f.: an abbreviation for (1) forma if preceding a taxon epithet, or (2) filius (son of) if following the author of the taxon (e.g. L.f. – son of Linnaeus).
facultative: of parasites, optional, cf. obligate.
falcate: sickle-shaped, e.g. of a leaf. Fig. 5 N.
family: a group of one or more genera believed to be related. cf. genus.
farina: a fine mealy powder on the surface of some plants.
fasciated: unnaturally and often monstrously connate or adnate, the coalesced parts often grossly proliferated in size and/or number; e.g. inflorescence of Celosia.
fascicled: arranged in bundles or clusters, e.g. leaves. Fig. 2 J.
feldmark: high altitude plant community characterized by scattered, dwarf prostrate plants with a mat or cushion habit.
felted: matted with very short interlocked hairs, having the appearance or texture of felt. Fig. 14 D. cf. tomentose.
fenestrate: windowed or provided with openings.
ferruginous: rusty, rust-coloured.
fertile: capable of reproducing itself; also used of portions of a plant or organ producing reproductive structures.
fertilization: the union of female and male gametes.
fibre: (1) a thread or thread-like body; (2) a long slender, thick-walled cell as in sclerenchyma tissue.
-fid: a suffix: divided to about half-way, e.g. 2-fid, 3-fid, bi-fid, tri-fid.
filament: (1) any thread-like body; (2) the stalk of a stamen.
filiform: thread-like. Fig. 5 A.
filius: (Latin) son, abbreviated to f.
fimbriate: having the margin fringed with long hair-like processes. Fig. 14 J. cf. ciliate.
fistula: the opening of a hollow leaf-base; through which the stem emerges.
flaccid: limp; tending to wilt. cf. turgid.
flexuous (flexuose): bent from side to side in one plane in zigzag form.
floccose: covered with soft woolly hairs which are entangled and tend to rub off.
flora: (1) the assemblage of plant taxa of an area; (2) a book dealing systematically with the plants of an area.
floral: belonging to or associated with a flower.
floral tube: see hypanthium.
floret: (1) a small flower, one of a spikelet or dense cluster, as in Asteraceae; (2) a grass flower, together with the lemma and palea that enclose it.
flower: the sexual reproductive structure of angiosperms, typically consisting of an axis bearing perianth parts, androecium and gynoecium. Fig. 12.
-foliate: a suffix: number of leaves, as in bifoliate = with 2 leaves.
-foliolate: an adjective used with a number prefix to indicate the number of leaflets forming a compound leaf, e.g. bifoliolate, a leaf with 2 leaflets.
follicle: a dry fruit derived from a single carpel and opening along one suture. Fig. 18 F & G.
forb: a non-woody plant other than a grass, sedge, rush, etc. cf. herb.
forest: a plant community dominated by long-boled trees in close proximity. cf. woodland.
form (forma, Latin): the smallest taxonomic category, generally used for variations occurring among individuals of any population; sometimes abbreviated to f.
fovea: a pit. adj. foveate.
foveola: a small pit. adj. foveolate.
free: not united with any other organ.
free-central: of placentation, with the placenta along the central axis in a compound ovary without septa. Fig. 13 E & F.
frond: the leaf of a fern or cycad; sometimes used for a large compound leaf as in palms.
fruit: the seed-bearing structure in angiosperms, formed from the ovary after flowering. Fig. 18.
funicle: the stalk of the ovule.
fused: joined and growing together.
fusiform: spindle-shaped, i.e. narrower at both ends than at the middle.
galea: in Orchidaceae, a perianth segment or group of perianth segments shaped like a helmet.
gamete: a reproductive cell; a cell or nucleus that fuses with another in sexual reproduction.
gametophyte: the body that bears gametes; produced by the germinating spore. cf. prothallus.
gamopetalous (= sympetalous): with petals united by their margins, at least at the base. cf. polypetalous.
gamophyllous: having the bases of opposite leaves fused around the stem. Fig. 4 E.
gamosepalous: having the sepals united by their margins, at least at the base.
genes: the total complement of hereditary factors contained within an organism: the unit of inheritance.
geniculate: bent like a knee.
genotype: the total complement of hereditary factors (genes) acquired by an organism from its parents and available for transmisssion to its offspring. cf. phenotype.
genus: a taxonomic group of closely related species or a single species without close relatives; closely related genera are grouped into families. pl. genera.
geophyte: a plant with an underground storage organ (e.g. corm, tuber, bulb or rhizome) and with annually renewed aerial shoots.
gibbous: humped, swollen on one side.
glabrate: glabrous, but obviously having previously had an indumentum.
glabrescent: becoming glabrous.
glabrous: without hairs or scales.
gland: a structure, within or on the surface of a plant, with a secretory function; e.g. surface glands (Fig. 16 E), petiolar or lamina glands (Fig. 19 E–H).
glandular: having glands, e.g. of hairs (Fig. 15 C), of a surface (Fig. 16 E).
glaucous: dull blue-green in colour, with a whitish bloom which can often be rubbed off; sometimes characteristic of young leaves, as in some eucalypts. cf. pruinose.
globose (globular, orbicular, spherical): a 3-dimensional shape, ball-shaped, more or less circular in outline.
glochid: a barbed bristle, as in many Cactaceae.
glomerule: a small compact cluster, e.g. of flowers.
glumaceous: having the nature of or resembling a glume, tending to be chaffy or membranous in texture.
glume: a bract in the inflorescence of some monocots; (1) one of the two bracts at the base of the grass spikelet; (2) also used in Cyperaceae and Restionaceae for the small bracts on the spikelet in which flower is subtended.
grain: the fruit of grasses, see caryopsis.
granular: of a surface, finely mealy, covered with small granules.
