A BOTANICAL GLOSSARY

with particular emphasis on terms pertaining to the study of carnivorous plants

(rev 1.5 Part A)
Peter Cole - September 1996
Copy freely unaltered for non-commercial purposes.

Glossary Index.


abbreviate (adj)
shortened

abnormal (adj)
different in some manner from other specimens in the taxon

acerose (adj)
needle-shaped; narrower than subulate, tapering more gradually to a point

acetabuliform (adj)
concave, with slightly inturned border

acinaciform (adj)
scimitar-shaped

active trap (n)
a trap which is capable of some degree of movement to catch or detain its prey (see also passive trap)

acuminate (adj)
(of leaves) long and pointed; tapering gradually to a point

acuminose (adj)
rather less gradual than acuminate

acute (adj)
ending in a sharp point (usually of leaves); tapering without curvature to a point; forming an angle of less than 90 degrees

adventitious (adj)
not assimilated or yet established

affixed (adj)
of aquatic plants, rooted in soil but growing in open water

ala (n)
wing or keel (of a pitcher etc.)

Aldrovanda (g)
a montypic genus of aquatic plant having 'sprung' traps similar in form to those of Dionaea

ambit (n)
the outline of a shape or body

amplexicaul (adj)
clasping the stem, eg: sessile leaves that connect broadly around the stem

anatropous (adj)
turned back on itself

anceps (adj)
two-edged

androecium (n)
the stamens collectively

androgynous (adj)
with stamens and pistils in the same flower or inflorescence

angular (adj)
having projecting longitudinal angles; undulate, but sharply angled rather than gently rounded

angustate (adj)
attenuate; tapering smoothly and concavely to a point

anther (n)
the apical portion of the stamen containing pollen

apex (n)
tip, pointed end

apical (adj)
of the apex

a name="apiculate">apiculate (adj)
terminating abruptly in a hard point

appendage (n)
a projecting part of a structure

apressed (adj)
pressed closely to or lying flat against

aquatic (adj)
living in water either free-floating or affixed

arachnoid(eous) (adj)
covered with long hairs like a cobweb

aristate (adj)
of a leaf terminating in an abrupt point, being a projection of the midrib

articulate (adj)
having clearly distinguishable parts

ascidium (n)
the tubular trap formed by a pitcher; the opening of such a trap

asperous (adj)
rough to the touch

attenuate (adj)
narrowing gradually to a point

attenuated (adj)
diminishing in width

auricle (n)
an ear-shaped structure

auriculate (adj)
ear-shaped; with the leaf base composed of two rounded lobes

autogamous (adj)
capable of self-fertilisation

axil (n)
the angle between a leaf or branch and the stem or trunk it springs from

axillary (n)
in or produced from an axil

axis (n)
the central column of an inflorescence or other structure


(c) Peter Cole 1995

I originally wrote much of this file to help me understand many of the terms employed in Danser's Nepenthes monographs and Obermeyer's work on South African Drosera (both on the CP web site.) I have probably missed a few due to the sheer size of the works. If there any words you feel should be included or redefined (not necessarily from Danser or Obermeyer,) feel free to Email me at:

carnivor@flytrap.demon.co.uk