Bonsai – Latin): found in fields.

Cancellate (Adj.): (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.

Candelabrum (Used in Bonsai – Latin): having the form of a candelabra.

Candicans (Used in Bonsai – Latin): white or frosty looking.

Canopy: The assemblage or volume of leaves of all ages supported by branched stems that form the photosynthetic layers of a tree or crop.

Canopy (n.): The "roof" of a forest. The roughly continuous cover of branches and foliage formed collectively by the crowns of adjacent trees.

Canopy Drip (n.): The proportion of precipitiation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.) that falls on a plant and that the plant redirects so that it falls (usually at the edge) from its canopy.

Capillary (Adj.): (L. capillaris, from capillus, hair, from caput, head) resembling hair in the manner of growth; very slender, threadlike.

Capitate (Adj.): (L. caput, head) enlarged or swollen at tip, gathered into a mass at apex, as compound stigma; a knoblike stigma terminating a style.

Capitulum (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 (n.): (L. capsula, a little chest) a case, pod, or fruit, containing seeds, spores, or carpels; it usually bursts when ripe.

Carbohydrate (n.): Synthesized by plants from carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. See also photosynthesis.

Carbon Cycle (n.): Carbon's movement through aquatic and terrestrial systems. 1. Carbon is assimilated in photosynthesis and lost in respiration. 2. Carbon dioxide is exchanged physically between the atmosphere and water (oceans, rivers, lakes). It is very soluble in water. About 50 times as much carbon dioxide is dissolved in the world's oceans as is contained in the atmosphere. 3. Carbon dioxide in solution is deposited in sediments (chalk, limestone, etc.).

Carinate (Adj.): (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.

Carneus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): flesh-colored.

Carpel (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 (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.

Carrying Capacity (n.): The theoretical maximum that a population reaches, determined by the circumstances of that population.

Caryopsis (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.

Cash Cropping: Growing crops for sale either to a market or to agents, or at the 'farm gate'.

Castanea (n.): (L., a chestnut, from Gr. kastanon) a genus of trees typified by the common chestnut.

Castaneous (Adj.): relating to or having the color of a chestnut.

Catalyst (n.): An agent that increases the rate of a chemical reaction, without being changed. For example chlorophyll acts as a catalyst in photosynthesis.

Cataphyll (n.): (L. from cata, and -phyll) any rudimentary leaf, as a bud scale, preceding the true foliage leaves.

Cataphyllary Leaves: rudimentary or scale-like leaves which act as a covering of buds.

Categorical Rank : In the preexisting codes, a formal taxonomic rank such as family or genus.

Catitatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): headed.

Catkin (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.

Catkin (n.): A deciduous spike or spikelike inflorescence of unisexual and petal-less flowers (such as walnut, willow, or birch).

Caudex (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 (Adj.): (L. caulis, a stem and -escent) having a well-developed stem above ground level.

Cauline (Adj.): (L. caulis, stalk or stem) stem.

Cellulose (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 (n.): (L. from Gr. kentron, center) central portion.

Cerefolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with waxy leaves.

Cespitose (Adj.): growing in tufts or clumps; matted.

Chaff (n.): (AS. ceaf, chaff) dry scales or bracts, as those on the receptacle subtending the flowers in the heads of certain Compositae.

Channeled: having a deep longitudinal groove.

Chaos (n.): Apparent disorder and confusion. A delicate balance the forces of stability and the forces of instability.

Chartaceous (Adj.): (L. chartaceus, from charta, a leaf of paper) having the texture of thin but stiff paper.

Chasmogamy (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.

Chlorophyll (n.): Green pigment in plants. Contains nitrogen and magnesium, as well as carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. An essential catalyst in the production of carbohydrates using energy captured from light through photosynthesis.

Chlorosis (n.): (Gr. chloros, pallid) abnormal condition characterized by absence of green pigments in plants.

Choripetalous (Adj.): (Gr. choris, apart, and petalon, leaf) polypetalous; having unconnected or separate petals.

Ciliata (Adj.): (L. cilium, eyelid) with marginal hairs that form a fringe.

Circumscissile (Adj.): (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.

Clade : An ancestor (an organism, population, or species) and all of its descendants.

Class (n.): A group of plants or animals below a phylum and above an order.

Clavata (Adj.): (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 (n.): (AS. clawu, a claw, hoof) the narrowed, stalklike base of some sepals or petals.

Clear Cutting : 1. Strictly, the removal of an entire standing crop of trees. In practice, may refer to exploitation that leaves much unsaleable material standing. Also termed 'clear felling'.2. An area from which the entire timber stand has been cut. Removal of the entire stand in one cut. Reproduction is then obtained with or without planting or artificial seeding.

Clearcut (n.): A cutting method in which trees are cleared over a considerable area at one time. This, in effect, removes the forest community. Regeneration can occur from natural seeding from adjacent trees, seeds in the slash or logging debris, planting or direct seeding. Eventually, an even-aged forest can result.

Clearing: [noun] A relatively small area within a forest that has no trees. [verb] To dispose of undergrowth and vegetational debris that is left after trees have been felled and trimmed. Sometimes done by a burn. Clearing is also done by removal or controlled burning around forests, villages, homes or trees to act as a firebreak.

Cleft (Adj.): (AS. cleofan, to cut) divided halfway down to the midrib or further, or generally, any deep lobe or cut.

Cleistogamy (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.

Climate (n.): The combination of temperature, precipitation, and winds of a region over time. Specific climates are hot climate. Mean annual temperature over 21ºC. warm temperate climate. No month below 6ºC. cool temperate climate. One to five months below 6ºC. cold climate. Six or more months below 6ºC. arctic climate. No month above 10ºC. desert climate. Low rainfaL. mountain climate. Trees do not grow at high altitudes.

Climax Community (n.): The final stage of an ecological succession sequence. The final and mature association of living organisms following a natural succession. This stage remains relatively unchanged, if climatic and physiographic factors remain stable.

Clinometer (n.): An instrument for determining the angle of a slope. Knowing the distance from a tree and using a clinometer to measure its angle, an observer can be estimate the hight of a tree.

Clone (n.): (Gr. klon, a twig) a group of plants all of whose members are directly descended from a single individual.

Closed Forest: Forest where trees are the dominant life form and the canopy is closed.

Coccineus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bright red.

Codominant Trees: Trees with crowns forming the general level of the crown cover and receiving full light from above but comparatively little from the sides, usually with medium-sized crowns and more or less crowded on the sides.

Coherent (Adj.): (L. cohaerere, to stick together) having parts united.

Cold Climate (n.): Six or more months below 6ºC. Usually Taiga on marine edges.

Collar (n.): (L. collare, a band or chain for the neck) region of junction between blade and leaf sheath of grasses.

Collenchyma (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 (Adj.): (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 (n.): a stand, group, or population of neighboring plants of one species, the origin having been colonial, from seeds, or both.

Coloratus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): colored.

Colpate (Adj.): (Gr. kolpos + E-ate, of pollen grains) having longitudinal germinal furrows in the exine.

Columnaris (Used in Bonsai – Latin): having the form of a column.

Coma (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 (n.): (L. commissura, a joining together) a place of joining or meeting, as where one carpel joins another in the Umbelliferae.

Common Ancestor (n.): The hypothetical single species of an organism that tow or more different species of organism evolved from.

Commonly Nerifolius) (Used in Bonsai – Latin):.

Community (n.): A group of plants or animals living in a defined area under relatively similar conditions. An association or assemblage of plant and animal populations that live in a particular area or habitat, often dominated by one or more prominent species or by a characteristic physical attribute. The time and distance each organism moves before it is captured and eaten are largely what determines the area defined by the community and the time for which its dynamic equilibrium thrives. Often characterized by (1) Growth form and structure; (2) Diversity (number of species); (3) Relative abundance; (4) Dominance and subdominance of species; (5) Feeding hierarchy what eats what. On land, usually soil has a greater effect on vegetation than climate; of climatic factors, temperature and moisture are most important.

Community Forestry: Forestry developed in areas marginal to agriculture, with many members of the community being landless or small-scale farmers, often characterized by ecological and cultural diversity and the employment of traditional technologies. Communal land development is basic to this type of forestry.

Comose (Adj.): (L. comosus, hairy, from coma, hair) having a tuft of hair.

Competition (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.

Compost : 1. In plant nursery work, a mixture of inorganic and organic materials, perhaps with some soil of a particular suitable kind, in which seeds can be readily germinated or seedlings or young plants grown. Particular composts are made for particular purposes, and fertilizers are often added. 2. A pile of decomposing organic matter of plant or animal origin. Soil and other amendments such as lime, nitrogen and phosphorus may be mixed with the organic matter. 3. Organic residues, or a mixture of organic residues and soil that have been made into a pile and allowed to undergo biological decomposition.

Compound Leaf (n.): A leaf separated into two or more distinct leaflets.

Concolor (Used in Bonsai – Latin): similar coloring.

Concretion (n.): (L. concretion, concretio, to grow together) the act or process of making or becoming solid.

Conditionally Suppressed Name : A name that is suppressed only in phylogenetic contexts in which it is a synonym of a particular conserved name (see suppressed name).

Conglomeratus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): all close together.

Coniferous Vegetation (n.): Cone-bearing vegetation of middle and high latitudes. The plants are mostly evergreen and they have needle-shaped or scale-like leaves.

Conifers: Trees that usually but not always have needle leaves or scale leaves and that bear separate male and female cones. They are usually, but not always, evergreen. Some, for example, larch, are deciduous. Conifers belong to the class Gymnospermae.

Connate (Adj.): (L. connatus, past part) congenitally united.

Connivent (Adj.): (L. connivere, to close the eyes) approximate but not organically united; converging; arching over so as to meet.

Conservation: The protection, use and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will assure their highest economic and social benefits.

Conserved Name : An established name that the Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature has ruled should have precedence over earlier synonyms or homonyms.

Contortus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): twisted, contorted.

Contour: Linear demarcation of the land surface that indicates places of equal elevation; the lines on a map that connect these points.

Contour Cropping: Sowing a crop in rows or strips so that these follow along a contour.

Contour Furrow: A furrow ploughed on the contour on pasture or rangeland to prevent soil loss and so as to allow water to penetrate the soil; sometimes Used in planting trees and shrubs on the contour.

Contour Tillage: The cultivation of land along the lines of uniform elevation, or contour lines, to reduce erosion.

Controls (n.): Controls help an experimenter regulate and validate an experiment. They let the experimenter factor out trends (such as a rising temperature or increasing light intensity) that could influence what is observed during the experiment. This is essential to check that an experiment has appropriate randomization.

Convergent (Adj.): Having characteristics that are similar in structure and function, but that arose separately, rather than from a common ancestor.

Converted (Clade) Name : A preexisting name that has been established in accordance with the rules of this code (see new (clade) name).

Convolute (Adj.): (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.

Cool Temperate Climate (n.): One to five months below 6ºC. Usually Temperate forest on marine edges. Steppe or taiga in continental regions. See also climate.

Cool Temperate Zone (n.): Winters are well-marked; deciduous leaves lose their leaves as winter approaches. Often occurs at cloud level.

Coppice : 1. A method of cutting certain species of trees to encourage them to regrow from the remaining stump. A tree that coppices readily does not require frequent replanting and is, therefore, useful for producing fuel and poles.2. Shoot developed from a dormant bud on a main trunk. 3. A small wood regularly cut over for regrowth.

Cordate (Adj.): (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.

Cordatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): heart-shaped.

Coriaceous (Adj.): (L. coriaceus, from corium, leather) leathery; tough.

Corm: A specialized part of a stem; a short, enlarged base of a stem where food is stored.

Corm (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 (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 (n.): a plant of the division Cormophyta.

Cornutus, Cornuta (Used in Bonsai – Latin): horned.

Corolla (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.

Corolla: Whorl of flower parts immediately inside and above the corolla. Contains the petals of a flower; the major function of the corolla is usually to attract specific insects that will transfer pollen between lowers to fertilize their seeds. In the open flower, the petals are usually larger and more colorful than the sepals.

Corymb (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 (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. A structure in the embryo of a seed plant that can form a leaf after germination. An embryonic leaf that often stores food materials. A seed leaf.

Crassifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with thick leaves.

Creek (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 (Adj.): (L. crena, a notch) having a notched, indented, or scalloped edge, as certain leaves.

Crenatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): serrated.

Cretaceous (n.): A geologic period roughly 65 to 144 million years b.p. (before the present); the first flowering plant species appeared; the diversity of dinosaurs climaxed. (Dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous.) crown class (n.) One of the classes into which trees of a stand may be divided based on crown development and crown position relative to crowns of adjacent trees. Four classes commonly recognized are: dominant, codominant, intermediate, and suppressed.

Crop Rotation: The growing of different crops on the same land in recurring succession.

Cropping Pattern: The yearly sequence and spatial arrangement of crops, or crops and fallow, on any given area.

Cropping Season: The period during the year when the environment is favourable for the growth of agricultural crops. In regions that have bimodal rainfall, there will be two such seasons. Trees may grow at other, less favourable, times.

Cropping System : 1. The cropping patterns used on a farm and their interaction with farm resources, other farm enterprises and available technology. 2. The crop production activity of a farm. It comprises all cropping patterns grown on the farm and their interaction with farm resources, other household enterprises, and the physical, biological, technological and social economic factors or environments. 3. A land-use unit comprising soils, crops, weeds, pathogens and insect subsystems, which transforms solar energy, water, nutrients, labour and other inputs into food, feed, fuel and fibre. The cropping system is a subsystem of the farming system.

Crown : 1. A tree canopy, the upper part of a tree or other woody plant carrying the main branch system and foliage, and surmounting at the crown base a more or less clean stem.2. The branches and foliage of a tree or the upper portion of a tree. The leaves as foliage are an outgrowth of the vascular system and are mainly concerned with photosynthesis. The branches join the stem or other branches.

Crown (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.

Crown Clade : A clade within which both of the basal branches have extant representatives.

Crown Clade Definition : Any definition that ties a name to a crown clade—e.g., stem- and apomorphy-modified node-based definitions and standard node-based definitions in which all the specifiers represent extant species or organisms.

Culm: The stem of grasses and bamboos, usually hollow except at the swollen nodes.

Culm (n.): (L. culmus, a stalk, stem) the stalk or stem for such plants as grasses and sedges, usually jointed and hollow.

Cultural Practices: Crop care practices including land preparation, seed selection, weed control, fertilizer and insecticide application, and water control in the field.

Cuneate: 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 (n.): (L. cuspis, a point) rigid, sharp point, especially on a leaf.

Cuspidate (Adj.): (L. cuspidare, to make pointed) tipped with a short, rigid point.

Cuspidatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): sharp tooth, or hard point.

Cuticle (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 (n.): a waxy substance which, together with cellulose, forms the outer layer of the skin of many plants.

Cutting: A detached part of a plant (for example, stem, root or leaf) that is placed in suitable conditions to promote rooting and the subsequent production of a new leafy shoot. Stem cuttings can be 'hardwood' (secondarily thickened from previous seasons' tissue), 'semi-hardwood' (mature current or last season's tissue) or 'softwood' (young tissue from the current season). They can be cut nodally or internodally.

Cyathium (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 (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 (Adj.): bearing a cyme or cymes.

Cystolith (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.

Cytokinins (n.): A class of hormones promoting and controlling growth responses of plants.

Back to Top


D.B.H. (n.): diameter at breast height (1.37 m or 4.5 ft above the ground) deciduous, Falling off or shed at maturity or in a dry season. Contrast with evergreen.

Day Neutral Plants: plants that flower regardless of day length.

Dbh: Diameter at breast height (1.4 m or 4.5 ft above ground level).

Deciduous : 1. Of leaves, bark, and so forth, falling regularly at the end of a growth period, or in the tropics, prior to one.2. Of a leaf, falling at the end of one season of growth or life. Of a perennial plant, losing its leaves (or a proportion of them) at the end of a season's growth.

Deciduous (Adj.): (L. deciduus, that which falls down) falling after completion of the normal function.

Deciduous Forest: A forest composed of trees that shed their leaves at some season of the year. In tropical areas trees may lose their leaves during the hot season to conserve moisture. Trees of a deciduous forest in cool areas shed their leaves during the autumn to protect themselves against the cold and frost of winter. Deciduous forests produce valuable hardwood timber, such as teak and mahogany from the tropics, and oak and beech from the cooler areas.

Deciduous: Not persistent; dropping or falling off.

Decimeter (Dm.): 3.973 inches, 10 cm, or 0.1 m.

Decomposer (n.): A consumer that obtains its energy from dead and decaying materials.

Decomposition (n.): Chemical or physical breakdown of matter into smaller parts or chemical elements. Also the breakdown of organic matter by decomposing organisms into smaller parts or inorganic constituents.

Decumbent (Adj.): (L. decumbere, to lie down) trailing on the ground and rising at the tip, as some stems. Reclining on the ground, and with the growing end ascending.

Decurrent (Adj.): (L. decurrere, to run down) extending downward, applied usually to leaves in which the blade is apparently prolonged downward as two wings along the petiole or along the stem.

Definition : A statement specifying the meaning of a name (i.e., the taxon to which it refers).

Deforestation (n.): The removal of trees from a habitat that they dominated. "The thinning, changing, and elimination of forests", from Deforesting the Earth, From Prehistory to Global Crisis by Michael Williams. (See also our book review.) deliquescent branching (n.) A mode of branching in trees where the trunk divides into many branches. No central axis is left. Example elms.

Deformis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): deformed.

Dehiscence (n.): (L. dehiscere, to gape) opening and shedding contents; said of stamens and fruits.

Dehisces (Vt.): to burst or split open, as the seed capsules of plants.

Deliciosus, Deliciosa (Used in Bonsai – Latin): delicious.

Deltoid (Adj.): (Gr. delta, and eidos, form) shaped like the Greek letter delta; triangular in outline.

Dendrochronology (n.): The science of studying the past by looking at the growth rings on trees.

Dendroideus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): like a tree.

Dendrology (n.): The science of studying trees.

Densatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dense.

Densiflorus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with dense flowers.

Densifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with dense leaves.

Dentate (Adj.): (L. dens, a tooth) toothed, with large saw-like teeth on the margin pointing outward, not forward. Describes a leaf whose margins have teeth that point out.

Dentatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): toothed, with a series of points.

Denticle (n.): (L. denticulus, little tooth) a small tooth or toothlike projecting point.

Denticulate (Adj.): having small teeth; finely dentate.

Derived (Adj.): Describes character(s) that changed from a primitive state; advanced.

Derived Characteristic (n.): Evolutionarily advanced character state.

Descendant (n.): Describes a species or taxon that has evolved from another species or from within a taxon.

Description : A statement of the features of a taxon (or its component organisms), not limited to those that distinguish it from other taxa with which it might be confused (see "diagnosis").

Desert (n.): Area that receives low precipitation (averaging less than 25 centimeters a year). Also a biome in which the plants and animals have adapted to survive severe drought conditions. desert climate (n.), Low rainfaL. Hot desert no month below 6ºC. Cold desert, one or more months below 6ºC.

