Glossary

Glossary

Glossary

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z | Submit a name
There are currently 562 names in this directory
Abaxial
Away from the axis (stem) or central line.

Abortive
Imperfectly developed

Acaulescent
Inconspicuous stems, or having no stem at all

Acaulous
Having no stem or a very short inconspicuous stem

Achene
One locular, dry indehiscent fruit

Actinomorphic
Regular of or relating to a flower that can be divided into equal halves along any diameter, radially symmetrical

Acuminate
Tapering gradually or abruptly from inwardly curved, somewhat concave sides, into a narrow point

Acuminate Apex
A leaf tip that starts out straight or convex, then changes to concave and gradually comes to a point. The angle should be between 60 degrees and 90 degrees. If the angle is greater than 90 degrees, it is a short acuminate apex, and if the angle is less than 60 degrees, it is a long acuminate apex

Acute
Sharply pointed with the sides straight or somewhat convex, an angle of less than 90 degrees with two almost straight lines, as in a blade base Ex. B. rubronervata View Illustration

Acute Apex
A leaf apex (tip) that is shaped less than 90 degrees and follows a reasonable straight line; if the apex has a point it is a sharply acute apex and if the tip is rounded off, it is a roundly acute apex

Acute Base
A leaf base that is sharply tapering to a point at the point of attachment or base

Adaxial
Toward the axis or center, turned toward the apex

Adnate
Attached the whole length, or by the whole length, or broadly attached

Adpressed
Lying flat against

Adventitious
Growth Leaves or plant parts appearing in abnormal places, such as roots growing out of aerial stems, or leaves growing out of a flower stalk

Adventitious Roots
Roots arising from an organ other than the root, it can be from a stem or a leaf. They are especially numerous on underground stems, such as rhizomes, corms, and tubers, and make it possible to vegetatively propagate many plants from stem or leaf cuttings

Aestivation
Arrangement of flower parts in the bud

Ala; Alate
Wing, having wings

Alternate
Arranged singly at different heights of axis or stem; not opposite

Ample; Amply
Of large or great size, amount, extent, or capacity

Amplexicaul
Stem-clasping

Androecium
Reproductive portion of male flower composed of one or more stamens, all of the stamens in a flower, collectively, each stamen is made up of an anther and a filament; male element of a bisexual flower View Illustration

Androecium, actinomorphic
An androecium that can be divided into equal halves along any diameter

Androecium, zygomorphic
When all stamen in an androecium are generally positioned in the same direction, resembling a bunch of bananas

Angiosperms
Plants having seeds enclosed in an ovary; flowering plants

Angulate
A leaf margin having noticeable angles, similar to a lobed leaf but the margin is very angular with various salient angles to the edge

Angulate-repand
Having angles and an uneven slightly sinuous margin

Annual
A plant with a lifecycle, of growing from seed to reproduction, in one year or season

Anther
The terminal, pollen producing part of the stamen in the flower View Illustration

Anther-connective
The tissue connecting the two cells of an anther, which in reality is a continuation of the filament

Anthesis
The period during which a flower is fully open and functional

Apex
A leaf tip, the point farthest away from where the leaf is attached; terminal end

Apical
Found at the apex, or leaf tip

Apiculate
Tipped with a short sharp flexible point; ending abruptly in a small sharp point as on a leaf apex

Apiculus
A small, slender point such as at the end of a leaf’s apex

Appendage
An attached subsidiary or secondary part, sometimes projecting or hanging

Appressed
Closely and flatly pressed against

Arcuate; arculate
Curved, having the form of a bow

Areolate
Netted; small spaces enclosed by venation pattern

Aristate
Terminated by a slender, often awn or bristle-like narrow appendage such as on an apex of a leaf

Arms
Branches

Articulated
Jointed

Ascendent
Directed upwards

Ascending
Regarding plant habit, having a general upward direction

Asexual
Sexless

Asymmetric
Characteristic seen in many Begonia leaves, the leaf shape, if divided in half, is not identical or equal on both sides; lacks a plane of symmetry; irregular

Asymmetric decurrent
Of a blade base where the two lobes are not identical or equal on both sides, one is rounded with an angle between 90 and 180 degrees, and the other side has a slightly rounded edge and less than 90 degrees formed by the curved line Ex. B. guaduensis

