The Flower

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Albino (al-BYE-no) -- When a plant lacks chlorophyl or a flower lacks pigment, said of white flowers.

Androecium (an-DREE-see-um) -- The male portion of the flower, i.e. the stamens.

Antennae (an-TEN-nee) -- Slender, elongated appendages.

Anthesis (an-THEE-sis) -- The period of time when the flower is opening.

Apetalous (a-PET-uh-lus) -- A flower without petals.

Asepalous (a-SEP-uh-lus) -- A flower without sepals.

Auriculate (aw-RIK-yew-layt) -- Having appendages that are earlike in appearance.

Banded (BAN-ded) -- Said of flowers and leaves that have strong lines of color, ribs, or similar markings.

Beak (BEEK) -- A long pronounced point, said of the stigma projection that forms the rostellum.

Beard (BEERD) -- A limited area with hairs, often found on flowers.

Bifurcate (BYE-fur-kayt) -- Said of stigma, styles, lip, or some hairs that are forked.

Blotch (BLOTCH) -- Said of an irregular color spot on sepals and/or petals.

Boots (BOOTS) -- Often said of the pouchlike lips as on Cypripedium flowers.

Callus (KAL-lus) -- Said of the hard often waxy projections found on lips of orchids, such as Phalaenopsis.

Calyx (KAY-liks) -- The outermost segments of the flower; the sepals.

Cap (KAPP) -- The removable cover over the pollinia, as anther cap.

Cauda (KAW-da) -- A slender appendage.

Caudate (KAW-dayt) -- Said of floral parts having long tail-like appendages, as in Brassia.

Caudicle (KAW-dik-ul) -- The stalk of a pollinium.

Ciliate (SIL-ee-ayt) -- Having stiff hairs on the margin.

Cirrhous (SEER-rus) -- The antennae found on the lips of some orchids, as in Phalaenopsis amabilis.

Clavelate (KLAV-el-ayt) -- Club shaped, but small in size.

Claw (KLAW) -- The stemlike base of a petal or sepal.

Column (KOL-um) -- The waxy structure in the center of the flower. An organ formed by the union of the male and female portions of the flower.

Comose (KOH-mose) -- With hair in tufts.

Concave (KON-kave) -- Said of an area shaped like a basin; stigmatic surfaces are often concave.

Connate (KON-ayt) -- Joined, said of two similar segments joined at their bases.

Connective (kon-NEK-tiv) -- The tissue that unites the two cells of the anther.

Convex (KON-veks) -- Curving upward, the opposite of concave.

Crest (KREST) -- Having a raised, irregular toothed area, often found on the lips of orchids.

Crested (KREST-ed) -- Bearing a crest.

Crispate (KRIS-payt) -- Having very strong wavy margins; the ultimate form of undulate.

Cupped (KUPT) -- Said of floral segments that are dish-shaped, or resemble a small cup.

Diandrous (dye-AN-drus) -- Having two anthers.

Dimorphous (dye-MOR-fuss) -- Having two forms, said of plants with juvenile and mature foliage.

Disc (DISK) -- A fleshy structure found on the basal portion of the lips of orchids.

Diurnal (dye-URN-al) -- When flowers open only during the day or are fragrant only during daylight.

Dorsal (DOOR-sal) -- Pertaining to the back, as the dorsal sepal; the back, uppermost sepal.

Downy (DOW-nee) -- Covered with hairs, usually short, soft hairs.

Ephemeral (ee-FEM-er-al) -- Of very short duration, said of flowers open for only one day as Dendrobium crumenatum.

Excrescences (eks-KRESS-en-sus) -- Wartlike growth, often watery.

Fetid (FET-tid) -- Having a very disagreeable odor.

Fimbriate (FIM-bree-ayt) -- Having a fringe, as in Brassavola digbyana.

Forked (FORKD) -- Having two or more prongs; in plants this means divided into two equal segments.

Freckled (FRECK-eld) -- Said of petals or sepals covered with small dark-colored spots.

Fringed (FRINJD) -- Having a border or margin with an edging of fine hairs.

Gamopetalous (gam-oh-PET-uh-lus) -- Having the petals in a flower fused.

Gamosepalous (gam-oh-SEP-uh-lus) -- Having the sepals in a flower fused.

Gland (GLAND) -- A secreting organ such as a nectary.

Glutinous (GLU-tin-us) -- Very sticky.

Gynandrium (jye-NAN-dri-um) -- The organ containing the male and female portions of the orchid flower.

Gynandrous (jye-NAN-drus) -- Having the stamens attached to the stigma and style in one unit.

Gynoecium (jye-NEE-see-um) -- The female portion of the flower.

Head (HED) -- A type of inflorescence, as a short compact spike, as Epidendrum ibaguesnse (E. radicans).

Hermaphrodite (her-MAF-roh-dyte) -- The perfect flower, having both male and female organs.

Hooded (HOOD-ed) -- Said of floral segments that form a hood, as in Catasetum.

Horned (HORND) -- Having a hornlike projection, as the lip of Stanhopea.

Imperfect (im-PER-fekt) -- an incompleat flower, lacking part or all of the reproductive structures, e.g., without stamens.

Incised (in-SYSD) -- Having a deep, usually irregular cut.

Inferior (in-FEAR-ee-or) -- Beneath, said of ovaries wherein the floral segments are attached at the apex of the ovary.