Desertification (n.): The creation of a region that is little cultivated, lacking in moisture, nutrients, or suitable temperature and light.

Diadelphous (Adj.): (from di-, twice, and Gr. adelphos, brother; -ous) in two sets as applied to stamens when in two, usually unequal, sets.

Diagnosis : A brief statement of the features of a taxon that collectively distinguish it from other taxa with which it might be confused.

Dichogamy (n.): Maturation of stamens and pistils at different times, thus preventing self-pollination.

Dichotomous (Adj.): (Gr. dichotous, a cutting in two) having or consisting of a pair or pairs; paired.

Dicotyledon (n.): A plant having two cotyledons or seed leaves. (dicotyledonous, adj.).

Digitate (Adj.): (L. digitus, finger) having fingerlike divisions, as some leaves.

Dimorphic (Adj.): (Gr. dimorphos, having two forms) having two forms.

Dioecious (Adj.): (Gr. di, two; oikos, house) said of a kind of plant having unisexual flowers, the male and female flowers on different individual plants.

Dioecious: Having staminate (male) flowers and pistillate (female) flowers on different plants of the same species. Having unisexual cones or flowers with only one sex per plant, thereby having separate male and female plants.

Diploid (Adj.): (Gr. diploos, double; eidos, form) having twice the number of chromosomes normally occurring in a germ ceL.

Diploid (n.): An organism which has two sets of chromosomes (paternal and maternal) in its cells.

Dipterus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): two-winged.

Disc Flowers: the radially symmetrical flowers of the head in Compositae, as distinguished from the ligulate ray flowers.

Disclimax (n.): A relatively stable ecological community often including kinds of organisms foreign to the region and replacing the climax because of disturbance.

Discoid (Adj.): (Gr. diskos, a disk) having the form of a disk; discoid flower; a compound flower not radiated but with tubular florets.

Discolor (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of two or several colors.

Disease (n.): An impairment of the normal state of an organism, modifying or interrupting its normal function. Caused by a pathogen.

Dispersion: The horizontal spacing of plants or animals. It can describe the structure of an ecological community. Uniform dispersion results from competition for light, nutrients, and water. Random dispersion (where individuals are distributed through a homogeneous area without regard to the presence of others) is rare. Clumped dispersion, or aggregation, is very common. Often it results from the uneven distribution of resources.

Disruptive Selection (n.):Natural selection where subpopulations of a single species within the same habitat exhibit different adaptations. Occurs when a habitat contains distinctly different types of soil conditions or other factors. Developing subpopulations adapt to particular features of the area. Results in evolutionary changes and new species, after which the subpopulations enter into stabilizing selection. Alternatively, produce cash crops with a minimum of fallow and natural recovery periods. Cloudsley-Thompson comments, "It has been said that the desert is the cradle of civilization certainly throughout their existence, people have been turning their birth place into a desert."

Dissectus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): deeply cut leaves, an in fern-leaved maple.

Distal (Adj.): (L. distare, to stand apart) farthest away from the point of attachment or origin.

Distichous (Adj.): (Gr. distichos, having two rows) two-ranked; in the case of plants with alternate leaves, the arrangement is such that 1st is directly below the 3rd.

Divaricate (Vt.): (L. divaricare, to spread apart) to branch or spread widely apart.

Divaricatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): spreading.

Divergent (Adj.): (L. divergere, to bend away) separated from one another, having tips further apart than the bases.

Diverticulate (Adj.): (L. divertere, to turn aside) having short offshoots approximately at right angles to axis.

Divided (Adj.): (L. dividere, to divide) referring to the blade of an appendage when it is cut into distinct divisions to, or almost to, the midvein.

Dna (n.): Deoxyribonucleic acid, the carrier of genetic information in cells.

Domesticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): domesticated.

Dominant (A Crown Class): One of four main crown classes. Dominant trees are largely free-growing. They have their crowns in the uppermost layers of the canopy.

Dorsal (Adj.): (L. dorsum, the back) pertaining to the back; the surface turned away from the axis.

Down (n.): (ME. down, downe, down; probably of Scandinavian origin) fine, soft feathers; soft, fine hair.

Downy (Adj.): covered with short, fine hairs.

Drought: Climatic condition where water loss due to evaporation and transpiration is greater than water inputs through precipitation.

Drupe (n.): (Gr. dryppa, an overripe olive) a fleshy or pulpy fruit with the inner portion of the pericarp hard or stony and enclosing the seed; usually 1-locular and 1-seeded, sometimes more than 1-locular and more than 1-seeded.

Drupe: A fleshy, soft fuit outside and around (making it the exocarp) that encloses a hard-shelled seed or stone (endocarp).

Duff (n.): The partially decomposed organic matter (litter of leaves, flowers, and fruits) beneath plants, as on a forest floor.

Dyne (n.): The unit of force that creates an acceleration of 1 centimeter per second on a 1-gram mass. (105 dynes equals one newton.).

Back to Top


Earthquake: Sudden motion or shaking in the Earth. Caused by the quick release in seismic waves of slowly accumulated energy. Often occurs along faults, tectonic plate boundaries, or the mid-oceanic ridges.

Echinate (Adj.): (L. echinus, a hedgehog) set with prickles; prickly, like a hedgehog; having sharp points.

Ecofarming: Farming land by using practices that maintain biological diversity and conserve the resource base.

Ecological Diversity: The variety of unique biological communities on the Earth.

Ecological Niche: The physical, chemical, and biological conditions required by a species to survive, grow, and reproduce.

Ecology : 1. The study of the totality or patterns of relations between organisms and their environment.2. The study of the interactions of living things, from ecos, the Greek word for 'living earth'. Certain plants and animals require specific conditions to live well and this is often termed the ecology of that plant or animal.

Ecology (n.): (Gr. oikos, house; and -logy Gr. -logia, from legein, to speak) branch of science concerned with the interrelationships of organisms and their environments esp. as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interaction between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions and population alteration.

Ecology: Scientific study of the relationships among organisms, and between organism the living and non-living aspects of their environments. Study of the interactions that determine distribution and abundance of organisms. First use by E.H. Haeckel (1869) in German, from oikos (Greek for home) and logos (Greek or discourse). For an introduction to ecology, see John Cloudsley-Thompson's Ecology

Ecosystem : 1. The entire system of life and its environmental and geographical factors that influence all life, including the plants, the animals and the environmental factors.2. System that includes both living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) units to produce an exchange between them. 3. A group of organisms interacting among themselves and with their environment.

Ecosystem: The basic unit in ecology. Includes both the organisms and the non-living environment. The entire complex of organisms and factors of environment in an ecological unit in a defined space. An ecosystem consists of both organic and inorganic components, and includes soil, plants, animals, climate, and physical geoography. A sustainable natural community, its living organisms, and the ways these organisms interact (especially through energy and nutrient flow) with the physical space and with each other. Populations are tied to the amount of energy captured by primary producers in an ecosystem.

Ecotone: An zone of contention for dominance between different plant communities. A transition area, narrow or broad, between contiguous communities.

Edaphic (Adj.): relating to, or determined by, conditions of the soil.

Edaphic Factors: The elements of that environment that determine, in combination, the nature of soils. Such factors include the alkalinity of the soil, the degree of moisture, and the degree of sunlight. From the Greek edaphos for floor, earth.

Edulis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): can be eaten.

Elatus, Elata (Used in Bonsai – Latin): taL.

Elegans (Used in Bonsai – Latin): elegant, graceful.

Elliptic (Adj.): (Gr. elleipsis, a falling short, defect, ellipse) an outline that is oval, narrowed to rounded at the ends and widest at about the middle (as the outline of a football); ellipsoid, a solid with an elliptical outline.

Elongatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): long.

Emarginate (Vt.): (L. emarginare, to deprive of the edge) said of leaves, sepals, or petals, and other structures that are notched at the apex.

Emerge (Vt.): (L. emergere, to rise up, rise out) to rise out of a fluid or other covering.

Emergent (n.): (ME. Fr. L. emergent-, emergens, pres. part. of emergere, to emerge more at emerge) any of various plants (as a cattail) rooted in shallow water and having most of the vegetative growth above the water.

Emersed (Adj.): standing out of or rising above a surface as an aquatic plant with flower stalk emersed.

Emersed Plants: plants growing with their roots and a portion of the shoot below the water and the remainder of the shoot above the surface of the water.

Enation (n.): (L. enasci, to spring up) an abnormal growth of an organ or of an excresence upon any part of a plant.

Endangered Species: A species that is in danger of extinction because it is so low in number or its habitat is disappearing too quickly.

Endemic (Adj.): (Gr. endemos, native, belonging to a people) a plant that is native to a particular country or region; not introduced or naturalized. Native and restricted to a given area, which can be quite local or quite far-ranging (a region, state, country, or continent).

Endemic: Restricted to a narrow, limited geographic area.

Endocarp (n.): (Gr. endo, within; karpos, fruit) the inter layer of the wall of a matured ovary; when its texture differs from the outer wall, it may be hard and stony, membranous, or fleshy.

Endocarp (n.): The innermost layer of a pericarp; e.g., a cherry stone.

Endogen (n.): A monocotyledonous plant that increases with time by the growth of new tissue within. Compare with an exogen.

Endosperm: A nutritive substances or tissue in seed plants within the embryo sac.

Energy Farming: The process of using land to grow crops, woody or otherwise, that provide fuel, for example, close-planted, fast-growing tree species such as poplar (temperate) or leucaena (tropical). These may be harvested by hand or mechanically. Hydrocarbon fuels can be extracted from other kinds of plants, for example, from some Euphorbia species.

Enriched Fallow: A form of agroforestry in which useful, mainly woody species are sown or planted before cultivation ceases, or at the time it does, so that during the fallow period, or when the land is next cleared for cultivation, products are available for household use or market that would not otherwise have been there (for example, fruits, bamboos, rattans, medicinals).

Ensiform (Adj.): (F. ensiforme, Fr. L. ensis sword + F. forme, form) having sharp edges and tapering to a slender point; having a shape suggesting a sword.

Entire (Adj.): (L. integer, whole, untouched, undiminished) having a margin devoid of any indentations, teeth, or lobes. A type of leaf margin that is continuous and smooth.

Entomophilous (Adj.): (Gr. entomon, insect; philein, to love) pollination by insects.

Entrainment (n.): The process of particle lifting by an agent of erosion.

Entropy: The measure of the disorder (randomness) of matter and energy in a system.

Environment: Abiotic and biotic factors that influence (1) the life of an organism. (2) the function of some nonliving natural system.

Environmental Lapse Rate (Elr): The rate of air temperature change with altitude. The average ELR in the troposphere is an air temperature decrease of 6.5 degrees Celsius per kilometer rise in elevation.

Enzyme: A type of protein that can facilitate and regulate chemical reactions in cells.

Ephemeral (n.): (Gr. ephemeros, lasting for a day) referring to an organ living a very short time, usually a day or less; lasting a very short time.

Epicotyl: The portion of the young stem of a plant seedling that is above the cotyledons. Embryonic stem.

Epigynous (Adj.): (Gr. epi, upon; gyne, woman) growing upon the top of the ovary or seeming to do so, as petals, sepals, and stamens.

Epigyny (n.): the condition of being epigynous.

Epipetalous (Adj.): (Gr. epi, upon; petalon, leaf) having stamens inserted on petals.

Epiphyte (n.): An organism that grows on another plant but is not parasitic on it. A type of vegetation that gets physical support from the branches of other plants.

Epiphytic (Adj.): Without soil roots; obtaining nutrients from air, rainwater, and organic debris.

Equilibrium Theory Of Island Biogeography: The number of species on an island balances immigration (controlled by regional processes) against extinction (controlled by local processes). The greater the separation of an island from others, the fewer the species that inhabit it. Defined in 1967 by R.H.MacArthur and E.O.Wilson.

Equitant (Adj.): (L. equitare, to ride) overlapping; said of leaves whose bases overlap the leaves within or above them, as in the Iris.

Erectus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): upright.

Erose (Adj.): (L. erodere, to wear away) having small irregular notches in the margin, as if gnawed.

Erosion: The detachment and movement of the solid material of the land surface by wind, moving water or ice, and by such processes as landslides and soil creep.

Erosion: Removal of weathered sediment or rock by the wind, water, or ice.

Essential Flower Parts: the stamen and pistil organs of the flower that are required for pollination.

Establishment: The successful growth of young plants, brought about by providing them with the right site and favourable conditions.

Estuary (n.): (L. aestuarium, part of the seacoast over which the tide ebbs and flows, from aestus, the tide) an inlet or arm of the sea; especially the wide mouth of a river, where the tide meets the current. pL. estuaries.

Eukaryote: Organism whose cells have a membrane-bound nucleus and where many specialized structures are located within their cell boundary. Genetic material is organized in such organisms into chromosomes residing in the nucleus.

Eutrophic (Adj.): (Gr. ew, well; trophe, nourishment) the gradual increase in nutrients in a body of water. Natural eutrophication is a gradual process, but human activities may greatly accelerate the process.

Eutrophication (Adj.): the process of becoming eutrophic.

Even-Pinnate: said of compound leaves having an even number of leaflets, this is usually easily determined because there is a pair terminally.

Evergreen : A plant remaining green in its dormant season and so applied to plants that are green throughout the year. Properly applied to plants and not to leaves, as it is due to the persistence of leaves.

Evergreen: Has green leaves year-round. The old leaves remain green until the new foliage develops. Contrast with deciduous.

Evolution: The series of changes (such as mutation or natural selection) through which any organism acquires the characteristics that differentiate it from another organism. See also phylogeny.

Ex Situ : From outside. When applied to tree plantations, refers to a planting site distant from the seed collection site.

Excelsius, Excelsus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): taL.

Excrescence (n.): (L. excrescere, to grow out; ex, out; crescere, to grow) a normal outgrowth; a disfiguring addition.

Excurrent (Adj.): (L. excurrere, to run out, project) projecting beyond the tip, as the midrib of a leaf or bract. A tree form in which the bole or main axis is clearly defined; the main stem outgrows the secondary, lateral branches due to strong apical dominance, usually resulting in a cone-shaped crown.

Excurrent Branching: Tree growth in which the main axis continues to the top of the tree from which smaller, lateral branches arise. Example  conifers.:

Exfoliate (Vt.): (L. ex, out; folium, leaf) peeling off in thin layers, shreds, or plates, as the bark of some trees.

Exfoliating (Adj.): Peeling off in thin layers, like an onion skin.

Exine (n.): (L. ex, out of, out) the outer of two layers forming the wall of certain spores (as pollen grains) called also exosporium.

Exocarp (n.): (Gr. exo, without; karpos, fruit) the outer layer of the wall of a matured ovary.

Exocarp (n.): The outermost layer of a pericarp; also called the epicarp.

Exogen (n.): A dicotyledonous plant that increases with time by the addition of successive concentric rings inside the previous growth and beneath the bark. Compare with an endogen.

Exotic: Commonly used to refer to a plant or other organism introduced from a foreign country. For example, Grevillea robusta, which comes from Australia, is an exotic tree species in Kenya. Strictly, however, the term refers to a plant grown anywhere outside its natural range.

Exotic: A plant that does not grow naturally in your area (or region, state, country, or continent).

Exoticus, Exotica (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from another country.

Exsert (Vt.): (L. exserere, to strech out) to put forth; to thrust out; to protrude.

Exserted (Adj.): sticking out; extending beyond (some enclosing part).

Exstipulate (Adj.): (L. ex, private; stipula, a stalk, stem) having no stem.

Extant: Types or species that are currently living. Not extinct.

External Specifier : A specifier that is explicitly excluded from the clade whose name is being defined. Stem-based definitions have external specifiers, but node- and apomorphy-based definitions do not (see internal specifier).

Extinct: Types or species that not currently living. Not extant.

Back to Top


Falcate (Adj.): (L. falx, a sickle) curved like a sickle.

Fallow : 1. Allowing crop land to lie idle, either tilled or untilled, during the whole or greater portion of a growing season. Tillage is usually practised to control weeds and encourage the storage of moisture in the soil.2. Land rested from deliberate cropping, not necessarily without cultivation or grazing but without sowing. 3. State of land left without a crop or weed growth for extended period, often to accumulate moisture.

Family: A taxonomic category ranking below an order and above a genus.

Farinaceous (Adj.): (L. farina, meal) containing flour; starchy; mealy.

Farinose (Adj.): full of meal; mealy; covered with a white, powdery substance.

Farm Forestry: Growing trees for timber, poles, fuelwood on farmland. This may be done in small woodlots or as boundary plantings.

Farming Systems Research And Development: An approach to agricultural research and development that (1) views the whole farm as a system and (2) focuses on the interdependence among the components under the control of the farm household's members and how these components interact with the physical, biological and socioeconomic factors not under household controL. The approach involves selecting targets, areas and farmers, identifying problems and opportunities, designing and executing on-farm research, evaluating results, and extension.

Fascicle (n.): (L. fasciculus, small bundle) a small bundle or tuft, as of fibers, leaves, etc.

Fascicle Sheath: A tubular structure, often made of leaves or bracts, which surround a stem or other plant organ.

Fascicle: A bundle or close cluster of leaves or flowers.

Fastigiate (Adj.): (L. fastigare, to slope up) branches close to stem and erect.

Fastigiatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): having nearly vertical, close-together.

Fecundity: The capacity to produce or propagate abundantly.

Fen (n.): (ME. fen, fenne; AS. fen, fenn, a marsh, bog, fen) low land covered wholly or partially with water but producing sedge, coarse grasses, or other aquatic plants; boggy land; a moor or marsh; plant community on alkaline, neutral, or slightly acid peat.

Fen: A bog with springs as a water source other than precipitation.

Fenestrated (Adj.): (L. fenstra, window) a type of leaf anatomy with small perforation or transparent spots. Confined to a few tropical monocotyledons which grow on the island of Madagascar.

Fern: A group of about 11,000 species of vascular seedless plants in the division Pterophyta. About 75% of the fern species are found in the tropics.

Ferox (Used in Bonsai – Latin): fierce, thorny.

Fertilization: Fusion of egg and sperm.

Filament (n.): (L. filum, thread) the stalk bearing the anther.

Filament: A fine thread; in a stamen, the stalk supporting the anther.

Filiform (Adj.): (L. filum, thread; forma, shape) thread-like, long and very slender.

Fimbriate (n.): (L. fimbriatus, fringed) cut into regular segments and appearing fringed at the margins.

Firebreak: In forestry, an existing barrier, or one constructed before a fire occurs, from which flammable materials have been removed, designed to stop or check creeping or running fires. Also serves as a line from which to work and to facilitate the movement of men and equipment in fire suppression.

Fistula (n.): (L. fistula, pipe) pathological or artifical pipe-like opening; water-conducting vessel.

Fistulose (Adj.): same as fistulous.

Fistulous: a, having the form or nature of a fistula.

Fitness: The health of a species measured in terms of physiology and future reproductive success.

Flabellate (Adj.): (L. flabellare, to fan) fan-shaped.

