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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.



Umbel - A more or less flat-topped flower cluster in which the pedicels (rays) arise from a common point. In compound umbels, each primary ray terminates in a secondary umbel.

Valve - One of the parts into which a capsule divides when splitting.