Inrolled (IN-rold) -- Said of floral segments where the margins are rolled in, as the lip in Cypripedium.

Irregular (ih-REG-u-lar) -- Said of a flower where a series of parts, e.g., petals, are not alike.

Labellum (lah-BEL-lum) -- The highly modified petal of an orchid flower, the lip.

Lacerate (LAH-ser-ayt) -- Appearing torn, or cut irregularly.

Lateral (LAT-err-ul) -- Comming from the side.

Lax (LAKS) -- Having loose, flexible, drooping segments.

Limb (LIM) -- The flat, expanded portion of any segment, as the expanded section of the lip.

Lip (LIPP) -- The labellum.

Lobe (LOHB) -- Any division of a segment, as the lobes of a lip, usually three-lobed in orchids.

Monandrous (mo-NAN-drus) -- Having one anther.

Nectar (NEK-tar) -- The sugary exudate of varous glands on a plant. Nectar attracts insects and sometimes birds and helps bring about pollination.

Nectary (NEK-tar-ee) -- The gland that produces the nectar, often found at the base of a lip or the base of a spur on a lip.

Nocturnal (nok-ter-nal) -- Pertains to the night, said of flowers that open only at night, or are only fragrant at night.

Outrolled (OUT-rold) -- Said of lips of Paphiopedilum, outrolled floral segments.

Papilae (pa-PILL-ee) -- Small pimple-like projections on a surface, such as on a lip.

Pedicel (PED-ih-sel) -- The stem of a single flower on an inflorescence.

Peduncle (PEE-dung-kol) -- The stem of a cluster of flowers, of the stem of a solitary flower where the inflorescence is reduced to a single flower, e.g., Maxillaria.

Perfect (PER-fekt) -- A flower having both male and female organs.

Perianth (PER-ee-anth) -- Figuratively, around the anther, a collective term for the two outer whorls of floral segments (sepals and petals).

Petal (PET-al) -- The inner whorl of the perianth; the segments, of which there are usually three with one highly modified; the lip.

Petaloid (PET-uh-loyd) -- Having the appearance of a petal.

Pilose (PYE-lohs) -- Having a covering of long soft hairs.

Pistil (PISS-til) -- The female organ of the flower which produces the seed; a collective term for the stigma, style, and ovary.

Proboscis (proh-BAH-siss) -- The long, flexible mouth parts of an insect.

Pubescent (pew-BESS-sent) -- A general term referring to hairs on plants.

Rachis (RAY-kiss) -- The main stem of an inflorescence.

Receptacle (ree-SEP-ta-kul) -- The enlarged apex of a stem upon which some of the floral segments are attached.

Recurved (ree-KURVD) -- Bending backwards.

Resupinate (ree-SOO-pin-ayt) -- Said of some orchid flower buds which are upside down upon emerging and turn 180 degrees to right themselves before opening, e.g., Vanda.

Ruffled (RUFF-uld) -- Having a very wavy margin.

Saccate (SAK-kayt) -- Shaped like a sack; said of the pouchlike lip of Paphiopedilum.

Scape (SKAYP) -- A leafless flower stalk, often arising from the ground. It may have scales or bracts in place of leaves and has one or more flowers.

Scapose (SKAYP-ohs) -- Having flowers on a scape.

Sepal (SEE-pul) -- A segment of the outer whorl of the perianth. It protects the unopened bud in orchids, usually three-merous, with two fused in the Paphiopedilum group.

Spathe (SPAYTH) -- A bract of leaf that subtends or encompasses an inflorescence.

Spathulate (SPATH-yew-layt) -- Shaped like a spoon.

Spotted (SPOT-ted) -- Having iregular areas of color on sepals, petals, or leaves.

Spur (SPER) -- The tubular extension found on lips of many orchids, as in Angraecum, which usually contains a nectary.

Stalk (STAWK) -- The vernacular term for stems.

Stamen (STAY-men) -- The male portion of the flower composed of a filament and anther containing pollen.

Staminode (STAM-in-ohd) -- A pollenless or sterile stamen.

Striped (STRYPD) -- Having lines of color on sepals, petals, or leaves.

Substance (SUB-stans) -- Refers to the texture of the flower and related to thickness of the floral segments and their longevity.

Terminal (TER-mih-nal) -- The end, said of the uppermost flower or the apex of the stem.

Tessalation (tess-sel-LAY-shun) -- The checkered patterns found on some orchid flowers as in Vanda Sanderana.

Throat (THROWT) -- The basal, usually almost tubular portion of the lip of an orchid flower.

Tomentose (TOW-men-tohs) -- Having a very dense covering of hairs, almost woolly.

Trilobed (TRY-lohbd) -- Having three lobes.

Tubular (TEW-bew-lar) -- Having a round cylindrical shape.

Twisted (TWIST-ed) -- Having parts that are spriraling or corkscrew-like.

Velutinous (vel-LOO-tin-us) -- Having a cover of erect, somewhat firm hairs.

Ventral (VEN-trul) -- The front, opposite of dorsal; the inner segments of a flower.

Viscid (VISS-id) -- Very sticky.

Winged (WINGD) -- Having an organ with a usually flat projection on one or more sides.

Zygomorphic (zye-go-MOR-fik) -- An irregular flower capable of being divided into equal halves in one plane only.

 

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