TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. INTRODUCTION

2. INTO ACTION

3. ECOLOGY & RESTORATION

4. INVASIVES & BEYOND

INVASIVE PLANTS
GLOSSARY
INVASIVE CATALOGUE
NATIVE PLANTS

5. WRAPPING UP

Glossary of Basic Botanical Terms


Botany, like most fields of science, has many specialized terms. Some of these terms will be familiar to you but others may have a different many in common use than they do in botanical use. For example, in botany the term fruit refers to the ripened ovary of a flower, together with seeds, and often including surrounding tissues while in everyday use the term fruit is usually used to refer to plant fruits which happen to be sweet and fleshy.

If you are interested in botany or are considering pursuing a career in Environmental Education or Natural Resource Management you may wish to learn more about botany and how to identify plants in the field. At the bottom of this page are several links to websites that provide a more thorough introduction to botany and botanical terminology. The following are just a few terms you may be unfamiliar with but will need to know to identify the invasive plant species that are currently a problem on the Refuge.


Annual, Perennial, Biennial Lifecycles

A life cycle describes how long a plant lives; including how long it takes a plant to grow, produce flowers and set seed. Plants can be annual (a one year life cycle), biennial (a two year life cycle) or perennial (reproduce for multiple years).


Axil

An axil is the joint between a leaf and a stem.


Deciduous or Evergreen?

Some woody perennial plants are deciduous, which means that they drop their leaves before winter, or a dry season. Other woody perennial plants are evergreen and retain their leaves throughout the year, replacing only a few leaves at a time.


Fruit

In botany, fruit is a very inclusive term and includes anything with a seed. You will see the following terms in the invasive plant catalog and they are all types of “fruit” or a part of a fruit.

• A berry is a many seeded fleshy fruit that does not open to release its seeds until it decays or is eaten by an animal.

• A husk is a layer of tissue surrounding a seed or fruit, it is usually dry, such as the husk around an ear of corn.

• A pod is a dry fruit with one or more seeds which splits open when it dries.


Leaves

There are three terms you need to know about leaves (but we will talk more about leaves during the field training). Leaves can be simple or compound.

A simple leaf from a European privet branch; simple leaves have one blade and are not divided into leaflets.

A compound leaf from a Tree-of-Heaven; compound leaves are divided into leaflets. A leaflet is simply a division of a compound leaf.

The lobed leaf of this Porcelainberry vine has deeply indented margins around the edge of the leaf.


Lenticels

A lenticel is an opening that allows gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) to be exchanged between the plant and the air. Lenticels look like horizontal lines on the bark of this Black cherry tree.


Tendrils

Tendrils are modified leaves, branches or flowers that coil around nearby objects to help support the plant.


Shrubs

A shrub is a low growing woody perennial.

NEXT:  INVASIVE CATALOGUE