Here is the ultimate gardening terms glossary. Any time we use a need-to-know gardening term, you’ll find that term and its definition here.
- Aberrant -
Abnormal, unusual, or different from the accepted. I.e. an aberrant plant is one with structure or arrangements that are very different from those present in other plants.
- Abortive -
Not developed or stopped developing at a stage. An abortive organism stopped its process of development after some factors.
- Abrupt -
Meaning to change suddenly, not gradually. For example, the older leaves of a plant can become pale yellow all of a sudden.
- Acaulescent -
An acaulescent plant is one without stems. These plants have leaf petioles directly connected to the base connecting to the roots or a very short (i.e. slightly protruded) stem.
- Accessory buds -
Accessory buds are buds growing near an axillary bud. This means that plants with accessory buds have more than one bud in an axil.
- Accessory fruit -
These are fleshy fruits with other parts of the flower attached to that which was derived from the flower ovary. Most fruits are formed from the flower's ovary, but in accessory fruits, other parts of the flower are also combined with the flower ovary to form the fruit. Examples of accessory fruits are apples, strawberries, figs, etc.
- Accrescent -
Accrescent is used to describe the growth of the calyx in some plants after flowering. The calyx is the green-colored parts of a flower covering some parts of the flower sepals.
- Accumbent -
An accumbent seed is a seed with cotyledons that lay edge-ways against the radicle. For example, the seeds of beans have cotyledons (i.e. embryonic leaves) lying close to the radicle with their edges. The radicle is the embryonic roots.
- Achene (akene) -
An achene is a small and dry one-seeded fruit that is usually mistaken as a seed. An example is the strawberry fruit which people think is the seed. Achenes are dry and have a very small pericarp.
- Achlamydeous -
These are flowers that lack a calyx or corolla. This means that their petals are not covered with greenish parts.
- Acidic -
Any material such as compost, soil, fill dirt, fertilizer, water, etc with a pH less than 7.0. Acidity in materials is usually determined through chemical strip tests or other types of chemical tests. Soil or substrate over a pH of 7.0 in the plant and garden world is usually referred to as "Acidic soil".
- Acinaciform -
An acinaciform leaf is a leaf that is shaped like a scimitar. Such leaves broaden towards their point and are narrow in their base.
- Adnate -
Adnate refers to the unity between two organs or parts that grow together. For example, in flowers, stems and the corolla tube grow together, so they look like one.
- Adventitious buds -
These are buds that grow in unsual places. Instead of the shoot, they can grow in the stem, roots, leaves, etc. They are capable of asexual reproduction in plants.
- Adventive -
Adventive plants are plants that have not yet fully naturalized to their new environment. They may or may not have been introduced to a new place by humans.
- Aeration -
A technique consisting of loosening up compost, soil, dirt, or another medium to allow air to circulate. Often used when soil is compacted to the point that roots can no longer penetrate or between planting seasons.
- Aerator -
An aerator is a machine that gardeners use to poke holes into the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients enter the soil. Aerators help to loosen compacted soil and promote the growth of plant roots.
- Aerobic -
Organisms that respire only in the presence of oxygen. All plants, animals, protists, and fungi are aerobic. Most bacteria are aerobic. Aerobic organisms will suffocate and die without oxygen.
- Aestivation -
In simple terms, aestivation is the arrangement of the parts of a flower before the flower bud opens. Aestivation can also be called the prefoliation of flowers.
- Affinity -
The relationship or closeness of plants due to their similar organs and functions. For example, beans and peas have high affinity because they are both legumes with similar organs.
- Agglomerate -
Means to pile or heap into a dense cluster. That means to be crowded.
- Aggregate fruit -
An aggregate fruit is a fruit that develops from a flower with multiple ovaries. As the fuit grows, the ovaries join together and become one fruit. Examples of aggregate fruits are pineapple and blackberry.
- Albumen -
In simple terms, albumen is the starch and nutrients that surround the embryo of seeds. Immediately seeds germinate, they get nutrients and energy from the albumen before their root (radicle) collects nutrients from the soil or growing medium.
- Alburnum -
Albumum or sapwood is the wood of young trees.. The wood of young trees is not as strong as that of old trees.
- Alkaline -
Any material with a pH of more than 7 to 14. Alkaline materials can also be called basic. Any material with pH 7 is neutral, while pH less than 7 to 0 is acidic.
- Alternate -
In this leaf arrangement, leaves grow in the stem alone at their position. This means that you can only find one leaf at a particular height of the stem. If there are two or more leaves, it could be an opposite or whorl leaf arrangement.
- Alveolate -
Having multiple depressions and resembling a honeycomb. 'Alveolate' is used to describe items and surfaces with multiple holes or depressions.
- Ament -
Used to describe flowers with a thin long cluster of flower pollens. Such flowers do not have petals, but their pollen is exposed and may be pollinated by wind or insects. Plants with catkins are birch, willow, hickory, sweet chestnut, etc.
- Amentiferous -
Amentiferous plants are plants that possess aments or catkins. The flowers of such plants do not have petals, but long and clustered pollens usually pollinated by wind or insects.
- Amorphous -
Derived from two words; A (without) and Morph (Body or shape), 'amorphous' is used to describe materials or organisms that lack a clear structure or shape. They can appear in any form.
- Amphigean -
Amphigean plants are plants that can grow in (or can naturalize in) all the zones of the earth from the tropics to temperate regions. It is used to describe the destribution of plants.
- Amphitropous -
Used to describe the slight inversion of the ovule (housing the female germ) of flowers. An ovule is amphitropous if it is inverted by 90 degrees to develop a scar on the side. An example of an amphitropous ovule is that of a lemna.
- Ampullaceous -
Said of plants that have bottle-shaped or flask-like parts. It is common in some aquatic species of plants.
- Anaerobic -
Anaerobic organisms are organism (usually bacteria) that prefer an oxygen-free environment. Examples of anaerobic organisms are the bacteria found in the rumen of cows and goats. They cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.
- Analogous -
Having similar shape and function, but different origins. This means that two different species have similar organs but do not originate from the same line of evolution. For example, birds and insects have wings.
- Anastomosing -
A network of connection between two organs or within an organ. For example, plan leaves have veings that are arranged in a network.
- Anatropous -
Anatropous ovules (female cell-bearing parts of a flower) are ovules that are completely invereted so that the micropyle is facing downwards. The micropyle is also situated close to the scar or hilum.
- Androecium -
Androecium is a collection of stamens in a flower. A stamen is a flower organ that produces pollen, so the androecium is the colection of stamen producing parts of a flower.
- Androphore -
The stalk holding a flower's stamens. The flower stamen is an organ that produces pollen. The height of an androphore determines how the flower will be pollinated eg. wind-pollinated, insect pollinated, amongst others.
- Angiosperms -
This is a classification of plants that produce flowers and seeds in fruits (pericarp). Angiosperms are about 90% of the total number of plants in the world.
- Annual -
Annual plants are plants that complete their lifecycle in a year. Annual plants germinate, grow, flower, and produce fruits, and die within a year. Examples of annual plants are maize, tomatoes, etc.
- Annuals -
Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in one year (or less). An annual plant will germinate, grow, produce flowers, produce fruits, and die in one year. Examples of popular annuals are maize, peas, watermelons, etc.
- Anterior -
Anterior simply means front or front-side away from the axis. It could also mean the head (top) region.
- Anther -
Anther means a male plant (or part of a plant's flower). The anther houses pollen grains in a flower.
- Anther -
Anther can also be called the male part of the flower. The flower's anther is the part of the flower where the pollen is produced. Through pollination, the pollen grains are transferred to the female part, stigma.
- Antheriferous -
These are flowers that bear the anther (male) organ. These flowers possess pollen grains. They may (or may not) possess the female part of a flower.
- Anthesis -
Anthesis refers to the period in which a flower has opened and is functional. It could also refer to the process of a flower opening.
- Anthocarpous -
These are fruits that are made up of flower envelopes attached to the pericarp. Examples are pineapples and mulberries.
- Anthodium -
An anthodium is the capitulum or flowerhead of composite plants. It is usually referred to as the flower.
- Antical -
Another word for anterior. I.e. towards the axis.
- Apetalous -
Description of a flower without petals. Due t ogenetics or a defect, some flowers can have no petals.
- Apical -
Apical means 'at the top' or 'on top'. It could denote the apex.
- Apocarpous -
Apocaropous flowers are flowers with carpels that are distinct and do not join together. Examples are rose and lotus.
- Appendage -
An item attached to an organ. It may be a projection or just hanging on the organ.
- Appressed -
To press something to become flat. To press both ends to become close.
- Arachnoid -
Like a spider or arachnid. Could also describe the web-like appearance of some items like plant hairs.
- Areole -
Also called an areola, the areole is a little area in the body of a cactus bearing hair or spines. It could also generally refer to an angular space on any surface.
- Aril -
An aril is found on some seeds. It is an extra covering. It could be hairy or soft. The yew seed has an aril.
- Arillate -
Arillate' describes seeds with an aril (an extra covering). Am example of an arillate seed is the yew seed.
- Arillode -
An arillode is a false aril (extra seed covering). True arils arise from the funiculus, but arillodes arise from the micropyle.
- Armed -
An armed plant is a plant with a defensive coating such as spines, barbs, prickles, etc. Cacti are armed.
- Articulate -
Jointed or having joints. Could also be a region where seperation can naturally take place.
- Ascending -
Ascending' meaning rising up or growing upwards. Most woody plants grow by ascending.
- Asexual -
Asexual organisms are plants, animals, or microbes that reproduce without sexual reproduction. Asexual organisms can reproduce by other means of reproduction such as parthenogenesis, budding, binary fission, etc.
- Auricle -
An auricle is an ear-like appendage on the base of some leaves and flower petals. It is not found in every plant species.
- Awl-shaped -
This refers to objects that gradually tapper from their base to outer edges. They are sharp-pointed, just like arrows.
- Awn -
Awns are hair-like or bristle-like appendages on some plant's structures. For example, they can be found in the flower of most grasses.
- Axil -
The axil is the angle between a leaf's upper part and the stem from which it is growing from. It is usually found between the leaf petiole and stem.
- Axile -
Refers to appendages of the axis. Could also mean anything relating to the axis.
