acute With the pointed end forming an acute angle; sharply pointed
adaxial On the side toward the axis; the side oriented toward the stem
aerial Not connected to the ground, as in an aerial root
anther Top portion of the stamen, consisting of one or more pollen sacs; the site of pollen formation
appressed Pressed closely to or flattened against the stem
areolate Bearing areoles
areole Spezialized axillary bud or short shoot; the spine cushions, producing leaves, spines, and flowers
aril Usually a fleshy or corky outgrowth of the funiculus, covering part of all of the seed; compare caruncle, strophiole
arillate With an aril
armed With spines or other pointed structures
articulate Jointed, divided into segments at each node
attenuate With a long, tapering point
awl shaped With a narrow, stiff, flattened body that tapers gradually to a point
axil Angel between the upper side of leaf and the steam; the depression between the tubercles in Mammillaria from which the flowers arise
axillary In the axil
banded Marked with rings of different colors
barbed Ending in a ringed hook
bract Modified leaf, usually at the base of or subtending a flower; usually very small
bristle A stiffened hair
caespitose Tufted, with many stems growing from a common base, often forming low mounds or cushions
calcareous Of or containing lime or chalk
callus New tissue which forms over a cut
calyx Collective term for the sepals of a flower
candelabra-like Resembling a candlestick, with a main thunk an several large branches

Special growth on the seed coat; a type of hard aril, often a form of secretion, usually near the microphyle; compare strophiole

central spine One of the innermost spines of an areole; compare radial spine
cephalium Spezialized reproductive stem growth of some cacti, with very short internodes and usually dense wool or hairs; compare pseudocephalium
clambering Crawling or sprawling along the ground
cleistogamous Refering to flowers that do not open
clustering Many stems arising from a common base and growing together, either loosely or compactly; caespitosae
compressed Flattened
conical Cone shaped and if attached, at the broad end
conjunct Sometimes joined
conserved name A name that may be invalid or illegitimate under the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature but that has been mandated for use to avoid nomenclatural problems of farious kinds
corolla Collective term for the petals of a flower
cortex Tissue lying beneath the epidermis (and hypodermis), usually consisting of parenchyma cells for photosynthesis ans storage; compare pith
creeping Prostrate, growing along the ground and often producing adventitous roots; compare decumbent, procumbent
cristate The monstrosus growth development in plants; compare monstrose
cultivar A hybrid produced by cultivation; compare hybrid
cv. Abbreviation for cultivar
decumbent Creeping along the ground but with the stem tips raised; compare procumbent, prostrate
deflexed Abruptly bent or turned downward; compare reflexed
dehiscent Splitting open, often along predertermined lines; compare indehiscent
depressed Flattened from above and often depressed in the center
descending Bent downward; pointing down
determinate Growing to a certain point or size and then stopping; compare indeterminate
dichotomous Forking, usually branching into two equal branches
dimorphic Having two different forms or shapes
disjunction A geographic distribution in which populations are seperated, not continuous
diurnal Day flowering
ellipsoidal Elliptical in cross section, three-dimensionally
elliptical Having the form of an ellipse; oblong-rounded with round ends, two-dimensionally
elongate Lengthened
endemic Restricted to a particular geographic area; with narrow or limited distribution
epidermis Outer, productive layer of the stem, leaf, or root
epiphyte A plant growing an another plant, for support but not nourishment; compare geophyte, litophyte
ex Latin for from, and in the authority citation following a scientific name indicating the person who actually published the name; for example, Opuntia ciribe ex J. M. Coulter 1896, a synonym of Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Engelmann) F. M. Knuth 1935, means that John Coulter atually published the name O. ciribe in 1896 but attributed it to George Engelmann
extrafloral Outside the flower
f., fa. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of form; latin = forma
family Taxanomic grouping of similar genera
felted With short, often interwoven, dense hairs
filament Stalk of the stamen that supports the anther
floral tube United portion of the corolla, making a tube, sometimes including the calyx; compare pericarpel
fringed With small, threadlike appendages along the edge
fruit Derived from the ovary or ovaries following fertilization and development of the seeds within, including part of the receptacle in cacti
funicular Pertaining to the funiculus
funiculus Attachment or stalk between the wall of the ovary and the ovule
funnelform Shaped like a funnel
genus Taxanomic grouping of plants with similar characteristics. Represented by the first element in a botanical name.
