Acrocarpus: A moss in which the spore producing
capsules are born at the tip of the main stem, the plant thus usually appearing
Aquatic: As used here, a plant growing immersed under or floating on top of the surface of water.
Bramble: A prickly stemmed perennial plant such as a blackberry, raspberry, or dewberry. Sometimes extended to include roses.
Graminoid: An herbaceous plant with long, narrow leaves and small flowers lacking showy or colorful parts; grass-like.
Herb: A plant with above ground stems living for only one growing season, usually not woody (though a few "Herbaceous" plants in our flora, such as the Scouring Rush, have persistent above ground stems). Herbaceous. Also used in reference to a plant of culinary or medicinal value. Of tissue or a plant part, leaf-like in texture, neither hard nor papery.
Leafy: A liverwort in which the stem bears thin, flat, (leafy) appendages, usually in two lateral ranks sometimes with a third ventral rank.
Liana: A plant with woody perennial above ground stems that grow along the ground or climb over a support by means of twining or tendrils. Compare with Vine.
Pleurocarpus: A moss in which the spore producing capsules are born on a short lateral branch off the main stem, the plant thus usually with a horizontal, creeping growth form.
Shrub: A plant with multiple, woody, perennial, above ground stems usually less than 2.75 meters (30 feet) tall.
Thalloid: A Liverwort in which the plant body consists of a Thallus; a broad, flattened, leafless, photosynthetic stem. Generally, a plant body that is not differentiated into leaf, stem, and roots.
Tree: A plant with a single, woody, perennial, above ground stem usually 2.75 meters (30 feet) or more tall at maturity.
Vine: A weak stemmed herbaceous plant that grows along the ground or climbs over a support by means of twining stems or tendrils. Compare with Liana.
EX: Exotic, not native to North America.
G: At Rice Creek, restricted to cultivated gardens.
NA: Native to the North America but not to New York State.
NY: Native to New York State.
Calyptra: The cap of tissue covering the maturing
capsule of a moss.
Capsule: In a moss or liverwort, the structure within which reproductive spores are produced. The sporangium of a moss or liverwort.
Indusium: A flap of delicate tissue covering the developing sorus in many ferns.
Peristome: The set of tooth-like structures surrounding the terminal opening of the capsule of a moss.
Seta: In a moss, the stalk which supports the capsule.
Sorus: A cluster of sporangia and related structures. Shape and position of sori provides useful characters in the classification and identification of ferns.
Sporangium: A structure within which reproductive spores are produced. Structure and position of sporangia provides useful characters in the classification and identification of club-mosses, horsetails, and ferns.
Strobilus: A cone-like structure containing sporangia, seeds, or fruits.
Achene: a small, dry (at maturity) fruit containing
a single seed and not opening to release the seed; the entire fruit looks and
functions as a seed.
Anther: The terminal, enlarged, pollen containing structure of the stamen.
Aril: A fleshy, often colorful layer of tissue on the outside of a seed.
Bract: A leaf-like structure of reduced size and often modified shape, texture, and/or color at the base of a flower, flower stalk, or inflorescence branch. A "bracteole" is a small bract or, more technically, a small bract situated on the leaf- or flower stalk instead of at the base of the stalk.
Calyx: The collective term for all the sepals of a flower taken as a unit.
Catkin: An inflorescence of small flowers lacking perianth but usually accompanied by small bracts and arranged compactly along the length of a central stalk; upright as in the pussy willow or lax and drooping as in aspens and poplars.
Corolla: The collective term for all the petals of a flower taken as a unit.
Discoid: In the flowering heads of the Aster family, flowers with a tubular corolla terminating in five lobes of more or less equal size and shape, as in the central disk of a daisy. Also, flowering heads composed entirely of such flowers.
Filament: The stalk, usually elongated, supporting the anther.
Glume: One of a pair of bracts at the base of a grass spikelet.
Inflorescence: A cluster of flowers or flower heads on a plant, usually of characteristic shape and branching structure.
Involucre: A whorl or series of bracts enclosing or surrounding a flower or inflorescence; in the Aster family, the set of bracts forming the outer layers of the flower heads and surrounding the flowers proper.
Lemma: The outer of two bracts surrounding the flower of a grass.
Ligulate: Tongue or strap shaped. In the flowering heads of the Aster family, flowers with flattened, extended corollas such as the peripheral flowers of a daisy. Also, flowering heads composed entirely of such flowers as in the dandelion and its relatives.
Ovary: The basal, usually enlarged portion of the pistil containing the ovules.
Palea: The inner of two bracts surrounding the flower of a grass.
Perianth: The collective term for all parts of the calyx and corolla taken as a unit.
Perigynium: In the genus Carex, a more or less flask like structure of generally herbaceous tissue containing the pistil.
Petals: The often enlarged and colorful floral parts positioned just within the sepals and around (outside of) the stamens and/or pistil(s); by convention only called petals if there is a surrounding set of sepals.
Pistil: The ovule containing structure of a flower which, when present, is positioned centrally (terminally) within the flower. On maturity the pistil becomes the fruit and the ovules become the seeds. A pistillate flower contains no stamens. A pistillate inflorescence or plant produces only pistillate flowers.
Sepals: The outermost floral parts enclosing the petals, stamens, and/or pistil(s) (if present). Often green and herbaceous but sometimes colorful and taking on the appearance of petals.
Spike: An elongate inflorescence of stalkless or short stalked flowers in which the flowers open in sequence from the base to the tip of the stalk. Small individual spikes of grasses are refered to as "spiklets".