- Axillary -
Axillaries are buds in the axil of plants. Each axillary bud has the potential of growing a shoot.
- Axis -
The axis is the main line or stem of a plant. A floral axis is the part of a flower where reproductive organs are attached. 'Axis' is simply referred to as the 'main' part of a plant or plant organ.
- Baby Greens -
Baby greens are leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale that are harvested when they are young (usually three to four weeks old). Baby grens have milder taste than leaves harvested from older plants.
- Bacca -
A bacca is a pulpy berry with juicy and one or many seeds. It could also refer to the fruit of the açaí palm.
- Baccate -
A term used to describe berries. Such fruits have juices, are pulpy or fleshy. An example of a baccate fruit is the orange fruit.
- Banded -
Anything that is marked with strips of colors. Could have ribs of multiple colors.
- Barb -
A pointy appendage of bristle just like the whiskers of a catfish. Barbs can be used for sensing nearby objects or for defense.
- Barbulate -
A word used to describe 'fine beards'. This means that there is a presenc of beards, but they are short and fine in texture.
- Bark -
A bark is the outermost layer of the stem and root of woody plants. Such plants includ trees and shrubes. The bark peels tapidly from trees and is made of wood.
- Bark-grafting -
Bark-grafting refers to the process of grafting in which a plant scoin is attached to the rootstock of any desired variety. In essence, it does not refer to attaching the scoin to the rootstock of another kind of plant, so pear to pear, orange to otange, etc.
- Base -
A base is the lowest part of an organism or organ. The base can appear as though it is above, but it is the lowest part of an organ (i.e. upper organ). A base can also represent the root crown of trees.
- Basifixed -
Basifixed refers to any organ attached to another organ by its base. For example, ovules are fixed by their bases.
- Basin -
In many fruits, the basin is the lower depression. A popular example of a fruit with a basin is the apple fruit.
- Basinerved -
Basinerved refers to leaves and petals with nerves that start from the base. That is, the veins of the leaf or petal arise from the base.
- Bast -
The bast is the soft and innermost part of the phloem (inner stem) of the plant. It is a fiber that can be used to make paper and other materials. It is mostly found in woody trees and hardens as it widens.
- Beak -
Popularly known as the protrusions in the mouth of birds, beaks can also be found on fruits and carpels. In fruits and carpels, any prolongation is called a beak.
- Beard -
A beard is bristle-like hair. It can be long or short.
- Beneficial Insect -
A beneficial insect is any insect gardeners introduce into their gardens to control pests or pollinate plants. Insects such as butterflies, bees are used to pollinate plants while wasps and ladybugs are used to control some pests.
- Berry -
Any fruit that can be eaten whole. Berries are pulpy fruits that are formed from a single pistil. Berries can contain one or multiple seeds. An example of a berry is the orange fruit.
- Bi- or Bis- -
Bi or Bis prefix meaning two. They originate from Latin.
- Biauriculate -
Biauriculate means having two ear-like parts. It could also be used in mammals to refer to having two auricles.
- Bicallose -
Refers to parts having two hard parts (or callosities). An example is the lip of an orchid flower.
- Bicrural -
Having two legs. Could also mean having two elongations that resemble legs.
- Biennial -
A plant that completes its entire life cycle in two years, growing in the first year and reproducing and dying in the second.
- Biennial -
Biennial plants are plants that complete their lifecycle in two years. Biennal plants germinate, grow flowers, or produce fruits, and die within two years.
- Biennials -
Biennial plants complete their life cycle in two years (or less). Biennial plants germinate, grow, produce flowers, produce fruits, and die within two years. Examples of biennial plants are cabbages and onions.
- Bifarious -
Simple means to be arranged in two rows. Could also refer to plants with parts arranged in two rows on any side of the central axis.
- Bifid -
Refers to a region divided into two parts by a deep groove or notch. Some leaves are bifid.
- Bifoliolate -
A bifoliolate plant is a plant with leaves having two leaflets. For example, the hemp plant has such leaf with leaflets.
- Biforate -
Having two perforations or pores. Could also refer to having two openings.
- Bigener -
These are hybrid plants with parents from different genera. Any offspring of parents from different species (but the same genus) is not bigener.
- Bilabiate -
Having two lips or lip-like parts. Examples is the flower of various mint plants.
- Bilamellate -
Having two plates or lamellae. An example of a bilamellate part is the stigma of Mimulus.
- Bilobed -
An organ or part with two lobes. Some anthers are bilobed.
- Bilocular -
A bilocular structure is any structure divided into two chambers or having two cells. An example is an ovary.
- Biodegradable -
Biodegradable materials are materials that can break down naturally. With the help of decomposers such as fungi, bacteria, and some protists, organic materials can break down into simpler elements.
- Biological Pest Control -
Using living organisms to prevent pests from a garden. Herbs such as mint and lavender can repel some garden pests. Wall geckos, ladybugs, etc are animals that repel some garden pests. Biological pest control is simply introducing beneficial organisms into the garden to prevent/repel pests
- Bipartite -
Consisting of two parts separated very close to the base. Both parts look as though they are not connected.
- Bipinnate -
Having leaflets divided into a pinnate arrangement. Twice pinnate.
- Bipinnatifid -
When pinnatifid parts are cut pinnately. The primary divisions are pinnae and the secondary ones are pinnules.
- Biplicate -
Having being folded twice. I.e. twice-folded.
- Biseptate -
With two partitions or septa. Twice-divided.
- Biserial -
Consisting of two series of rows. Having two sets.
- Biserrate -
These are structures that have double serrates. I.e. the serratures serrate.
- Bisexual -
Refers to plants with multiple sexes. The flowers of such plants have pistils and stamens.
- Biternate -
Having leaflets or other parts that are divided into a ternate arrangement. Twice-ternate.
- Bivalvular -
Having two valves. The two valves are usually connected at the base. For example, clams.
- Bivittate -
A structure with two longitudinal stripes. Could also refer to having two oil tubes or vittae.
- Bladdery -
Inflated and puffy but empty. Could also refer to a structure looking like the bladder of an animal (i.e. being swollen).
- Blade -
Blade refers to the expanded parts of leaves and petals. It consists of the mesophyll and there is a network of veins present in it.
- Blanching -
A cooking process that involves the brief soaking of vegetables in boiling water, and transferring them into cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanching helps store vegetables with retained quality for a longer time.
- Bole -
Bole is another word for the trunk. As in the stem of a woody tree.
- Bolt -
A bolt is a plant that produced flowers prematurely. Plants can quickly produce flowers (i.e. before they are ready for harvest) when they are stressed. They bolt to quickly reproduce.
- Bolting - To flower and produce seed prematurely.
- Bolting -
Premature production of a flowering stem to produce seeds. When plants are stressed (before they are ready to be harvested), they may produce premature flowering stems so as to reproduce quickly. Bolting makes vegetables less tasty and more difficult to chew. Examples of plants that bolt are beets, lettuce, and kale.
- Bone Meal -
Bone meal is bone finely ground into powder used as a source of calcium and phosphorus. Bone meal can be composted or applied directly in the garden. This organic fertilizer releases nutrients to plants slowly.
- Boss -
A projection in a flat surface. Bosses are used to bind surfaces together.
- Bottom-heat -
Bottom-heat refers to a condition whereby the roots of plants are exposed to temperatures higher than the upper parts of a plant such as the leaves and stem. This can be due to soil warming up and other reaons.
- Brachiate -
Briachates are parts of branches that always grow towards the right angle. They can be placed alternatively.
- Brachys -
Brachys' is a greek prefix that denotes 'Short'. For example, Brachpodus means short foot.
- Bract -
A very small leaf. Examples are the little leaves surrounding flowers.
- Bracteal -
Anything relating to bracts. Bracts are scale-like miniature leaves that can be found arund petals and other parts of a plant.
- Bracteole -
Bracteoles are small bracts on the floral axis. Bracts are small scale-like leaves around fower petals and other plant parts.
- Bractlet -
Breaking refers to the intial phase of the growth of buds. Buds start their growth by breaking.
- Breaking -
When buds start to grow at a point, it is called breaking. It can be delayed after pruning.
- Bristly -
A structure that bears bristles or strong hairs. Could also mean having a prickly surface.
- Bud -
Buds are undeveloped or embryonic shoots that grow near the axils of leaves. In some plants, buds can be used for vegetative propagation. Buds can grow into new plants.
- Budding -
Budding is a process of combining two or more plants so that they appear as though they are the same. It involves collecting the bud of one plant and merging it with the shoot of another plant.
- Bulb -
A plant bulb is the modified stem of some plants. The bulb is globe-shaped and made up of fleshy scales. An example of a bulb is an onion.
- Bulbel -
Refers to a bulb resting on another bulb. That is a bulb growing from another bulb (which can be called the mother bulb).
- Bulbiferous -
Bulbiferous plants are plants that bear or can produce bulbs. An example is an onion.
- Bulblet -
Bulblets are aerial bulbs or bulbs visible above the ground. For example, the flower cluster or leaf axil are bulblets.
- Bulbo-tuber -
Bulbo-tuber is a corm. A corm is the tuber-like root of certain plants just like elephant ears.
- Bulbous -
A bulbous structure is any structure that looks like and has certain characteristics of a bulb. That is, bulb-like.
- Bullate -
A puckered or blistered surface. An example of a bullate surface is the leaf of savoy cabbage.
- Burpless Cucumbers -
Burpless Cucumbers are cucumber varieties that do not produce (or produce little quantity of) cucurbitacin. Cucurbitacin makes the skin of cucumbers bitter and may cause ingestion for some people. Without cucurbitacin, burpless cucumbers are sweeter than other varieties.
- Bursicle -
A pouch-like receptacle. Receptacles are vegetative tissues near the end of a reproductive stem.
- Bush -
A plant without a distinct trunk, short, and has a lot of leaves (i.e. thick shrub). An example of a bush is bush tomatoes.
- Caducous -
Describes an organ that sheds or falls off at an early stage. For example, the sepals of some plants fall early.
- Calcarate -
Spurred; a spurred structure.
- Calcariform -
A structure that has the shape of a calcar. It is spurred.
- Calceolate -
Having the form of a shoe or slipper. For example, the labellum of many orchids.