geophyte With most of the plant body below ground level, often with a large taproot; compare epiphyte, lithophyte
glabrous Without hairs or other appendages; smooth and lacking pubescence
gland A cell or tissue that secrets a sperical liquid such as nectar
glaucous Covered with a grayish white or bluish white bloom of fine wax particles
globose, globular Ball shaped; spherical
glochid Tiny, barbed, easily detached spine, often occuring in tufts; found only in the subfamily Opuntioideae
granular With small, grainlike protuberances or swellings, knobs, or other structures on the surface
habit Manner of growth; growth form
habitat Place or locality with certain ecological characteristics where an organism occurs
hilum Point of attachment of the funiculus to the seed
humus Decomposed organic matter
hybrid An individual resulting from the cross of two different taxa or organisms of differnet genetic makeup
hypodermis Layer of layers of cells lying just interior to the epidermis; often with thick walls
illegitimate A name not published in accordance with the rulesof the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature that is to be rejected, that is, it has no nomenclatural standing; compare invalid
imbricate Overlapping like the shingles of a roof
indehiscent Not splitting open and remainig closed; compare dehiscent
indeterminate Growing indefinitely, the growth not limited by a terminal bud; compare determinate
inflorescens A cluster of flowers; the flowering portion of a plant
intergenetic Between two genera; usually describing a hybrid
internode Portion of the stem between nodes
interspecific Between two species; usually describing a hybrid
introduced Describing the geographic distribution of an organism that occurs in an area where it is not native
invalid A name not published in accordance with the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature; such names may illegitimate
joint A stem segment, a determinate portion of a stem
juvenile Immature; not yet fully developed
lanceolate Lance shaped, much longer than broad, widened above the base an tapering to the tip
lateral On the side; along the margin
latex A secretation, usually milky and formed of a complex organic polymer
lectotype A type specimen chosen later when no type was designated but when more than one specimen was cited in an original description; compare neotype
lithophyte A plant growing on rocks, an epilithic plant; compare epiphyte, geophyte
marginal Along the border
margin Edge of petal
microphyle Opening into the ovule
midvein Middle vein of a leaf or perianth segment
monophyletic A group of organisms arising from a single ancestor, thus forming a natural group; compare polyphyletic
monotypic The only species within a genus
monstrose An abnormal, irregular stem growth
mucilage Sticky or jellylike, sugar-based substance, apparently involved in water storage
naked Lacking scales, bracts, hairs, wool, spines, or other appendages
naturalized Introduced from another area and becoming established enough to compete with the native vegetation
nectar Sugar solution produced as a reward for pollinating animals
nectar chamber Area of the flower in which nectar is produced and stored
nectary Specialized glandular structure, usually in the flower, that produces nectar
neotype A type specimen chosen later when no type was designated and when no specimens were cited in an originla description; compare lectotype
node The point on a stem where a leaf would be borne, with a bud in its axil
nomen nudum Abbreviation n. n. A title lacking valid description
ob- Prefix meaning inversely; e. g. obconical, a cone attached at the pointed end; oblaneolate, lance shaped but with the broader end distal to he point of attachment; oblong, rectangular and usually two to six times longer than broad; obovate, ovate but attached at the narrow end; obovoid, egg shaped but attached at the narrow end
oblique With the sides unrequal or slanting; asymmetrical
obtuse Blunt; forming an obtuse angle, often somewhat rounded rather than angular
opaque Not transparent; dull
orbicular Round; disk shaped, flat and circular in outline
outcross Fertilization between individuals not of the same genetic makeup
ovary Lower portion of the pistil or gynoecium that contains the ovules; it becomes the fruit following fertilization
ovate Egg shaped in outline but flattened, and if attached, at the broad end
ovoid Egg shaped and if attached, at the broad end
ovule Structure within the ovary that contains the egg; it becomes the seed following fertilization and development of the fruit
papillae Minute pimplelike or bristlelike structures, usually on the epidermis
pectinate Comblike, with projections like the teeth of a comb, radianting from along a straight line
pedant Hanging downward, nodding, pedulous
perianth Collective term for the calyx and corolla; the protective parts of a flower
perianth part or segment Any portion of the perianth; used when sepals and petals not readily distinguished from one another and may be scale-like, transitional, tepal-like, sepal-like, or petal-like, or transitional
pericarpel Structure consisting of the upper portion of the flower-bearing stem, the receptacle, and the lower portion of the pistil
persistent Remaining attached or in place; not deciduous
petal Sterile, often colored leaflike structure of the flower, collectively the corolla; compare sepal, tepal
pistil Female reproductive portion of the flower, consisting of ovary, style, and stigma; the gynoecium
plumose Feathery, describing a structure with fine hairs attached on the sides
podarium Tubercle; outgrowth of the stem surface
pollen, pollen grains Tiny, dust-like grains produced by the anther an containing the future sperm