Asymmetric decurrent and acute
Of a blade base where the two lobes are not equal, one side of the blade base makes a rounded angle less than 90 degrees, and the other side makes a rounded angle between 90 to 180 degrees Ex. B. isopterocarpa

Attenuate
A gradual, very narrow tapering

Auriculate
Having ear-like lobes

Axil
Angle formed between any two organs, the upper angle between a lateral organ, such as a leafstalk and the stem that bears it

Axile
On an axis; of a placenta, on the central axis of an ovary

Axillary
In or arising from an axis, usually referring to the axil of a leaf View Illustration

Axis
The main stem or central part about which organs or plant parts such as branches are arranged; also the long line on which a stem extends itself

Baccate
Berrylike; pulpy or fleshy

Bamsusoid
Resembling bamboo; cane-like

Bare Leaved
Glabrous, or hairless leaves

Basal
Positioned at or arising from the base of any thing, as leaves arising from the base of the stem

Basal Lobes Overlapped
Of a blade base where no sinus is visible as one of the two lobes at the base sits over the other Ex. B. acetosa

Basal Lobes Spiraled
A leaf base with lobes that curl around to form a spiral. Can be double spiraled or spiraled on one side only. Can be further described as double or single spiraled Ex. B. rex

Base
Lowest point of attachment of any plant part; in a leaf, the lower approximately 25% of the lamina

Basifixed
Attached at, to, or by the base

Beak
terminating gradually in a hard, long, straight point

Bearded
Having a tuft of hair

Begonia
Genus of the family Begoniaceae, perennial, flowering plants that grow in tropical and subtropical areas

Begoniaceae
The family of plants to which the genus Begonia belongs

Biacute
Having two tips where each is tapering to a point with essentially straight or only slightly convex sides

Biauriculate
Furnished with two ear-like appendages

Bicolor
Of two colors

Bifid
Forked; cut in two for about half its length

Bilamellate
With two lamellae

Bilobate
Having two lobes

Bilobed
Having or consisting of two lobes

Bilocular
Having two locules, cells, or cavities

Binomial
Species name consisting of name of genus and specific epithet

Bipartite
Divided into two portions almost to the base

Bipinnate
Compound-leaved with leaflets on both sides of the petiole (like a feather) which is pinnate

Bipinnatifid
The divisions of a pinnatifid blade are pinnately cleft again

Bisexual
Having both sexes of flowers on an inflorescence- both staminate and pistillate flowers

Blade
The lamina or flattened, broad part of a leaf, excluding the stalk or petiole; may apply to a petal, or sepal. View Illustration

Blade Surface
Variations in the lamina or leaf blade outer layer can be described by the terms: Rugose or covered with reticulated (network of) veins, spaces between are convex (wrinkled), and the elevations irregular, e.g., B. goegoensis, B. rajah, or Bullate where the surface is irregularly puckered or blistered e.g., B. crispula, or Muricate where surface is with a uniform low obtuse elevation e.g., B. ‘Black Raspberry’, or Pustulate where surface has numerous uniform acute elevations, like pimples e.g., B. ‘Emerald Jewel’, or Foveolate where the surface is pitted with shallow distinct depressions e.g., B. ‘Tom Ment’

Blade Texture
The surface of leaves categorized primarily by the blade relative thickness, Membranous is thin or semi-transparent, Chartaceous is paper thin and opaque, Coriaceous is medium thick, but with the appearance and flexibility of soft leather, Fleshy is a thick, firm, juicy, often brittle (breaking when bent to 90 degrees), and Scarious is shriveled, thin and dry, as in old dried out stipules

Bract
A much reduced leaf-like structure just below the base of a flower cluster stem (peduncle). Bracts protect developing flower buds

Bracteole
A small bract appearing either singly or in pairs, a short distance down the pedicel or calyx

Branch
A secondary stem growing from the main stem or another secondary limb

Bristles
Stiff hairs

Broadly crescent form
Broad and with the shape of the moon in its first or last quarter when it appears to have one concave edge and one convex edge

Broadly cuneate
Wedge shaped, narrowly triangular with narrow end at point of attachment, and a 6 to 5 length to width ratio