Flaccid (Adj.): (L. flaccidus, flabby) weak, limp, soft, or flabby; leaves that do not have enough water and are about to wilt or are wilting.

Flaccidus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): soft, limp.

Flammeus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): flame-colored.

Flexilis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bendable, flexible.

Floccose (Adj.): (L. floccus, a lock of wool) said of pubescence which gives the impression of irregular tufts of cotton or wool.

Florebundus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with many flowers.

Florepleno (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with double flowers.

Florescence (n.): (L. florescence, to begin to flower) bursting into bloom, alt. anthesis.

Floret (n.): (L. flos, flower) one of the small individual flowers of a crowded inflorescence such as capitulum; flower with lemma and palea, of grasses; alt. floscule.

Floricane (n.): the stem at flowering and fruiting stage (of a bramble, Rubus).

Floscule (n.): (L. flosculus, little flower) a small flower; a floret.

Flower (n.): (ME, flowre, flour, flur; OFr., flor, flur, flour, from L. flos, floris, a flower) the part of a plant containing or consisting of the organs of reproduction, either together in a monoclinous flower or separate in male and female flowers. A specialized shoot containing a short stem with four kinds of part, derived from highly specialized leaves

 calyx; corolla; androecium; gynoecium.:

Fluvial: Produced by stream action.

Fodder: Plants or plant parts eaten by browsing or grazing animals. Fodder trees include species of Acacia, Leucaena, Prosopis and many others. Normally, fodder refers to the green parts of the tree, for example, leaves or sometimes flowers and pods. Often fodder is collected and stored for future consumption.

Foetidus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bad-smelling, having a fetid odor.

Foliaceous (Adj.): (L. folium, leaf) having the form or texture of a foliage leaf; thin and leaf-like; bearing leaves.

Foliage: The entire leaf mass of a tree or trees (or of plants generally).

Foliose: Bearing leaves.

Follicle (n.): (L. folliculus, small sac) a dry dehiscent fruit formed of one carpel, and dehiscing along one side. A dry fruit, usually many-seeded. Opens only along one side as in milkweed.

Food Chain: The passage of energy (in the form of food) from producers to the organisms that feed upon them. The number of links in a food chain varies (from producer to top predator), but seldom exceeds five. Most communities contain food webs, i.e., food chains that are interlinked. Trees are producers. Their seeds, fallen leaves, live leaves, bark, and so on are consumed by insects and animals.

Forage: Any plant material, except commercial feedstuffs, consumed by livestock. The most common forage crops are grasses and legumes.

Forage Forestry: Growing close-planted, fast-growing tree species that can be mechanically harvested, such as by a forage harvester in agriculture, for wood products such as woodchips.

Forest Garden: A land-use form on private lands outside the village in which planted trees and sometimes, additional perennial crops occur.

Forest Grazing: Any situation (silvopastoral) where timber-producing trees and grazed pasture are grown together as an integrated management system, the prime objective being to increase long-term net profit per hectare. Growing pasture under trees as an alternative source of income to production thinning of timber or pulpwood.

Forest: An ecosystem dominated by trees. Examples of forest biomes are boreal forest; tropical savanna; deciduous forest.

Forestry: The science of caring for the forest.

Fossil Fuel: Burnable chemicals that are the resulting remains of prehistoric animals and plants. Carbon based remains of organic matter geologically transformed into coal , oil, and natural gas.

Fossil: Geologically preserved remains of an organism that lived in the past.

Fragrans (Used in Bonsai – Latin): sweet-smelling, fragrant.

Fragrantissimus :Very Sweet-Smelling (Used in Bonsai – Latin).

Fresh Weight: same as wet weight. Generally not a useful measurement for aquatic plants.

Frond (n.): (L. frons, a leafy branch) a leaf, especially of fern or palm; a leaf-like expansion.

Frost Ring: A zone of injured cambium tissue caused by frost.

Fruit (n.): (Fr. fruit, from L. fructus, fruit) the developed ovary of the flower containing ripe seeds, whether fleshy or dry, often used to include other associated parts such as a fleshy receptacle, then called a false fruit.

Frutescens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bushy, shrubby, twiggy.

Frutescent (Adj.): (L. frutex, a shrub) shrubby or becoming shrubby.

Fundamental Niche: The total range of environmental conditions suitable for the existence of a species, without effects of interspecific competition and predation.

Funicle (n.): (NL. funiculus) funiculus.

Funiculus (n.): (NL. from L. funis, a small rope) the stalk of an ovule. pL. funiculi.

Fusiform (Adj.): (L. fusus, a spindle; forma, form) shaped like a spindle; thick, tapering at both ends.

Back to Top


Gaia Hypothesis: For most practical purposes, the Earth may be regarded as a single living organism. Its surface is part of life itself. Its inhabitants (trees, animals, viruses, etc.) may be viewed as the organs of the organism. Proposed by James Lovelock.

Gallery Forest: Vegetation, with trees and shrubs, growing alongside or close to a watercourse, lake, swamp, or the like, and often dependent on its roots reaching the watertable. Also called a riparian forest.

Gallicus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Gaul (France), may also pertain to a.

Gamete: A haploid reproductive ceL.

Gametophyte (n.): (Gr. gamete, a wife; phyton, plant) the gamete-forming haploid phase in the alternation of plant generations.

Gamopetalous (Adj.): (Gr. gamos, marriage; phyllon, a leaf) having the petals united so as to form a tubelike corolla. Same as sympetalous.

Gamosepalous (Adj.): (Gr. gamos, marriage; sepalous) having the sepals united.

Gemma (n.): (L. gemma, a swelling, bud, gem) a bud or outgrowth of a plant which develops into a new organism. A leaf bud rather than a flower bud.

Gemmates (Adj.): (L. gemmare, to put forth buds) buds or outgrowths of a plant which develop into a new individual.

Gemmiparous (Adj.): (L. gemma, a bud; parere, to bear) to produce gemmates.

Gene Bank: For plants, any place established with the appropriate facilities and trained staff where plant germplasm can be maintained in the form of seeds or tissues or as growing plants.

Gene Pool: All of the genes found in the individuals of the population of a particular species.

Gene: The smallest transmittable unit of genetic material consistently associated with a single primary genetic effect.

Genet: A single sexually produced individual.

Geniculate (Adj.): (L. geniculatus, having knee joints, joints) bent like a knee; bent abruptly at the nodes.

Genotype (n.): (Gr. genos, race; type) the genetic constitution of an individual.

Genotype: A specific combination of genes that determines a character.

Genus (n.): (L. genus, race) a taxonomic group consisting of closely related species, genera being grouped into families; plural genera; a. generic. A group of plants or animals below a family and above a species. In the scientific designation for an organism, the genus name is capitalized and immediately precedes the species name. From Latin for "race" or "kind."

Geology: The study of the rocks of the Earth's crust.

Geophyte (n.): (Gr. ge, earth; phyton, plant) plants with an underground dormant part such as a tuber, bulb, rhizome, etc. to help the plant survive adverse conditions.

Germ Plasm: The part of the protoplasm that contains the chromosomes and genes. Within an individual or group, the collective materials that are the physical basis for inheritance.

Germination: Growth of the embryo in the seed until the emergence of the embryonic radicle through the seedcoat. In seed testing, the capacity of the embryo to emerge from the seed coat with the essential structures indicates a potential to produce normal plants. In dry seeds, germination follows imbibition (absorbing water and swelling).

Germination: The start of vegetative growth of a plant from a seed.

Germinative Capacity: Percentage of seeds that germinate during the normal period of germination.

Germplasm : 1. The material constituting the physical basis of inheritance (seeds, cuttings, tissue cultures). The sum total of the hereditary materials in a species.2. The sum total of the genes and cytoplasmic factors governing inheritance. The hereditary material transmitted to offspring through the germ cells.

Gibberellins (n.): (Gibberella, a fungal genus) growth hormones that accelerate shoot growth. First discovered in the fungus Gibberella fujikuroi, and later in other plants.

Gibbous (Adj.): (L. gibbus, hump) a distended, rounded swelling on one side, as on a calyx or corolla tube or segment.

Giganticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): large, gigantic.

Glabrate (Adj.): (L. glaber, smooth) becoming glabrous with age.

Glabrous (Adj.): with a smooth, even surface; without hairs.

Glabrous: Having a surface without hair or down.

Glade (n.): (prob. Scand. golead, a lighting, illumination, fr. goleu, light, clear, AS. glaed, bright) open space surrounded by woods or a forest; a marshy and usually low-lying area; a periodically inundated grassy marsh often running between adjacent slopes; a marshy area bounding or forming the headwaters of a stream.

Glade: An open space in a forest.

Gland (n.): (L. glands, acorn) a secreting part or appendage.

Glandular (Adj.): (L. glandula, small acorn) having or bearing secreting organs, glands, or trichomes.

Glandular-Pubescent: hairs or trichomes capitate and secretory.

Glaucous (Adj.): (L. glaucus, sea-green) bluish green; covered with a pale green bloom.

Glaucous: Covered with white wax. Whitened with a bloom.

Glaucus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with a frost-like bloom, as on a grape.

Global Warming: World-wide rise in temperature. Measured as 1ºC in the 20th century.

Globose (Adj.): (L. globosus, rounded as a ball) rounded; almost spherical; globular.

Glomerate (Vt.): (L. glomus, a ball of yarn) to gather or wind into a ball; growing, collected or arranged in a rounded mass, as glands, flowers, etc.; clustered.

Glomerule (n.): a condensed cyme of almost sessile flowers; a compact cluster as of spores.

Gloriosus, Gloriosa (Used in Bonsai – Latin): great, superb.

Glume (n.): (L. gluma, husk) a chaffy or membranous bract, a bract at the base of a grass inflorescence or spikelet.

Glutinous (Adj.): (L. gluten, glue) having a sticky, moist surface; a gluey or sticky exudation.

Gracilis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): slender, graceful, lissome.

Grandifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with large leaves.

Grassland: An ecosystem dominated by species of grass. (Found where average precipitation is insufficient to support growth of shrublands or forest.).

Green Manure : 1. A crop that is grown for soil protection, biological nitrogen reduction, or organic matter and ploughed, disked or hoed into the soil.2. Any crop grown for the purpose of being turned under while green, or soon after maturity, for soil improvement.

Greenhouse Gasses: Carbon dioxide, methane and other gasses whose increased presence in the world's atmosphere causes long-wave radiation (heat) from the earth's surface to be retained in the atmosphere more than previously. It appears that this is leading to global warming.

Ground Water: Water that has sunk into the ground where it flows slowly through the aquifer.

Gutatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): freckled.

Guttation (n.): (L. gutta, drop) formation of drops of water on plants from moisture in air; the process of water being exuded from hydathodes at the enlarged terminations of veins around the margins of the leaves.

Gymnosperm (n.): [From Latin, "naked seed"]. A plant with exposed seeds, such as in conifers whose seeds develop in cones. Rocks dated at 350 million years old have been found to contain fossil gymnosperm. Compare with angiosperm.

Gymnospermae (n.): (Gr. gymnos, uncovered, naked; sperma, seed) an important division of the plant kingdom, being woody plants with alternation of generations, having the gametophyte retained on the sporophyte and seeds produced on the surface of the sporophylls and not enclosed in an ovary.

Gynaecium (n.): (Gr. gynaikeie, woman's part of a house) the female organs of the flower, consisting of one or more carpels forming one or several ovaries with their stigmas and styles.

Gynecandrous (Adj.): having staminate and pistillate flowers in the same spike or spikelet, the latter above the former.

Gynoecium (n.): (Gr. gyne, woman; oikos, house) the pistil or pistils of a flower, taken collectively; gynaecium.

Gynoecium: The female home of the flower consisting of one or more pistils. The apex (stigma) exudes a sticky liquid to which pollen sticks. The enlarged base (ovary) contains chambers which produce between a single and several thousands female gametes. The narrow portion between them (missing in some flowers) is the style.

Gynophore (n.): (Gr. gyne, woman; pherein, to carry) a stalk supporting the ovary.

Gynostegium (n.): (Gr. gyne, woman; stege, roof) a protective covering for a gynaecium, especially as formed by the union of stamens and style.

Back to Top


Habit (n.): (L. habitus, condition, appearance, dress) the external appearance or way of growth of a plant, e.g. climbing, erect, bushy, etc.; the tendency of a plant to grow in a certain way.

Habitat (n.): (L. habitare, to inhabit) the locality or external environment in which a plant lives. A region or environment where a plant or animal is normally found.

Haemanthus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): bright red flowers.

Half-Life (n.): Time in which one half of the nuclei in a radioisotope emits its radiation. Half-lives for radioisotopes vary from millionths of a second to billion of years.

Halophyte (n.): (Gr. hals, salt; phyton, plant) any species capable of tolerating 0.5% or more NaCl.

Haploid (n.): A cell that contains only one set of chromosomes.

Haplophyte (n.): (Gr. haploos, simple; eidos, form) having the number of chromosomes characteristic of the gametes for the organism.

Hapteron (n.): (Gr. haptein, to fasten) holdfast, specialized root-like projections that function to anchor a plant.

Hardwood: The timbers from broadleaved, angiosperm trees often, but not always, harder than the timber from conifers (softwoods). They are often, but not always, deciduous (Eucalyptus, for example, are hardwoods).

Hastate (Adj.): (L. hasta, spear) spear shaped, more or less triangular with the two basal lobes divergent.

Head (n.): A compact group of flowers in a cluster at the end of a branch; for example a sunflower.

Heartwood : 1. The inner of two distinct wood layers in the trunk of many trees. The outer layer, usually lighter and moister, called sapwood, is newly formed wood with some living cells. Inside this ring of sapwood is often a darker, harder, more durable core called heartwood. A striking example of heartwood and sapwood difference is found in Dalbergia melanoxylon, which has light brown sapwood and purple black heartwood; it is often used for craft carving.2. The wood in the centre of a tree, no longer in use for conducting water from the roots to the leaves. It is often darker in colour than the outer wood (sapwood) and may contain chemicals that make it more resistant to decay.

Heartwood (n.): The center of the tree trunk, it is composed of dead xylem cells. (The dead cells are less robust than live cells, so the heartwood sometimes rots, leaving a hollow tree.).

Hectare (n.): An area of 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres.

Hedge: Bushes or shrubs or trees planted in a row and trimmed. Used to separate one piece of land from another.

Hedgerow: A barrier of bushes, shrubs or small trees growing close together in a line. A hedge is similar but pruned.

Hemicryptophyte (n.): (Gr. hemi, half; kryptos, hidden; phyton, plant) a perennial plant having its overwintering buds located at the soil surface.

Hemiparasite (n.): A parasite like mistletoe; because mistletoe has green leaves, it can photosynthesize; thus it only absorbs nutrients and water from its host.

Herb (n.): (L. herba, green crop) any seed plant whose stem withers away to the ground after each season's growth; a seed plant with a green, non-woody stem.

Herbaceous (Adj.): Describing a plant that dies back below the ground each year; lacks a persistent woody stem.

Herbage (n.): (Fr. herbe, an herb) herbs collectively; the green foliage and juicy stems of herbs.

Heterodefinitonal : Based on different phylogenetic definitions (see synonym).

Heterophyllous (Adj.): (Gr. heteros, other; phyllon, leaf) the presence on a single individual of two or more distinct leaf shapes. These leaves may differ markedly in shape, yet have similar gross anatomical organization.

Heterozygote (n.): (Gr. heteros, other; zygon, yoke) an organism or cell having two different alleles at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes.

Hibernaculum (n.): (L. hibernare, winter residence) a plant organ such as a bud, rhizome, turion, etc. which allows a plant to live through adverse conditions.

Hilum (n.): (L. hilum, a little thing, a trifle) the scar on a seed marking the place where it was attached to the seed stalk.

Hilum (n.): The scar on a seed marking the point of attachment of the ovule.

Hirsute (Adj.): (L. hirsutus, bristly) set with bristles; hairy; shaggy.

Hispid (Adj.): (L. hispidus, rough) having stiff hairs, spines, or bristles.

Homegarden: A land-use form on private lands surrounding individual houses with a definite fence, in which several tree species are cultivated together with annual and perennial crops; often with the inclusion of small livestock. There are many forms of such gardens varying in how intensively they are cultivated and their location with regard to the home, for example, village forest gardens, 'compound gardens', 'kitchen gardens'.

Homodefinitional : Based on the same phylogenetic definition (see synonym).

Homologous : Shared by virtue of inheritance from a common ancestor. A character or character state shared by two organisms (which may represent different species or clades) is said to be homologous if that character or character state was present in all of their ancestors back to and including their most recent common ancestor.

Homology (n.): a similar character state present in two or more species of organisms, and derived from a single character in their common ancestor. (homologous, adj.) hot climate (n.) Mean annual temperature over 21ºC. Usually Rain forest in equatorial and tropical marine climates. Savanna in continental regions. Also see climate.

Homonym : A name that is spelled identically to another name but potentially refers to a different taxon. In this code, homonyms are established and identically spelled clade names based on different phylogenetic definitions.

Humilis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dwarf, low.

Humus (n.): Dark partly soluble organic substance formed by the decomposition of organic soil matter.

Hyaline (Adj.): (Gr. hyalos, glass) of thin, membranous, transparent or translucent texture.

Hybrid (n.): (L. hibrida, cross) any cross-bred plant; heterozygote.

Hybrid Formula : An expression consisting of the names of two taxa separated by a multiplication sign, designating a single organism or set of organisms of hybrid origin.

Hydathodes (n.): (Gr. hydatos, of water; hodos, way) an epidermal structure specialized for secretion, or for exudation, of water.

Hydric (Adj.): (Gr. hydor, water) characterized by an abundant supply of water.

Hydrophily (n.): (Gr. hydor, water; philein, to love) water pollination.

Hydrophyte (n.): (Gr. hydor, water; phyton, plant) an aquatic plant living on or in water.

Hydropote (n.): (Gr. hydropotes, water drinker) a cell or cell group found on the lower epidermis of some species such as Nymphaea. These cells are thought to function in the uptake of ions from the water.

Hypanthium (n.): (Gr. hypo, under; anthodes, like flowers) an expansion of the receptacle of a flower that forms a saucer-shaped, cup-shaped, or tubular structure (often simulating a calyx tube) bearing the perianth and stamens at or near its rim; it may be free from or united to the ovary.

Hypertrophy (n.): (Gr. hyper, above; trophe, nourishment) excessive growth due to increase in cell size.

Hypocotyl (n.): The part of the central axis portion of a plant seedling that is below the cotyledons.

Hypogeous (Adj.): Growing or developing below the soil surface.

Hypogynous (Adj.): (Gr. hypo, under; gyne, female) inserted below the gynoecium, and not adherent; immediately below oogonium; the ovary thus said to be superior. n. hypogyny.

Back to Top


Iaa: Indole-acetic acid, a natural growth hormone found in plants.

Ice (n.): The frozen form of water. Because ice has a specific gravity (0.92) less than water, ice floats on water.

