Appendix:Pachypodium Botanical Glossary

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Taken from w:Pachypodium Botanical Glossary

A Botanical Glossary[edit]

Note: Based on Wiktionary and Eggli, Urs. Glossary of botanical terms with special reference to Succulent Plants. with German Equivalents (British Cactus & Succulent Society: United Kingdom: 1993) & theFreeDictionary and Wiktionary.


Whereas the Quick List of Terms often ending each section for the article Pachypodium is meant to be an easy and handy reference, the Botanical Glossary is the accumulation of all the terms used in the overall project. Most terms have the advantage of being "wikified," as well so that not only does the reader get the immediate definition, he or she can follow the term to a larger context in Wikipedia.



  • abiotic: not biotic; pertaining to non-living components of an environment.
  • acid: Having a pH of less than 7; having a relatively high concentration of hydrogen ions; (geology) (= felsic) containing a large proportion of silica.
  • adaptation: having become accustomed to a new condition.
  • altitude: the height of a thing above a reference level, especially above sea level or above the earth's surface.
  • amplitude: greatness of size; magnitude; fullness; copiousness; breadth or range.
  • angiosperm (angiospermous): a large group of seed plants characterized by having the seeds enclosed in an ovary.
  • anatomy: the study of microscopic structure of organisms; plant anatomy; study of formation and arrangement of parts of plants.
  • ancestor: Biology the actual or hypothetical organism from which later kinds evolved.
  • anther: the part of the stamen, usually on top, which bears the pollen, commonly consisting of two of four thecae, which contain the pollen and a sterile region in between the connective.
  • Apocynaceae: the taxonomical ranking above the genus Pachypodium; family for the Pachypodium; Dogbane family.
  • Asclepiadaceae: the former "Milkweed" family now merged with Apocynaceae, the "Dogbane" family for which the genus Pachypodium belongs.
  • basal: at the base of something. Opposite: marginal, apical.
  • basic: alkaline; (Geology) containing little silica, as igneous rocks.
  • binomial, binomial nomenclature: the scientific naming of species whereby each species receives a Latin or Latinized name of two parts, the first indicating the genus and the second being the specific epithet; the system of binomials (binomial name) introduced by Linnaeus to classify living organisms..
  • biology: the study of living things; the study of life.
  • biometry: a method in systematic botany, studying organisms and their variations with statistical methods. A method related to numerical taxonomy.
  • biotic: pertaining to or derived from the living world.
  • botanical key: a series of pairs of questions which allow the identification of an organism by following that lead of the key where the question can be answered positively upon examination of the specimen to be identified; Dichotomous keys are the most common ones; they may be presented either in the form of numbered couplets, or as an indented key where subsequent couplets are indented progressively towards the right.
  • botany: science of plant life and every aspect thereof, divided into various branches such as plant physiology, plant systematics [taxonomy], anatomy, morphology, etc.
  • branch: division of a stem or axis of a plant, a shoot or secondary stem growing from the main stem.
  • branchlet(s): a minor from of a branch; a small branch or the terminal or ultimate subdivision of a branch.
  • bud:the tightly packed unexpanded initial stages of a new organ, i.e. stem, flower, and root.
  • calcareous: composed of, containing, or characteristic of calcium carbonate, calcium, or limestone; chalky.
  • calyx: the outmost series of leaves in a flower, a collective term for all sepals of a flower; the outermost whorl of the perianth
  • carpel: the female organ of an angiospermous flower, consisting of a modified leaf which contains the ovules and normally has a style with a stigma at the top, several carpels can be fused together and form a (compound) ovary.
  • cellulose: a naturally occurring chemical substance belonging to carbohydrates that makes up most of the cell walls.
  • character, characteristic: any feature, quantity, or attribute of a living being; used inn a more restricted sense as distinguishing character, any feature, etc. that can essentially be used to distinguish a taxon from any other; "any feature of a plant selected for use in classification or identification." (Rowley)
  • chlorophyll: the green colored chemical compound localized in the chloroplasts that enable (green) plants to carry out photosynthesis.
  • chloroplast(s): very small parts within a plant cell where the chlorophyll molecules are located and where photosynthesis takes place.
  • ciliate: provided with fine hairs, fringed with hairs.
  • ciliolate: having minute cilia (pl. for cilium.), one of the hairs along the margin or edge of a structure, such as a leaf, usually forming a fringe
  • Cladistism, Cladistic: phylogenetic systematics. OPP. Evolutionary systematics: the reconstruction of the evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) of a taxon by searching for a shared derived characters with other taxa in order to be able to determine the sequence of "branching" in the phylogenetic tree.
  • classification: the hierarchical arrangements of living beings; the "system" which can be based on phenetic similarities and differences, or represent the phylogenetic tree and thus evolutionary relationships.
