Glossary


Sagittate
Shaped like the head of an arrow; narrow and pointed but gradually enlarged at base into two straight lobes directed downwards; may refer only to the base of a leaf with such lobes; cf. hastate.
A sagittate leaf base Sagittate as illustrated by Acaena microphylla Sagittate as illustrated by Calystegia marginata
Salt marsh
A coastal wetland, with specialized salt tolerant plants (halophytes).
Sapling
A juvenile tree that has reached the stage of 1 or 2 main stems but is still in the shrub layer.
Saprophyte
A plant lacking chlorophyll and living on dead organic matter.
Saprophytic
Lacking chlorophyll and living on dead organic matter.
Sarcotesta
The fleshy, often highly coloured outer layer of the seed coat in some species, e.g., titoki (Alectryon excelsus).
Scabrid
Roughened or rough with delicate and irregular projections.
A scabrid leaf of Carex secta
Scale
Any thin, flat, membranous structure.
Scales on the rachis of Polystichum cystostegia
Scape
A leafless flower stem.
A leafless flower stem of Phormium tenax
schizocarp
A fruit which splits when dry, from the Greek skhizein 'split' and karpos 'fruit'
schizocarps
Plural of schizocarp, a fruit which splits when dry, from the Greek skhizein 'split' and karpos 'fruit'
Scutiform
Shield-shaped.
Sedges
A group of grass-like or rush-like herbaceous plants belonging to the family Cyperaceae. Many species are found in wetlands some are forest floor plants. Leaves are usually angular. Hence the saying "rushes are round and sedges have edges".
Seedling
A newly germinated plant.
Self sustaining
Able to sustain itself, or replace itself, independently of management i.e. regenerate naturally
Self thinning
Natural tree death in a crowded, even-aged forest or shrubland.
Semi-deciduous
Partial leaflessness in winter, and greater than 50% leaves lost by the beginning of spring flush.
Sepal
Outer part of flower; usually green.
Outer part of flower of Arthropodium cirrhatum Outer part of flower of Rubus cissoides Outer part of flower of Pittosporum pimelioides
Serrate
Sharply toothed with teeth pointing forwards towards apex.
Illustration of serrate leaf Serrate leaf of Haloragis erecta
Serrulate
Finely serrate, i.e., finely toothed with asymmetrical teeth pointing forward; like the cutting edge of a saw.
Serrulate leaf shape
Sessile
Attached by the base without a stalk or stem.
Sessile fronds of Blechnum fraseri Sessile flowers of nikau
Seta
The stalk of a fruiting moss capsule
The stalk of a fruiting moss capsule
Sheath
A portion of an organ that surrounds (at least partly) another organ (e.g., the tubular envelope enclosing the stem in grasses and sedges).
Sheath of Macropiper excelsusum (kawakawa)
Silicles
The flattened usually circular capsule – compared with the narrow, elongated fruit (silique) – containing the seed/seeds. A term used almost exclusively for plants within the cabbage family (Brassicaceae)
Silique
A capsule, usually 2-celled, with 2 valves falling away from a frame (replum) bearing
Simple
Of one part; undivided (cf compound).
Simple leaf of Coprosma grandifolia
Sinuate
With a wavy margin.
Illustration of sinuate leaf Wavy margins of Blechnum fluviatile
Sinus
The space or recess between lobes; in hebes a gap between the margins of two leaves of an opposite pair that may be present in the bud before the pair of leaves separate.
Sinus of Hebe diosmifolia Sinus of Hebe venustula
Sorus
A cluster of two or more sporangia on the margin or underside of the lamina of a fern, sometimes protected by an indusium.
Sorus on a Blechnum frond Sorus on fern frond
Spathulate
Spatula or spoon-shaped, a rounded blade tapering gradually to the base.
Leaf showing a spoon shape Spathulate leaves of Coprosma spathulata
Spheroidal
Almost spherical but elliptic in cross section.
Spicate
Arranged in a spike.
Spike
Flowers attached to main stem without stalks.
Spike of Macropiper psitacorum Spike of Streblus banksii Spike of Macropiper
Spikelet
Collection of individual grass florets borne at the end of the smallest branch of the inflorescence.