- Calcitic Limestone -
This type of limestone quickly adjusts the pH of the soil in which it is applied. Calcitic limestone also has calcium, so it is beneficial to plants and mushrooms that grow in the media.
- Callosity -
Callosity is a thickened or hardened part of a structure. These parts can be thick because of friction.
- Callus -
A very hard protuberance or prominence in a cutting. Could also be on an injured part.
- Calycine -
A calyx or calyx-like structure; having some characteristics of a calyx.
- Calyculate -
A structure that resembles bears a part resembling a calyx. Known for bearing bracts underneath the calyx.
- Calyptra -
The cap or hood of the capsule of mosses. Could also mean a hood or lid in other structures.
- Calyptriform -
Resembling a hood or cap. Hood-formed.
- Calyx -
The calyx is the collection of a plant's sepals. In simple terms, the calyx is the outer circle or whorl of a flower.
- Cambium -
The cambium is a tissue that produces undifferentiated cells for plant growth. It increases the diameter of plant stems. The cambium is found between the phloem and xylem.
- Campanulate -
Bell-shaped structure. Usually refers to bell-shaped flowers.
- Campylotropous -
An ovule or seed is turned so that the apex and base are together. Plants with campylotropous ovules are in the families Leguminosae, Cruciferae, etc.
- Canaliculate -
Grooved length-wise. These are leaves with thin parallel channels.
- Canescent -
Whitish or greyish in color. Could refer to leaves with whitish-greyish color/spots.
- Cap -
Cap' refers to the removable covering of any part of a plant just like a capsule. For example, cohering petals that fall off are caps.
- Capillary -
A network of veins that permits the flow of liquids without any external form as in osmosis. 'Capillary' itself refers to the vein or slender passage.
- Capitate -
Having a distinct head. Could also mean to be densely clustered to form an organ resembling a head.
- Capitulum -
Refers to the head. Could also mean a cluster of sessile flowers.
- Capsular -
Resembling a capsule. Capsule-like.
- Capsule -
Refers to the pod covering the fruits of some plant species just like peanuts. When mature, it becomes dry and opens, exposing the seeds for dispersal and germination.
- Carinate -
Having a keel-like ridge. Possessing a projected longitudinal line on the lower surface.
- Carpel -
A carpel is the female reproductive unit or organ of a flower. Carpels usually consist of a stigma, ovary, and sometimes a style.
- Carpophore -
The axis in flowers that raises the pistils above the stamens. It is the stalk of the fruit that will form after pollination.
- Cartilaginous -
Having a structure made of cartilage. Hard like parchment.
- Caruncle -
A horny protrusion near the hilum of seeds that are formed from integuments. It is a growth near the hilum of the seed.
- Caryopsis -
A simple dry fruit resembling achene, but having a pericarp that is fused with a thin skin. For example, maize.
- Cataphyll -
A developing leaf at its initial stage. The slightly grown protrusion that becomes a leaf is called cataphyll.
- Catkin -
A slim and long flower-clustered spike with inconspicuous or no petals. The cluster of flowers is usually unisexual and is pollinated by wind or insects. Examples of plants with catkins are willows and poplars.
- Caudex -
Caudex' means stem or trunk, but it is used to refer to the rootstock or base of the stem. It is also used to refer to the stem of palm trees.
- Caudicle -
Literally means little stem. Also means the slim stem-like appendage of the pollen-masses of orchid flowers.
- Caulescent -
Description of a plant with a well-developed stem above the ground. Plants without stems are called acaulescent plants.
- Caulicle -
The caulicle is the stem of an embryo. The embryonic stem or stemlet.
- Cauline -
Related to or pertaining to the stem of a plant. For example, cauline leaves are leaves that grow directly on the stem.
- Cavity -
Cavity refers to the depression or sloping on the bottom part of apples and other similar fruits. It is used to classify some fruits.
- Cell -
The basic unit of life. All living things are cells or are made of cells. 'Cell' could also mean 'compartments'.
- Cellular -
Pertaining, related, or consisting of living cells. All living things are either cells or are made of cells.
- Centrifugal -
Towards the edge; away from the middle.
- Centripetal -
Towards the meddle; away from the edge.
- Centrum -
Centrum means the central part of any structure. In plants, it refers to the large air-space center in hollow stems.
- Cephalanthium -
Cephalanthium is the old name of the anthodium flowerhead.
- Cephalium -
In cacti, the cephalium is the wool/bristle-like end of the stem that bears fruits and flowers. Usually found in condensed cacti. The cephalium is brightly colored.
- Cernuous -
Drooping or inclining; nodding.
- Cespitose -
Cespitose plants are plants that grow in small clusters of tufts. These clusters are usually dense.
- Chaeta -
A stiff bristle that is made of chitin. It is usually found in earthworms.
- Chaff -
A dry scale protecting the seeds of grains such as wheat and other dry fruits. It is usually made of cellulose (dietary fiber).
- Champain -
A large area of open countryside that is level or with mild undulation. Simply an open countryside.
- Channeled -
Has a very deep groove; grooved lengthwise.
- Chartaceous -
Paper-like; dry, thin, and having paper-like characteristics.
- Chelation -
Chelation is the process of binding organic matter such as humus with metal micronutrients such as manganese and iron to help keep the metals mobile in soil and available to the root of plants. With this process, mobile organic matter that can bind with metals (needed by plant as micronutrients) can be used as fertilizer.
- Chlorosis -
In simple terms, chlorosis is the yellowing of leaves (from their natural green coloration) due to a reduction of chlorophyll in the leaves. This can be caused by lack of some nutrients, plant disease, or other factors.
- Chrysos -
Chrysos is of Greek origin. It is attached to words to signify a golden or yellow color. For example, chrysolite.
- Ciliate -
Possessing cilia or hairs. Having hairs on the margin.
- Ciliolate -
A minute cilite structure. Having short cilia or hairs at the margin.
- Cinereous -
Something with ash color; slightly gray in color.
- Cinnamomeus -
Having the color of cinnamon. Brightly colored like cinnamon.
- Cion -
Alternative spelling of scion. The branch or bud used in grafting.
- Circinate -
A structure that is curved inwards from the outer edges. Growing fern fronds are circinate.
- Circumscissile -
Opening along a transverse circular line, as a seed vessel; valve opening as a lid.
- Cirrhiferous -
A plant that possesses a tendril. Cirrhiferous plants have curly stems that hold the plant to support. Most climbing plants are Cirrhiferous.
- Cirrhiform -
Resembling a tendril. Tendrils are curly stems used by climbing plants to support themselves.
- Cirrhus / Cirrus -
Tendril; curly stem used to support plants that climb.
- Cladophyllum -
A flat branch that looks like a leaf. Such branches are present in trees such as acacias and asparagus.
- Clados -
Clados' is a term added to other words to form a compound word representing 'branch'; The branch of a plant.
- Clasping -
When leaves partly or wholly surround a stem; leaves embracing the stem with their base (i.e. no petiole).
- Clavate -
Clavate means a club-like structure. Clavate structures become broader towards their edge.
- Claw -
Claws are long and thin petiole-like bases of some flower petals and sepals. These Claws attach the petals or sepals to the flower stem.
- Cleistogamous flowers -
Cleistogamous flowers are closed flowers that can carry out self-pollination. These flowers do not open and contain both anthers and stigmas (i.e. they are bisexual).
- Close fertilization -
Close fertilization is a process in which a flower is pollinated by its own pollen grains. Such flowers are bisexual and possess both anthers and stigmas.
- Clove -
Cloves are compartments or sections of bulbs. For example, the bulb of garlic is actually a composite bulk that can be shared into smaller parts. Each close can grow a separate plant.
- Clypeate -
Shaped like a shield. A structure has the form of a round buckler.
- Coalescence -
The joining of different organs or structures to form a larger mass. The union of similar organs. For example, petals are united with other petals.
- Coarctate -
Compressed or crowded together; Arranged or pressed closely together.
- Coccus -
The singular form of a berry (plural: cocci). Coccus is a greek word meaning berry but is mostly used as a means to classify spherical bacteria.
- Cochleariform -
Having the shape of a spoon; a Slender body with a round/oval head.
- Coherent -
Two or more similar structures join to form a unified whole; Joined together.
- Cohesion -
The process in which two or more organs/structures join to become a united whole; Joining together.
- Cold Climates -
These climates (usually USDA zones 9 and cooler) have an average temperature of above 10 degrees celsius in warm months and -3 degrees celsius in cold months. In cooler months, they permit just a limited number of plants unless a greenhouse is used.
- Cold Frame -
Cold frames are frames usually made of wood, covered with glass or transparent plastic. Just like greenhouses, cold frames are used to protect seedlings from excessive cold temperatures and rainfall.
- Collateral -
A structure or organism is collateral to another structure or organism when they are arranged side by side. Collateral is simply standing on the side of another structure or organism. Mostly used to describe the arrangement of plants.
- Column -
A vertical body formed by the union of pistils and stamens (in orchids). Could also refer to that of the union of stamens in mallows.
- Commissure -
The joint where two structures meet; the region where two structures or organs join. For example, the face where carpels join others.
- Comose -
Bearing a coma; crowned with leaves, branches, or bracts. For example, pineapples are comose.
- Companion Planting -
Companion planting is the practice of planting different kinds of plants (that benefit each other) together. Some plants that naturally repel pests or attracts pollinators are planted near vegetables.
- Complete flower -
A complete flower is a flower with every organ present in it. The four major parts of a flower are petals, sepals, pistils, and stamens.
- Complete leaf -
Complete leaves are leaves with every leaf part such as the blade, petiole, and stipules. When the leaf does not have a distinct petiole or other leaf parts, it is not a complete leaf.
- Complicate -
A leaf with leaflets attached (or closely separate) from it. Compound leaves as found in citrus trees can have one leaflet.
- Compost -
An organic matter made from decomposed plant materials. Compost is often made from decomposing shredded leaves, hay, fruits, and other plant materials at a ratio of 25 part dry brown materials to 1 part fresh green materials.
- Compound -
Compound refers to two or more similar structures in an organ. For example, compound leaves have multiple leaflets.
- Compound leaf -
A compound leaf is any leaf with two or more leaflets. An example of a plant with compound leaves is the orange plant.
- Compound pistil -
A pistil in which two or more carpels are united. Examples of plants with compound pistils are mustard and lily.