  • climate: the meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region; a region of the earth having particular meteorological conditions.
  • congested: to overfill or overcrowd.
  • conical: of, relating to, or shaped like a cone.
  • connective: the part of tissue in a stamen which separates the two thecae of an anther, usually the place where the filament is connected to the anther
  • corolla: a collective term for all the petals of a flower; the inner whorl of a perianth.
  • corolla lobe: margin of the inner whorl of a perianth, or all the petals of a flower, with small rounded crenations or segments
  • corolla tube: sympetalous flowers that part of the corolla where the petals are united to form a hollow or funnel-shaped cylinder; perianth tube: that part of a sympetalous flower where the petals (or perianth segments) are grown together to form a tube.
  • Cretaceous period: of or belonging to the geologic time, system of rocks, and sedimentary deposits of the third and last period of the Mesozoic Era, characterized by the development of flowering plants and ending with the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs and many other forms of life.
  • crown: the upper part of a tree, which includes the branches and leaves; the part of a plant, usually at ground level, where the stem and roots merge; the persistent, mostly underground base of a perennial herb.
  • cylindrical: of, relating to, or having the shape of a cylinder, especially of a circular cylinder.
  • cymose: an inflorescence in which the relative main axis is soon terminated with a flower and subsequent growth occurs from one or several side branches. Opposite: racemose.
  • descendant: a person, animal, or plant whose descent can be traced to a particular individual or group; something derived from a prototype or earlier form.
  • distribution: The act of distributing or the condition of being distributed; apportionment; something distributed; an allotment; the act of dispersing or the condition of being dispersed; diffusion; the geographic occurrence or range of an organism.
  • ecology, ecological: the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment including that part of the environment made up by other organisms; also the study of the factors that influence abundance and distribution of organisms.
  • environment: surroundings of a plant, including other living organism and the abiotic parts of nature.
  • eukaryotic: belonging to a large group of organisms (called Eukaryote) which have a true nucleus in their cells.
  • evolution, evolutionary: a process going on forever which leads to changes in the genetic makeup of organisms; fewer and simpler organisms have in the course of time given raise to more and more complicated forms by this process by continued adaptation to the environment changes and pressure.
  • exert (exerted): to put to use, showing beyond another structure, i.e. stamens that protrude above the flower parts. Opposite: included'
  • extinction extinct: died out, having disappeared in the course of time, now not living; died out through the action of man.
  • exudate: transpiration in liquid forms; liquid deposited on certain plant surfaces, the receptive area of a stigma.
  • fertile: rich in material needed to sustain plant growth.
  • field- investigation, work, [analysis]: physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or understanding of the open portion of land or a geologic formation containing a specified natural resource, such as a taxon.
  • filament: the usually thin to thread-like short or elongated stalk of the stamen, which carries the anther at the upper end.
  • flora: plants considered as a group, especially the plants of a particular country, region, or time.
  • fog fog-desert: a special type of desert (strictly semi-desert) where most precipitation results from fog.
  • fossil: a remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded and preserved in the earth's crust
  • genus: (pl. genera) a category in taxonomy comprising a group of related species; i.e. species with a common ancestor. There is no clear definition of the term; taxa classified into one genera normally share a number of important characteristics.
  • geology, geological: the study of the history and physical composition and construction of the earth, esp. the study of rocks including their formation and degradation.
  • gneiss: a banded or foliated metamorphic rock, usually of the same composition as granite.
  • granite: a common, coarse-grained, light-colored, hard igneous rock consisting chiefly of quartz, orthoclase or microcline, and mica.
  • habit: growth-form, manner of growth
  • habitat: place of occurrence; place of growth; origin; the whole biotic and abiotic factors at the place where an organism grow.
  • heat: the sensation or perception of such energy as warmth or hotness.
  • heat regime: A prevailing pattern, a regulated system, of perception of such energy as warmth or hotness.
  • hirsute: provided with coarse hairs, stiffly hairy or tomentosum, i.e. covered with coarse and stiff long erect or ascending straight hairs.
  • holotype: a nomenclatural type; a permanently preserved specimen that has been designated or must be considered as the (nomenclatural) type of a plant taxon by the describing author; the single specimen or illustration designated as the type for naming a species or subspecies or used as the basis for naming a species or subspecies when no type has been selected.
  • hybrid, garden hybrid: Genetics. the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, especially the offspring produced by breeding plants or animals of different varieties or species.
  • include (included): not showing, wholly contained within some other structure, i.e. stamens that do not protrude above the flower parts. Opposite: exerted.
  • glabrous: devoid of hair, bristles, glands, etc, i.e. smooth surface, without pubescence.
  • gneiss: a banded or foliated metamorphic rock, usually of the same composition as granite.