Idioblasts (n.): (Gr. idios, one's own; blastos, a bud, offshoot) plant cells containing oil, gum, calcium, or other products, and appearing to help provide mechanical support.

Ilicifolius Holly-Like Leaves (Used in Bonsai – Latin):.

Imbricate (Adj.): (L. imbricare, to tile) having parts overlapping each other like roof tiles.

Immersed (Adj.): (L. in, into; mergere, to dip, plunge) growing under water.

Immigration (n.): Migration of an organism into an area where it establishes its residence permanently.

Imperfect Flower (n.): A flower which lacks either stamens or carpels. a flower containing stamen and pistil organs required for pollination but lacking sepals or petals or both of these organs.

In Situ: 'On the site'. When applied to tree plantations, refers to seed planted in the same area as it was collected.

In Vitro: In a laboratory (strictly 'in glass', that is, a test tube). For example, the digestibility of animal feeds may be estimated by appropriate chemical methods 'in vitro' in a laboratory; 'in vivo' (in the animal itself) using a fistula (narrow tube) to extract material ingested after it has been through the rumen (first stomach), or later, to see what has been absorbed; or, ultimately, by live weight gain per amount of intake.

Inbreeding (n.): In plants, a breeding system where sexual reproduction involves the interbreeding of closely related plants, such as by self-pollination.

Incised (Adj.): (L. in, into; caedere, to cut) with sharp angles between the lobes; having deeply cleft margins.

Included (Adj.): (L. in, in; claudere, to shut, close) not projecting beyond an enclosing part.

Incrassate (Vt.): (L. in, in; crassus, thick) becoming thick or thicker, especially toward a tip or margin.

Indehiscent: a (L. in, not; dehiscens, gaping) fruits which do not open to release seeds, but whole fruit is shed from the plant; not opening to release spores.

Indehiscent (Adj.): Not opening spontaneously when ripe. For example, acorns; also the cones of some pines that remain closed until they experience extremely strong heat such as fire.

Indigenous: Native to a specified area, not introduced. An indigenous tree is one that grows naturally within a specific environment or within certain predetermined boundaries.

Indigenous (Adj.): (L. in, within; gignere, to bear, produce) native; originating or occurring naturally in the place specified.

Individual Tree Selection (n.): The cutting method that describes the silvicultural system in which trees are removed individually each year, over an entire forest or stand. The resultant stand usually regenerates naturally and becomes all-aged.

Industrial Forestry: Large-scale, commercial tree planting for timber and other wood products (for example, wood chips).

Infiltration (n.): Absorption and downward movement of water into the soil

Inflorescence (n.): (L. inflorescere, to begin to blossom) a flower or putting forth blossoms; the mode of development and arrangement of flowers on an axis; a flowering branch. The way that a plant arranges its flowers on an axis or stem.

Infructescence (n.): (L. in, into; fructus, fruit) the inflorescence in a fruiting stage; collective fruits.

Inhibition Model Of Succession: A model of succession that suggests that changes in the dominance of plant species with time is due to death and small-scale disturbances; variations in longevity of plant species; and variations in ability of species to disperse. Species turnover favors species with longer life spans.

Inorganic: Something non-living, particularly the physical and chemical components of an organism's environment. (Also called abiotic.).

Inter-: (ME. enter-, inter-; OFr. entre-, inter-; L. inter- from inter, prep. between, among, during) a prefix meaning between, among.

Intercellular (Adj.): as intercellular. lying between cells, as intercellular space in plant tissue.

Interference (n.): (L. inter, between; ferire, to strike) the overall influence of one plant or groups of plants on another, and encompasses allelopathy or competition, or both of these processes.

Internal Specifier : A specifier that is explicitly included in the clade whose name is being defined. All specifiers in node-based and apomorphy-based definitions are internal, but only some of the specifiers in stem-based definitions are (see external specifier).

Internode (n.): (L. inter, between; nodus, knot) the portion of a stem between nodes.

Interspecific Competition: competition between species for nutrients, space, light, etc.

Intra-: (L., from intra, within, inside) a combining form meaning within, inside of, as intracellular.

Intracellular (Adj.): being or occurring within a body cell or within the body cells.

Intraspecific Competition: a type of competition whereby an individual plant competes with one or more members of the same species for nutrients, space, light, etc.

Invasive: Any plant that grows so aggressively that it crowds out other plants. Often applied to non-native species.

Involucel (n.): (L. involucrum, covering) a secondary involucre, as the bracts subtending the secondary umbels in the Umbelliferae. a group of closely placed bracts that subtend or enclose an inflorescence.

Involute (Adj.): (L. involutus, rolled up) leaves having the edges rolled inwards at each side, toward the adaxial side.

Involution (n.): (L. involutus, rolled up) a rolling inwards of leaves.

Back to Top


Japonicus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): from Japan.

Joule: The energy used by a force of one Newton to move its point of application in the direction of the force one meter.

J-Shaped Curve: In population growth, a growth (for example, in population) with time, which culminates in a precipitous decline in numbers. Compare with S-shaped curve.

Jungle: Secondary forest that grows up after primary forest is destroyed. Dense tropical thickets choked with undergrowth. (From Hindu) Contrast with rain forest.

Jurassic: Geologic period about 144 to 208 million years ago. Period when the first birds and mammals appeared and shallow seas covered large areas of the continents.

Back to Top


Karyotype: The character of the chromosomes defined by their size, shape, and number.

Keel (n.): (AS. ceol, ship) the folded edge or ridge of any structure.

Keystone Species: A species that interacts with a large number of other species in a community, and whose removal of this species may cause widespread changes to community structure.

Kilning: Drying wood under controlled temperature and humidity.

Kingdom: One of the three primary divisions of objects, into animal, mineral, and vegetable kingdoms. Each group below a kingdom is a phylum

Knee: An abrupt bend in a stem or tree trunk, or an outgrowth rising from the roots of some swamp-growing trees. Example

Krummholz: Stunted growth (literally crooked wood) caused by wind. Found in certain tree species at their upper limit of distribution. In cushion krummholz, Alpine trees exposed to severe wind conditions are wind-pruned to a cushion-like mat. In flagged krummholz, the tallest trees protrude from the protective snow pack and become wind-battered.

K-Selection (n.): Natural selection that occurs in populations near the carrying capacity (K) of the environment. Usually causes a species that produces few young with substantial resource investment by the parents; parents care for the young until they mature. (K-selected, adj.).

Back to Top


Labiate (Adj.): (L. labium, lip) lipped, as in a calyx or corolla.

Lacerate (Adj.): (L. lacer, mangled, lacerated) said of a margin torn irregularly.

Laciniate (Adj.): (L. lacinia, a hem) cut into narrow, jagged lobes or segments.

Lacunate (Adj.): (L. lacuna, cavity) with air spaces or chambers in the midst of tissue.

Lagoon (n.): (It. And Sp. laguna, fr. L. lacuna, a ditch, pool, fr. lacus, lake) a shallow lake or pond, especially one connected with a larger body of water; an area of shallow salt water separated from the sea by sand dunes; the area of water surrounded by an atoll, or circular coral reef.

Lake (n.): (ME. lake, lak; AS. lacu, a lake, pool; L. lacus, a hollow, a basin, tub, pool, lake) an inland body of water, usually fresh water, formed by glaciers, river drainage, etc., larger than a pool or pond.

Lamellate (Adj.): made up of thin plates or lamina.

Lamina (n.): (L. lamina, a thin peice of metal or wood) the expanded, blade part, of a foliar leaf, petal, etc.

Lammas: The part of an annual shoot that is formed after a summer pause in growth.

Lanate (Adj.): (L. lana, wool) wooly, with long intertwined, curled hairs.

Lanceolate (Adj.): (L. lancea, a lance) shaped like a lance; broadest toward the base and narrowed to the apex, several times longer than wide.

Lancifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with lance-like leaves.

Latex: A thick white or whitish liquid produced by certain plants. For example, Antiaris toxicaria and Bridelia micrantha both have a latex sap. A more popular example is the rubber tree (Hevea braziliensis). Some types of latex can be harmful, especially if the latex gets into the eyes.

Latifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with broad leaves.

Layering: The rooting of an undetached branch, laying on or partially buried in the soil, which is capable of independent growth after separation from the mother plant.

Leaching: Process by which water removes and transports inorganic nutrients and humus in solution through soil.

Leaf (n.): (ME. leef fr. OE. leaf, akin to OHG. loub, leaf, foliage) a lateral outgrowth from a stem that constitutes part of the foliage of a plant and functions primarily in food manufacture by photosynthesis.

Leaf: A flat, thin, (commonly) green appendage of a plant stem. The main portion of a tree or other higher plant where photosynthesis occurs. Plant organ located directly below a lateral bud; lateral foliage appendages originating at nodes of the stem, usually responsible for photosynthesis.

Legume (n.): (L. legere, to gather) a 1-locular fruit, usually dehiscent along two sutures, bearing seeds along the ventral suture; a leguminous plant.

Lemma (n.): (Gr. lemma, husk) the lower (abaxial), and larger, of two membranous bracts enclosing the flower in grass.

Lenticel (n.): (L. lens, lentis, lentil) corky spots on young bark, arising in relation to epidermal stomates.

Lenticular (Adj.): (L. lenticula, a lentil) shaped like a double-convex lens.

Leptolepis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with thin scales.

Leptophyllus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with thin leaves.

Less Controversially: (1) life depends on the physical world and (2) the physical world is influenced by living organisms.

Leucodermis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with white skin.

Lichen: Organism comprising a species of fungus symbiotically joining with a species of algae.

Lignify (Vt.): to convert into wood or woody tissue; to become wood or woody by chemical and physical changes in the cell walls that convert some or all of the constituents into lignin or lignocellulose.

Lignin (n.): (L. lignum, wood) organic substances which act as binders for the cellulose fibers in wood and certain plants, and adds strength and stiffness to the cell walls. Chemical structure of lignin is composed of a polymer of high carbon content but distinct from the carbonates. Consists of C6,C3 units.

Ligulate (Adj.): (L. ligula, little tongue) having or pertaining to ligules.

Ligule (n.): hyaline extension of the leaf sheath on the adaxial side of the leaf.

Limb (n.): (AS. lim, limb) the spreading part of a synsepalous calyx or sympetalous corolla, usually referring only to the calyx or corolla lobes, sometimes to their lips.

Limnology (n.): the scientific study of physical, chemical, meteorological, and biological conditions in fresh waters.

Lineage : A series of entities (e.g., organisms, populations) that form a single unbroken and unbranched sequence of ancestors and descendants. That a lineage is unbranched does not deny the existence of side-branches, which are not parts of the lineage in question, or of branching at lower organizational levels (e.g., organelle lineages within a population lineage). There may even be branching at the organizational level in question as long as it is judged to be temporary.

Linear (Adj.): (L. linea, line) long and slender with parallel or nearly parallel sides.

Lip (n.): (AS. lippa, lippe, lip) the upper or lower part of a bilabiate calyx or corolla.

Litter: Uppermost layer, on the soil surface, of loose organic debris (for example, as in forests), consisting of freshly fallen or slightly decomposed organic materials.

Litter: The uppermost layer of organic debris on a forest floor. It contains freshly fallen or only slightly decomposed vegetable matter, mainly foliage, and also bark, twigs, flowers, and fruits.

Live Fence: A way of establishing a boundary by planting a line of trees and/or shrubs (the latter usually from large stem cuttings or stumps), at relatively close spacing and by fixing wires to them. If animals are to be kept in or out, more uprights (dead sticks) can be tied to the wires. Also called a 'living fence'.

Lobularuis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): lobed.

Lobulate (Adj.): (Gr. lobos, lobe) divided into small lobes.

Locally Rare: A species that is found in only a few places within a particular region. It is often more common elsewhere.

Locular (Adj.): (L. loculus, a cell, box) having the nature of, or consisting of cells.

Locule (n.): (L. loculus, a cell, box) a compartment of an anther or an ovary.

Loculicidal (Adj.): (L. loculus, a cell, box; caedere, to cut) dehiscent dorsally down middle of carpels.

Lodicule (n.): (L. lodicula, coverlet) a scale at base of an ovary in grasses, supposed to represent part of a perianth.

Loess: A uniform and unstratified fine sand or silt (sometimes clay) deposited after transported by wind. An aeolian soil.

Loment (n.): (L. lomentum, bean meal) a fruit of some legumes, contracted between the seeds, the 1-seeded segments separating at fruit maturity.

Long-Day Plant: a plant that requires more than 12 hours of daylight before flowering will occur.

Lopping : 1. Cutting one or more branches of a standing tree, for example, for fuel or fodder.2. A technique used to collect fodder for animals by cutting side branches, not the main stem. Animals can be allowed to eat the lopped branches of the tree, or they can be carried to the animals as in a zero-grazing system.

Lumber: Sawn timber. A unit of measure is the 'board foot', that is, a board 12 inches long by 12 inches wide by 1 inch thick.

Lunate (Adj.): (L. luna, moon; -ate) crescent-shaped.

Luteus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): yellow.

Back to Top


Macranthus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with large flowers.

Macronutrients: The nutritional elements, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, essential for normal plant growth, development, and reproduction. They are usually derived from the soil.

Macrophyte (n.): (Gr. makros, large; phyton, plant) a member of the macroscopic plant life especially of a body of water; large aquatic plant; the term 'aquatic macrophyte' has no taxonomic significance.

Macroscopic (Adj.): (Gr. makros, large; skopein, to view) items large enough to be observed by the naked eye.

Mangroves : 1. Open or closed stands of trees and bushes occurring in the tropics in inter-tidal zones, usually around the mouths of rivers, creeks and lagoons where soils are heavy textured and have a fluctuating salt content and soil level.2. A name used collectively for the assemblage of plants, as well as to refer to individual genera or species, for example, woody members of the Rhizophoraceae, Combretaceae and Verbenaceae. These have knee-like roots that are 'pneumatophores' (roots with air spaces). Grown for wood and tannins.

Manipulative (Adj.): Manipulative experiments involve two or more experimental variables. They must be designed carefully to avoid ambiguous results. Contrast with a mensurative experiment.

Marcescent (Adj.): (L. marcescere, to wither) withering but remaining persistent.

Marsh (n.): (ME. mersh, meadowland) a tract of wet land principally inhabitated by emergent herbaceous vegetation.

Maximus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): the largest.

Mean Annual Increment (M.A.I. Or M.A.I.): The total increment of trees in a stand up to a given age, divided by that age, often expressed in annual cubic meters of growth per hectare (cubic feet of growth per acre).

Mean: In statistics, calculated by adding together all of the data values and dividing this sum by the total number of data values.

Medius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): medium.

Megagametophyte: The female gametophyte which develops from the megaspore and produces the female gamete(s).

Megalophyllus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with very large leaves.

Megastrobilus: Female cone of some gymnosperms like cycads and conifers. Plural  megastrobili.

Meiosis: Reduction division resulting in the production of haploid gametes; a process consisting of two specialized nuclear divisions ultimately leading to the formation of eggs or sperm.

Membranous (Adj.): (L. membrana, mem- brane) having a thin, soft, pliable texture.

Mensurative (Adj.): Mensurative experiments make measurements at one or more points in space or time. The only thing that varies in such an experiment is space or time. Contrast with a manipulative experiment.

Mericarp: one of the two carpels that resembles achenes and forms the schizocarp of an umbelliferous plant.

Mesic (Adj.): (Gr. mesos, middle) conditioned by temperate moist climate; neither xerix nor hydric; pertaining to conditions of medium moisture supply.

Mesic: Characterized by intermediate moisture conditions, neither decidedly wet nor decidedly dry. The mid-range of the moisture scale from wet to dry.

Mesocarp: The middle layer of a pericarp; this is the fleshy part of some fruits.

Mesophyte: A plant whose normal habitat is neither very wet nor very dry.

Mesozoic: An era of geologic history marked by the cycads, evergreen trees, dinosaurs, marine and flying reptiles, and ganoid fishes.

Metabolize: Change by the chemical processes that constantly take place in living organisms.

Metamorphism: (in Geology) The changes in the composition and textures of rock, caused by pressure, heat, and moisture. It results in a more compact and more highly crystalline condition.

Micronutrients: Nutritional trace elements, such as boron and manganese, that are necessary in minute quantities for normal plant growth.

Microphyllidious: small, leaf-shaped.

Microphyllus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with very small leaves.

Microstrobilus: Male cone of some gymnosperms like cycads, ginkgo, and conifers. Plural microstobili.:

Minimus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): very smaL.

Miombo: A form of woodland found in southern Africa in hot, semi-arid regions with a monomodal rainfall (for example, in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia). Rainfall is high (> 1000 mm) and soils are poor in nutrients and acid. The vegetation is dominated by slow-growing, mainly deciduous, caesalpiniaceous trees (for example, Brachystegia, Julbernardia).

Mire (n.): - synonymous with any peat-accumulating wetland.

Mitochondria: Organelles (inside a cell) that oxidize organic energy for use in cellular metabolism.

Mitosis: Normal division of a nucleus into two identical child nuclei by duplication and separation of chromosomes.

Mixed Garden: A land-use form on private lands outside the village, dominated by planted perennial crops, mostly trees, under which annual (seasonal) crops are cultivated. When spices are grown they are called 'spice gardens'.

Mixed Stand: A stand in which less than 80% of the trees in the main canopy are of a single species.

Mode: In statistics, the most frequently occurring value in a data set.

Mollis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): hairy, fuzzy.

Moniliform (Adj.): (L. monile, necklace; forma, shape) constricted laterally and appearing beadlike.

Monoclinous (Adj.): (Gr. monos, single, alone; kline, bed) having both stamens and pistils in the same flower.

Monocotyledon (Adj.): A seed plant having a single cotyledon or seed leaf in the embryo. It includes palms, lilies, and orchids. (monocotyledonous, adj.).

Monocotyledons (n.): (Gr. monos, single; kotyledon, cup-shaped hollow) a class of angiosperms having an embryo with only one cotyledon, part of the flower usually in threes, leaves with parallel veins, and scattered vascular bundles.

Monoecious (Adj.): (Gr. monos, single; oikos, house) a plant having unisexual male and female flowers on the same individual; said of a plant having unisexual flowers.

Monoecious: Having staminate and pistillate flowers in separate places on the same plant.

Monoecious: Having unisexual cones or flowers with female and male reproductive structures on the same plant.

Monophyletic : A set consisting of an ancestor and all of its descendants; usually used for groups the members of which share a more recent common ancestor with one another than with any non-members, though monophyletic groups of organisms within sexually reproducing species/populations may not have this property.

Monotypic (Adj.): (Gr. monos, only; typos, type) a plant of only one type.

Montane: The biogeographic zone of relatively moist cool upland slopes below timberline It is characterized by large evergreen trees as a dominant life form.

Moor (n.): (ME. mor, fr. OE mor; akin MD. moer, mire, swamp) chiefly British an extensive area of open rolling infertile land consisting of sand, rock, or peat usually covered with heather, bracken, coarse grass and sphagnum moss; a boggy area of wasteland usually dominated by grasses and sedges growing in a thick layer of peat.:

Morphology (n.): (G. morphologie, fr. Gr. morph(fr. morphe, form) + G. -logie, -logy, more at form) a branch of biology that deals with the form and structure of animals and plants, a study of the forms, relationships, metamorphoses, and phylogenetic development of organs apart from their functions.

