A BOTANICAL GLOSSARY

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

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

Glossary Index.


calyx (n)
a protective structure around a flower formed by the sepals collectively

campanulate (adj)
bell-shaped; resembling flowers of the genus Campanula

campaniform (adj)
bell-shaped; resembling flowers of the genus Campanula

canaliculate (adj)
grooved or channelled longitudinally

capilliform (adj)
hair-shaped; finer than filiform

capitate (adj)
terminated by an enlarged and rounded head

carinate (adj)
having a keel; the midrib forming a keel

carpel (n)
collectively the stigma, style and ovary; the female reproductive parts of a flower

Catopsis (g)
a genus of bromeliads of which only one species has been found to be carnivorous

caudate (adj)
possessing or in the form of a spur;
extremely acuminate

caulescent (adj)
(usually of flowers) more or less stemmed; appearing to have a stem

cauline (adj)
of or belonging to the stem

cell (n)
the structural unit of an organism; a cavity

Cephalotus (g)
a monotypic genus of pitcher plant from SW Australia; the Albany Pitcher Plant

chasmogamous (adj)
requiring opening of the flower for pollination

chemonastic (adj)
regarding the chemically-induced movement of plant parts

cilium (n)
a small hair, often motile

ciliate (adj)
regarding or resembling the action of cilia

circinate (adj)
rolled into a coil with the apex at the centre

cirrhous (adj)
terminated by a tendril, being a projection of the midrib

claviform (adj)
club-shaped; tapering upwards from a narrow base

cleistogamous (adj)
capable of pollination without the flower opening; self-pollinating

clone (n)
a plant produced by asexual reproduction, eg: from cuttings.

clypeate (adj)
shield-shaped; almost the same as scutate

cochleate (adj)
shaped like a snail shell

column (n)
the plant structure that supports the lid of a pitcher

commissure (n)
point of joining

compressed (adj)
flattened longitudinally

congruent (adj)
structurally identical in form and size

conical (adj)
perfectly cone-shaped

connate (adj)
of plant parts congenitally united into a single structure

conoidal (adj)
imperfectly conical

cordate (adj)
heart-shaped; in the form of two rounded lobes

cordiform (adj)
heart-shaped; in the form of two rounded lobes

coriaceous (adj)
leathery

corniculate (adj)
horn-shaped (of an extremity)

corolla (n)
the innermost whorl of petals in a flower

corona (n)
a crown-like growth on the inside of the corolla

cotyledon (n)
an embryonic leaf within or newly emerged from a seed

cotyliform (adj)
rotate, but with an erect limb

crateriform (adj)
goblet-shaped

crenate (adj)
furnished with convex-sided teeth

crenulated (adj)
minutely crenate

crispate (adj)
curly, in the manner of parsley

cristate (adj)
in the form of a crest; irregularly notched

crustaceous (adj)
having a hard shell

cubical (adj)
forming a cube or appearing similar to a cube

cucullate (adj)
hooded

cuneate (adj)
wedge-shaped

cuneiform (adj)
wedge-shaped; in the form of a rounded isosceles triangle with the blunt end outermost

cupule (n)
a cup-shaped structure

cupuliform (adj)
cupola-shaped; shallowly concave with an entire, or nearly so, margin

curved (adj)
bent in the form of an arc

cuspidate (adj)
tapering evenly to a hard point

cylindrical (adj)
forming a nearly true cylinder

cyathiform (adj)
cup-shaped

cymbiform (adj)
boat-shaped; concave, tapering at each end and keeled

cyme (n)
an inflorescence in which the flowers open in order from the terminal point of the primary axis to those of the higher axial orders in turn

cymose (adj)
in the manner of a cyme


(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@bunyip.demon.co.uk