Broadly Ovate
A leaf shape that is a flattened oval, oblong or elliptical shape, broadest at the lower end with a 6 to 5 length to width ratio

Broadly Reniform
Kidney-shaped; crescent-shaped wit the ends rounded, 6 to 5 length to width ratio

Broadly Rounded
Orbicular, a little included to be oblong, 6 to 5 length to width ratio

Broadly Rounded-Ovate
A rounded egg shape with a 6 to 5 length to width ratio

Broadly Triangular
A leaf shape that is a triangle shape of more than a 45 degree angle

Bud
Undeveloped shoots such as in leaf nodes of the stem View Illustration

Bulb
Modified underground bud made up of a very short stem covered with leafy scales or layers

Bulbel
Miniature bulb asexually produced about the base of scales of a mature bulb

Bulbils
A miniature bulb produced in leaf axils of a plant. Propagules, in which leaflike organs act as storage organs

Bulblet
Diminutive for bulb

Bullate
A leaf surface that is irregularly puckered or blistered. Ex. B. paulensis

Ca.; circa
Around, about, near, approximately

Caducous
Dropping off or shedding at an early stage of development. Usually applied to some Begonia stipules that fall off after leaf matures, or some bracts on an inflorescence

Calyx
The outer perianth whorl, usually green; the collective term for all of the sepals of one flower View Illustration

Campanulate
Bell-shaped

Cane-like
Having wood-like jointed stems similar to bamboo. Ex. B. maculata, B. ‘Flamingo Queen’, B. ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’

Capitallate
Located at the top of a pillar or column

Capituliform
Shaped like a head

Capsule
A dry fruit that develops from two or more united carpels

Carpel
The reproductive parts of the female flower. Ovule-bearing structure, the basic unit of the female element of a flower

Caudacious
Regarding stipule persistence, when stipules fall off early as the leaf matures

Caudate
Tall-pointed, excessively acuminated, so the point is long and weak, like the tail of an animal

Caudate Apex
A leaf tip that has a blunt end on a long, narrow, fine pointed tail-like tip

Caudex
The stem of a plant, especially a woody one; also used to mean a rootstock, or a basal stem structure or storage organ (like a tuber) from which new growth arises

Caulescent
Obvious upright stems above ground

Cauline
Pertaining to the stem; placed on the stem

Chaff
Small membranous scales or bract

Chalazal
The basal part of an ovule where it is attached to the funiculus (stalk bearing the ovule)

Chartaceous
Papery thin and opaque texture

Chatoyant
Having changeable color or luster

Cheimantha
A hybrid, winter-blooming tuberous group of begonias, derived from crosses with B. socotrana and B. dregei

Chloroplast
An organelle present in plant cells that contains chlorophyll and other photosynthetic pigments

Chlorosis
Disease resulting in yellowing or blanching of green leaves

Chromosomes
Microscopic bodies in cells carrying the hereditary material

Cicatrix
A scar left by the fall of a leaf or other organ

Ciliate
Fringed with a row of fine hairs; a leaf margin with a fringe of small hair along the entire edge, eyelash-like

Ciliolate
Minutely ciliate

Cincinnus; cincinnate
A helicoid cyme. An inflorescence which grows one lateral side only at each dichotomous division, creating a curve

Circular
Approximating a circle in shape

Classification
The placement of a plant and/or plant group in a category

Clavate
Club shaped, gradually thickening upwards from a very tapered base

Cleft
A leaf with deep lobes or incisions that indent one third to two thirds of the way from the margin to the leaf radius or umbo

Clone
Genetically identical descendants derived asexually from a single individual; the vegetative propagation such as from cuttings or cloning

Compound
Composed of two or more parts, e.g. a leaf composed of multiple leaflets, or an inflorescence made up of multiple smaller inflorescences

Compound leaf
A leaf separated into two or more distinct leaflets with their own individual petiole Ex. B. carolineifolia, B. thiemei

Concave
Curved inward toward the center of the lamina or tooth

Concolorous
Uniformly colored

Connate
United to a structure of the same kind, as one tepal to another

Connective
The portion of the stamen or tissue connecting the two pollen cells of an anther, especially when the cells are separated

Consistency
Degree or texture of density, firmness

Convex
Curving outward or away from the center of the lamina or tooth

Cordate
Heart-shaped, with the notch lowermost; of the base of a leaf, like the notched part of a heart