Mountain Climate: Trees do not grow at high altitudes. Also see climate.

Muck: Highly decomposed organic material formed under conditions of waterlogging. It contains few recognizable remains of the original plants.

Mucro (n.): (L. mucro, sharp point) a stiff or sharp point abruptly terminating an organ; a small awn.

Multiple-Use Forestry: Any practice of forestry that fulfils two or more objectives of management, whether products, services or other benefits. Also called 'multipurpose forestry'.

Multipurpose Tree: A woody perennial that is purposefully grown to provide more than one significant contribution to the production or service functions (for example, shelter, shade, land sustainability) of the land-use system that it occupies. Also called 'agroforestry tree'.

Multistorey Cropping: Multispecies crop combinations involving both annuals and perennials with an existing stand of perennials. An association of tall perennials with shorter statured crop species.

Multistorey System: An agroforestry system, such as a homegarden, that has a number of plant components of differing stature so that several layers of canopy are formed. nitrogen-fixing plant A plant that can assimilate and fix the free nitrogen of the atmosphere with the aid of bacteria living in root nodules.

Muricate (Adj.): (L. muricatus, having sharp points) having a rough surface texture owing to small, sharp projections.

Mycelium: The mass of threadlike filaments constituting the vegetative body of a fungus.

Myriophyllus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with many leaves.

Back to Top


Nacro (Used in Bonsai – Latin): big, long, large.

Name : A word or words used to designate (refer to) an organism or a group of organisms. See acceptable name, accepted name, established name, replacement name, scientific name, taxon name.

Nanus, Nana (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dwarf, smaL.

Nascent: Being formed.

Native (Or Native Species): A plant native to a specific region. It evolved there and it grows there naturally. Compare with immigrant, indicator, and keystone species.

Natural Pruning (Self Pruning): The freeing of the stem of a standing tree of its branches by natural death, disintegration, or faL. Causes include decay, weakening by deficiency of light or water, or breakage by snow, ice, and wind.

Natural Resources (n.): The materials of the natural world that are used by humans (or other creatures). These resources include sunlight and rainfall; oxygen and other gases of the atmosphere; the minerals of the earth's rocks and sediments and soils; water of rainfall and river, fen, lake, and ocean; and both wild and domesticated creatures and plants.

Natural Selection (n.): A process in evolution. Those individuals (of a species) whose traits help them adapt to their specific environment tend to transmit those characteristics. Individuals that are less able to adapt tend to contribute fewer descendents, so that their maladaptive traits decrease or die out.

Naturalize (Vt.): (Fr. naturel, natural) to adapt to an environment not native; of foreign origin, but established and reproducing as though native.

Naturalized: A plant that is not native to an area, and that has colonized that area.

Nectar (n.): (L. nectar, nectar; Gr. nektar, the drink of the gods, from base of necros, dead, dead body, and tar-, who overcomes; hence, death overcoming; so named because the drink was held to confer immortality) the sweetish liquid in many flowers used by bees for the making of honey.

Nectary (n.): (Gr. nektar, nectar) a part of a flower that secretes nectar. pL. nectaries.

Needle: Long, slender leaf; as in Pinus.

Neomorphosis (n.): (Gr. neos, new; morphosis, change) regeneration in cases where the new part is unlike anything in the body.

Neoteny (n.): (Gr. neos, young; teinein, to extend, stretch) the retention of juvenile characteristics in the adult individual.

Nerifolius, Nerifolia, (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with narrow leaves.

Neutral Flower: said of a sterile flower composed of a perianth without any sexual organs.

New (Clade) Name : A newly proposed name that has been established in accordance with the rules of this code (see converted (clade) name).

Niche: Activity range of a species, determined by its needs and its size. In 1959, g. evelyn hutchinson (Homage to Santa Rosalia or why are there so many kinds of animals?) identified that species diversity is a function of (among other things) niche diversification, which lets communities stabilize in parts.

Niger (Used in Bonsai – Latin): black.

Nitrogen Cycle: Nitrogen's movement through soil, air, animals, and plants. 1. Some plants have root nodules that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobium). 2. Some soils contain free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Azotobacter) and cyanobacteria. 3. Excreta and decay products of plants and animals are broken into ammonium salts; bacteria oxidize these to make nitrites and then nitrates (in the presence of oxygen), and finally to return the nitrogen to the air.

Node (n.): (L. nodus, knob) a knob or joint of a stem from which leaves, roots, shoots, or flowers may arise. A node will contain one or more buds.

Node-Based Clade : A clade conceptualized in terms of a node (i.e., a clade encompassing all branches stemming from a particular node on a phylogenetic tree); a clade whose name is defined using a node-based definition.

Node-Based Definition : A definition that associates a name with a clade originating at a node (on a phylogenetic tree) representing the most recent common ancestor of specified descendant organisms and/or species (internal specifiers).

Nodose (Adj.): nodular, knotty.

Nodule: Nitrogen-fixing root swelling of characteristic shape and size for particular leguminous species that contain rhizobia. If the rhizobial strain is effective, atmospheric nitrogen can be fixed and is readily utilizable by the plant.

Nodulosa (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with small nodes.

Nomen Cladi Conversum : See converted (clade) name.

Nomen Cladi Novum : See new (clade) name.

Nomen Substitutum : Replacement name.

Nomenclature (n.): (L. nomen, name; calare, to call) the making and giving distinguishing names to all groups of plants.

Normal-Aged Forest: A forest composed of a series of age classes in proportions that permit sustained yield by felling under an appropriate system.

Nudifolia (Used in Bonsai – Latin): deciduous, naked of leaves.

Nursery Stock: Shrub or tree species grown in a plant nursery for planting out elsewhere.

Nut (n.): (ME. nute, note, fr. OE hnute; akin to OHG nuz, hnuz, nut) a hard-shelled dry fruit or seed having a more or less distinct separatable rind or shell and interior kernel or meat; a dry indehiscent one-seeded fruit with a woody pericarp developing from an inferior syncarpous ovary. A dry, indehiscent, one-seeded (usually) fruit enclosed in a hard case.

Nutlet: a small nut.

Back to Top


O Horizon (n.): The soil horizon above the A horizon.

Oblanceolate (Adj.): (L. ob, reversely; lancea, spear) shaped like a lance point reversed, that is, having the tapering point next to the leafstalk.

Oblique (Adj.): (L. obliquus, slanting) slanting; unequal-sided.

Oblong (Adj.): (L. oblongus, rather long) elliptical and from two to four times as long as broad.

Oblongatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): oblong, oval.

Obovate (Adj.): (L. ob, against; ovum, egg) inversely ovate; having the shape of the longitudinal section of an egg, with the broad end at the top, as some leaves.

Obovoid (Adj.): (L. ob, against; ovum, egg; Gr. eidos, shape) inversely ovoid; roughly egg-shaped, with narrow end downwards; said of some fruits.

Obsolete (Adj.): (L. obsolescere, to go out of use) rudimentary or not evident; applied to a structure that is almost suppressed; vestigial.

Obtuse (Adj.): (L. obtusus, blunt) with blunt or rounded end.

Ocean (n.): (ME. ocean; L. oceanus, fr. Gr. okeanos, the ocean) the great body of salt water that covers mores than two thirds of the surface of the earth; any of its five principal geographical divisions, the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antartic.

Ocrea (n.): (L. acrea, greave or legging) a tubelike covering around some stems, especially of plants of the Polygonaceae.

Odd-Pinnate: said of compound leaves having an odd number of leaflets, this is usually easily determined because there is a single terminal leaflet.

Officinalis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): medicinal.

Old Growth (n.): Old-growth or ancient forests are forest lands that have not been harvested or in any other way altered by people. Of the estimated 2 million acres of coast redwood forest shortly after the arrival of the Europeans, less than 4% are now uncut. An old-growth stand is usually well past the age of maturity as defined by the culmination of mean annual increment. It often exhibits characteristics of decadence. Example A Natural and Cultural History state that old-growth redwoods exceed 200 feet high and 40 inches in diameter. low growth rates, dead and dying trees, snags, and down woody materiaL. The stands usually contain large-diameter trees relative to species and site potential, multi-layered canopies, a range in tree-diameter sizes, and the presence of understory vegetation. Some documents specify a lower limit on size; for example Michael Barbour et aL. in Coast Redwood

Open Forest: A 'forest' where the canopy is not closed and a large proportion of the area does not carry trees.

Opposite (Adj.): (L. opponere, to oppose) said of leaves or bracts occurring two at a node on opposite sides of the stem. Said of flower parts when one part occurs in front of another.

Orbicular (Adj.): (L. orbis, circle) round or shield-shaped with petiole attached to center.

Order (n.): A taxonomic category ranking below a class and above a family.

Organic Farming: The production of crops from land that does not receive and has not received (for a stated period of time) any inorganic inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, and so on).

Organic Soils Layers (n.): L-layer--Freshly fallen or only slightly decomposed leaves, twigs, flowers, fruit, and bark lying on the soil surface. F-layer--Zone of active organic matter fermentation. H-layer--Humidified zone. The more or less stable fraction from the decomposed soil organic materiaL. Generally, it is amorphous, colloidal, and dark.

Organism (n.): An individual member of a species. A single biological entity.

Ornamental: Any tree or plant that is planted for its beauty. This does not mean that it has no other uses. For example, Chlorophora excelsa is often planted as an avenue tree along roadsides (in Uganda); its stately appearance in no way diminishes its usefulness for timber. Ornamentals with other uses in agroforestry are the Cassias and Senna spp.

Orthography : The spelling of a name.

Ovary (n.): (L. ovum, an egg) the enlarged hollow part of a pistil in angiosperms in which ovules are formed.

Ovate (Adj.): (L. ovum, an egg) having the shape of a longitudinal section of an egg; egg-shaped and attached by the broader end.

Overstorey: The portion of trees in a forest stand forming the upper crown cover.

Oviparous (Adj.): (L. ovum, an egg; parere, to produce) egg-laying; producing eggs which hatch after leaving the body of the female; germinating while still attached to the parent plant; for example, mangrove.

Ovoid (Adj.): (L. ovum, an egg) egg-shaped.

Ovule (n.): (L. ovum, an egg) a structure in seed plants which contains the megasporangium (nucellus), megaspore (embryo sac), a food store, and a coat, and develops into a seed after fertilization.

Back to Top


Palea (n.): (L. palea, chaff) the upper, and usually shorter and thinner, of two membranous bracts enclosing the flower in grasses.

Palm: Member of the Aracaceae (previously Palmae) family, containing over 200 genera and more than 2700 species, many of them economically important for food, fibre, canes, waxes, wood, thatch, and so forth.

Palmate (Adj.): (L. palma, palm) leaves divided into lobes arising from a common center.

Pandurate (Adj.): (L. pandura, a bandore) shaped somewhat like a violin, as some leaves.

Panicle (n.): (L. panicula, a tuft of plants) a branched racemose inflorescence often applied more widely to any branched inflorescence.

Paniculate (Adj.): panicled; arranged or growing in panicles.

Papilla (n.): (L. papilla, nipple) a glandular hair with one secreting cell above the epidermis level.

Papillose (Adj.): (L. papilla, nipple) descriptive of a surface beset with short, blunt, rounded, or cylindric projections.

Paraphyletic : A set including an ancestor but excluding some or all of its descendants.

Parasite: An organisms that lives on another (its host), from which it obtains food and shelter. As the parasite depends upon the host, it usually does not kill the host.

Parenchyma (n.): (Gr. para, besides; enchyma, infusion) plant tissue, generally soft and of thin-walled, relatively undifferentiated cells which may vary in structure and function.

Parenchyma (n.): Soft cell tissue of plants. Found in stem pith and in pulp of some fruits.

Parietal (Adj.): (L. paries, wall) when the placenta is attached to the wall of the ovary.

Parsimony, Principle Of (n.): If two answers exist to a problem or a question, and if, for one answer to be true, well-established laws of logic and science must be modified, ignored, or suspended, while for the other answer to be true no such sleight-of-hand is needed, then the simpler of the two answers (the second) is much more likely to be correct. (parsimonious, adj.).

Parviflorus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with small flowers.

Parvifolia (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with small leaves.

Patens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): spreading.

Pathogen: An organism or substance that causes disease. Includes parasitic microorganisms (bacteria, viruses), fungi, and larger parasitic plants and animals.

Peat (n.): (ME. pete, fr. ML. peta, perh. of Celt. origin; akin to W. peth, thing more at piece) a piece of turf cut for use as a fuel; a mass of partially carbonized plant tissue formed by partial decomposition in water of various plants and esp. of mosses of the genus Sphagnum, widely found in many parts of the world, varying in consistency from a turf to a slime used as a fertilizer, as stable litter, as a fuel, and for making charcoal.

Peat: Undecomposed or only slightly decomposed organic matter accumulated under conditions of excess moisture. Semi-carbonized remains of plants (such as moss, sedge, trees), some animal residues, and often some mineral soiL. Plant residues show little, if any, morphological change.

Pectinate (Adj.): (L. pecten, comb) comb-like.

Pedicel (n.): (L. pedicellus, foot) the stalk of a flower in an inflorescence.

Pedocals: Soils rich in calcium. Formed where water is scarce, so there is less leaching of salts from the soils.

Peduncle (n.): (L. pedunculus, small foot) the stalk of a flower borne singly or the stalk of an inflorescence.

Peltate (Adj.): (Gr. pelta, target) shield-shaped, leaves that are shaped like a shield and attached to the stem at the center or by some point distinctly within the margin, and having the petiole inserted into the undersurface of the lamina not far from the center.

Penicullate (Adj.): (L. penicillus, a pencil or small brush) having the form of a pencil.

Perennation (n.): (L. perennis, perennial) survival of a plant for a number of years. To live over from season to season.

Perennial (Adj.): (L. perennis, through; annus, a year) a plant that grows for 3 or more years and usually flowers each year.

Perfect Flower: a flower with both essential and accessory organs. A flower having both stamens and carpels; may or may not have a perianth.

Perfoliate (Adj.): (L. per, through; folium, a leaf) said of opposite or whorled leaves or bracts that are united into a collarlike structure around the stem that bears them.

Perianth (n.): (Gr. peri, around; anthos, flower) the outer whorl of floral leaves of a flower, when not clearly divided into calyx and corolla; collectively, the calyx and corolla, or either one if one is absent. A collective term for the floral envelopes, usually the combined calyx and corolla of a flower.

Pericarp (n.): (Gr. peri, around; karpos, fruit) the fruit wall which has developed from the ovary wall; sometimes used for any fruit covering.

Pericarp: The wall of a ripened ovary (fruit). It is homogeneous in some genera. In others it is composed of three distinct layers, exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp.

Perigynium (n.): (Gr. peri, around; gyne, female) fruit investing utricle of the sedges, Carex.

Perigynous (Adj.): (Gr. peri, around; gyne, female) growing in a ring around the pistil, as the stamens; having stamens, etc. growing in this way, said of a flower.

Permaculture: 'Permanent agriculture'. The design and maintenance of sustainable, ecologically favourable, energy efficient agricultural and horticultural systems. The concept includes not only agroforestry but the integration of organic farming principles and intermediate technology, the use of renewable resources and recycling, the exploitation of biodiversity, conservation and habitat protection,as well as social and institutional well-being. It can be applied to urban as well as rural environments.

Permafrost: Permanently frozen ground; generally refers to a layer at some depth below the soil surface. Persists over at least two consecutive winters and the intervening summer. A layer above it, which thaws in summer, is the active layer.

Persistent (Adj.): (L. persistere, to persist) remaining attached after the normal function has been completed.

Pest: In the general sense, an insect pest, fungal or viral pathogen, weed, or avian or mammalian pest (birds, rodents).

Pest: Any species that is considered obnoxious (usually with regard to its interference with human commercial and/or convenience interests).

Petal (n.): (Gr. petalon, leaf) any of the component parts, or leaves, of a corolla; the unit of structure of the corolla.

Petal: Part of the corolla; one of a circle of modified leaves surrounding the reproductive organs and usually brightly colored.

Petaloid (Adj.): (Gr. petalon, leaf; eidos, form) like a petal.

Petiolate (Adj.): (L. petiolus, small foot) growing on, or provided with, a petiole.

Petiole (Adj.): (L. petiolus, small foot) the slender stalk or stem of a leaf, also called a leaf stalk.

Ph: A numerical measure of the acidity, or hydrogen ion activity, of a soiL. The neutral point is pH 7.0. All pH values below 7.0 are acid and all above are alkaline. A change of one unit in pH value represents a tenfold change in hydrogen-ion concentration. pH represents the `intensity' of acidity, not the total exchangeable hydrogen or 'quantity' of potential acidity.

Phenotype (n.): (Gr. phainein, to appear; typos, image) the characters of an organism due to the interaction of genotype and environment, a group of individuals exhibiting the same phenotypic characters. The detectable expression of the interaction of genotype and environment constituting the visible characters of an organism. The plant as observed. The product of the interaction of the genes of an organism (the genotype) with the environment.

Phenotypic (Adj.): a set of characters arising from reaction to environmental stimulus.

Phloem (n.): (Gr. phloios, inner bark) the tissue involved in the transport of carbohydrates and food materials in a vascular plant, being composed of sieve elements, parenchyma cells and sometimes also of fibers and sclereids.

Phloem: The layer of cells that forms a pipeline to carry sugars and other food materials from the leaves (where they are produced) to the branches, roots, and the rest of the tree. The cells produced on the outside of the cambium become part of the phloem. Some of the phloem cells age and die each year, and they become part of the outer bark.

Photosynthesis: Chemical process in the cells of green plants, which form carbohydrates and atmospheric oxygen from carbon dioxide and water, through sunlight acting on chlorophyL. The chemical elements that are reorganized are carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.

Phyllode (n.): (Gr. phyllon, leaf; eidos, form) a winged petiole with flattened surfaces placed laterally to the stem and functioning as a leaf.

Phyllotaxy (n.): (L. phyllo-, and Gr. taxis, arrangement) the arrangement of the leaves on the stem. The three common positions are alternate, opposite, and verticillate.

Phylogenetic : Of or pertaining to the history of ancestry and descent.

Phylogenetic Definition : A statement explicitly linking a taxon name with a particular clade.

Phylogenetic System (Of Nomenclature) : An integrated set of principles and rules governing the naming of taxa and the application of taxon names that is based on the principle of common descent. This code describes a phylogenetic system of nomenclature.

Phylogeny (n.): (Gr. phyle, tribe; E. genesis) the racial history or evolutionary development of any plant or animal species.

Phylogeny: The history of the evolution of a species or group. The evolutionary development and history of a species or higher taxonomic grouping of organisms. Sometimes called a family tree.

Phylum: A division of plants and animals. It ranks below a kingdom and above a class. Its members are believed to have a common evolutionary ancestor. Also called subkingdom.