- Compressed -
Flattened laterally. Pushed or pressed to be deflated.
- Conchiform -
Resembling a shell; Shell-like. For example, the valves of clams.
- Conduplicate -
Folded lengthwise in the middle. Most leaves and petals are conduplicate.
- Cone -
A mass of scales and bracts usually ovate in shape and houses the spores of gymnosperms. Plants with such cones do not produce flowers but usually reproduce by spores (present in the cones).
- Confluent -
Becoming a single structure or organ. A structure made by the blending of other structures.
- Conformed -
Having similar form with something else. Similar in form and characteristics with a related structure or organ.
- Congested -
Densely crowded. Different bodies, structures, or organs growing in a region densely.
- Conglobate -
To gather or compressed into a round mass; Densely packed together to become ball or globe-like.
- Conglomerate -
Describing a unit or structure that consists of many different parts brought together. For example, the Earth is a conglomerate of so many organisms.
- Coniferous -
Coniferous plants are plants that produce cones (made of scales or bracts that house spores). Most gymnosperms are coniferous. In simple terms, coniferous plants are cone-bearing.
- Connate -
"Connate" simply refers to the unity of different tissues, organs, or structures to form a single part. These separate structures are usually similar in appearance and characteristics.
- Connective -
A filament that connects two or more cells in an anther; Filament or tissue connecting multiple cells.
- Connivent -
Coming together; touching without getting fused. For example, many petals are connivent.
- Conoidal -
Almost cone-like in shape; Approximately conical. Resembling a cone.
- Convolute -
Longitudinally rolled upon itself. One edge overlaps the next edge while the previous edge was overlapped by another edge. For example, the leaves in a bud.
- Cordate -
Shaped like a heart. For example, some leaves are triangular and look like a heart.
- Cork -
"Cork" refers to the outermost layer of the cork tree (Quercus suber) which is native to the Mediterranean region. The cork is a non-living part made of old bark.
- Corm -
The bulb or tuber-like root of certain plants such as Elephant ears. Like bulbs, corms are round and have bases but do not have layers. Corms have the appearance of tubers but have multiple heads for new plant growth.
- Cormel -
Cormels are corms that grew from a mother corm. Corms are tuber and bulb-like roots of certain plants such as elephant ears.
- Cormlet -
Cormlets are simply aerial corms. They are corms visible above the soil (i.e. without digging the soil to reveal them). Corms are roots of plants such as Elephant ears.
- Cormous -
A cormous plant is a plant with corms. For example, the Elephant's ear is cormous. "Cormous" could also describe structures that resemble a corm.
- Corneous -
Horny; made of a corn-like substance. A corneous substance is hard and dense in texture, just like horns.
- Corniculate -
Bearing a horn-like protrusion. Resembling a horn.
- Corolla -
Corollas are the inner circle of a flower. They include the petals, lobes, and teeth.
- Corona -
Meaning crown. Round or protruded like a crown. It also refers to any appendage between the plant stamen and petals.
- Coroniform -
Formed like a crown; Crown-like.
- Corticate -
A tree having a hard bark or rind. Examples of such trees are lemons, oranges, and some other citrus trees.
- Corymb -
Corymb is the botanical form of inflorescence. The older flowers have stalks, so they appear at the same level as new ones that have short stalks.
- Corymbose inflorescence -
Corymbose inflorescence is a condition in which the outer flowers open first. The outer flowers are usually older and have longer stalks than the inner flowers.
- Costa -
Rib-like parts of plants or animals. For example, the middle rib of leaves (that appears thicker than veins).
- Costate -
Meaning to be rib-like; Ribbed.
- Cotyledon -
Meaning seed-leaf. Cotyledons are the embryonic leaves of a plant in a seed. When a plant germinates, the first leaves to emerge are the cotyledons. If a plant usually germinates with just one leaf, the plant is a monocot. Plants are dicots if they germinate with two seed leaves.
- Cover Crop -
These are fast-growing crops such as cereals, grains, and legumes that people plant for various reasons and remove them or turn them into the soil before they produce seeds. Some uses of cover crops are soil nutrient-retention, prevention of erosion, breakage of the lifecycle of some pests, etc.
- Cover Crop -
Cover crops are plants that farmers and gardeners grow to amend soil or prevent soil erosion. Cover crops may include grass, legumes, cereals, etc. Before they produce seeds, cover crops are usually tilled into the soil. Cover crops are also called green manure.
- Crateriform -
Having the shape of a saucer or cup. Having a depression inside.
- Creeper -
These are vine plants that grow close to the ground. They do not have a strong stem but have vines to creep. For example, Virginia creeper.
- Crenate -
Describing structures with scalloped edged or toothed edges. For example, crenate leaf.
- Crenulate -
It has toothed edges just like crenate structures, but its edges are slightly finer than that of crenate structures.
- Crested -
Having an elevated ridge; Irregular or toothed ridge. A crested succulent is a succulent with so many growths in one point resulting from an injury can.
- Cribrose -
Perforated just like a sieve. Having so many apertures.
- Crop -
In simple terms, crops are plants that are cultivated for food, money, or other uses. Crops can be vegetables or plants grown for their flowers. Any plant that people cultivate to harvest is a crop. The harvested unit (fruit, flower, etc.) may also be called crop.
- Crop -
Crops are plants cultivated by humans for specific purposes. Crops can be made for food, medicine, flower, etc. Examples of crops are wheat, tomato, cabbage, etc.
- Crop Rotation -
Crop rotation is the practice of sowing a different crop in a land after the growing season of another crop. With crop rotation, soil nutrients can be replenished, pest life cycle will be broken, and you will have diverse harvests over the years,
- Croppage -
The process of producing or cultivating crops. This process includes planting the seeds, watering and caring for the plants, and harvesting their produce.
- Cross -
Cross or crossing is the process of pollinating flowers with pollen from flowers of other breeds. Some flowers such as most pear and apple breeds must be cross-pollinated before they can produce fruits. Cross can also refer to the offspring of cross-pollination.
- Cross-fertilization -
Cross-fertilization is the process in which two separate sexes reproduce. This means that such organisms reproduce by fusing their sex gametes with the sex gametes of the other gender.
- Cross-pollination -
Cross-pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower. A cross-pollination is a form of cross-fertilization.
- Crown -
Crown refers to the base of the stem just at the zone between the stem and roots. Crown can also refer to a part of rhizomes with large buds used for propagation.
- Cruciate -
Cross-shaped; Two objects intersecting each other to form a cross-shape.
- Crustaceous -
Hardbody like the shell of crabs and other crustaceans; Hard or bristle body.
- Cryptogam -
Cryptogams are plants that do not reproduce by flowers or seeds. They reproduce by spores. Examples of such plants are moss, seaweed, ferns, etc.
- Cryptos -
"Cryptos" is added to other words to form a compound word meaning of something is concealed. For example, cryptogram.
- Culm -
Culm is the stem of grasses, sages, and other plants. It is not as firm as other stems.
- Cultivar -
Cultivars are crop varieties that are bred for a specific feature. Some cultivars have no seeds, some taste better than other varieties.Cultivars are usually grown in a controlled environment.
- Cuneate -
Triangular or wedge-like. The narrow end is the point of attachment. For example, the petals of a flower.
- Cupular -
Having the shape of a cup. For example, acorns.
- Cuticle -
The outermost layer of leaves. It covers the thin layer covering the leaf epidermis.
- Cutting -
Cutting is a vegetative processes of growing a new plant from the cut part of an older plant. Cutting could also mean the organ of the plant (stem, rhizome, root, etc.) that was cut from an older plant. This process is vegetative (asexual), so it produces a plant quite similar to its parent.
- Cutting -
A part of a plant cut from a mother plant used to grow a new plant. For example, you can cut the stem of the rhizome of mint to grow new mint.
- Cyathiform -
Meaning cup-shaped. Shaped like a cup. For example, acorn.
- Cymbiform -
Meaning boat-shaped; Shaped like a boat.
- Cyme -
Cymes are flat-topped inflorescence in which the innermost (oldest) flower blooms first. Cymes are determinate flower clusters.
- Cymose inflorescence -
A cluster of flowers in which the one in the middle blooms first. A determinate inflorescence.
- Cypsela -
Cypselas are dry single-seeded fruits formed from double ovaries in which only one develops into a seed. Common in the Daisy family. "Cypsela" is an old term referring to composite fruits.
- Damping Off -
Damping-off is the weakening or decay of germinated seeds or seedlings. Damping-off is mostly caused by bacteria and fungal diseases in the soil. It could also be as a result of overwatering.
- Days To Emerge -
Days to emerge counts the average number of days it takes a seedling to emerge from below the soil. Some plants germinate quickly, but take a while to emerge out. Days to emerge counts the number of days it takes a plant to emerge of out the soil.
- Days To Harvest -
The average number of days it will take a gardener to harvest their produce from sowing. With the estimated number of days to harvest, you can guess when you will harvest your crops.
- Deadheading -
To extend the bloom period of ornamental plants, gardeners can sometimes cut away the fading flowers. Cutting away the fading flowers, or deadheading, encourages the plant to produce more flowers. Deadheading also stops the plant from producing fruits or seeds.
- Deciduous -
Refers to plants that lose their leaves during the fall or winter. Plants that do not lose their leaves are called evergreen.
- Decompound -
Having more than one compound. Also means to break down into multiple compounds.
- Decumbent -
These are plants that lay on the ground, but with their end growing upwards. These plants do not have a strong stem to support their upward movement, so they fall back and lay on the ground.
- Decurrent -
Leaves extending down the stem below the attachment point. Could also mean shrubs with some (roughly) equal branches.
- Decussate -
Meaning to intersect each other to form an "X". Usually four leaves alternating in pairs up the stem at a right angle.
- Deep Shade -
Deep shaded plants are plants that should be shaded from direct sunlight. Most of these plants grow under decks, trees with large canopies, northern parts of walls, etc.
- Definite -
Referred to plants with a known number of fruits and months to live. Also, the number of fruits is usually below 20.
- Deflexed -
Curving downwards or backwards. For example, deflexed leaves or petals.
- Defoliation -
When leaves fall. To shed leaves.
- Dehiscence -
The process of the splitting or opening of a plant structure (usually due to weakness) to expose its content. For example, matured fruits open to reveal the seeds.