Coriaceous
Medium thick, but with the texture and feel of soft leather

Cormels
The miniature corm produced annually, and vegetatively, in leaf axils

Corolla
The collective name for all of the petals of a flower View Illustration

Costa
A rib; midrib or midvein of a leaf

Cotyledon
Seedling leaf; first single leaf or pair of leaves in the embryo of a flowering plant

Creeper
Shoot that trails on the surface of soil and produces roots at intervals

Creeping
Growing on the surface of the soil, such as rhizomes

Crenate
A leaf margin with obtuse, or broad rounded teeth, or scallops

Crenulate
A leaf margin or edge that is scalloped, but the scallops are very small and fine.

Crested
A leaf margin that has a ruffled, frilled, wavy, or overlapping edge

Crispate
Minutely undulating leaf edge; curled

Cucullate
Hooded; hood shape

Cultigen
Plant known only in cultivation

Cultivar
A form of plant originating under cultivation

Cuneate
Wedge-shaped, triangular and taping to a point at the base, obtriangular, Ex. B. buseyi

Cuspidate Apex
The tip or terminal end of a leaf blade that has a short, sharp, abrupt point

Cyme
A flat-topped or rounded-topped determinate inflorescence in which the terminal flower blooms first

Cymose
With flowers in a cyme

Cymose Inflorescence
Lacks a central axis that dominates the lateral branches, unlike racemose inflorescence, where the central axis is continually growing and is the dominant central axis. Many begonias have cymose inflorescence

Deciduous
Falling off at the end of one season of growth, as the leaves of non-evergreen trees; not persistent

Decumbent
Lying or growing on the ground but with erect or rising tips

Decurrent
Extending down and adnate to the stem, at the leaf base

Decurved
Bent forward

Decussate
Opposite leaves arranged with each succeeding pair at right angles to the pairs below and above them

Deeply Cordate
Blade base that has two equal rounded lobes forming a very pronounced sinus or notched part of a heart Ex. B. squamipes

Deflexed
Bent or turned abruptly downward

Dehiscence, loculicidal
The slit openings for seed dispersion are located at the (mid) surface of the locules of the fruit

Dehiscence, septicidal
The slit openings for seed dispersion are located at the septals (the membranes that divide the ovary into locules) of the fruit

Dehiscent
The process of opening or breaking open at maturity to release the contents, as in fruits or seeds, and anthers (compare indehiscent)

Deltate; delta
Shaped like an equilateral triangle

Deltoid
Triangular blade; equilaterally triangular, with a broad end at the point of attachment

Dentate
A leaf margin that has sharp, spreading, coarse teeth that point away or upwards from the main vein instead of slanting forward or towards the tip of the leaf. The teeth can be straight sided or concave but come to a point

Denticulate
A leaf margin with very small teeth, or finely dentate, in that the teeth point upright along the margin but are finer than dentate

Depauperate
Undeveloped, reduced, starved, less developed

Descendent
Gradually going downward

Determinate
An inflorescence where the terminal flowers blooms first, halting any further elongation or growth of the main axis

Dichasium, compound
The enlargement from a simple dichasium by the repeated dichotomous branching one or more times

Dichasium; dichasial
A cymose inflorescence where each axis produces two opposite or subopposite lateral axes, plural is dichasia View Illustration

Dichotomous asymmetrically
Having pairs with unequal divisions

Dichotomous; dichotomy
Divided in two parts; having divisions in pairs

Dicotyledon
Having two cotyledons (seedling leaves)

Digitally lobed
Having finger-like lobes

Digitate
Having distinct parts arising from a common point or center; palmate

Dioecious
A plant bearing flowers of only one sex; unisexual, having each one of the pistallate and the staminate flowers on different plants (compare monoecious)

Disjunct
Occurring in widely separated geographic areas, distinctly separate; applies to a discontinuous range where one or more populations are sufficiently separated to prevent gene flow, interbreeding between them

Dissected
Divided into may deep, narrow segments

Distally; distal
Toward the tip, or the end of the organ opposite the end of attachment or base

Distichous
When two rows of leaves are on opposite sides of an axis; two-ranked

Divaricate
Spreading far apart

Divided
Parted; with incisions greater than two thirds the way from the margin to the umbo

