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Glossary of Terms

Acuminate: the shape of a tip or base of a leaf or perianth segment where the part tapers gradually

Alternate: leaves or buds which arise first on one side of the stem then on the other

Anther: part of the stamen that contains the pollen

Bract: a modified leaf below a flower

Bulb: a short underground stem with fleshy scales

Bulblets: tiny bulbs that appear round the "parent" bulb

Capsule: seed pod

Canaliculate: u-shaped in section

Endemic: native to a specific geographical area

Entire: without teeth, lobes or serrations

Falcate: sickle or scythe-shaped

Filament: that part of the stamen that supports the anther

Genus: a group of closely-related plants containing one or more species

Glabrous: smooth, hairless

Glaucous: non-shiney, dull, a greyish bloom on leaves

Inflorescence: the part of the plant bearing the flowers - the flower-head

Lanceolate: lance or spear shaped

Linear: very narrow with parallel sides

Nectary: the part of the flower that secretes nectar, generally situated at the base of the petal

Oblanceolate: lanceolate with the broadest pert nearest the top or tip

Obovate: egg-shaped, with broadest end at the top

Opposite: leaves or buds which are bourne in pairs along the stem

Oval: egg-shaped, with the broadest part in the middle

Ovary: the lowest or innermost part of the flower which becomes the seed

Ovate: egg-shaped, with the broadest end at the base

Papillose: bearing small projections

Pedicel: the stalk of an individual flower

Peduncle: the stalk of an inflorescence

Perianth: the sepals and petals (perianth segments) forming the showy part of the flower

Petal: the 3 inner perianth segments

Raceme: an unbranched inflorescence which bears flowers on stalks

Recurved: curved downwards or backwards

"Rice Grains": bulblets

Sepals: the 3 outer perianth segments

Serpentine: soil consisting of acid magnesium silicate

Sessile: stalkless

Species: plants which are genetically similar and which breed true to type from seed

Stamen: filament and anther together, the male part of the flower

Stigma: the top of the style which being sticky allows the pollen grains falling on it to adhere

Striate: marked with fine parallel lines or stripes

Style: the stalk which carries the stigma, together with the ovary forming the female part of the flower

Synonym: an alternative plant name

Tendril: a modified stem or leaf which can wind around a support

Tepals: the 6 perianth segments i.e. petals and sepals

Tessellation: chequered patterning

Trifid: in three parts

Umbel: an inflourescence in which all the flower stalks are of similar length and arise from the same point

Variety: a subdivision in a species, ranking below a subspecies

Versatile: describes an anther that is attached near the middle and turning freely on its support

Whorl: leaves, petals or branches arranged in a ring  


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