- Deliquescent -
Deliquescent trees are trees that lose their stem to branches. As the stem grows, it divides into more branches until there is not more leader. Common in deciduous trees.
- Deltoid -
Having the shape of a triangle. For example, deltoid leaves. Resembling a delta.
- Dendroid -
Describes small plants branching like trees; Tree-shaped due to its branch arrangement.
- Dendron -
"Dendron" is a Greek word meaning "Tree". Could also be added to other words (to form a compound word) to describe an object as tree-like.
- Dentate -
Having tooth-like or serrated edges. For example, dentate leaves.
- Depauperate -
Imperfectly developed. Not developed as should be. Could also refer to a Genus with many species.
- Depressed -
Flatted or pushed downwards from above. For example, African Bell Apples have depressed tops.
- Descending -
Moving downwards gradually; Going down or fall.
- Desiccate -
Desiccating is the process of completely drying up an item (fruits, leaves, animal, etc). When an item is desiccated, every moisture is removed and microbes cannot grow in it. Desiccating also increases the shelf life of an item.
- Determinate -
These are tomato plants that stop to grow at a particular height and have all their fruits ripened within 2 weeks. Determinate tomatoes are also called bush tomatoes, because they stop growing before they become vines. Determinate tomatoes produce fruits early.
- Determinate -
Having a main axis that ends in a flower bud, so no addition of length after the growth of flowers. Popular in plants with cymes.
- Di- / Dis- -
Greek words (added to other words to form a compound word) meaning "two" or "twice". For example, difoliate meaning two leaves.
- Diadelphous -
Stamens that are united by their filaments to form two groups. Literally means "two groups".
- Diandrous -
Having or possessing two stamens. Also means mosses having two antheridia in a bract.
- Diaphanous -
Transparent. Could also mean light and delicate.
- Dicarpellous -
Having two carpels; made of two carpels.
- Dichlamydeous -
Description of plants possessing both calyx and corolla. The calyx is the collection of sepals, while the corolla is the collection of petals.
- Dichogamy -
Dichogamy describes the ripening of the stamens and pistils at different times. When they open ripen at different times, self-fertilization is prevented.
- Diclinous -
Plants that do not have stamens and pistils in one flower. This means that each flower will have either stamens or pistils.
- Dicoccous -
Comprised of two cocci. Said of fruits with two separable lubes.
- Dicotyledonous -
Dicotyledonous plants are a group of plants that germinate with two embryonic leaves. When plants sprout, they either sprout with a leaf (monocots) or two leaves (dicots).
- Dicotyledonous -
Said of plants having two cotyledons. Cotyledons (or embryonic leaves) are the first leaves to develop during germination. The number of cotyledons a plant has can be used to classify the plant.
- Didynamous -
Describes plants with four stamens groups in pairs of unequal length. Common in plants in the Scrophulariaceae and Labiatae families.
- Diffuse -
Spreading its branch loosely; Growing scattered. Open-growth.
- Digitate -
Hand-like. Having protrusions all arising from a single point.
- Dimerous -
Having two parts or joints; consisted of parts arranged in a pair.
- Dioecious -
Organisms with separate sexes. For example, stamens and pistils on different plants of the same kind. Papaya is an example of a dioecious plant.
- Dipterous -
Having two wings; two-winged.
- Dipyrenous -
Containing two stones; having two pyrenes.
- Direct Seed -
Instead of starting seeds indoors and later transplanting them to their permanent locations, this practice sows seeds directly into their permanent location. Some plants such as okra, carrots, and beans can be sown directly because they are hardy and can withstand some environmental conditions when they are young. Other plants such as tomatoes cannot be sown directly because the chances of them dying when young are high.
- Direct Sow -
Direct sowing is the practice of sowing seeds in the location a gardener wants them to grow and mature. Direct sowing does not involve transplanting seedlings into the soil.
- Disciform -
Having a round or oval shape just like disks. Flat and round or a disk.
- Discoid -
Disk-like; shaped as or resembling a disc. For example, the heads of Compositae.
- Disease Resistance -
The ability of a plant variety to have resistance against some diseases that are known to harm other varieties. Most disease-resistant varieties are a product of genetics or selective breeding
- Disease Tolerance -
Disease tolerance in plants refers to the ability of cultivars or plant varieties to thrive with a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection that could kill other varieties. Disease-tolerant varieties are not the same with disease-resistant varieties that cannot be infected by the disease in the first place.
- Disk / disc -
They are tiny tubular flowers in the central part of the flower head or capitulum of certain plants of the composite family. Examples are sunflowers and daisies.
- Disk-flowers -
Tiny tubular flowers in the head of certain flowers. They are usually flat in the middle. For example, many composite flowers, such as the daisy and sunflowers have disk flowers.
- Dissected -
To cut open a structure or organ to reveal and study its content. Organs can be cut open in two or more parts.
- Dissepiment -
A septum; a partition in an organ such as a fruit or ovary.
- Distinct -
Not united; not similar. Not connected to or resembling parts in the same series.
- Divided -
Structures are tagged divided when they are not connected.; seperated from the base.
- Division -
A method of propagation in which the plant is separated into multiple root-bearing parts. The root or rhizome can be divided and regrow into a new plant (in certain plants). An example of plants that can undergo propagation by division is the rhubarb plant.
- Dorsal -
The back of an organ; The outer surface of an organ (the surface facing the sun).
- Dorsiferous -
Bearing anything on the back; possessing young, spores, or organs on the dorsal region.
- Dorsifixed -
Attached by the back. Attached to another organ or structure by the back.
- Dorsoventral -
Refers to the back and front. Placed laterally so that the sides are showing.
- Double -
Double flowers are flowers that contain more than the usual number of structures in their envelope. For example, a flower having more petals.
- Double Digging -
Double digging is a practice of digging out a trench, and digging the next layer below the topsoil. This process aerates the soil for goot root growth. It also involves moving the topsoil from one roll to the next
- Downy -
Covered with small hairs; covered in short hairs.
- Drought Tolerant -
Drought tolerant plants are varieties that can survive in dry soil. Drought-tolerant plants do not refer to xerophytic plant species that grow in deserts, but refers to varieties of other plant species that usually do not survive in drought.
- Drupe -
Stone-Fruits. Drupes are fleshy fruits bearing just one seed with a stony (or hardy) endocarp. For example, mangoes.
- Drupelet -
Refers to one drupe in an aggregate drupe fruit. For example, raspberry drupe.
- Dumose -
Filled with branches just like a bush. Short and branching.
- E- / Ex- -
Sufix from Latin origin denoting "missing" or "without". For example, "estriate" means without stripes.
- Ecalcarate -
Having no spur; having no calcar.
- Ecology -
Ecology is the study of the relationship between different organisms and their environment. Ecology is important when studying parasites and beneficial organisms.
- Ecostate -
Leaves having no ribs or veins; without ribs.
- Edentate -
Having no teeth. When a particle leaf (for example) has no teeth-like edge and is compared with other leaves with teeth-like edges, the individual leaf is tagged as ecostate.
- Effuse -
Very diffuse; spreading loosely.
- Eglandulose -
Without glands. Said of organs or structures having no glands.
- Elliptic -
A regular oval shape narrowing towards rounded ends; Looks like a cone cut with have rounded ends.
- Elongate -
Stretched; long or lengthened.
- Embryo -
The embryo is the living part of the seeds. The embryo contains the first (or embryonic) leaf called cotyledon, a room called radicle, and a stem called hypocotyl. Embryos germinate into seedlings.
- Endocarp -
The innermost layer of the pericarp directly surrounding the seed in fruits. It can be woody just like the seed of cherries, or membranous just like apples.
- Endogen -
Having stem in form of scattered bundles of threads. For example, the Indian corn.
- Endosperm -
The endosperm is a layer of food (starch or protein) surrounding the embryo in seeds. It is used as the first source of nutrients for germinating seeds.
- Ensiform -
Having the shape of a sword blade. It is long and narrow and has a pointed tip.
- Entire -
Whole; margin not indented.
- Environment -
The factors influencing an organism (both internal and external). The surrounding of an organism.
- Ephemeral -
Flowers that bloom in just one and die the next. For example, the flower of the spiderwort.
- Epi -
A word of Greek origin that can be added to other words (to form a compound word) meaning "on" or "upon". For example, epiphytes are plants growing on other plants.
- Epicarp -
The epicarp is the surface of the pericarp. It is the outermost layer.
- Epichile -
The Epichile is the upper part of an orchid's jointed lip.
- Epicotyl -
It is the region of the embryonic stem just above the embryo. The embryonic stem is also called caulicle.
- Epidermis -
The outermost layer covering plant organs such as leaves, flowers, stems, fruits, etc. It has a waxy cuticle that helps to protect the plant.
- Epigeal -
Epigeal germination refers to the way some seeds raise their cotyledons above the ground (i.e. to the air). For example, beans seed. When the cotyledons remain in the ground, it is called hypogeal germination.
- Epigeous -
Refers to organisms that crawl or creep very close to the ground. For example, Vines.
- Epigynous -
Flowers that have enclosed ovaries. Their stamens and other structures are situated above the ovaries.
- Epipetalous -
Meaning "on a petal". It refers to flowers with the androecium anther growing on petals.
- Epiphyllous -
Literally meaning "on a leaf". It refers to structures that grow on leaves.
- Epiphyte -
Literally meaning 'above plants', 'epiphyte' is a word that describes organisms that grow on the surface of plants. Epiphytes are not parasitic, so they do not take nutrients from nor compete with the plants. Epiphytes, however, collect nutrients from the air, rain, and other environmental factors. They are simply anchored on the plant.
- Equitant -
These are leaves that have slightly curved bases and partly enclose the leaves above them. For example, leaves found in iris plants.
- Erostrate -
Having no beak; without a beak.
- Essential organs -
They are organs that are very necessary to perform certain processes. In plants, they are usually stamens and pistils because these organs aid in reproduction, which allows plants to produce fruits.
- Etiolation -
Etiolation is the process of seedlings growing tall, frail, and weak due to the partial or complete absence of light. Without sufficient light, seedlings will grow lanky and have a pale-green or yellow coloration.