pollination Transfer of pollen from flower to flower; compare hybrid, outcross, self-pollination
polyphyletic A group of organisms arising from more than one ancestral line, thus forming an unnatural group; compare monophyletic
-porate A pollen grain with the indicated number of pores or apertures
procumbent Prostrate or lying on the ground but not producing adventitious roots; compare creeping, decumbent
prostrate Creeping along and lying flat on the ground, often producing adventitious roots; compare decumbent, procumbent
pseudocephalium A lateral cephalium; a laterally extended zone of woolly or bristly areoles that produce flowers but in which the ribsare usually visible
pubescent Hairy or downy; with soft, fine hairs
pulp Soft, often juicy tissue within a fruit
radial spine One of the outermost spines of an areole, often radiating or appressed; compare central spine
receptacle Terminal portion of the flower stalk; from which arise the sterile and fertile flower parts
recurved Curved downward or backward
reflexed Bent or turned downward; compare deflexed
rhomboid Shaped like a rhombus, a paralellogram with no right angles and adjacent sides of unequal length
rib Usually a vertically arranged ridge on the stem, consisting of fused tubercles
rotate Spreading. wheel shaped, saucer shaped
rudimentary Not fully developed; a vestgial structure
s. a. Abbreviation for latin = sine anno; without declaration of the year
salverform Flower shape in which there is a norrow floral tube with perianth parts widely spreading at mor or less right angles to the tube
scale Thin, usually membranous structure; small, triangular leaf or bract
scrambling Clambering or spreading irregulary along the ground
secondary Describing a root developing from another root, a stem from another stem, but a minor spine in comparsion to a major spine
sect. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of section
seed Developing from a fertilized ovule, containig the embryo resulting from fertilization after pollination
segmented Divided into setions, such as the stem joints of a cactus of the subfamily Opuntioideae
self-pollination Pollination of a flower by its own pollen of that from a flower on the same plant of clone
sepal Sterile outer leaflike structure of the flower, collectively the calyx; compare petal, tepal
sessile Without a stalk
sheath Tubular cover
short shoot A long-lasting shoot apparently lacking internodes
shrub A woody perennial lacking a main stem or trunk, usually with several stems, rarely exceeding 5 m (16 ft) in hight
sinuate With a wavy margin; a margin winding strongly inward and outward
solitary Single; with a simple, undivided stem
species An individual or closelyrelated group of plants within a genus
spination Collective term referring of the spines of a plant
spine A modified leaf, usually a stiff, pointed structure arising from an areole; compare centarl spine, radial spine
ssp. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of subspecies
stamen Male reproductive structure of the flower, consisting of a filament an anther; the androecium
staminode Sterile stamen
stem segment A portion of a stem usually seperated by a constriction
stigma Terminal portion of the pistil recceives the pollen duringpollination
stomata Spezialized pores formed by guard cells and subsidiary cells; capable of opening and closing to control gas exchange necessary for photosynthesis
strophiole Corky appendage usually derived from the funiculus, covering part of all of the hilum; aspecialized aril; compare carnucle
style Usually elongate structure connecting the stigma and ovary, through which the pollen tube grows in transporting the sperm to the egg
sub- Prefix meaning nearly, less than, or somewhat, e. g. subapical, just beneath or below the stem tip
subg. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of subgenus
subsect. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of subsection
subsp. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of subspecies
succulent Describing a plant that stores water in enlarged, specialized spongy portions such as leaves, stems, or roots
sympatic Describing an overlap in geographic distribution of two or more taxa
synonym A sientific name that has been superseded by a different nam because of change in the circumscription of a taxon as a result of botanical study
taproot Large, usually solitary carrotlike root, usually vertical oriented in the soil
taxon (plural, taxa) A natural group of organisms at any rank in the taxanomic hierarchy
tepal Sterile leaflike structure of the flower when the perianth parts are not differentiated into sepals and petals
terminal At the distal end of an organ
testa Seed coat
thorn Pointed branch; compare spine
translucent Nearly transparent but not clearly so
transverse Across; running at right angles to the major axis
trichome Hairlike outgrowth of the epidermis; may be one-celled, multicellular, or glandular
tuber Fleshy underground portion of a stem
tuberous Like a tubar, sometimes used to describe fleshy roots
tubercle A conical or cylindrical outgrowth or protuberance from the stem, usually bearing all or part of the areole; podarium
tuberculate With tubercles
tubular Hollow and cylindrical; shaped like a tube
type A specimen with which a scientific name is always to be associated or, for a genus, the species upon which the genus is based; see also lectotype, neotype
undulate With an irregilar, wavy margin
valid A name published in accordance with the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature; compare invalid
var. Abbreviation for the taxanomic rank of variety
x Multiplication sign, indicating hybridity; e. g. , Echinocereus xroetteri is a naturally occurring hybrid, E. coccineus x E. dasyacanthus