Dolabriform
Axe or cleaver shaped; attached at a point other than the base, usually near the middle

Double Dentate
With the teeth of a dentate leaf margin and the teeth themselves also being dentate

Double Serrate
With the teeth of a serrated leaf margin and the teeth themselves also being serrated

Downy
Covered with short and weak soft hairs

Duplicate Dentate
Doubly dentate, each tooth is self-toothed

Eccentric
One sided, placed out of center

Eciliate
Without cilia or fine hair

Eglandular
Without glands, destitute of glands

Elatior
See hiemalis

Ellipsoid
A three-dimensional shape that is elliptical in all sections on the long axis

Elliptic
Shaped like a flattened circle or narrow oval, symmetrical both on the long and the short axis, and tapering equally to the tip and the base; oval

Elliptical
See elliptic

Erect
Regarding plant habit, growing upright, vertical

Evanescent
Vanishing quickly disappearing or fading; lasting a short time

Even
The surface of the leaf is flat or has no roughness, elevations or depressions. Example: B. dichroa

Ex situ
Outside, off-site, or away from the natural position. As applied to biological species, this would be species grown or kept in a laboratory, a collection, an aquarium, a zoo, or a botanical garden, or seed or germplasm stored in a bank

Exalate
Without wings

Excrescence
An abnormal outgrowth or enlargement

Expressed
Prominent or clearly exhibited

Exserted; exsert
Thrust forth or protruding from, or extending beyond surrounding organs

F1
First generation offspring of the mating of two different varieties

Falcate
Sickle-shaped, curved and tapering to a point

Falciform
Shaped like a sickle or scythe

Family
Made up of one or more genera whose similarities are greater than their differences

Fascicle
A close or tight bundle or cluster

Fasciculate
Arranged or growing in bundles or clusters; several leaves growing from a common axis

Fenestrate
Provided with openings or windows; windowed

Ferruginous
Rust colored, reddish-brown

Fertile
Seed bearing, when the term is applied to seed, it means seed which are capable of producing plants

Fibrous
Bearing or resembling fiber, a flexible, strong, and stringy resemblance

Filament
Stalk that bears the anther in a stamen; a threadlike organ View Illustration

Filiform
Threadlike, very slender and cylindrical, often with bends and curves

Fimbriate
Fringed, as the edge of petals; having fimbriae

Firm
Solid, stable

Flaccid
Limp and lax; without rigidity

Fleshy
Thick, firm, juicy (succulent) and often brittle (breaks or cracks easily when the leaf is bent) texture

Flexuous
Having a gentle bending direction, alternately in opposite directions such as inwards and outwards

Floccose
(Felted) having locks of soft wooly hairs that rub off easily, like tomentose but scattered in tufts

Flora
Plants of a specific region

Foliaceous
Leafy or leaf-like in texture or shape

Foliage
Leaves of a plant

Form
In taxonomy, one of the secondary subdivisions below variety which is below species, based on a single morphological difference

Foveolate
Surface pitted with shallow distinct depressions. Example: B. ‘Tom Ment’ leaves

Free
Not united with any other organs; not attached at one end

Friable
Fragile

Fruit
The mature fertilized ovary that has ripened and contains seeds, the capsule

Frutescent
Shrubby

Fruticose
Shrubby, bushy, with many branching stems

Fugacious, fugaciously
Falling or withering away early

Fulvous
Yellow-brownish color, tawny

Funiculus
Stalk bearing the ovule

Fuscescent
Dusky; approaching dark brown or tinged with that color

Fused
To become joined together as if melting together

Fusiform
Swollen in the middle and tapering to each end like a spindle

Genus
Classification of plants with common distinguishing characteristics; main subdivision of plant family; plural genera

Glabrescent
Almost glabrous or becoming so with age

Glabrous
Blade/leaf surface devoid of all vestiture or surface covering, without hairs

Gland
Vestite usually trichome-like glands found on the surface

Glaucous
Having a powdery or waxy covering which rubs off easily

Globose
Forming nearly a true sphere

Glutinous
Sticky or gluey

Gynoecium
The reproductive portion of a female flower, the pistil, stigma, and style of a female flower View Illustration

