Glossary


Abaxial
Facing away from the stem of a plant (especially denoting the lower surface of a leaf).
Note the lower surfaces of the puka (Meryta sinclairii) leaves
Acerose
Narrow with a sharp stiff point.
Note the narrow leaves with a sharp point of Coprosma acerosa. Acerose leaf shape
Achene
A simple, dry, one–seeded (one–celled) fruit
Achenes of Senecio lautus subsp. lautus
Acicular
Needle-shaped.
Acicular leaf shape
Acidic
Having a low pH, opposite of basic or alkaline.
Acroscopic
Pointing towards, or on the side of, the apex
Acroscopic pinnules of Asplenium bulbiferum.
Acuminate
Gradually tapered to a point. Sharply pointed.
The sharply pointed leaves of Geniostoma ligustrifolium var ligustrifolium (hangehange) An acuminate leaf tip
Acute
Pointed or sharp, tapering to a point with straight sides.
An acute leaf tip Acute leaf tips of Pittosporum cornifolium
Adnate
Fusion of unlike parts, e.g. stamens fused to petals.
Adventive
A plant that grows in the wild in New Zealand but which was introduced to the country by humans.
Gorse (Ulex europaeus), an adventive plant
Agglutinated
Stuck together.
Allelopath
An organism that releases compounds that are toxic to other species.
Allelopathy
The release by an organism of compounds that are toxic to other species.
Alternate
Attached singly at each node but changing from one side of a stem to the other.
The alternate leaves of Myrsine oliveri The alternate leaves of Nothofagus menziesii (silver beech)
Alveolate
Honeycombed with ridged partitions.
Amplexicaul
clasping or surrounding the stem
The leaves of Hebe amplexicaulis clasping the stem
Anamorph
Asexual fruiting stage, usually of an ascomycete fungus.
Anastomosing
Rejoining after branching, as in some leaf veins.
Anastomising on the leaf of Fuchsia excorticata
Annual
A plant that completes its complete life cycle within the space of a year
Annual evergreen
Plants that lose their over-wintering leaves rapidly in the first half of the growing season. Annual evergreens never present a leafless appearance, but are closer in a functional sense to a deciduous plant than they are to multi-annual evergreens.
Annulus
Line of thickened cells that governs the release of spores from a sporangium
Annulus cells on the sporangia of Pneumatopteris pennigera.
Anterior
Towards the front.
Anther
The pollen-bearing portion of the stamen.
The anther on Coprosma grandifolia
Antheridium
Male reproductive organ formed on the prothallus of a fern
Anthesis
When the flower is fully developed and functioning. The time of pollination or bloom.
Flowering Metrosideros excelsa (pohutukawa)
Apex
Tip; the point furthest from the point of attachment.
Apices
Plural of apex. Tip, the point furthest from the point of attachment
Apiculate
Bearing a short slender and flexible point.
The short, slender and flexible points on the petals of Geniostoma ligustrifolium var ligustrifolium An apiculate leaf tip
Apiculus
A small, slender point.
Apomixis
A form of reproduction whereby seed is formed without the usual mode of sexual fusion
Apomixis as illustrates by Coprosma robusta
Appressed
Pressed against another organ or surface.
The appressed leaves of Libocedrus plumosa
Aquatic
Growing, or living in, or frequenting water. Applied to plants and animals and their habitats. Opposite of terrestrial (land living).
An aquatic sedge, Isolepis fluitans var. fluitans
Archegonium
Female reproductive organ of a fern formed on the prothallus
Arcuate
Curved into an arch.
Coriaria arborea
Aril
An often fleshy appendage on the outside of a seed.
Fleshy appendage to the seed of Alectryon excelsus subsp excelsus (titoki) Fleshy appendage to the seed of Alectryon excelsus subsp excelsus (titoki)
Artificial thinning
Selectively removing vegetation to create gaps to facilitate natural invasion of native plants, or to plant later successional plants.
Ascending
Growing obliquely upward.
Asexual
Vegetative reproduction, lacking sexual involvement by sperm or egg cells
Attenuate
Narrowing gradually
Attanuate leaf base
Auricle
A small, ear-shaped appendage.
Auriculate
Bearing a small, ear-shaped appendage.
An auriculate leaf base
Autogamous
Self-fertilising flowers.
Autotrophic
Of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis
awn
A stiff or bristle like projection often from the tip or back of an organ
Awns on Cotaderia toetoe
Axil
The upper angle between the leaf and the stem.
Image showing the angle between the leaf and stem of Poutere costata.
Axis
The longitudinal supporting structure around which organs are borne, e.g., a stem bearing leaves.
Stem bearing the leaves of Agathis australis (kauri)

Member Login

Username: Password:

FAQs | Contact us | Desktop version