- Evergreen -
Evergreen trees that remain green (i.e. produce fresh leaves) throughout the year. During winter or fall, some trees known as deciduous trees shed their leaves. Evergreen trees, however, continue to produce and maintain their leaves.
- Exalbuminous -
Describes seeds that do not have endosperms when matured. This means that the seeds do not have a source of food (i.e. starch and other nutrients). The cotyledons are large and absorb all of the endosperm. For example, bean seeds.
- Excentric -
Not placed centrally; Away from the center. Having a symmetrical arrangement around the center.
- Excurrent -
Excurrent trees are trees with a straight stem, trunk, or leader from ground to peak as against trees with branching (i.e. separating) trunks. Examples of excurrent trees are pines.
- Exfoliating -
Coming off in layers. Refers to the bark of trees that pulls off in layers. For Example, Birch.
- Exocarp -
The outermost surface of a pericarp. It usually is considered of cuticle and cells.
- Exogen -
These are trees that grow in diameter by adding wood outwards. Almost all modern-day trees (except palms) are exogenous.
- Exserted -
Protruding; sticking out. For example, exserted stigmas.
- Exsiccated -
Dry; Without moisture.
- Exstipulate -
Describes leaves without stipules. Stipules are usually found on the base of the leaves of flowering plants.
- Extrorse -
Turned or facing outwards. Also refers to anthers that release pollens outside the flower.
- Eye -
The marked center of a flower. Also refers to spots on potatoes and other tubers that a new plant can grow from.
- Facies -
Facies is the general appearance of a plant. The features of a plant found in other plants in the same variety are the facies.
- Fairly Drought Tolerant -
Crops (or crop varieties) that thrive in an environment with low water. These crops cannot survive in environments as dry as those that drought-resistant crops can survive in, but they can thrive in semi-dry environments.
- Farinaceous -
Containing starch; Consisting of starch.
- Fasciated -
An abnormal fusion of organs resulting in them becoming tightly flattened and wider. For example, the flattening and widening of stems.
- Fascicle -
A cluster of structures. A bundle. As in flowers.
- Feminine -
Plants that possess pistils. Plants with female flowers.
- Fertile -
Refers to fruits that bear seeds that can germinate into new plants. Also refers to stamens that bear pollen. With pollens in stamens, a plant can produce fruits (bearing seeds).
- Fertilization -
Fertilization is a process in which the two sex gametes (i.e. sperm and egg) fuse to become a zygote. Different organisms have their methods of fertilization. For example, pollination is a common method of fertilization in plants.
- Fertilizer -
Any material added into the soil (or sprayed on leaves) to give more nutrients to plants. Fertilizers often give Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK) to plants. Fertilizers can be organic or inorganic.
- Fetid -
Having a very unpleasant smell. Having an odor.
- Fibrillose -
Having so many fibers or threads. Covered with little strings of fibers.
- Fibro-vascular -
A structure that is made of both fibrous and vascular tissues. It is a combination of fiber and ducts.
- Fibrous -
Full of fiber. For example, the trunk of trees is fibrous.
- Filament -
Flower filaments are the stalk of the anthers. Could also refer to the stamen of the flower.
- Filiform -
Thread-like; Very thin, but long.
- Fimbriate -
Having a fringe; Having hair-like projections in the border.
- Fimbrillate -
Have very a very small fringe; possessing miniature hair-like projections at the border.
- Fistular -
Hollow. Having a cylinder shape.
- Flaccid -
Weak; not rigid. Flat.
- Flagelliform -
Whip-like; Flexible, long, and slender.
- Flagging -
Refers to plants that are dying. Usually refers to recently transplanted seedlings that are wilting.
- Flexuous -
Not straight. Full of bends, zigzags. Refers to plant stems that appear wavy.
- Floccose -
Packed with cotton; covered in tuffs of any wooly material.
- Flora -
Flora refers to the community of plants in a location. Flora also refers to the documentation of those plants.
- Florets -
Florets refer to each flower of composites and grasses. Also refers to small flowers that cluster to form a dense inflorescence.
- Floriferous -
Flower-bearing. Plants that bear flowers.
- Foliaceous -
Foliaceous structures are structures that look like a leaf. For example, petals are leaf-like. Foliaceous resemble leaves in color, shape, size, etc.
- Foliar Fertilizing -
Foliar fertilizing is the practice of giving nutrients to plants by spraying liquid fertilizer on the leaves of the plants. Just like roots, leaves can absorb nutrients, so foliar fertilizer gives immediate nutrients to plant leaves.
- Foliate -
Having Leaves. A number of leaves in the petiole. For example, trifoliate means a plant having a combination of leaves in a petiole.
- Foliolate -
Foliolate plants are plants that have leaflets instead of leaves. Foliolate can also refer to the arrangements of the plant leaflets. I.e., trifoliolate means three leaflets.
- Follicle -
Fruits with dry pericarp. They open on only one side to disperse their seeds. For example, milkweed.
- Follicular -
Having follicles. Resembling follicles.
- Foramen -
An opening. Could refer to an opening in a plant ovule.
- Forked -
Branching; Having multiple equal parts.
- Forks -
Garden forks are large hand-held tools with large (usually 4-6) teeths and a long handle. Forks are effective when moving perennials. Potato forks have blunt points in their tines, so they are effective when harvesting root vegetables. Forks are a must-have gardening tool.
- Fornicate -
Arched. Refers to leaves that are bending over.
- Free -
Refers to structures that are not attached to organs or any structure. For example, a petal free from the calyx.
- Frond L -
Refers to each individual leaf of a fern plant. "Frond" is used for ferns just the way "leaf" or "foliage" is used for plants.
- Frost Date -
Frost dates include the first to the last days that your area will experience frost. Knowing your first frost date is important when planning what to grow (considering the lifecycle of the plant). Knowing the last frost date is important when planning when to start your seeds indoors (usually 2-3 weeks before the last frost date).
- Frost Sensitive Crops -
These crops (or varieties) cannot survive in frost. They can fairly survive in cold climates but will die during frost. Some perennial plants will regrow after the last frost date.
- Frost Tolerant Crops -
Crops (or crop varieties) that can survive in cold climates and even frosts. An example is winter squash. Frost-tolerant crops are the best choice of crops to grow in winter.
- Frosted -
Having a crystalized or whitish covering. Frosted leaves are covered with tiny chrystals or white particles like snow.
- Fructification -
The process in which a fruit if formed from a flower. Could also refer to the collection of organs responsible for the production of fruits.
- Fruit -
Fruits are seed-bearing pods formed by the ripening of a plant pericarp after flowering. Plants produce seeds after pollination. The seeds of plants are stored in sweet and nutritious pods called fruits.
- Fruits -
Fruits are seed-bearing pods or capsules of flowering plants. Fruits are full of nutrients that can enrich germinated seeds. Examples of fruits are tomato, banana, watermelon, and cucumber fruits.
- Fruticose -
Having an upright branching. Looking like a shrub. Usually refers to the branching of lichens.
- Fugacious -
Refers to leaves/plants that are withering or falling quickly. When they wither too early, they are described as "fugacious".
- Full Sun -
Full sun refers to six (or more) hours of sunlight. Some plants require full sun to grow and produce fruits. Examples of plants that require full sun are tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc.
- Full Sun -
Full sun refers to six (or more) hours of sunlight. Some plants require full sun to grow and produce fruits. Examples of plants that require full sun are tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc.
- Fumose -
Smoke-colored; Resembling smoke.
- Function -
The role of a plant, structure, organ, or part. The important activities it does.
- Fungicides -
Fungicides are chemicals and other materials used to prevent or kill fungi from the garden. Fungicides help kill harmful fungi can cause several diseases to plants.
- Funicle -
The stalk of fruits that attaches the seed to the placenta. It is usually filamentous.
- Funnelform -
With a tube widening from the base to the apex. There are some funnelform corollas that look like trumpets.
- Furrowed -
A land with trenches caused by ploughing. Generally means having grooves.
- Fusiform -
Spindle-shaped; Tappered at both ends.
- Galea -
A helmet-shaped structure. For example, the upper petal of some flowers.
- Gamete -
A sex cell. Can be male or female. For example, pollen.
- Gamopetalous -
Gamopetalous flowers are flowers with petals that are partly or wholly fused so that the flower looks like a tube or trumpet. For example, the hibiscus flower.
- Gamophyllous -
With leaves that are fused. Also refers to structures that resume leaves but are fused.
- Gamosepalous -
Gamosepalous flowers are flowers with a calyx containing fused petals. The sepals are fused.
- Garden Hoe -
Garden hoes are hand-held tools that are used to sharpen soil, harvest root vegetables, remove weed, and clear soil. They can come with a long or a short handle, but always have a blade at the end to perform its functions. This tool has been in use for ages.
- Garden Shovel -
Garden shovels (which are sometimes called trowels) are small hand-held tools used in gardening for digging and moving materials such as soil, pebbles, earthworms, etc. They can also be used to sharpen and till soil.
- Garden Tool Shed -
This is a shed in the garden mostly made of wood. It is usually smaller than other sheds and its major function is to store garden tools such as shovels, hoes, pesticides, and others.
- Geminate -
Double; pair. Consisting of two equal parts.
- Gemma -
A bud made of single or multiple cells through which new plants can grow. Gemma also refers to bud-like appendages.
- Gemmiparous -
Refers to plants that reproduce by gemmation. Simply put, bud-bearing plants.
- Gemmule -
A small bud. A little bud-like structure.
- Generation -
A period from germination to death. All organisms living in that base.
- Germinate -
In simple terms, "germinate" means the beginning of the growth of plants in their seeds. As plants germinate, the first root (or radicle) emerges from the seed, then the first leaf/leaves (cotyledon) follows.
- Germination -
Germination is a process in which seeds start to grow. In this process, seeds grow their embryonic roots (radicle) and their embryonic leaf/leaves (cotyledon). Germination is the first form of growth from seeds in plants. Germination does not apply to the regrowth of cuttings.
- Germination -
The growth and development of a new plant from a seed or spore after a period of dormancy. In germination, the embryo's leaf (or leaves) and stem shoot out while the embryonic root digs deeper into the medium.
- Gibbosity -
A swelling or protrusion at a side of a plant or structure. Usually near the base.
- Glabrate -
Not having hair. Completely smooth and free from external growth.
- Glabrous -
Not hairy; smooth.
