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Botanical Glossary


The technical terms of botany are often difficult and obscure, but they represent an indispensable, precise shorthand when describing the physical attributes of plants. Without them, many more words would be needed to ensure a complete and accurate description. The following glossary defines the technical terms used widely in everyday botany, and you may even come across a few in some reference books.



Glabrous - Not hairy.

Glandular - Having glands, which secrete sticky substances.

Glaucous - Covered with bloom.

Globose - Approximately spherical.

Grain - Achene-like fruit, but with the seed not loose.

Head- A flower spike or raceme shortened to form a compact, flattened to globose cluster.

Herb - A plant that has no woody tissue and that dies down to the ground at the end of a growing season.

Herbaceous - Herb-like; not woody.

Hesperidium - A partitioned berry with a leathery, removable rind. (e.g. orange).

Hoary - Closely covered with short and fine whitish hairs.