A BOTANICAL GLOSSARY

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

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

Glossary Index.

sagittate (adj)
in the shape of an arrow head; in the form of two pointed lobes directed bacwards

Sarracenia (g)
a genus of 8 species of pitcher plant distributed throughout the South and Eastern coastal regions of the US and North into East and Central Canada; Trumpet pitcher

scandent (adj)
climbing

scape (n)
a long flower stalk arising directly from the root

scapose (adj)
of a plant whose flowers are borne on scapes

scarious (adj)
having a dry membranous appearance

scrotiform (adj)
pouch-shaped; hollow, in the form of a sac

scutate (adj)
lenticulate, but with an elevated rim

scutelliform (adj)
as patelliform, but oval rather than round

scutellate (adj)
shield or saucer shaped

scutiform (adj)
lenticulate, but with an elevated rim

seed (n)
the sexually-produced embryo and associate protective and nutritive structures capable of developing into a plant

selliform (adj)
saddle-shaped

semilunate (adj)
tending towards the form of a crescent moon

semi-terete (adj)
flat on one side, terete on the other

sessile (adj)
attached directly - stalkless; immobile

sericeous (adj)
silky

serrated (adj)
furnished with straight-sided teeth

serrulate (adj)
minutely serrate

setaceous (adj)
having bristles

setiferous (adj)
setaceous

setigerous (adj)
setaceous

setose (adj)
bristly; terminating gradually in a fine sharp bristle

sinuate (adj)
lyrate, but with the lobes more equally sized

spathulate (adj)
spoon-shaped

species (n)
a taxonomic category of similar individuals capable of interbreeding to produce offspring classified within the same species

specific (adj)
pertaining to a species

sphagnum (n)
any moss of the genus Sphagnum, sometimes used as a growing medium

spheroid (adj)
spherical with slightly flattened ends

spiral (adj)
corkscrew-shaped

spur (n)
a usually slender hollow projection formed by the fused bases of the lower petals in some flowers notably of the genera Pinguicula and Utricularia; a short fruit-bearing stalk

stamen (n)
the male sexual organ supporting and incorporating the anther

staminate (adj)
of a male flower possessing stamens but not pistils

stellate (adj)
star-shaped

stem (n)
the main body or stalk of a plant

sterile (n)
incapable of engaging in the process of fertilisation

stigma (n)
the female organ that receives and is fertilised by pollen

stipe (n)
the stalk that supports the carpel

stipule (n)
a small modified leaf usually found at the base of a leaf

stolon (n)
a horizontal stem that takes root at points along its length to form new plants

stoma (n)
a leaf pore

stratification (n)
process of refrigerating sown seeds to imitate natural wintering as an aid to germination

strombuliform (adj)
shaped like Strombus - a twisted, conical seashell

style (n)
the narrow extension of the ovary supporting the stigma

subcordate (adj)
in the form of two slightly rounded lobes

subrotundate (adj)
less perfectly orbicular than rotundate

subspecies (n)
a taxonomic category applied to specimens which form a distinct group within a species, but are not different enough to be classed as a species in their own right.

subulate (adj)
awl-shaped; slender and tapering to a point

sulcate (adj)
grooved lengthwise


(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