Acuminate :


Usually applied to leaves with an acute apex tapering into a long tip

Acute :

Sharply pointed; the margins near the tip are almost straight and form an angle of less than 90 degrees. The oposite of obtuse.

Amplexicaul :

Embracing the stem, e.g. with the leaf base extending around the stem.

Apiculate :

Ending abruptly in a short, sharp, flexible point.

Arachnoid :

Type of indumentum that is cobwebby with soft, slender, cottony, entangled hairs, the hairs pointing in several directions.

Attenuate :

Gradually tapering over a long distance; applied to bases or apices of parts.

Auricle :

An ear-like lobe projecting at the base of some leaves and petals.

Awned :

With a fine, bristle-like appendage.


Barbellate :

Shortly barbed; in Asteraceae used for spreading or upward-pointing pappus hairs.

Basal leaf rosette :

Leaves attached at or near the base; also proximal.

Biseriate :

In two series or whorls.

Bracteate :

Bearing bracts or subtended by bracts.


Campanulate :

Bell-shaped; with a tube about as long as wide and a spreading upper part.

Carducous :

Falling off early; not persistent.

Caudate :

Bearing a tail-like appendage, as in some leaf apices; excessively acuminate.

Cauline :

Belonging to an obvious stem or axis, as opposed to basal.

Clasping :

With base of a leaf partly or wholly surrounding the stem.

Comose :

Bearing a tuft or tufts of hair.

Conduplicate :

Folded together lengthwise with the upper surfaces against each other.

Corymbose :

A short and broad, more or less flat-topped, indeterminate inflorescence; the outer flowers opening first.

Cuspidate :

With an apex somewhat abruptly and sharply concavely constricted into elongated, rigid, sharply pointed tip.

Cylindric :

Like a cylinder, i.e. long and narrow. Circular in cross section.

Cyme :

A broad, more or less flat-topped. determinate flower cluster with central flowers opening first and with growth continued by axillary buds.


Decumbent :

Lying on the ground, but with distal part upright.

Decurrent :

Extending downwards.

Depressed :

More or less flattened from above downwards; pressed down.

Dwarf shrub :

Small compact shrub.


Elliptic :

Oval in outline, broadest at the middle with two equal rounded ends; broadly or narrowly elliptic.

Emarginate :

With a distinct shallow notch at the apex.

Erect :



Filiform :

Thread-like, very slender and long.

Fimbriate :

With a fringed margin with rather broad hair-like processes.


Glabrescent :

Becoming glabrous or nearly so.

Glabrous :

Without hairs, scales or other indumentums.

Glandular :

Having secreting organs, or glands.

Globose :

Round, spherical.

Glomerules :

A cluster of (sub)sessile flowers.


Herb :

A plant without a persistent woody stem above the ground; naturally dying to the ground; lacking a definite firm, woody structure.

Hirsute :

With rather rough or coarse, stiff hairs.

Hispid :

With stiff hairs or bristles; more sharply and bristly than hirsute.


Imbricate :

Overlapping like tiles on a roof.

Infundibuliform :

Funnel-shaped, i.e. abruptly widening from a narrow cylindrical part to a wider distal part.


Lanate :

Woolly, with long, interwoven, curly hairs.

Lax panicles :

Loose panicles, the oposite of congested.

Linear :

Long and narrow, much longer than wide and the sides parallel or nearly so.


Mat-forming :

Applied to low-growing plants growing so close together that they form a continuous cover or to a prostrate shrub rooting at the nodes (in which case a single plant can form a mat).

Mucronate :

Terminated abruptly by a distinct, sharp, stiff point.


Oblanceolate :

The reverse of lanceolate, applied to a leaf that is broader at the distal third than at the middle and tapering toward the base.

Oblong :

Longer than broad, and with the sides parallel or nearly so for most of their length.

Obovate :

The reverse of ovate, egg-shaped; the terminal half broader than the basal.

Obtuse :

Blunt, rounded.

Orbicular :

With a circular outline, two-dimentional.

Ovate :

Egg-shaped (two-dimentional) about twice as long as broad, with the wider part below the middle.


Paleae :

Chaffy scales or thin colourless bracts amongst the flowers on the receptacle in Asteraceae.

Pandurate :

Fiddle-shaped, i.e. oblong to elliptic but constricted at the midpoint.

Panduriform :


Panicle :

An inflorescence in which the main axis has several lateral branches and the flowers are pedicellate; in which both the main axis and lateral branches are indeterminate.

Pappus :

A series of bristles, hairs or scales around the base of the corolla at the apex of the fruit in Asteraceae.

Pellucid :

Clear, almost transparent in transmitted light.

Penicillate :

With pencil-shaped tufts of hair at the end.

Petiolate :

With a leaf stalk; not sessile.

Pilose :

Hairy with rather long, patent, soft, simple hairs; close to villous.

Prostrate :

A general term for lying flat on the ground.

Pubescent :

Covered with fine, short soft hairs.


Radiate :

Spreading from or arranged around a common centre, e.g. in flower heads of Asteraceae; with ray florets on the outside and disc florets on the inside.

Recurved :

Bent or curved downwards or backwards.

Reflexed :

Abruptly recurved at a sharp angle or bent downward or backwards.

Revolute :

Rolled backwards, with margin rolled towards the lower side.

Rosette :

A single circle or multiple circles of leaves at ground level. An arrangement of leaves radiating from a crown or centre and usually at or close to the ground.

Rounded :

Smoothly curved, without abrupt angles.

Rugose :

Wrinkled; covered in coarse reticulate lines, usually with raised areas between


Scabrid :

With indumentum rough to the touch, usually from the presence of minute stiff hairs.

Sericeous :

Silky with closely appressed, soft, straight hairs and with a shiny silky sheen.

Sessile :

Without a stalk; attached directly.

Setose :

Covered with bristles.

Shrub :

A self-supporting woody plant that remains low and produces shoots or branches from the base.

Solitary :

Borne singly or alone; not in clusters.

Spathulate :

Spoon-shaped, shaped like a small spatula: oblong, with an extended basal part.

Squarrose :

With rough tips or tips of scales, e.g. bracts projecting outwards.

Stereome :

In Asteraceae, a part of the phyllary (involucral bract) that is (semi-)transparent.

Stoloniferous :

Bearing stolons; with runners or propagative shoots rooting at the tip and producing new plants.

Strigose :

With sharp, appressed, straight hairs, stiff and often basally swollen; with sharp, stiff hairs lying close to the surface.

Subglobose :

Nearly or almost round; spherical

Subrotund :

Nearly or almost circular or round; a two-dimentional shape between oblong and rounded in outline.

Suffrutex :

Subshrub; often a plant producing annual flowering stems from a woody underground rootstock.


Tomentose :

With dense, curly, matted, soft, woolly hairs.

Truncate :

Ending abruptly in a more or less straight line, as if cut off.

Turbinate :

Top-shaped, obconical and narrowed towards the tips.


Uniseriate :

In as ingle whorl or series.


Villous :

With long and soft, not matted hairs; shaggy.


Webbed :

With an interlacing network of filaments, fibres, hairs or veins.

Winged :

A three-dimentional body with flattened to blade-like projections.