  • granite: a common, coarse-grained, light-colored, hard igneous rock consisting chiefly of quartz, orthoclase or microcline, and mica.
  • inflorescence: a plant branch that carries the flower(s), a reproductive axis, a collective term for the entire flower and the structures which carry them. Two basic types occur: (a) cymose, an inflorescence in which the relative main axis is soon terminated with a flower and subsequent growth occurs from one or several side branches OR (b) racemose, the form of a raceme, a type of inflorescence in which the relative main axis is indeterminate, with or without side branches, and with flowers starting to open from the bottom.
  • key: essential; most important; as, the key fact in the inquiry; also dichotomous keys.
  • kingdom: in the Linnaean taxonomic system, the highest taxonomic classification into which organisms are grouped, based on fundamental similarities and common ancestry.
  • landform: A landform comprises a geomorphological unit, where geomorphological means is the study landforms, including their origin and evolution, and the processes that shape them; the term is derived from the Greek geo, meaning Earth, and morph, meaning form.
  • landscape: An expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view: a desert landscape; a picture depicting an expanse of scenery; the branch of art dealing with the representation of natural scenery; the aspect of the land characteristic of a particular region: a bleak New England winter landscape; grounds that have been landscaped: liked the house especially for its landscape; an extensive mental view; an interior prospect.
  • laterite: a red residual soil in humid tropical and subtropical regions that is leached of soluble minerals, aluminum hydroxides, and silica but still contains concentrations of iron oxides and iron hydroxides.
  • lax: loose, not densely clustered or aggregated, in an open arrangement.
  • leaves: a usually green, flattened, lateral structure attached to a stem and functioning as a principal organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in most plants.
  • Linnaean: of or relating to Carolus Linnaeus or to the system of taxonomic classification and binomial nomenclature that he originated.
  • limestone: a common sedimentary rock consisting mostly of calcium carbonate.
  • location: the act or process of locating.; a place where something is or could be located; a site.
  • locule: the hollow chamber of an ovary formed by the union of several carpels.
  • macro: Of great size; large; large in scope or extent; large-scale:
  • macro-environment: the large-scale, large in scope surroundings of a plant, including other large scale living organisms and the aboitic parts of nature.
  • Mesozoic Era: of, belonging to, or designating the era of geologic time that includes the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods and is characterized by the development of flying reptiles, birds, and flowering plants and by the appearance and extinction of dinosaurs.
  • meteorology: predicting what the weather will be weather forecasting. the earth science dealing with phenomena of the atmosphere (especially weather)forecasting, foretelling, prediction, prognostication - a statement made about the future; meteorology - the earth science dealing with phenomena of the atmosphere (especially weather).
  • methodology, methodologically: a body of practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline or engage in an inquiry; a set of working methods; or the study or theoretical analysis of such working methods.
  • modern: Of or relating to recent times or the present: modern history; characteristic or expressive of recent times or the present; contemporary or up-to-date
  • morphology: the study of form and shape of organisms; the study of overall organization of organisms; i.e. more definitely plant morphology, study of plants overall organization.
  • mucronate: ending abruptly with a small triangular tip on top, sometimes with a triangular tip elongated in a bristle or spine.
  • named>>>publication: making available a formal description of a new taxon in printed form.
  • neutral: of or relating to a solution or compound that is neither acidic nor alkaline.
  • nomenclature: the system of applying Latin formalized names (binomials) to living organisms, including the rules governing their naming and the application of these rules. The rules of nomenclature are embodied in the ICBN.
  • numerical taxonomy: the study of relationships by applying numerical-mathematical (statistical) methods to data obtained from studying many (often over 30) different characters in many individuals.
  • obconical: conical, but having the apex downward; inversely conical; inversely conical, i.e. conical but with apex at the point of attachment. Opposite: conic, conical.
  • organism: an individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist, or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles, or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life.
  • ovary: the female parts of a flower, made up by one or several free or united carpels.
  • ovule: unfertilized “egg" of a plant; the structure within the carpels that contains the embryo sac, the embryonic seed which only develops after fertilization with a pollen cell.
  • papillate: having many papillae, a minute, nipple-like or blister-like projection of epidermal cells
  • parametric: (implies) of referring to any factor that determines a range of variations and especially to a factor that restricts what can result from a process.
  • pedicel: the stalk of a single flower. Opposite: peduncle.
  • peduncle: the main axis or stalk of a whole inflorescence.
  • perianth: the protective envelope of a flower, consisting of all uniform segments (tepals, forming a perigon) or consisting of a calyx and corolla.
  • perianth segment: any element of the perianth used, if these parts are not distinguished into a calyx or corolla; a tepal, perigon segment.
  • perigon (perigone): a perianth that is not divided into two differing whorls; a perianth consisting of uniform element.
  • p.H. level: a measurement for degree of acids or alkalis present.
