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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 98 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Abaxial

Of the side or surface of an organ like a petal or organ system such as a branch, facing away from the axis that bears the organ or organ system, cf. adaxial, lateral, median, a useful set of positional descriptors.

Achene

Specifically, a dry, indehiscent fruit formed from a superior ovary of one carpel and containing one seed which is free from the pericarp except at the funicular end, more broadly, dry one-seeded fruits in general, whether formed from one or more carpels and superior or inferior ovaries, see caryopsis, cypsela, nut, utricle for variants which are also often called simply "achenes".

Acumen

Of the apex of a structure, a long, narrowly tapering point with convex sides, hence acuminate, cf. acute, attenuate, apiculum, arista, awn, cuneate, caudate, cuspidate, emarginate, mucronate, muticous, obtuse, retuse, rounded, truncate, cf. also cordate, hastate, oblique, runcinate, sagittate (esp. of lamina base).

Acute

Of the apex or base of a structure, terminating in a distinct but not protracted point, the coverging sides concave and joining at an angle of less than 90o, cf. acumen, attenuate, apiculum, arista, awn, cuneate, caudate, cuspidate, emarginate, mucronate, muticous, obtuse, retuse, rounded, truncate, cf. also cordate, hastate, oblique, runcinate, sagittate (esp. of lamina base).

Adaxial

Of the side or surface of an organ like a petal or organ system such as a branch, facing towards the axis that bears the organ or organ system, cf. abaxial, lateral, median, a useful set of positional descriptors.

Anther

The pollen-bearing part of a stamen, with which its connective is usually described as being basifixed, centrifixed, dorsifixed, embedded, or versatile as it joins the filament, made up of a number of sporangia, in angiosperms these typically in pairs or thecae, opening by slits or ostioles, pores or valves in either the extrorse, latrorse or introrse directions, the wall often following the basic, dicotyledonous, monocotyledonous or reduced types of development, surrounding the tapetum, in turn surrounding the meiocyte, pollen, etc. (depending on the developmental stage of the male gametophyte).

Attenuate

Tapering gradually to a point, a vague term that is probably better replaced by narrowly acute or acuminate where appropriate, cf. acumen, acute, apiculum, arista, awn, cuneate, caudate, cuspidate, emarginate, mucronate, muticous, obtuse, retuse, rounded, truncate, cf. also cordate, hastate, oblique, runcinate, sagittate (esp. of lamina base).

Auricle

An ear-shaped appendage at the base of a leaf, leaflet or corolla lobe, adj. auriculate.

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Mauricio Diazgranados @ 2013. Postdoctoral researcher | Botany | NMNH | Smithsonian Institution 
Website: http://www.mauricio-diazgranados.com/ | Email: espeletias@gmail.com
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