Sporangia
Plural of sporangium. Structures in which spores are produced.
Sporangia of Adiantum cunninghamii before spores have been expelled. Sporangia of Blechnum novae-zelandiae x B. procerum after spores have been expelled.
Sporangium
Structure in which spores are produced.
Spore
A single-celled reproductive unit similar in function to that of the seed in a flowering plant.
sporophyte
The spore producing plant in ferns that is usually the visible part.
Stamen
The male reproductive organ of a flower where pollen is produced. Consists of an anther and its stalk.
Stamen of Sophora microphylla
Stamens
The male, pollen bearing organ of a flower.
Standing water
Where water lies above the soil surface for much of the year.
Stellate
Irregularly branched or star shaped.
Stellate hairs on leaves of Pomaderris apetala
Stigma
Female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen, usually found at or near the tip (apical end) of the style where deposited pollen enters the pistil.
Stigma of Fuchsia excorticata
Stipe
The stalk of a frond.
Stipe of Pteridium esculentum (bracken)
Stipitate
Borne on a stipe or stalk.
Stipitate fruit of Hedycarya arborea
Stipulate
A leaf with stipules.
Stipule
A scale-like of leaf-like appendage at the base of a petiole, usually paired.
Stipule of Coprosma grandifolia
Stolon
A stem which creeps along the ground, or even underground.
Stoloniferous
Producing stolons
Stramineous
Chaffy, like straw or straw-colored.
Straw coloured Metrosideros excelsa
Stria
A fine line or groove.
Striae
Fine lines or grooves.
Striate
Fine longitudinal lines or minute ridges
Striate Carmichaelia appressa Striate stems of Carmichaelia
Style
The elongated part of the flower between the ovary and the stigma.
Style of Pittosporum cassifolium
Sub-
A prefix meaning under, somewhat or almost.
Subglabrous
Very slightly, but persistently, hairy.
Suborbicular
Slightly rounded in outline
Substrate
The surface upon which an orchid grows.
Subtended
Immediately beneath, occupying a position immediately beneath a structure, i.e., flower subtended by bract
Subtended Melicytus ramiflorus
Subulate
Slender and tapering to a point.
Subulate foliage of Dacrydium cupressinum (rimu) Subulate - Entelea arborescens
Succession
Progressive replacement of one species or plant community type by another in an ecosystem.
Successional
Referring to species, plant communities or habitats that tend to be progressively replaced by another.
Succulent
Fleshy and juicy.
Succulent fruit of Coprosma grandifolia
Summer-green
Used in New Zealand to indicate herbs or sub-shrubs that die down to a root stock or rhizomatous network.
Supplementary planting
Returning to a revegetation site and creating gaps, or filling existing gaps, with different plants of plants, usually later successional plants which may not have survived being planted in the first phases of the project.
Surface water
Water present above the substrate or soil surface.
Surveillance
Regular survey for pests inside operational and managed areas e.g. nurseries, standout areas on parks.
Survey
Collection of observations on the spatial distribution or presence or absence of species using standardised procedures.
Sustainable Land Management
The use of farming practices which are sustainable both financially and environmentally including management of nutrient runoff, waste disposal or stock effluent, reducing impacts of nutrients on waterways, preventing erosion and soil loss, and protecting native forest and wetland habitats from stock damage.
Swamp
Low land that is seasonally flooded; has more woody plants than a marsh and better drainage than a bog. They are more fertile and less acidic than bogs because inflowing water brings silt, clay and organic matter. Typical swamp plants include raupo, purei and harakeke (flax). Zonation and succession often leads through manuka to kahikatea swamp forest as soil builds up and drainage improves.
Symbiote
An organism that has an association with organisms of another species whereby the metabolic dependence of the two associates is mutual.
Symbiotic
The relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other (see also symbiosis).
Sympatric
Occupying the same geographical region.
Synangia
Structures made up of fused sporangia
Synangium of Marattia salicina Synangium of Marattia salicina
Synonym
A botanical name that also applies to the same taxon.
Systematics
The study of taxonomy, phylogenetics, and taxagenetics.

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