grass: a plant belonging to the family Poaceae.
grassland: low vegetation dominated by grasses.
gymnosperms: plants, such as conifers and cycads, whose seeds are naked, the ovules not being enclosed in an ovary.
gynaecandrous: inflorescence with female flowers above male flowers, as in the spikes of some species of Carex.
gynobasic: of a style, arising near the base of the gynoecium between the lobes of the ovary.
gynodioecious: of plants, having female flowers and bisexual flowers on separate plants. cf. androdioecious, andromonoecious, dioecious, monoecious, polygamodioecious, polygamomonoecious, polygamous.
gynoecium: the carpel (if solitary) or carpels of a flower collectively; the female part of the flower. cf. androecium.
gynomonoecious: of plants, having bisexual and female flowers on the same plant. cf. androdioecious, andromonoecious, dioecious, gynodioecious, monoecious, polygamodioecious, polygamomonoecious, polygamous.
gynophore: the stalk of a superior ovary. cf. androgynophore.
gynostemium: see column.
habit: the general appearance of a plant, including size, shape and growth form. Fig. 1.
habitat: the kind of place in which a plant grows.
hair: an outgrowth of the epidermis, usually elongate and consisting of one or more cells. Fig. 14 & Fig. 15.
half-inferior: of an ovary, partly below and partly above the level of attachment of the perianth and stamens. Fig. 12 C.
halophyte: a plant adapted to living in a highly saline area; a plant that accumulates a high concentration of salt in its tissues.
hamulus: on column of orchid, thread of tissue between pollen-mass and viscid disk on upper part of stigma (rostellum).
haploid: having a single set of chromosomes in the nucleus. cf. diploid, polyploid.
hastate: spear-shaped; of a leaf, with a narrow, pointed lamina with two basal lobes spreading more or less at right angles to the petiole. Fig. 7 I.
haustorium: the absorbing organ of some parasitic or hemiparasitic plants through which substances pass from the host to the parasite.
head (capitulum): a dense cluster of more or less sessile flowers, e.g. in Asteraceae a group of florets sessile on a common receptacle. Fig. 17 O & P.
heath: (1) a plant community dominated by small, closely spaced shrubs, most of which have stiff and often small leaves; (2) a plant with small hard leaves, as in many Ericaceae subfamily Styphelioideae.
hemi-: prefix: half.
hemiantropous: see hemitropous.
hemiparasite: an organism that is partly parasitic on another organism, e.g. mistletoes.
hemitropous: of an ovule with the body at right angles to the funicle, with the funicle attached near the middle and the micropyle terminal; embryo sac straight. Fig. 21 C. cf. anatropous, amphitropous, campylotropous, orthotropous.
herb: a plant that does not produce a woody stem, although it may be woody at the base. adj. herbaceous. cf. forb.
herbaceous: herb-like, not woody; often applied to bracts, bracteoles or floral parts that are green and soft in texture.
hermaphrodite: of a plant with all flowers bisexual.
hesperidium: fleshy indehiscent fruit derived from a single gynoecium, with an outer leathery rind and septate interior (e.g. Citrus).
heterogamous: producing flowers of 2 or more kinds with respect to their fertile organs, i.e. combination of male, female or bisexual. cf. homogamous.
heterogeneous: consisting of dissimilar parts.
heteromorphic: of two or more forms.
heterosporous: a plant producing spores of two different kinds in the sexual reproductive cycle. See megaspore, microspore. cf. homosporous.
heterostylous: flowers with styles of different lengths, sizes or shapes in the same species. cf. homostylous.
hilum: the scar on the seed coat where the seed was attached to the funicle.
hip: the false aggregate ‘fruit’ in Rosa species. Fig. 18 V.
hirsute: bearing coarse, moderately stiff, longish hairs. Fig. 14 L.
hispid: bristly. See bristle.
hispidulous: minutely bristly.
hoary: with a dense covering of hairs so that the surface appears whitish or greyish.
holotype: a single specimen chosen by the author of a plant (or animal) name, at the time of original publication, as that to which the name shall apply; the ‘voucher specimen’ of a name. cf. lectotype which is chosen by a later author.
homosporous: producing only one kind of spore in the sexual reproductive cycle, and hence each with gametophyte producing both male and female gametes. cf. heterosporous.
homostylous: flowers with styles of similar length, size and shape in the same species. cf. heterostylous.
host: an organism on which a parasite lives and by which it is nourished; also applied to a plant supporting an epiphyte.
hybrid: the offspring of genetically different parents (in a flora, usually applied where the parents are of different species).
hybrid swarm: a variable population resulting from crossing and segregation amongst the offspring of a hybrid or hybrids, including one or both of the parent taxa.
hydrophyte: a plant growing submerged in water, sometimes partly emergent.
hygroscopic: capable of expanding or contracting in response to presence or absence of water or atmospheric moisture.
hypanthium: a cup-like or tubular structure formed above the base, and often above the top, of the ovary with the stamens and perianth parts inserted on the rim. e.g. as in Onagraceae and some Myrtaceae. Fig. 12 D.
hypocotyl: the part of the stem of an embryo or young seedling below the cotyledonary node.
hypodermis: a layer of cells below the epidermis.
hypogynous: inserted below the level of the ovary, e.g. of sepals, petals and stamens. Fig. 12 A. cf. perigynous, epigynous.
hypogeal: of germination, having the cotyledon(s) remaining within the seed coat. cf. epigeal.
hypopeltate: of an anther that is dorsifixed (or peltate) and in which the part of the anther that is prolonged downwards beyond the attachment point of the filament faces outwards in relation to the centre of the flower. cf. epipeltate.
hypostomatic: leaves with stomates on one surface only; usually on the lower surface. cf. amphistomatic.
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