Habit
The general appearance, characteristic form, or mode of growth of a plant

Habitat
Environmental circumstances or kind place where a plant grows

Hastate
A triangular, arrowhead shape with the basal lobes turned slightly flaring outward making the base look truncate

Herbaceous
Plants with no persistent woody stems above ground including many perennials and nearly all annuals and biennials

Herbarium
Specimen Collection of dried plants used for botanical study

Hermaphrodite
A flower containing reproductive parts of both male and female flowers

Hiemalis
A group of hybrid begonias derived from a cross of a winter flowering B. socotrana and a summer flowering tuberous Begonia tuberhybrida, often called Elatior begonias (the Elatior strain is now largely forgotten), but now the name Rieger applies to them all

Hirsute
Covered with long erect stiff hairs

Hirtelious
Minutely hirsute

Hispid
Bearing long, dense, erect harshly stiff or rigid hairs, but somewhat flexuous, like setose but more dense

Holotype
The single specimen designated as the type of a species by the original author at the time the species name and description was published

Hooded
Capped, as in Begonia anthers where tissue from the sides of the pollen sac forms a cap or hood over the point of dehiscence, where the content or pollen is released

Hooked
Having the shape of either of the ends of a new moon; same as horned

Hyaline
Thin and translucent plant parts such as the margins of leaves, sepals and bracts

Hybrid
The progeny resulting from cross-fertilization of two genetically different individuals that may be two different cultivars or two different species or the selfing of a cultivar

Imbricate
Having the edges overlapping in a regular pattern such as the scales on a fish

In situ
Latin for “in its original place or position”. For plants, that would be their original natural habitat where they grow in the wild

Incised
Deeply cut margin

Incision Arrangement
The sinuses of the blade margin can be Palmate where the arrangement is divided so sinuses point to the umbo, or Pinnate where it is divided into lateral segments, sinuses point to the midrib, or Pedate where it is divided palmately, but side lobes gain divided, sinuses not pointing to umbo

Incision Depth
Sinuses cut within the first third of the distance from the perimeter to the umbo is called a Lobed Blade, and where the sinuses cut to the middle third of the distance from the perimeter to the umbo is called Cleft Blade, and when the sinuses cut to the inner third of the distance from the perimeter to the umbo, but not quite to mid-vein or the petiole, this is a Parted Blade

Incision Type
The sinuses or indentations of the margin of a leaf blade that divide it into segments called lobes; Lacerate type is not uniform, size of lobes and depth of sinus irregular, and Incised type is where the sinuses are regular, lobes and sinuses rather uniform

Indehiscent
Of a pod or fruit that does not open at all or not splitting in a regular manner when ripe and ready to release its seeds

Indeterminate Inflorescence
Racemes where the oldest flowers are borne towards the base and new flowers are produced as the shoot grows, with no predetermined growth limit

Indument; indumentum
Any hairy covering

Inferior
As is seen in Begonia flowers, an ovary that is found beneath the point where the sepals, petals, and stamens attach; completely below, beneath, or in the lower part

Inflorescence
A group or cluster of flowers and their branching system, including bracts and bracteoles. View Illustration

Inflorescence dichotomous at base
Cluster of flowers having branching system with divisions in pairs at the base

Inflorescence irregular
Cluster of flowers having branching system with divisions in unequal pairs

Inflorescence lax
Cluster of flowers having branching system that is loosely dichotomous

Internode
The portion or span of a stem that is between two joints or nodes View Illustration

Involucrate
Having one or more whorls of bracts surrounding the base of an inflorescence

Joint
Stem node

Keel
Longitudinal ridge

Lacerate
Irregularly divided by deep incisions

Laciniate
Cut deeply into narrow jagged segments

Lamellae; Lamella
A thin plate-like structure

Lamina
Expanded flat part of a leaf or leaflet; leaf blade View Illustration

Lanate
Covered with long, soft, dense and curled and matted erect hairs, wooly

Lance
A long straight object, sharpened to a point

Lanceolate
Narrow pointed leaf, wider at the base or bottom, tapering to a point at the apex or tip View Illustration

Lanuginous; lanuginose
Wooly or cottony, with hairs somewhat shorter than lanate

Lateral
On the side of a structure or at the nodes of axis

Lax; laxly
Loose or widely spaced; lacking in rigor, strictness or firmness

Leaf Base
The portion of a leaf where the petiole attaches to the leaf

Leaf Blade
Lamina

Leaf Incision
The depth of the blade/leaf margin indentions to the umbo or central point of the leaf