Pileus (n.): (L. pileus, cap) umbrella-shaped structure of mushrooms or toadstools.

Pilose (Adj.): (L. pilosus, hairy) hairy; pubescence comprised of scattered long, slender, soft hairs.

Pinna (n.): (L. pinna, feather) a leaflet or a primary division of a compound leaf. pL. pinnas or pinnae.

Pinnate (Adj.): (L. pinnatus, feathered) divided in a feathery manner; with lateral processes of a compound leaf, having leaflets on each side of an axis or midrib.

Pinnule (Also Pinule) (n.): (NL. pinnula, fr. L., small feather, small fin) a secondary pinna, one of the ultimate divisions of a bipinnate or twice-pinnate leaf.

Pinous (Used in Bonsai – Latin): line-like.

Pioneer: A species adapted to be a good invader of a newly exposed soil surface, where it persists until supplanted by successor species.

Pistil (n.): (L. pistillum, pestle) the unit of female function of a flower, may be comprised of a single carpel or two or more carpels united. Ovule-bearing organ of an angiosperm composed of ovary, style, and stigma.

Pistillate (n.): said of a flower bearing a pistil or pistils but not stamens, may refer also to a plant having only pistillate flowers.

Pith (n.): (AS. pitha, pith) the soft, spongy tissue, consisting of cellular tissue, in the center of certain plant stems.

Placenta (Adj.): (L. placenta, flat cake) the part of the ovary from which the ovules arise. It generally occupies the whole or a portion of an angle of a ceL.

Placentation (n.): the manner in which the placenta is arranged in the ovary.

Plano-Convex: flat on one side and convex on the other.

Plant (n.): (L. planta, plant) any of a kingdom (Plantae) of living beings typically lacking locomotive movement or obvious sensory organs, generally making its own food, possessing cell walls, and unlimited growth.

Plant Nursery: A specially prepared site for germinating seeds and looking after seedlings and young plants under conditions favourable for their growth and development. Facilities for vegetative propagation are also often present.

Plant Population: The number of plants per unit area. Sometimes referred to as 'plant density 'or 'planting density'.

Plantlet (n.): a little plant.

Plicate (Adj.): (L. plicatus, to fold) folded into plaits, usually lengthwise; arranged in pleats, as a fan.

Plumose (Adj.): (L. plumosus, feather) with hairlike branches, feathery.

Pocosin (n.): (Algonquian) a bog that has formed in a shallow, undrained depression, the surrounding land being somewhat elevated, the vegetation predominantly evergreen shrubs or small trees. Pocosins vary greatly in size.

Podocarpus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with stalked fruits.

Pollarding: Cutting back in more or less systematic fashion the crown of a tree but leaving a main trunk to 1.5 m or so, with the object of harvesting small wood and browse, of producing regrowth beyond the reach of animals or of reducing the shade cast by the crown.

Pollen (n.): (L. pollen, pollis, fine flour) the male or fertilizing element of seed plants, consisting of fine yellowish powder formed within the anther of the stamen.

Pollen: The male gametophyte. Minute, powdery grains produced by anthers and male cones of seed plants; collective term for pollen grains.

Pollination: Transfer of pollen from pollen sac to stigma or conelet.

Pollinium (n.): a mass of coherent pollen characteristic of orchids and milkweeds.

Polydactylus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with many fingers.

Polygamo-Dioecious: polygamous but chiefly dioecious.

Polygamo-Monoecious: polygamous but chiefly monoecious.

Polygamous (Adj.): (Gr. polys, much or many; gamos, marriage) having bisexual, pistillate, and staminate flowers on the same individual plant.

Polygamous: Plants bearing both perfect and imperfect flowers.

Polymorph: One of several forms of an organism.

Polymorphic (Adj.): (Gr. polys, many; morphe, shape) having, assuming, or occurring in various forms, characters, or styles.

Polypetalous (Adj.): (Gr. polys, many; petalon, a petal) with many separate petals.

Polyphyletic : A group that has multiple phylogenetic origins and thus excludes the most recent common ancestor of its members.

Pond (n.): (form of pound, enclosure) a body of standing water smaller than a lake, often artifically formed.

Population: A group of interbreeding individuals of the same species; they are separated but not isolated from other interbreeding groups of the same species.

Porphyreus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): purple.

Practice: In agroforestry, a particular use of land involving woody and non-woody plants in some spatial (simultaneous) or temporal (sequential) arrangement. For example, hedgerow, intercropping, homegardens, shifting cultivation. Sometimes referred to as an agroforestry 'technology'. An'agroforestry system' is a specific example of a practice.

Praecox (Used in Bonsai – Latin): very early.

Precedence : The order of preference among established names, used to select the accepted name from among them. In general, precedence is based on the date of establishment, with earlier-established names having precedence over later ones, but later-established names may be conserved over earlier ones.

Preexisting Codes : The codes of biological nomenclature that were in operation when the PhyloCode was drafted (1997-2000)—specifically, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria and the International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature.

Preexisting Name : A scientific name that, prior to its establishment under the PhyloCode, was either (a) "legitimate" (ICBN, BC), "potentially valid" (ICZN), or "valid" (ICVCN); or (b) in use but not governed by any code (e.g., zoological names ranked above the family group).

Prickle (n.): (ME. prikle, prikel, fr. OE. prickle, pricel; a kin to MD. prikel, prickle) a sharp pointed emergence arising from the epidermis or bark of a plant.

Primary Production: the quantity of new organic matter created by photosynthesis.

Procumbens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): procumbent, lying down.

Procumbent (Adj.): (L. pro, forward; cubare, to lie down) trailing or lying flat but not rooting.

Production (n.): (L. producere, to produce) the weight of new organic material formed over a period of time, plus any losses during that time period. Losses may be due to respiration, excretion, secretion, injury, death, or grazing.

Productivity (n.): amount of production over a given period of time. Expressed as a rate such as g/m2 per day, kg/ha per year, etc.

Proliferous (Adj.): (L. proles, prolis, offspring; ferre, to bear) bearing supplementary structures such as buds or flowers, either in an abnormal manner or in a manner that is normal but from adventitious tissue.

Propagate: To increase the number of a given plant type. Propagation can be by seed, root sucker, stool, stump, root, stem or leaf cutting, grafting, layering or by micropropagation.

Propagulum Or Propagule (n.): (L. propages, layer of a plant) a runner or sucker Used in the asexual propagation of plants. pL. propagula or propagules.

Prostrate (Adj.): (L. prostratus, pp. of prosternere, to lay flat) growing on the ground, trailing.

Protein: Any of the highly complex nitrogenous organic compounds. They are synthesized by plants and are a chief component of living matter.

Protogyny (n.): (Gr. proteros, fore; gyne, female) development of the female organs before the appearance of the corresponding male products.

Protologue : Everything associated with a name when it was first established (PhyloCode), validly published (ICBN, BC), or made available (ICZN), for example, description, diagnosis, phylogenetic definition, registration number, designation of type, illustrations, references, synonymy, geographical data, specimen citations, and discussion.

Provenance: The place in which any stand of trees is growing. The stand may be indigenous or non-indigenous.

Pruning :.

Pseudolamina (n.): (Gr. pseudes, false; L. lamina, plate) the extended apical portion of a phyllode.

Pseudovivipary (n.): (Gr. pseudes, false; L. vivus, alive; parere, to produce) a condition where vegetative propagules replace some or all of the normal sexual flowers in the inflorescence.

Pteridophyte (n.): (Gr. pteris, fern; phyton, plant) a major division of the plant kingdom, having clear alternation of generations with a dominant vascular sporophyte initially dependent upon the gametophyte which is very reduced.

Puberulent (Adj.): (L. pubes, adult) covered with fine, short, and nearly imperceptable down; minutely pubescent, the hairs soft, straight, erect, but scarcely visible to the unaided eye.

Pubescent (Adj.): (L. pubescere, to become mature) a general term for hairiness; covered with soft hair or down.

Pubescent: Covered with soft hairs.

Pumilus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): dwarf, smaL.

Punctate (Adj.): (L. puntcum, point) dotted; with depressed dots scattered over the surface.

Pustulate Hair (Adj.): (L. pustulare, to blister) hair with an enlarged base.

Pygmaeus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): pygmy.

Pyramidalis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): pyramidal.

Pyriform (Adj.): (L. pyrum or pirum, a pear) pear-shaped.

Back to Top


Qualifying Clause : A part of a phylogenetic definition that specifies conditions under which the defined name cannot be applied.

Back to Top


R Horizon (n.): The soil horizon below the C horizon.

Raceme (n.): (L. racemus, bunch) inflorescence having a common axis and stalked flowers in acropetel succession.

Racemose (Adj.): an inflorescence whose growing points continue to add to the inflorescence and in which there are no terminal flowers, and the branching is monopodial, as racemes, or spikes.

Rachilla (n.): (Gr. rhachis, spine) the zigzag center upon which the florets are arranged in the spikelet of grasses or in some sedges.

Rachis (n.): the central prolongation of the stalk (peduncle), the axis through an inflorescence, or of a leaf stalk (petiole), the axis through a compound leaf.

Radially (Adj.): (L. radius, a ray, a rod, a spoke) arranged or having parts arranged like rays developing uniformly around a central axis.

Radially Symmetrical: said of a flower or set of flower parts which can be cut through the center into equal and similar parts along two or more planes; actinomorphic.

Rain Forest (n.): The tropical rain forest is a girdle of evergreen forest that encircles the Earth between the tropics. Temperature needs to exceed 21ºC and not exceed 36ºC. Moisture of at least 150 cm is required, distributed evenly through the year. Species variety is unusually high more than 25 species of tree over 30 cm in diameter grow in a single hectare. Temperate forests have far fewer. Even in the rich temperate forests of USA's Appalachia, it is rare to find 12 in a similar area. The largest continuous rainforest is in tropical America, centered on the Amazon Basin. Not the same as jungle.

Rainforest: Generally, a forest that grows in a region of heavy annual precipitation. There are both tropical and temperate rainforests.

Ramet (n.): (L. ramus, branch) an individual member of a clone.

Randomization (n.): Randomization (in scientific experiments) provides data observations that are independently distributed, as required for the valid application of statistical methods. By random allocation of experimental units and the sequence in which trials are conducted (1) effects of extraneous factors are averaged out; (2) experimenter bias is removed. The use of controls can help varify randomization.

Rank-Based System (Of Nomenclature) : An integrated set of principles and rules governing the naming of taxa and the application of taxon names that is based on taxonomic ranks (e.g., kingdom, phylum, etc.). Also referred to as the "traditional system.".

Rare (Adj.): A species that is uncommon.

Rattan: A climbing palm (mainly Calamus spp and others in the lepidocaryoid line). Used for making baskets and furniture.

Receptacle (n.): (L. recipere, to receive) the more or less expanded apex of a floral axis which bears the floral parts. Recipe to make a desert, as Used in the USA in the 1920's to make the Dust Bowl, and summarized in Ecology by John Cloudsley-Thompson 1. Chop down the trees. 2. Plough dry, allowing much of the topsoil to blow away. 3. Sow fast-growing non-native grasses. Graze cattle. Soil can be compacted and reduced to desert in 15 years.

Reflexed: Turned or curved downward or backward.

Remote (Adj.): (L. remotus, to remove) separated from one another; separated by intervals or spaces greater than the ordinary.

Reniform (Adj.): (L. ren, kidney; forma, shape) having the form or shape of a kidney.

Repens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): creeping, low.

Repent (Adj.): (L. repens, crawling) said of a stem that is prostrate and rooting at the nodes.

Replacement Name : A new name explicitly substituted for a previously established name that is not acceptable because it is a later homonym. A replacement name is equivalent to a nomen substitutum in this code. (The term "replacement name" has been Used in a broader sense under the ICZN to include what the ICBN and this code refer to as a superfluous name and the ICZN refers to as an unnecessary substitute name.).

Resin: A thick, sticky liquid that comes out of certain trees and later becomes hard. Acacia senegal produces one of the more valuable resins ('gum arabic'), as do Boswellia and Combretum species.

Resin Canal: Ducts in bark or wood lined with resin-secreting cells, especially in conifers.

Reticulate (Adj.): (L. reticulatus, latticed) like network.

Reticulatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with a netted pattern.

Retinaculum (n.): (NL. fr. L. that which holds or binds, band, fr. retinere, to hold back, retain) the hook-like funicle of a seed of a plant of the family Acanthaceae; a band or band-like structure that holds an organ in place. pL. retinacula.

Retrorse (Adj.): (L. retrorsum, backward) having hairs or other processes turned toward the base.

Retuse (Adj.): (L. retuses, blunted) with a shallow, rounded notch at the apex.

Revolute (Adj.): (L. revolvere, to roll back) said of margins that are rolled backward (toward the abaxial side).

Rhizomatous Tuber: same as a corm.

Rhizome (n.): (Gr. rhiza, a root) a subterranean horizontal root-like stem sending out leaves and shoots from its upper surface and roots from its lower surface.

Rhombus (n.): (Gr. rhombos, object that can be turned) an outline like a rhomboid, a parallelogram with equal sides, having two oblique angles and two acute angles.

Ring-Barking: A method of killing trees by removing a ring (strip) of bark right down to, and including, the cambium. Usually done near the bottom of the trunk.

Riverine: A long permanent and semi-permanent stream. It creates a different environment because of the increase in soil moisture. This is termed a riverine environment.

Robustus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): strong, robust.

Rooster (Used in Bonsai – Latin):.

Root (n.): (AS. wyrt, root) the part of a plant, usually below the ground, that holds the plant in position, draws water and nutrients from the soil, stores food, and is typically non-green. Large subterranean structure of a plant that provides anchorage. Roots uptake most of the water and nutrients for the plant.

Root Hair (n.): Elongated cells, erect on the surface of a small rootlet, shortly behind the growing tip.

Root Pressure: pressure in the roots which, when the shoot is cut off, will cause liquid to secrete from the root stump; the mechanisms and tissues involved in this process are not clearly understood.

Root Tuber: swollen food-storing roots.

Rootlet (n.): a radicel; a little root or small branch of a root. Small side branch from a root.

Rootstock: same as a rhizome.

Roseaflorus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with rose-like flowers.

Roseate (Adj.): (L. roseus, rosy) rose-colored; rosy.

Rosette (n.): (Fr., Dim. of rose) a group of organs, such as leaves, clustered and crowned around a common point of attachment.

Rotate (Adj.): (L. rota, wheel) shaped like a wheel; radially spreading in one plane.

Rotundifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with round leaves.

Roundwood: Timber or fuelwood prepared in the round state, that is, from felled trees to material trimmed, barked and cross-cut. Logs, transmission poles, pit props and the like are 'round timber'; with fuelwood included, the term is 'roundwood'.

R-Selection (n.): Natural selection in situations that favor a high reproductive rate (r). This results in a species that survives by producing many young with minimal (or zero) individual resource investment by the parents; eggs or newborns are often abandoned. (r-selected, adj.) radicle (n.)

Rugose (Adj.): (L. ruga, a wrinkle) having or full of wrinkles; corrugated; ridged.

Rugulose (Adj.): same as rugose.

Runcinate (Adj.): (L. runcina, a plane) pinnatified, with the lobes convex before and straight behind, pointing backward, like the teeth of a saw, as in the dandelion leaf.

Runner (n.): (AS. rinnan, to run) a specialized stolon consisting of a prostrate stem rooting at the node and forming a new plant which eventually becomes detached from the parent plant as in a strawberry plant.

Back to Top


Saccate (Adj.): (L. saccus, bag) having the form of a sac; pouchlike.

Sagittate (Adj.): (L. sagitta, arrow) shaped like the head of an arrow with the basal lobes pointing downward.

Salverform (Adj.): (L. salvus, safe; forma, shape, figure, image) said of a corolla in which the tube is essentially cylindrical, the lobes abruptly spreading; a gamopetalous corolla.

Samara (n.): A dry, indehiscent, winged fruit, one-seeded (like Fraxinus and Ulmus) or two-seeded (like Acer).

Sap (n.): The juice of a tree or other plant. It transports the materials required for growth.

Sapling : 1. Begins with the end of the seedling stage and ends when trees reach 10 cm diameter at breast height (dbh), the crowns are well elevated, and usually many of the lower branches have died. 2. A loose term for a young tree no longer a seedling but not yet a pole, that is, a few metres high and 2–3 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh), growing vigorously and without dead bark or more than an occasional dead branch. 3. A young tree, large enough to be above goat height, but still immature and not producing fruit.

Sapling (n.): A tree more than 0.9 in (3 ft) in height and less than 10.2 cm (4 in) in d.b.h.

Saprophyte (n.): Plants that absorbs soluble organic nutrients from decomposing plant or animal matter. They live in the buttresses of trees or on the forest floor. They include bacteria, fungi, and orchids.

Saprophytic (Adj.): A decomposer that is a plant (or plant-like) and that absorbs soluble organic nutrients. Common examples are fungi.

Sapwood: The outer part of the wood of a trunk, in which the sap flows.

Sarmentose (Adj.): (L. sarmentosus, fr. sarmentum, twig; plus, -osus, -ose) producing slender prostrate branches or runners.

Savanna: A grassland with scattered trees, either as individuals or clumps. Often a transitional type between true grassland and forest. Sometimes spelled 'savannah'.

Savanna (n.): Lowland tropical and subtropical grassland, generally with a scattering of trees and/or shrubs. If woody growth is absent it is a grass savanna; with shrubs and no trees, a shrub savanna; with shrubs and widely irregularly scattered trees, a tree savanna.

Saw Timber: Trees of a size and quality suitable for sawing into timber. Begins at end of the 'pole' stage when height growth falls off and the period of maximum diameter growth begins. Terminates when trees become overmature and die or are cut.

Scabrid (Adj.): (L. scabridus, rough) slightly roughened.

Scabrous (Adj.): (L. scabrosus, rough) with small points or knobs, like a file; scaly, scabby, rough.

Scale: 1) A reduced, appressed leaf. 2) A woody appendage on a cone which bears ovules.

Scandens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): climbing.

Scandent (Adj.): (L. scandent-, scandens, pres. part. of scandere, to climb more at scan) climbing plant of a creeping or scandent nature.

Scape (n.): (L. scapus, the shaft of a pillar, the stalk of a plant) a stem growing from the crown of the root, bearing the blossom without leaves.

Scapose (Adj.): scape-bearing; scapigerous; consisting of a scape.

Scarious (Adj.): (L. scariousus, rough) tough, thin, dry, and semitransparent.

Schizocarp (n.): (Gr. schizein, to cleave; karpos, fruit) a dry fruit, as in the maple, that splits at maturity into two or more one seeded carpels which remain closed.

Scientific Name : A name that either is formed and governed by one of the codes of biological nomenclature or is of a similar Latinized form (e.g., zoological names ranked above the family group).

Sclerenchyma (n.): (Gr. skleros, hard; enchyma, an infusion) tissue of uniformly thick-walled, dead cells in the stem whose principal function is mechanicaL. The cells are usually grouped into fibers.