- Gladiate -
Having the shape of a sword. Refers to gladiate leaves.
- Gland -
An organ or structure that secrets fluids. Sometimes used to refer to gland-like structures.
- Glandular -
Having glands. Having organs that secret fluids.
- Glandulose -
Having glands. Secreting liquid.
- Glaucous -
Covered with a whitish or greyish powdery bloom that wipes off. For example, grapes are Glaucous.
- Glochidiate -
Having barbed teeth. Having submitted barbs.
- Glomerate -
Compact cluster; dense cluster.
- Glomerule -
Very dense head-like cluster. A cymose inflorescence resembling a ball-like flower cluster.
- Glume -
A membranous bract in a grass plant. Usually found at the grass spikelet.
- Gmo -
Genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism with genes that have been manipulated by scientists. People genetically modify some plants, animals, and microbes to get some features such as disease-resistance, longer shelf life, etc. An organism that has been genetically modified is referred to as a transgenic organism.
- Graft -
A cion. Grafts are branches or stems inserted on another plant for the purpose of propagation.
- Grafting -
The process of propagating by grafting. It involves inserting a scion into another plant.
- Granular, granulose -
Grounded finally. Covered in minute grains.
- Green Manure -
Green manure are plants (mostly leguminous cover crops) that gardeners and farmers grow and till into the soil before they produce seeds. While decomposing, green manure releases nutrients into the soil.
- Gymnos -
"Gymnos" is a Greek prefix added to other words signifying "not covered" or "Naked". For example, gymnosperm means naked seeds.
- Gynaecium -
It is the ovule-bearing part of a flower (i.e. female part of the flower). It is composed of the ovary, style, and stigma.
- Gynandrous -
Gynandrous flowers are flowers that have both stamens and pistils united in one column to form one organ. For example, the flower of orchids.
- Gynobase -
Gynobase is an elevation in the receptacle of many flowers. It is an extension of the receptacle.
- Gynoecious -
Gynoecious plants are plants (or plant varieties) that only produce female (or pollen-receiving) flowers. This means that the flower only has a stigma (i.e. female part of a flower), and not an anther (i.e. male part). Gynoecious plants cannot produce fruits is a variety with male flowers is not present.
- Gynophore -
It is a stalk that supports the gynoecium in many fowers. Gynophores help to elevate the gynophore above other floral members. Some plant genera with gynophores are Brachychiton, Telopea, and Peritoma.
- Habit -
The growth style of the plant variety. For example, the look, pattern, mode of growth, etc.
- Habitat -
A habitat is a particular space, place, or region with favorable conditions for the growth of specific organisms. A place where it is naturally common to find a species of plant is called the habitat of that species.
- Hairs -
Different types of projections on plant or plant structures. For example, setose, villous, comose, pubescent, hirsute, etc.
- Halberd-shaped -
Hastate; Leaves that are 7-8 inches long and prickly on different regions.
- Hamate -
Hooked; Resembling a hook.
- Hardening Off -
Hardening off is simply acclimatizing indoor-grown plants for the outside environment. If a plant was started indoors and a gardener wants to transplant it into the garden outside, the plant should be acclimatized for 7-10 days. Hardening off includes giving the plant increasing hours of sunlight daily until it is ready to be transplanted (7-10 days)
- Hardiness -
It is the ability of a plant to survive winter. Plants that can survive winter are hardy while those that cannot are not hardy. The hardiness of a plant can tell you the lowest temperature that a plant can survive in.
- Hastate -
Looking like the head of an arrow. Describes leaves with a long triangular shape.
- Haulm -
Another word for stems or stalks. Such stems are used for bedding. May also include the stem of palm trees.
- Head -
Capitulum; A protruded organ or structure with vital functions.
- Heart-shaped -
Cordate; Describes leaves and other structures that resemble hearts.
- Heat Tolerance -
This is the ability of a plant to grow and produce harvest even in hot pressure. The tolerance level of plants differs, so you should check the temperature requirements of every plant and decide whether to grow it in your environment or not.
- Heavy Soil -
A soil mostly made of clay. Heavy soil does not permit rapid root growth and aeration of plant roots. You should amend your garden soil if it is heavy
- Heel -
To heel means to cover bare-rooted plants (especially trees) with soil until they are ready to be planted. Heeling is a temporal process.
- Heirloom -
Heirloom vegetables are vegetable varieties that are old and unpopular, not like hybrid varieties. Heirloom vegetables are open-pollinated, and the seeds have passed down from generations to generations. These varieties usually do not have resistance to diseases and pests since they are not mixed with other disease-resistant or pest-resistant varieties.
- Helicoid -
Spiral or Twisted; Resembling the shell of snails.
- Heliotropism -
Growth of plants towards the sun. Most plants grow in the direction of the sun.
- Hemi -
"Hemi" is a Greek prefix that signifies "Half". It is added to other words to form a compound word.
- Hepta -
"Hepta" is a Greek word that means "Seven". For example, heptafoliate means seven leaves.
- Herb -
They are small plants that lack woody stems. They crawl on the ground and do not grow so tall.
- Herbaceous -
Refers to plants that do not have woody stems. Could also refer to weak branches (before they grow strong).
- Hermaphrodite -
These are plants with both male and female parts in individual flowers (stamens and pistils). They are usually self-fertilizing.
- Hesperidium -
Hesperidium are oranges, grapes, and other fruits with a similar appearance. They have a sectioned pulp and separable rinds.
- Hetcrocarpous -
They are places with various forms of fruits. I.e. more than one kind of fruit.
- Heterogamous -
Describes plants that have multiple forms of flowers. I.e. different flowers in the same plant. Common in monoecious plants.
- Heteros -
"Hetero" is a Greek word that is added to other words to form a compound word. "Hetero" means multiple or different. For example, heterosexual means different sex.
- Hilum -
Hilum is the mark in seeds that show where the seed is attached to the fruit. Hilum is the channel of nutrition from fruits to seeds.
- Hip -
Fruit of roses. They bear achenes inside.
- Hirsute -
"Hirsute" describes organs or structures with long hair. For example, some plant branches.
- Hirtellous -
Unlike Hirsute structures with long hair, Hirtellous structures have hairs but are shorter. They have minute hair.
- Hispid -
Bearing bristles or stiff hair. The stems and branches of many plants are Hispid.
- Hispidulous -
Hispidulous structures have little bristles. Bearing minute stiff hairs.
- Hoary -
Bearing a white covering. Having a whitish pubescence.
- Homo -
"Homo" is a Greek suffix that can be added to other words to form a compound word. "Homo" means the same.
- Homocarpous -
Homocarpous plants are plants that produce just one kind of fruit. These plants (which are the most common) produce the same kind of fruit in every flower.
- Homogamous -
These plants produce just one type of flower. Their flower usually contains pistils and stamens. Most of them are self-pollinating.
- Homologous -
Homologous organisms are those that are related by having the same accessor. "Homologous" is an evolutionary term that groups organisms based on their ancestors.
- Homomorphous -
Having the same morphology (or body structure) as another organism. Homomorphous organisms look alike but are not the stem that emerges first for Hypogeals.
- Horny -
Bearing a hard structure. Corneous.
- Humus -
Humus is an organic soil amendment made from decomposing organic matter such as leaves, twigs, etc. Humus is dark brown and aerates the soil. It is full of nutrients.
- Hybrid -
Hybrid is any organism (plant, animal, fungi, or microbe) that is the offspring of two different breeds cross-bred together. Hybrids are usually made to have beneficial features from both parents. An hybrid plant may produce more fruits (just like one parent) and have pest resistance (just like the other parent). According to their generation, hybrids can be classified as f1, f2, f3, etc. F1 is the first generation, while f2 comes after.
- Hybrid -
Hybrids are the offspring of the mating of two genetically distinct parents. Hybrids are usually created to have two or more favorable characteristics. For example, a fast-growing tomato breed can be crossed with a large-fruited breed to produce fast-growing and large-fruited offspring.
- Hygroscopic -
Hygroscopic organisms or structures can absorb moisture from the atmosphere. For example, the leaves of plants can absorb moisture.
- Hypanthium -
A cuplike flower receptacle. Such flowers usually have enlarged cuplike spectacles.
- Hypochil -
The base of the lip of orchid flowers; the lower part.
- Hypocotyl -
In seeds, the hypocotyl is the part of the stem below the cotyledons. The embryonic stem is usually folded or bent, so the hypocotyl is the part of the stem just below the cotyledons.
- Hypocrateriform -
Salva-form; Hypocrateriform flowers are flowers with a corolla in the shape of a straight tube opening with flat petals.
- Hypogeal -
Hypogeal are cotyledons that remain below the ground surface after germination. Many cotyledons emerge first, while the stem.
- Hypogynous -
Hypogynous flowers are flowers that have stamens, pistils, and other flower parts below the carpels. Their carpels are usually high above.
- Indeterminate -
Also called pole or vine tomatoes, these tomato varieties will continue to grow and produce fruits till the start of frost. Unlike determinate tomatoes, these tomatoes require trellises or stakes to grow. If you grow indeterminate tomatoes, you can harvest tomato fruits weekly until frost.
- Integrated Pest Management (Ipm) -
IPM is an economic method of controlling garden pests. It is sustainable and may involve the use of biological, cultural, physical, or chemical materials to control pests. The biological method for example might be introducing predators of the pests to the garden.
- Kneeler -
Garden kneelers are (mostly) furnitures that gardeners kneel on to get better access to the ground. With a kneeler, your clothes will remain clean, you will not develop back or neck pain while gardening, and your work area will remain clean. Most gardeners have kneelers.
- Latin Name/Scientific Name -
This is the universally recognized name for an organism. The name is used in science journals in every language. Scientific name usually comes in two parts: Genus and Species. For example, the scientific name of lettuce is Lactuca sativa. Scientific names must be italics or underlined.
- Medium -
Any material used as substrate for the growth of organisms such as plants, mushrooms, and microbes. Soil is the medium for most plants while a mixture of sawdust and grains is the medium of commercially cultured mushrooms.
- Merous -
Having a specific number of parts. For example, a flower with three petals is trimerous or 3-merous.
- Micro-Nutrients -
Any nutrient that is needed by plants but is not nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, is called a micro-nutrient. They are needed by plants but in little quantity. Examples are zinc, copper, manganese, and boron.