Stamen: The pollen producing structure of a flower which, in flowers that also contain a pistil, is positioned immediately outside (below) the position of the pistil(s). A staminate flower contains no (functional) pistil. A staminate inflorescence or plant produces only staminate flowers
Stigma: A specialized, usually terminal, portion of the pistil on which pollen is deposited during pollination.
Style: That portion of the pistil, often elongate, connecting the stigma with the ovary.
Tepals: Applied to both outer and inner perianth segments in flowers with two whorls of perianth parts of similar shape, color, and texture, as in a Lily.
Glabrous: Smooth, without surface hairs, glands,
Glaucous: Covered with a whitish or bluish layer of fine, waxy powder that can be rubbed off.
Pubescent: Bearing hairs.
Alternate: Of leaves or branches, situated
alone at a particular level on the stem.
Arcuate: Curved or arching as in the lateral veins of the leaf in Cornus
Auricle: In grasses and rushes, a flap or lobe of tissue projecting from the leaf sheath on either side of the base of the leaf blade. Generally, lobes projecting backwards (downwards) from either side of the base of a leaf.
Basal: Attached at the base of the stem or plant, at or near ground level.
Bundle Sheath: In Pines, the sheath of small bracts encircling the developing cluster of needles and, in some species, retained at the base of the group of mature needles.
Compound: Of leaves and similar structures, consisting of two or more distinct and separate parts (leaflets).
Costa: A linear midrib-like thickening of the leaf of a moss.
Deciduous: Of a tree or shrub, dropping all foliage on a seasonal basis. More generally, dropping or falling off.
Decurrent: Having a wing or margin of leaf-like tissue extending down the stem or axis from the point of attachment of a leaf or segment of a leaf.
Entire: Of leaf, petal, bract margins; continuous and smooth, not toothed, lobed, etc.
Evergreen: Of a tree or shrub, retaining leaves throughout the year and thus never being without foliage despite the season.
Incubous: In leafy liverworts, having the leading edge of each leaf overlaping the trailing edge of the leaf ahead (toward the tip of the stem).
Leaf Sheath: The basal part of a leaf that encircles the stem; an important characteristic of grasses, sedges, and rushes.
Ligule: In many grasses and some sedges a characteristic flap of tissue or cluster of hairs attached to the upper (inner) side of the leaf at the juncture of the sheath and the blade. In the Aster family, the flattened corolla of a ligulate flower.
Lobed: Of leaves, petals, etc.; with projecting segments too large to be called teeth.
Opposite: Of leaves or branches, situated directly across from each other at the same level on the stem.
Palmate: With three or more parts arising from a common point (veins or lobes of a leaf or leaflets of a compound leaf).
Perfoliate: A leaf with the basal margins fused around the stem so that the stem appears to penetrate through the leaf.
Petiole: A leaf stalk, a narrow segment attaching the leaf blade to the stem. A petiolate leaf has a petiole.
Pinna: A primary lateral division of a pinnately compound leaf.
Pinnate: With two rows of lateral branches or parts arranged along an axis (veins or lobes of a leaf or leaflets of a compound leaf).
Pinnule: The ultimate leaflet or segment of a compound leaf that is two or more times compound.
Serrate: Of leaf, petal, bract margins, etc.; toothed, specifically with sharp, forward pointed teeth.
Sessile: Of a leaf, lacking a petiole. Attached directly to the stem without an intervening stalk.
Simple: Of leaves and similar structures, consisting of a single blade all in one piece (though it may be lobed).
Stipule: One of a pair of appendages often found at the base of a leaf, where the petiole joins the stem.
Succubous: In leafy liverworts, having the trailing edge of each leaf overlapping the leading edge of the leaf behind (toward the base of the stem).
Whorled: Of leaves or branches, with three or more attached at the same level on the stem.
Annual: A plant that germinates, matures, reproduces,
and dies within a single year (or growing season). A winter annual germinates
in the fall, grows through the winter and matures and dies the following summer.
Biennial: A plant that lives for two years, maturing and dying during the second year.
Perennial: A plant that lives for more than two years, usually for an indefinite period of time.
Axilary: Situated in the axil of a leaf, the point
on the stem immediately above the attachment of the leaf.
Bulb: A compact undergound stem with a dense cluster of modified, thickened leaves serving as a storage and over-wintering organ, as an onion.
Clone: A group of individuals originating from non-sexual reproduction (or a group of individual stems from a common, shared root system) and thus sharing a common genotype.
Corm: A short, vertical, broad, perennial, underground stem from which new shoots grow each year.
Internode: The section of a stem between two nodes.
Node: The point on a stem where a leaf is attached.
Pith: The soft tissue or open space at the center of a stem or root, in woody plants enclosed by the first formed (innermost) cylinder of vascular tissue.
Rhizome: A stem growing horizontally at or beneath the surface of the ground, often developing roots along its length.
Stolon: An elongate, creeping stem on or above the surface of the ground, usually rooting at the nodes.
Marsh: A plant community consisting predominantly
of herbaceous plants rooted in saturated and at least seasonally inundated soil.
Old growth: In North America, a plant community that has persisted more or less in the form in which it existed prior to European colonization.
Second growth: Plant communities that develop on a site following disturbance by man or natural catastrophe. (See also Succession.)
Swamp: A plant community consisting predominantly of woody plants rooted in saturated and at least seasonally inundated soil.
Succession: The sequence of species and communities that occurs on a site following disturbance by man or natural processes, usually leading eventually to development of a relatively stable, self reproducing community.