Scorpioid (Adj.): (Gr. skorpois, scorpion; eidon, form) resembling a scorpion; said of a circinnately coiled determinate inflorescence in which the flowers are two-ranked and borne alternately at the right and left.

Scrub: A vegetation type that is intermediate between forest, bushland and thicket. It implies a poorly productive area.

Secund (Adj.): (L. secundus, following) arranged or growing on one side only, as flowers or leaves on a stem.

Seed (n.): (AS. saed, seed) the part of a flowering plant that contains the embryo and will develop into a new plant if sown; a fertilized and mature ovule. A ripened ovule consisting of an embryo, food store, and protective coat.

Seed Orchard: A tree plantation established primarily for the production of seed of proven genetic quality.

Seed Tree (n.): The cutting method (in silvicultural) where all trees are removed except for a small number of seed bearers left singly or in small groups, maybe 10 per acre. The seed trees are generally harvested after regeneration is established. An even-age stand results.

Seedling: A young plant arising from a germinated seed. Trees progress to the sapling stage. A plant grown as a seedling may retain its taproot, unlike one propagated from a cutting, and hence has a differently structured root system.

Seedling (n.): A tree grown from seed that has not yet reached a height of 0.9 m (3 ft) or exceeded 5.1 cm (2 in) in d.b.h., which would qualify it as a sapling.

Semperflorens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): everblooming.

Sempervirens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): always green.

Sepal (n.): (Fr. sepale; L. separatus, separate; pelatum, petal) any of the leaf divisions of the calyx. When a calyx consists of but one part, it is said to be monosepalous; when of two parts, it is said to be disepalous; when of a variable and indefinite number of parts, it is said to be polysepalous; and when the parts are more or less united, it is said to be gamosepalous. One of the individual, modified leaves of a calyx and surrounding a plant's reproductive organs.

Septate (n.): (L. septatus, surrounded by a fence) having or divided by a septum or septa.

Septicidal (Adj.): (L. septum, division; caedere, to cut or divide) dividing through middle of ovary septa; dehiscing or breaking open at a natural dividing line.

Septum (n.): (L. septum, a partition) a partition separating two cavities or masses of tissue, as in fruits. pL. septa.

Sere (n.): A sequence of plant communities that successively follow one another in the same habitat from the pioneer stage to a mesic climax.

Serotinous: Remaining closed at maturity.

Serpens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): creeping.

Serpyllifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with thyme-like leaves.

Serrate (Adj.): (L. serrare, to saw) notched on edge like a saw; having sharp notches along the edge pointing toward the apex; as, a serrate leaf. When a serrate leaf has small serratures upon the large ones, it is said to be double serrate, as in the elm. A serrate-ciliate leaf is one having fine hairs, like eyelashes, on the serratures. A serrate-dentate leaf has the serratures toothed.

Serratus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with a saw tooth edge.

Sessile (Adj.): (L. sedere, to sit) sitting directly on base without support, stalk, pedicel, or peduncle; attached or stationary as opposed to free living or motile.

Sessile (Adj.): Without a stalk; sitting directly on its base.

Seta (n.): (L. seta, bristle) a bristle-like structure.

Setaceous (Adj.): (L. seta, a bristle) bristly; set with bristles; consisting or having bristles.

Shade-Bearing Tree: Tree species that will regenerate in shade so is often large seeded. Also known as 'climax species'.

Shade-Tolerance Classes (n.): Very intolerant, intolerant, intermediate, tolerant, very tolerant.

Sheath (n.): (AS. sceth, shell or pod) a protective covering; lower part of leaf enveloping stem or culm.

Shelterbelt: An extended windbreak of living trees and shrubs established and maintained for the protection of farmlands over an area larger than a single farm.

Shelterwood (n.): A silvicultural cutting method in which, in order to provide a source of seed and/or protection for regeneration, the old crop (the shelterwood) is removed in two or more successive shelterwood cuttings. An even-age stand results.

Shifting Cultivation: Found mainly in the tropics, especially in humid and sub humid regions. There are different kinds; for example, where a settlement is permanent, but certain fields are fallowed and cropped alternately ('rotational agriculture'). In others, whole settlements move and clear new land once the old is no longer productive. Also called 'swidden' (Old English for a 'burnt clearing'), used more to designate the social group, or 'slash-and-burn', so-called because of the operations undergone.

Shoot (n.): (ME. schoten, to shoot, dart) a young branch which shoots out from the main stock.

Short-Day Plant: a plant requiring less than 12 hours of daylight in order for flowering to occur.

Shrub : 1. A woody plant that remains low and produces shoots or trunks from the base; not treelike nor with a single bole. A descriptive term not subject to strict definition.2. A woody perennial plant differing from a perennial herb by its persistent and woody stem, and from a tree by its low stature and habit of branching from the base.

Silique (n.): (L. siliqua, a pod) the long, narrow pod of plants of the mustard family, Cruciferae, with valves which fall away from a frame bearing the seeds.

Silviculture: A branch of forestry that is concerned with the methods of raising and growing trees.

Silvopastoral System: Any agroforestry system that include trees or shrubs and pastures and animals.

Silvopisciculture: Growing trees as part of a fish-farming enterprise.

Sinuate (Adj.): (L. sinuare, to bend) having a wavy margin, as some leaves.

Sinus (n.): (L. a bent surface, a curve, a fold or hollow, bosom, a bay) the rounded depression between two consecutive lobes. as of a leaf. pL. sinuses, sinus.

Slash: In forestry, the vegetation (branches and other woody and leafy debris) left on the forest floor after trees have been felled or trimmed.

Slash-And-Burn System : 1. A kind of shifting cultivation in high rainfall areas where the cropping period is followed by a fallow period during which grass, herb, bush or tree growth occurs.2. A pattern of agriculture in which existing vegetation is cut, stacked and burned to provide space and nutrients for cropping; also called 'swidden' cultivation and shifting cultivation.

Slashing: In forestry, cutting back the less tough, competing vegetation, for example, ground cover like bracken. A form of clearing.

Slough (n.): (AS. sloh, a slough) a wet place of deep mud or mire; a sluggish channel; a swamp, bog, or marsh, especially one that is part of an inlet or backwater.

Smallholder: Usually a farmer who is relatively resource poor, who cultivates or keeps animals, or both, on only a small piece of land, sometimes only a small plot. These farmers may or may not have access to other common land.

Softwood: A term Used in the timber trade to describe the wood of most conifers (gymnosperms), as distinct from the hardwood, broadleaved species (angiosperms).

Spadix (n.): (L. spadix, a palm branch) a racemose inflorescence with elongated axis, sessile flowers, and an enveloping spathe; a succulent spike; a fleshy spike of flowers, usually enclosed in a spathe.

Spathaceous (Adj.): having a spathe, or having the nature of a spathe.

Spathe (n.): (Gr. spathe, flat blade) a large leaflike part or pair of such enclosing a flower cluster (especially a spadix).

Spatulate (Adj.): shaped like a spatula or spoon, gradually widening distally and with a rounded tip, as some leaves.

Species : A segment of a population-level lineage that is separate from other such lineage segments as indicated by one or more of various possible criteria (e.g., distinguishability, reproductive isolation, monophyly, etc.).

Species (n.): (L. species, particular kind) a group of interbreeding individuals, not interbreeding with another such group, being a taxonomic unit including two names in binomial nomenclature, the generic name and specific epithet, similar and related species being grouped into a genus. 1. Freely interbreeding population of organisms. The organisms in a species usually share a large number of characters. Their offspring are fertile. (Some species can interbreed, but their offspring are infertile.). 2. Generally the lowest level in a taxonomy. A category of animals or plants below a genus. Sometimes breed is specified below it, such as for cultivated plants.

Species Loss (n.): Our world loses about 1 species per day to extinction, of about 10 million species thought to exist. Concerning mammals and birds only, we lose about 1 species per year out of about 13,000.

Specifier : A species, specimen, or apomorphy cited in a phylogenetic definition of a name as a reference point that serves to specify the clade to which the name applies.

Spermatophyta (n.): (Gr. sperma, seed; phyton, plant) a major division of the plant kingdom, characterized by reproducing by seed and subdivided into the Gymnospermae and Angiospermae.

Spicate (Adj.): (L. spicatus, pp. of spicare, to furnish with spikes) having the form of a spike.

Spicule (n.): (L. spicula, a small spike) a small, slender, sharp-pointed piece, usually on a surface; a small spike of flowers.

Spike (n.): (L. spica, spike, ear of corn) a long flower cluster attached directly to the stalk.

Spikelet (n.): a small spike of a large one; a subdivision of a spike; as the spikelets of grasses.

Spine (n.): (ME, thorn, spinal column, fr. L. spinsa, thorn, spine, spinal column) a stiff sharp-pointed plant process as a modified leaf, leaf part, petiole, or stipule.

Spore (n.): (Gr. sporos, seed) any of various small reproductive bodies, often consisting of a single cell, produced by mosses, ferns, etc. asexually (asexual spore) or by the union of gametes (sexual spores); they are highly resistant and are capable of giving rise to a new adult individual, either immediately or after an interval of dormancy.

Sporophyte (n.): (Gr. sporo, a seed; phyton, plant) the diploid spore-producing phase in plants with alternation of generations.

Spur (n.): (AS. spura, spora, a spur) a slender, tubelike structure formed by an extension of one or more petals or sepals; also refers to a very short branch with closely spaced leaves.

S-Shaped Curve (n.): In population growth, a growth (for example, in population) with time, which culminates in a levelling off in numbers. Compare with J-shaped curve.

Stabilizing Selection (n.): Natural selection where species survive by maintaining existing characters. An individual that exhibits an extreme variation of any critical character is eliminated. The population narrows in the expression of adapted traits. Stabilizing selection maintains the existing state of adaptation. Compare with disruptive selection.

Stalk (n.): (probably from Dan. stilk; Sw. stjelk; IceL. stilker, a stalk) the stem or main axis of a plant, which supports the leaves, flowers, and fruit. Any lengthened support on which an organ grows, as the petiole of a leaf or the peduncle of a flower.

Stamen (n.): (L. stare, to stand) the male reproductive organs in flowers; it is situated immediately within the petals, and is composed, in most cases, of two parts, the filament, and the anther, which is filled with pollen. The pollen-bearing male organ of a flower.

Staminate (Adj.): producing or consisting of stamens; flowers with stamens but not pistils.

Staminodium (n.): (L. stamen, a thread, and Gr. eidos, form) a sterile stamen or an organ resembling one.

Stand: In forestry, a community of trees possessing sufficient uniformity of composition, constitution, age, spatial arrangement or condition to be distinguishable from adjacent communities, so forming a silvicultural or management entity.

Stand Density (n.): The degree of crowding of trees, expressed by various growing-space ratios such as crown-length to tree-height, crown-diameter to diameter-at-d.b.h.; or crown diameter to tree height.

Stand Structure (n.): The distribution of tree sizes and species on a forested area.

Standing Crop: weight or organic material that can be sampled or harvested at any one time from a given area, but may not necessarily include the entire plant. Usually refers to normal harvesting procedures, unless specified, for the particular plant under consideration.

Stellate (Adj.): (L. stella, star) starlike; said of hairs that branch in such a manner as to radiate from a central point.

Stem (n.): (AS. stemm, tree stem) main axis of a plant typically above the soil surface, having leaves or scales, and a characteristic arrangement of the vascular tissue.

Stem Tuber: swollen structures produced by stolons and runners which remain dormant during adverse conditions and later grow into new plants when the conditions become favorable for growth.

Stem-Based Clade : A clade conceptualized in terms of a branch or stem (i.e., a clade consisting of one entire branch stemming from a particular node on a phylogenetic tree); a clade whose name is defined using a stem-based definition.

Stem-Based Definition : A definition that associates a name with a clade originating with a stem (on a phylogenetic tree) representing the ancestral lineage of specified organisms and/or species (internal specifiers) after its divergence from the ancestral lineage of other specified organisms and/or species (external specifiers).

Stemflow (n.): Precipitation intercepted by vegetative cover. It runs down the stem or major axes of such cover.

Stem-Modified Node-Based Definition : A node-based definition that incorporates wording from stem-based definitions to include certain (usually extant) organisms as internal specifiers without explicitly naming them. Stem-modified node-based definitions can be used to associate names with crown clades when basal relationships within the crown are poorly understood or when the author intends to include in the named taxon subsequently discovered extant organisms that share a more recent common ancestor with the currently known members of the named taxon than with other currently known taxa.

Steppe (n.): Arid land with xerophilous vegetation found in regions of extreme temperature range and loess soil.

Stigma (n.): (Gr. stizein to prick) the upper tip or part of the pistil of a flower receiving the pollen. It is generally situated at the upper extremity of the style. The part of the pistil (usually the tip, often sticky) that receives the pollen and upon which the pollen germinates.

Stipe (n.): (L. stipes, stalk) the stalk-like basal part of an ovary, or of a fruit such as an achene; the stem bearing pileus in mushrooms and toadstools. A supporting stalk. Example the stalk of a pistil, a gill fungus, or the petiole of a fern leaf.

Stipel (n.): a small secondary stipule at the base of a leaflet.

Stipule (n.): (L. stipula, a stalk, a straw) one of two foliaceous or membranaceous processes developed at base of a leaf petiole, sometimes in tendril or spine form, sometimes fused.

Stolenifera (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with runners that root and send up.

Stolon (n.): (L. stole, stolonis, a twig, shoot) a stem which grows from a stem above the ground, taking root at the tip, and ultimately developing a new plant.

Stoma (n.): (NL. fr. Gr. mouth more at stomach) one of the minute openings in the epidermis of leaves, stems, and other plant organs through which gaseous interchange between the atmosphere and the intercellular spaces within these structures occur; the opening together with its associated guard cells and accessory cells. pL. stomata.

Stomata (n.): Tiny pores in the leaves and stems of plants.

Stramineus (Adj.): (L. stramen, straw) of or like straw; straw-colored.

Striated (Adj.): (L. striatus, grooved) marked by narrow lines or grooves, usually parallel.

Strictus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): erect.

Strigose (Adj.): (L. striga, a furrow) covered with stiff hairs; ridged; marked by small furrows; surface clothed with stiff, often appressed hairs, these usually pointing in one direction.

Style (n.): (Gr. stylos, pillar; L. stylus, pricker) slender upper part of pistil, supporting stigma. The stalk of a pistil which connects the stigma with the ovary.

Stylopodium (n.): (Gr. stylos, pillar; pous, foot) the fleshy support at the base of the style in flowers of the carrot family, Umbelliferae.

Subkingdom (n.): See phylum.

Submerge (Vt.): (L. submergere, to dip or plunge under) to sink or plunge beneath the surface of water.

Submersed Plants: plants growing with their root, stems, and leaves completely under the surface of the water.

Suborbicular : (L. sub, under, below; orbis, circle) approximately circular.

Subsistence Farming: Growing crops and, where appropriate, keeping animals so as to provide food (cereals, pulses, vegetable and fruits), shelter materials, and possibly other products (fibres, medicinals) for family use.

Subulate (Adj.): (L. subula, an awl) awl-shaped; slender and tapering gradually to a fine point.

Succulent (n.): (L. succus, juice) juicy; full of juice or sap.

Suffruticulose (Adj.): (L. sub, under, below; frutex, a shrub) moderately frutescent; obscurely shrubby; usually woody only basally.

Sulcate (Adj.): (L. sulcus, a furrow) furrowed, grooved; scored with deep, parallel furrows or grooves.

Superfluous Name : A name that was substituted for another name that was acceptable and should therefore have been used.

Suppressed (Adj.): Very slowly growing trees with crowns in the lower layer of the canopy and leading shoots not free. Such trees are subordinate to dominants, codominants, and intermediates in the crown canopy.

Suppressed Name : A name that would normally have precedence but does not, due to a decision by the Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature to give precedence to a later synonym or homonym.

Sustainable Development: The management and conservation of the natural base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change, in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. It conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically feasible and socially acceptable.

Sustainable Land Use: Land use that achieves production sufficient to meet the needs of present and future populations while conserving or enhancing the land resources on which that production depends.

Sustained Yield: In forestry, the annual volume of wood products that a forest can produce continuously under a given system.

Suture (n.): (L. suere, to sew) a seam formed when two parts unite; a seam or line or groove; usually applied to the line along which a fruit dehisces; any lengthwise groove that forms a junction between two parts.

Swale (n.): (Sw. sval, cool) a hollow or depression, especially one in wet, marshy ground.

Swamp (n.): (Sw. svampig, swampy) spongy land; low ground filled with water; a wooded area having surface water much of the time.

Sylvaticus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of the forest.

Sylvopastoral System: An agroforestry land-use system for the concurrent production of trees and animals that graze or browse or both.

Sympodial (Adj.): (Gr. syn, with; pous, foot) branching, growth of axillary shoots when apical budding has ceased. A branching growth pattern in which the main axis is formed by a series of successive secondary axes, each of which represents one fork of a dichotomy.

Synapomorphy : A shared, derived character state. In this code, a synapomorphy is a shared, derived character state inherited from a common ancestor that possessed that state; a shared, independently derived character state is not considered to be a synapomorphy in the sense the term is Used in this code.

Syncarp (n.): (Gr. syn, together; karpos, fruit) a multiple or aggregate fruit derived from numerous separate ovaries of a single flower; a collective unit, as a blackberry.

Synecology (n.): The study of ecological communities, or of a complete living community in its relationships with the environment. The study of entire plant and animal communities, including ecosystems. More complex than autoecology, because it involves far more variable factors. From Schroter (1800s).

Synonym : A name that is spelled differently than another name that refers to the same taxon. In the case of clade names, synonyms may be homodefinitional or heterodefinitional.

Syntepalous: flowers in which the tepals are fused.

Back to Top


Taenia (n.): (Gr. tainia, a ribbon or tape) formation of ribbon-like structure with little or no differentiation between the leaf blade and stem.

Taiga (n.): Far northern coniferous forest. In Siberia, Eurasia, and America. Extends to the northern limit of trees. Exists where the growing season is too short for deciduous trees. Relatively few species, compared to tropical or temperate forests. main types Mixed coniferous forest, dominated by spruce, fir, pine, and larch. Open taiga

 sparse forest of scattered trees.:

Tannins (n.): (L. tannum, oak bark) complex aromatic compounds some of which are glucosides, possibly giving protection or concerned with pigment formation.

Tap Root (n.): A single thick vertical root.

Taungya System: Method of raising forest trees in combination with (seasonal) agricultural crops. Used in the early stages of establishing a forest plantation. It not only provides some food but also can lessen the establishment costs.

Taxon : A taxonomic group of organisms. In this code, taxa may be clades or species, though the rules of this code apply only to clade names.

Taxon (N., PL. Taxa): (Gr. taxis, arrangement) a taxonomic category or unit, as a species or genus. 1. a group of organisms of any taxonomic rank, e.g., family, genus or species. 2. a group of organisms or other taxa sharing a single common ancestor.

Taxon Name : The word (or, in preexisting codes, words) used to designate a taxon.