- Microgreen -
Microgreens are vegetables harvested a few days after they germinate. They are usually harvested when they have their first (embryonic) leaves (called cotyledons) or in the process of growing their first true leaves. People consume microgreens for various purposes such as nutrient enhancement, flavor enhancement, or even as a form of dish decoration.
- Mild Climates -
A pleasant climate that neither gets too hot or too cold. These climates usually fall in USDA zone 10 or warmer. There are no frosts in mild climates.
- Monoecious -
Monoecious plants are plants that have both male (anther) and female (stigma) parts in their flowers. Most of these plants can self-pollinate. Examples are pepper, mint, etc.
- Mulch -
Mulch is any material (mostly organic) that gardeners cover the garden soil with. Mulch can be used to prevent water from evaporating (therefore increasing soil moisture), prevent weed from growing, ec. Examples of materials used to mulch are straw, weed fabric, hay, dead leaves, etc.
- N-P-K -
NPK is the short form of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the most essential nutrients for plant growth. Most fertilizers are made from combining different ratios of NPK.
- Native -
A native plant or animal is indigenous to the region where it is growing. If the plant or animal can be found in the wild (where it was not introduced by humans), it is native. Potatoes are native to America
- No-Till-Gardening -
Also called direct drilling or zero tillage farming, no-till-gardening refers to a farming practice in which crops are grown without tilling the soil. Instead of tilling the soil, gardeners use a high layer of mulch to prevent weed from growing. This practice prevents erosion and also saves the energy used to till the soil.
- Open Pollinated -
Open pollination is a kind of pollination that occurs as a result of natural factors such as wind, insects, birds, water, etc. Most open-pollinated flowers produce true seeds that are identical (i.e. the same variety) with the parent plant. Organic seeds are examples of seeds produced by open pollination.
- Organic -
An organic material is any material derived from plants, animals, fungi, or microbe sources (i.e. living things) and is biodegradable. 'Organic' can also refer to the gardening practice that involve zero use of chemicals as fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Plants grown organically are healthier and produce fruits with more quality.
- Organic Gardening -
Organic gardening is a gardening practice that involves zero use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. Most gardeners use compost, rotted manure, and other organic materials as source of nutrients to the plants. Crops grown organically are more expensive.
- Organic Seed -
Organic seeds, in simple terms, are seeds produced by plants fully grown organically. During the growth of the parent plant, no chemical pesticides or fertilizer were used. Most organic seeds are also products of open pollination.
- Part Sun/Part Shade -
Part shade refers to three or four to six hours of direct sunlight. Plants that require part shade are planted around the east-facing parts of the garden so that they will receive morning sun directly and indirect afternoon sun (which is usually hot).
- Parthenocarpic -
Parthenocarpic varieties are cultivars that can produce fruits without their flowers being fertilized. The fruits produced by these cultivars are seedless. These varieties are suitable for greenhouse farming where there are no pollinators. An example of parthenocarpic variety is that seedless watermelon. If the flowers are fertilized, their fruits will produce seeds.
- Perennial -
Any plant that completes its life cycle in more than two years is a perennial plant. Perennial plants have continuous flowering and fruiting seasons. Most shrubs and trees are perennial. Mint and other herbs are also perennial.
- Ph -
Potential of Hydrogen or pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of any material. pH is read from 0-14. 0-6.9 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and 7.1-14 is alkaline (or basic)
- Photoperiodism/Day Length Response -
Photoperiodism or day length response is the reaction (or growth response) of plants to the amount of daily sunlight that they receive. Plants have an internal body clock and each species require a specific amount of sunlight to grow healthily, produce flowers, and fruits. If a plant does not receive sufficient amount of sunlight, it may not grow healthily nor produce flowers. This is why indoor plants need extra grow lights (especially in winter).
- Pick Mattock -
This tool is the combination of a pointed end (a pick) and a chisel-like blade (a mattock). It can be used to loosen soil compaction, till soil, gather loose materials, etc. It comes with a long handle so that the operator does not hurt themselves. This tool is usually heavy and mostly used in agriculture
- Pollination -
Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains (i.e. plant sperm) from the anther (male) part of a flower to the stigma (female) part of a flower. Some plants such as avocados and maize must be cross-pollinated (i.e. pollen grains moving from one plant to the other). Others like pepper can be self-pollinated (i.e. pollen grains fertilizing flowers from the same plant).
- Pollinator -
Pollinators, in simple terms, are the actors of pollination. Pollinators can be living (insects, birds, rodents, humans, etc.) or nonliving (wing and water).
- Rhizome -
This is an underground stem. Rhizomes usually grow horizontally and produce shoots. Examples of plants with rhizomes are grass, ginger, mint, etc. Most plants with rhizomes are vegetative (they can regrow from a cutting).
- Row Covers -
In simple terms, row covers are mini greenhouses that cover a specific row of plants. Row covers can prevent weed from competing with the plants within, increase the temperature, and also regulate humidity. Row covers are usually made with any transparent material to allow sunlight to reach the plants.
- Scarification -
This is a process of scratching the coat of seeds to encourage the embryo to grow. Some seeds (such as nuts and melons) have hard shells, so environmental factors such as rain and wind can hardly reach their embryo (to trigger the growth). The process of scarification aims at opening some parts of the seed coat so that the embryo will be exposed to favorable conditions that will promote its growth.
- Season Extender -
A season extender is a product, material, or practice used to extend the growing season of plants. Examples of season extenders are row covers, greenhouses, and cold frames. Season extenders work by increasing (or decreasing) the temperature and other environmental factors to suit the plants.
- Self-Sow -
The ability of a plant to drop viable seeds to the ground for the purpose of propagation. When the flowers of plants are pollinated, the plants will produce seeds (in fruits) and if unharvested, the fruits will fall to the ground and new plants can grow from the seeds. Plants that germinate and grow from self-sowed seeds are called volunteers
- Semi-Determinate -
These are varieties of tomatoes that are in-between determinate and indeterminate varieties. Semi-determinate varieties produce fruits and ripen within a week, but continue to produce fruits till frost. An example of a semi-determinate variety is the Celebrity tomato.
- Soil Amendment -
Any material added to soil to improve the soil quality. Soil amendment can improve the soil pH, water retention, aeration, nutrient content, and so much more qualities.
- Soil Test -
Soil test is a test used to measure the quality of soil. Soil test can determine the amount of nutrients in the soil, how compacted the soil is, what type of soil it is, the pH of the soil, microbes in the soil, and so many qualities. It is often recommended to do a soil test at a local extension office before using a land to garden for the first time.
- Sprout -
A sprout is any newly germinated seedling that has emerged from the seed coat and the medium (e.g. soil). When plants sprout, they are still attached to the seed and have their first set of leaves.
- Successive Sowing -
This is a gardening practice of planting more than one set of crops to have multiple harvests. Some gardeners decide to plant a new set of crops weekly so that they will harvest weekly. You can sow the same or different plants successively, just make sure to check the needed amount of weeks and temperature needed for the plants to grow and become ready for harvest.
- Tender Perennial -
These are perennial crops that become hardy when taken to a different region because of winter. Some plants are perennials in their native habitat, but will become annual when planted in regions in which they cannot withstand the cold. Examples of tender perennials are sages and cannas.
- Thinning -
Thinning in agriculture is the practice of removing some seedlings from the row. When gardeners sow seeds, they sow more than what they need so that they will have enough seedlings. If the seedlings that germinated become more than what they need, they will remove some so that others will have space and nutrients to grow.
- Tilth -
Tilth is the general health (or physical condition) of soil in relation to its usability in agriculture. Tilth measurement includes measurement of pH, soil aeration, soil compaction, nutrient availability, soil fauna, and so on. You should carry out a soil test on any new soil before you use it for gardener.
- Topdressing -
Topdressing is the practice of mulching the soil or applying fertilizers or soil amendments after a plant has established. Topdressing is recommended to prevent the growth of weed and also provide more nutrients to your plants. Do not use fresh manure to topdress the soil for it can burn your plants.
- Transplanting -
In simple terms, transplanting is changing the location of a plant. Most plants are started indoors or in greenhouses. When the seedlings are matured enough to be taken to their permanent location (i.e. outdoors or any medium such as hydroponics), they will be transplanted. Remember to acclimatize seedlings before transplanting them.
- Transplanting -
Transplanting is the art of moving a plant (usually seedling or perennial) from one location (or medium) to another. Seedlings are usually started indoors where the conditions (temperature and humidity) are just right, but will be transplanted to a permanent location when they are matured enough. There are some perennial plants that will die in frost, so they are taken indoors during winter. Remember to acclimatize your seedlings before transplanting them.
- Untreated Seed -
Untreated seeds are seeds that are directly packaged and did not undergo any form of processing like application of fungicides and other chemicals. Untreated seeds come from healthy plants and will produce healthy plants as well.
- Usda Hardiness Zone -
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zone is the numerical classification of perennials based on their cold-hardiness. Plants that fall under 7 cannot survive in regions with 8 or above. The USDA hardiness zone is very important to consider when growing perennials.
- Variety -
Plant varieties make up a species. Varieties are plants in a species that have unique characteristics from other plants in that species. For example, watermelons have varieties that are seedless.
- Vermicomposting -
Vermicomposting is the practice of breaking down organic matter (mostly food waste) with red worms. Vermicomposting produces worms for poultry feed, organic fertilizer for plants and a sustainable way of disposing waste.
- Vernalization -
This is the process of cold-treating plants to encourage them to flower. Most plants are exposed to the winter (or an equivalent temperature) to encourage them to flower. Plants usually flower and reproduce early when they undergo stress
- Volunteer -
This is a plant that is growing after its seed was self-sown or dispersed by animals. Self-sown seeds are seeds that fell from the mother plant. Some animals such as birds and squirrels can disperse seeds. Any plant that is growing from self-sown or animal-dispersed seeds is a volunteers
- Worm Casting -
Worm castings are the waste products of worms during vermicomposting. Worm castings are very nutrient-dense and are valuable to gardeners.
- Xeriscaping -
This is the practice of landscaping with native plants or drought-tolerant plants. Native plants and drought-tolerant plants can survive without irrigation because they can make use of the water already in the soil. The practice of xeriscaping is the reduce the use of water when landscaping.