  • phenetics: similar in form or general appearance; similar in measurable and observable characteristics. Opp. phyletic.
  • phenogram: the diagrammatic result of a statistical study of overall similarities between organisms (phenetics, biometry); a diagrammatic representation usually in the form of a dendrogram of over similarity.
  • phenology: the study of the timing of recurrent events, such as budding, flowering, fruiting, etc. in relationship to climatic events
  • photosynthetic photosynthesis:assimilation; the process in green plants and certain other organisms by which carbohydrates are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water using light as an energy source.
  • phylogeny, phylogenetic: the evolutionary history of an organism; the relationships between an ancestor and the organisms that have evolved from it in the course of time; the evolutionary relationships between ancestors and descendants. Opp. phenetics, ontogeny.
  • phylogenetic tree: the diagram-like form in a dendrogram representation of the phylogeny of organisms.
  • physiology: the study of the metabolism of a plant; the study of the chemical changes occurring in living organisms.
  • plant: any of various photosynthetic, eukaryotic, multicellular organisms of the kingdom Plantae characteristically producing embryos, containing chloroplasts, having cellulose cell walls, and lacking the power of locomotion.
  • plant diversity: the fact or quality of being diverse; difference in the plantae. great variability of differences.
  • Plantae: the taxonomic kingdom comprising all living or extinct plants.
  • precipitation: any form of water, such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail, that falls to the earth's surface; the quantity of such water falling in a specific area within a specific period.
  • pubescent (pubescence): being downy or finely hairy.
  • quartzite: a rock formed from the metamorphism of quartz sandstone.
  • raceme (racemose)": a type of inflorescence in which the relative main axis is indeterminate, with or without side branches, and with flowers starting to open from the bottom
  • rainfall: the quantity of water, expressed in inches, precipitated as rain, snow, hail, or sleet in a specified area and time interval.
  • recurve (recurved): curved backwards (or downwards), curved in a direction opposite to the normal one; reflexed.
  • regional: Of or relating to a large geographic region; of or relating to a particular region or district.
  • sand: a sedimentary material, finer than a granule and coarser than silt.
  • segments: any of the parts into which something can be divided: segments of the community; a segment of a television program. Biology. a clearly differentiated subdivision of an organism or part.
  • sepals: the individual part of the calyx, i.e. leaves of the outer floral envelop.
  • shrub: a woody perennial without a dominant trunk, and generally less than 5 m high.
  • soil: the top layer of the earth's surface, consisting of rock and mineral particles mixed with organic matter; a particular kind of earth or ground.
  • speciation: the process during which two or more distinguishable species arise from a common ancestor in the course of time; the process when species are formed by evolution.
  • species: the basic unit in biological classification, comparing a group of most closely related individuals, which actually or potentially interbreed and produce offspring that, in all its characters, is within the variation expected within the circumscription of the species. Species actually lacks a clear cut definition; in that it use is often more common since than applied logic principles.
  • spine: a generally pointed either rigid or not process derived from a modified leaf, stiple, or branch; an emergence from the plant body originating from the woody or vasculated part.
  • stamen: (pl. stamens or stamina) the male organ within a flower, usually consisting of a filament and anther.
  • stellate: having the shape of a star.
  • stigma: the top most receptive region of the style, often divided into stigma lobes, commonly papillate or wet by a sticky exudate to help capture and nourish pollen grains
  • stiple: the stalk-like structure carrying a gynoecium or carpel, or its tapered base.
  • subglobose: not quite globose, spherical; globular.
  • substrate: an underlying layer; a substratum, a layer of earth beneath the surface soil; subsoil.
  • systematics: the study of classification of organism according to evolutionary relationships.
  • taxon: (pl. taxa) a convenient term to refer to any taxonomic group or unit; i.e. a family, a species, etc. depending upon context; a taxonomic group or rank.
  • taxonomy: the study of classification of organisms and their nomenclature; systematics.
  • temperature: the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment.
  • tepal: any element of the floral envelope if it is not distinguished into a calyx or corolla; perianth segment.
  • theca: (pl. thecae) (angiosperms) on half of an anther with pollen-containing locule.
  • tomentosum: wooly, clothed in dense, soft hairs.
  • tree: a woody perennial, mostly more than 5 m high.
  • trunk: the main stem of a tree; usually covered with bark.
  • tuber(s): rounded underground fleshy stem or stem segment with several buds.
  • tuberous: provided with one or several tubers.
  • type specimen: the original specimen from which the description of a new species is made.
  • undulate: wavy.
  • urceolate: urn-shaped, hollow and with a contraction near the "mouth" or opening.
  • vein(s): a visible vascular bundle, especially of the leaf.
  • wing (winged): any membrane-like expansion of a plant part, i.e. seeds for wind dispersal;