Taxonomy (n.): (Gr. taxis, arrangement; nomos, law) a science that includes identification, nomenclature, and classification of objects, and is usually restricted to objects of biological origin; orderly classification of plants according to their presumed natural relationships forming a basic biological discipline involving during its Linnean period the firm establishment of binomial nomenclature and acceptance of the static concept of fixity of the species, during its Darwinion period the dynamic concept of speciation by natural selection, and during its modern Mendelian epoch an expansion to include study of the mechanisms underlying speciation and related processes. 1. the method of classifying things into groups. 2. in biology, the classification of living organisms into taxa.

Temperate Forest (n.): Three main types, all profoundly harvested and reduced by humans Temperate deciduous forest originally covered most of Europe, eastern North America, and parts of Asia, Japan, Australia, and South America. Moist temperate coniferous forest western North America (Alaska to California); also in the Mississippi delta. Humidity is high, often with considerable fog. Conifers dominate, especially redwoods and spruces. Broad-leaved evergreen forest. Found in central and southern Japan and in Florida. Moisture is high. Differences between winter and summer temperatures are less than in deciduous forests. Live oaks, magnolias, hollies, bays, and sabal palms are typical.

Tendril (n.): (O.Fr. tendrillon, tender sprig) a slender twining or clasping process, modified stem, leaf, or part of a leaf, by which some plants climb.

Tenuifolius (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with slender leaves.

Tepal (n.): (Fr. tepale, from petale) denoting a unit of the perianth when the sepals and petals are essentially alike and not readily differentiated.

Terete (Adj.): (L. teres, round, smooth) nearly cylindrical in cross-section, as stems.

Ternate (Adj.): (L. terni, three each) growing in groups of threes, as some leaves.

Terrace: A broad surface running along the contour. It can be a natural phenomenon or specially constructed to intercept runoff, thereby preventing erosion or conserving moisture. Terraces are sometimes built to provide adequate rooting depths for plants.

Terrestrial (Adj.): Living on land.

Testa (n.): (L. testa, shell) the hard outer covering or integument of seed.

Thalloid (Adj.): of or resembling a thallus.

Thallophyta (n.): pL. (Gr. thallos, a young shoot; phyton, a plant) a primary division of plants including all forms consisting of one cell and cell aggregates not clearly differentiated into root, stem, and leaf, including bacteria, algae, fungi, and lichens.

Thallus (n.): (Gr. thallos, a young shoot) a plant body that lacks differentiation into distinct forms of stems, leaves, roots, and does not grow from an apical point.

Therophytes (n.): (Gr. theros, summer; phyton, a plant) an annual plant that overwinters as a seed.

Thicket : 1. A number of trees or shrubs growing close together. 2. A closed stand of bushes and climbers between 3 and 7 metres taL.

Thinning: Removal of some of the plants from a crop, or immature trees from a forest, to improve growth of the remainder.

Thorn (n.): (ME., fr. OE.; akin to OHG. dorn, thorn, ON. thorn, Goth. thaurnus, thorn, Skt. trna, grass, blade of grass) a sharp rigid process on a plant; specif., a short, indurated, sharp-pointed, and leafless branch developed from a bud in a manner typical to a leafy branch.

Throat (n.): (Gr. drossel, the gullet) term applied to an expanded part of a corolla tube just below the lobes.

Throughfall (n.): All the precipitation reaching the forest floor minus the stemflow, i.e., canopy drip plus direct precipitation.

Thus Inhibiting Self-Fertilization. :.

Thyrseus (n.): (Gr. thyrsos, wand) a panicle-like inflorescence consisting of a slender indeterminate main axis with lateral axes determinate, i.e., cymose.

Tiller (n.): (OE. telgor, telgra, branch, twig, shoot) sprout, stalk, especially one from the base of a plant or from the axils of its lower leaves.

Timber: The wood product of a tree obtained by sawing and milling. Timber is a major product of forests.

Timber: The wood product of a tree obtained by sawing and milling. Timber is a major product of forests.

Tissue Culture: the use of specialized methods to mass produce plants starting with small amounts of plant tissue.

Tomentose (Adj.): (L. tomentum, down) densely covered with short, matted hair.

Tomentosus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): very wooly.

Top Soil: The surface layer of soiL. It is usually rich in nutrients from decaying plants and bacterial material.

Top-To-Root Ratio Or Root-To-Shoot Ratio: The relative weights or volumes of the epicotyl and the hypocotyl of a tree seedling, expressed as a ratio.

Total Clade : A clade composed of a crown clade and all species and/or organisms that share a more recent common ancestor with that crown clade than with any other mutually exclusive crown clade.

Tracheid (n.): Elongated and tapering woody plant cell, as in conifers. Conducts nutrients and supports the plant.

Tracheophyta (n.): (L. trachia, windpipe; and Gr. phyton, plant) a division of plants comprising green plants with a vascular system that contains tracheids or tracheary elements, being the Pteridophyta and Spermatophyta, commonly called vascular plants.

Transplant : 1. A plant that has undergone the process of transplanting, as differentiated from a seedling or cutting, which has not. In a forest nursery, seedlings are normally transplanted after one or two years in the seedbed so as to develop a better root system and a sturdier plant.2. To take a tree or plant from one location and plant it in another. Transplanting happens in many forms with seedlings in pots, with open-rooted seedlings, balled-root seedlings and with stumps.

Tree : 1. A woody plant that produces one main trunk or bole and a more or less distinct and elevated head.2. A woody plant having one well-defined stem and a more or less definitely formed crown and roots, usually attaining a height of at least 2½ metres.

Tree Ring: See also tree rings at Forests Of California. One of the concentric circles of wood laid down by trees as they grow. Temperature, rainfall, forest fires, disease, insect infestation and other environmental conditions alter the amount that a tree grows in a year. For a year of extra growth, the ring is thicker. For a challenging year, growth is slowed and the ring is thinner. Most of the cells generated by the cambium collect on the inside of the cambium as xylem. is lighter-colored part of the ring is called springwood or earlywood. In August and early September, the growth rate slows and eventually stops. As growth slows, the walls of the xylem cells become thicker and appear darker than the earlywood. This area of the annual ring is called summerwood or latewood. Together, the earlywood and latewood form one annual ring. In spring, most trees grow quickly; the xylem cells are large with thin walls; a lighter-colored layer of wood is generated, which is called springwood or earlywood. In late summer, growth slows; the walls of the xylem cells thicken; darker wood is generated, called summerwood or latewood. Together, the earlywood and latewood form one annual ring.

Tree: Using Little's definition quoted in Trees and Shrubs of California by John Stuart and John Sawyer, a tree is a woody plant with one erect perennial stem or trunk of at least 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter at breast height (4.5 feet or 1.3 meters). a fairly well defined crown of foliage. a height of at least 13 feet (4 meters). By contrast, shrubs are generally smaller with multiple stems.

Trichome (n.): (Gr. trichoma, a growth of hair) an outgrowth of the plant epidermis, either hairs or scales; a hair tuft; any hairlike outgrowth of the epidermis.

Tridens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): with three teeth or points.

Trigonal (Adj.): (Gr. trigonos, triangular) triangular in cross-section as applied to stems.

Trigonous (Adj.): trigonal; having three prominent longitudinal angles, as a style or ovary.

Trimerous (Adj.): (Gr. tria, three; meros, part) composed of three or multiples of three.

Triploid (n.): (Gr. triplus, triple) having or being a chromosome number three times the monoploid number.

Triquetrous (Adj.): (L. triquetrus, three-cornered) triangular; having a triangular cross section.

Tristichous (Adj.): (Gr. tria, three; stichos, row) arranged in three vertical rows.

Trophic Level: Each category of feeding, depending on the organism's mode of nutrition. From trophos (Greek for feeder).

Tropical Rain Forest: See rain forest.

Tropical Zone: Climate is hot. Depending on the locality, it is moist or dry. Vegetation predominantly evergreen.

Truncate (Adj.): (L. truncatus, cut off) terminating abruptly, as if tapering end were cut off; cut squarely across, either at the base or apex of an organ.

Trunk (n.): (OFr. trone; fr. L. truncus, a trunk, stock, stem) the main stem or body of a tree, considered apart from its roots and branches.

Tuber (n.): (L. tuber, a swelling or knob on plants) the short, thickened fleshy food-storing portion of an underground stem with many surface buds, generally shaped like a rounded protuberance.

Tubercle (n.): (L. tuberculum, a swelling) a small rounded protuberance; root swelling or nodule; bubil; a surficial nodule; a thickened, solid, spongy crown or cap, as on an achene; a small tuber or tuberlike growth.

Tuff (n.): A rock composed of the finer kinds of volcanic detritus, usually fused together by heat.

Tundra (n.): Treeless barrens. For a fascinating description of the life of the tundra, see E.C.Pielou's A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic Tundra is usually flat or undulating, covered with lichen, sedges and grasses, mosses, and low shrubs (dwarf willows and birches). Characteristic of (a) the Arctic and (b) high-altitude (alpine) regions outside the Arctic.

Turbinate (Adj.): (L. turbinatus, whirl, rotation) inversely conical; shaped like a cone resting on its apex.

Turion (n.): (L. turio, shoot) young scaly shoot budded off from underground stems, detachable winter bud used for perennation in many aquatic plants.

Twig (n.): (AS. twigge, twig) a small shoot or branch of a tree or other plant.

Type (= Nomenclatural Type) : In the preexisting codes, the specimen, specimens, or subordinate taxon to which a taxon name is permanently attached; the type provides the standard of reference that determines the application of a name.

Back to Top


Umbel (n.): (L. umbella, dim. of umbra shadel) an arrangement of flowers springing from a common center and forming a flat or rounded cluster. An inflorescence where several roughly equal flower stalks radiate from a common point at the top of a short axis. The appearance can be like an umbrella.

Umbellate (Adj.): bearing umbels; consisting of umbels; forming an umbel or umbels.

Umbo (n.): A blunt or rounded projection arising from a surface, as on a pine cone scale.

Umbo: Protuberance or swollen part of a cone scale.

Unconditionally Suppressed Name : A name that has been suppressed by the CPN in all phylogenetic contexts (see suppressed name); there are no conditions under which it would have precedence over any other name.

Underwood: A tree crop growing beneath the main canopy and forming a distinct lower storey. It is usually of coppice but can be of planted or naturally seeded trees.

Uneven-Aged (Adj.): A condition of forest or stand that contains intermingled trees that differ markedly in age. By convention, a minimum range is 10 to 20 years.

Unisexual (Adj.): (L. unus, one; sexus, sex) of one or other sex, staminate or pistillate only, but not both.

Urceolate (Adj.): (L. urceolus, a pitcher) shaped like a pitcher or urn.

Utricle (n.): (L. utriculus, a little bag or bottle) an air bladder of aquatic plants; membranous indehiscent 1-celled fruit.

Back to Top


Valvate (Adj.): (NL. valvatus, fr. L., having folding doors) meeting at the edges without overlapping; opening as if by doors or valves.

Variegatus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): variegated.

Variety (n.): (L. varietas, variety) a taxonomic group below the species Used in different senses by different specialists, including a race, stock, strain, breed, subspecies, geographical race, or mutant. A subdivision of a species, usually separated geographically from the typical, having one or more heritable, morphological characteristics which differ from the typical even when grown under the same environmental conditions; a morphological variant.

Vascular Bundle: a group of specialized cells consisting of xylem and phloem, sometimes separated by a strip of cambium and arranged in different patterns.

Vascular Cambium: lateral meristem that forms the secondary tissue and is located between the xylem and phloem.

Vascular Plant: Plants that contain specialize components that transport water and food materials from their source to the site they are used.

Vascular Tissue: Plant tissue that forms ducts through which sap is conveyed.

Vegetative: Not flowering. The stage of development when a plant is producing only roots, stems and leaves, that is, the vegetative organs.

Velamen (n.): (L. velamen, covering) a membrane; water-storing tissue in the outer layer of some roots.

Vernal (Adj.): (L. vernalis, of the spring) belonging to the spring; appearing or occurring in spring; of the spring season.

Verrucose: a (L. verrucosus, full of warts, warty) warty; having little warts or wartlike growth on the surface.

Verrucosus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): warty.

Versatile (Adj.): (L. versatillis, turning around) turning freely on its support, as an anther attached near the middle and capable of swinging freely on the filament.

Verticil (n.): (L. verticillus, whorl) an arrangement of leaves, flowers, inflorescences, or other structures which surround the stem in a circle upon the same plane about the same point on the axis.

Verticillate (Adj.): (L. verticillus, whorl) growing in a whorl or arranged on the same plane around an axis, as flowers, leaves, branches, etc.; arranged in verticils, whorled.

Vesicle (Adj.): (L. vesicula, bladder) any small bladderlike structure, cavity, sac, or cyst; a small bladderlike sac filled with air.

Vestiture (n.): (L. vestitus, grament) that which covers a surface, as hairs, scales, etc.

Village Forest Garden: Larger than the homegarden, less densely planted and not so well tended. Planted with higher trees and often containing spontaneous species of herbs or lianas. watershed 1. A physiographic unit in the landscape defined by the drainage dividers around the area drained by a particular body of water. If a lake, there is often one watershed with subunits for contributing streams. If a river, it may be defined for any point or aL.2. The whole surface drainage area that contributes water to a lake. The total area above a given point on a stream that contributes water to the flow at that point (syn 'drainage basin', 'catchment basin', 'river basin'). 3. The total area, regardless of size, above a given point on a waterway that contributes runoff water to the flow at that point. A major drain-area subdivision of a drainage basin on the basis of this concept.

Villous (n.): (L. villosus, hairy) pubescent; shaggy; covered with fine long hairs, but the hairs not matted.

Virens (Used in Bonsai – Latin): green.

Virginianus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): of Virginia, first defined in Virginia.

Viridis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): green.

Virus: Consists of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) inside a protein coat. Submicroscopic pathogenic agent.

Viscid (Adj.): (L. viscum, bird lime) thick, sirupy, and sticky, viscous; covered with a viscid substance as of leaves.

Viviparous (Adj.): (L. vivus, alive; parere, to produce) producing young alive rather than in eggs, as in most mammals; multiplying by vegetative means such as buds or bulbils in the position of flowers.

Vulgaris (Used in Bonsai – Latin): common, vulgar, ordinary.

Back to Top


Warm Temperate Climate (n.): No month below 6ºC. Usually Temperate forest on western and eastern margin. Steppe in continental regions. See also climate.

Warm Temperate Zone (n.): The difference between the summers and winters is clear. Nights are cooL. Vegetation chiefly evergreen.

Watershed (n.): The area that supplies water to a river and its tributaries or to a lake. Where the area is well vegetated, the ground cover slows the flow of rainwater over the surface, allowing the water to sink into the ground without causing erosion.

Weed (n.): A religious designation, often for a native plant in a garden of alien plants. A plant that thrives where humans do not want it. Often, it is a plant that colonizes disturbed areas vigorously.

Wet Weight: same as fresh weight; weight of plants after the outer surface covering of water has been removed. Wet weight is not a reliable measurement since methods to prepare plants prior to weighing vary considerably.

Wet Woodland: a wooded area having surface water some of the time, for intermittent short periods.

Whorl (n.): (AS. hweorfan, to turn) circle of flowers, parts of a flower, or leaves arising from one point; verticiL.  A circle of three or more structures radiating outward from the same node. For example, pines, spruces, and firs produce a terminal stem called the leader and a major whorl of lateral limbs at the base of the leader each year. A node is the place on the stem of the tree where these limbs in the whorl attach.

Whorled (Adj.): when three or more leaves are arranged at the same level on a stem, typical of such plants as hydrilla.

Wilding: A young seedling that develops in the wild without the help of humans. This type of seedling is the best source of stock for some species.

Windbreak: A group of trees or shrubs in any arrangement that will afford protection from high winds to animals or crops or both. When the arrangement is in a long line the group is called a shelterbelt. If an associated reason is also to harvest timber at some future date it is sometimes called a 'timberbelt'.

Wing (n.): A paper-thin flat margin that borders a seed capsule. Likewise, for such an edge of a stem or flower.

Winter Annual (n.): A plant whose seeds germinate in late summer and that flowers and fruits in the following spring and summer (compare summer annual).

Woodland: An open stand of trees > 8 metres high and with a canopy cover of 40% or more, usually among grasses. Woodland is often described by its dominant species, for example, 'Acacia woodland', 'Acacia-Themeda woodland', 'Combretum woodland'.

Woodlot: A small plot of trees grown for fuelwood, which can also provide small timber and poles.

Woody (Adj.): (ME. woddy, wody, fr. wode, wood + -y) of or containing wood or wood fibers; consisting mainly of hard lignified tissues.

Wooly (n.): Having soft, short hairs.

Back to Top


Xanthic (Adj.): Yellowish.

Xanthinus (Used in Bonsai – Latin): yellow.

Xeric (Adj.): (Gr. xeros, dry) characterized by a scanty supply of moisture, tolerating, or adapted to, arid conditions.

Xero- (Prefix): Dry.

Xerophyte (n.): A plant that is adapted to dry or and habitats.

Xerophytic (Adj.): Well adapted to dry or arid conditions, or to places where fresh water is scarce, or where water absorption is made difficult by an excess of dissolved salts.

Xylem (n.): (Gr. xylon, wood) Woody tissue of a plant. Xylem transports water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves. It is a complex vascular tissue in plants; comprises vessels (hollow receptacles) and/or tracheids usually together with wood fibers and parenchyma cells, functioning in conduction (and also in support and storage). Xylem cells account for most of the diameter growth in a tree each year.

Xylocarp (Adj.): A hard, woody fruit (for example, the coconut.

Back to Top


Yield: Plant part harvested and the quantity of it. In agriculture, necessarily related to a specified crop or crops or to a group of animals or to an area, and to a period of time. For multipurpose trees, the amount of each specified part harvested.

Yield (n.): (AS. glidan, to pay, restore, give up) standing crop expressed as a rate, i.e., g dry weight per meter square per day.

Back to Top


Zero-Grazing:span> A method of keeping animals that involves bringing fodder to them rather than letting the animals graze freely. It is commonly done where land is in short supply. Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is a common element in zero-grazing systems in East Africa, for example. Trees that can be lopped, like Leuceana leucocephala, provide an important addition to these systems. So too do trees like Acacia tortilis, which produces edible pods.

Zonalis (Used in Bonsai – Latin): banded.

Zonate: Colored or marked in zones or circular rings.

Zoophilous: Pollinated by animals.

Zygomorphic (Adj.): (Gr. zygon, yoke; morphe, shape) said of the corolla or calyx when divisible into equal halves in one plane only bilaterally symmetrical, with only one plane of symmetry.

Back To Top 

© All information in this glossary is © DownrightNatural. If you would like to link to this, please contact the Webmaster for permission.

Revised 04/17 

Your IP Address is:
Copyright © 2017 DownrightNatural. Designed by  |  Design by Fourth Floor Holdings, LLC
Free Sitemap Generator
Hunger Site #2