Leaf Opposed
With two leaves at one node, each on the opposite side of the axis from the other

Leaf Tip
Leaf tip (apex) types are determined by the angle they form, by the pointedness of the tip, and by the curving either convex or concave towards the tip

Leaflet
A small leaf or a leaf-like part

Lenticel
One of many raised, lens-shaped, porous tissues, in a stem or fruit

Lepidote
Covered with small scales

Liana
Woody vine plant that grows on the trunks and branches of trees

Lianescent Begonias
Plants that climb, supported by adventitious roots, different from less efficient climbing scandent plants where they grow upwards using any nearby supports

Ligneous
Woody; consisting of or having the texture or appearance of wood

Ligulate
Strap-shaped

Linear
Very narrow in relation to its length, with its sides mostly parallel to each other

Linguiform
Tongue-shaped

Lobe; lobate; lobulate; lobed
With sinuses (incisions) less than halfway (usually within the first third) from the margin to the umbo

Locule
A chamber or cavity within a flower’s ovary

Long Acuminate Apex
A leaf apex that starts out straight or convex then changes to concave and gradually comes to a point and the angle it makes is less than 60 degrees. If the angle is more than 90 degrees that it is a short acuminate apex

Long-ciliate
Bearing long cilia

Lorate
A leaf that is strap-shaped with obtuse apex

Lunate
Shaped like the moon in its first or last quarter when it appears to have one concave edge and on convex edge

Maculate
Marked with spots or blotches

Marcescent
Regarding stipule persistence, when stipules wither but don’t fall off until long after the leaf matures

Margin
The edge or border of a leaf blade or lamina

Marginiform
Having a distinct or projecting edge or wing

Membranous
Regarding stipule texture, consisting of or resembling a thin and semi-transparent layer of tissue

Micropylar
The minute opening into the integument of an ovule which becomes the crown of the seed

Midrib
The central rib or main vein of a leaf or other organ

Midvein
The central vein of a leaf

Moniliform
Resembling a string of beads, such as a rhizome resembling beads on a necklace

Monochasial; monochasium
A cyme in which only one of each pair of lateral branches develops

Monoecious
A plant that has separate flowers of both sexes on a single plant

Monograph
A systematic account of a particular group of plants

Monopodial; monopodium
Having growth and elongation of the stem from a single point, continuing indefinitely, adding leaves to the apex with no branching. Unlike sympodial where the terminal bud ceases to grow and the growth is continued from a lateral bud. In pseudo monopodial, a plant has a primary stem with sympodial growth and secondary stems with monopodial growth

Monotypic
The sole member of its group, such as a single species that constitutes a section, used especially of a genus with only one species

Montane
A plant that grows naturally in the mountains

Multifid
Cleft into many parts

Muricate
Surface with uniform, low obtuse, rounded projections or excrescences, examples: B. ‘Pebble Lane’, B. muricata, B. ‘Black Raspberry’

Mutation
A Sport of variation from the norm

Narrowly Alate
Having narrow wings

Narrowly Elliptic
Elliptically shaped with a length to width ratio of 3:1 to 6:1

Narrowly Lanceolate
Lance shaped with a length to width ratio of 3:1 to 6:1

Narrowly Triangular
A leaf shape that is a triangle shape forming less than a 45 degree angle

Narrowly Trullate
A leaf shape that is a long, narrow diamond shape

Neotropics
The region southward from the Tropic of Cancer, including southern Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies

Nerves
A strand of conducting and strengthening tissue in a lamina that run longitudinally and add strength to the lamina, ribs, frequently incorrectly used for veins

Niche
The ecological or natural habitat or space that a species occupies in the wild

Nodding
Bending over to one side or down, so that the apex is directly downward

Node
The joint on a stem where leaves, branches or flowers originate View Illustration

Nomenclature
Correct naming of plants

Non typus
Not the type (specimen)

Non-sulcate
Not furrowed or grooved lengthwise

Nutant; nutans
Nodding or including from the perpendicular so that the apex is directed downward

Ob
A prefix, meaning the inversion of, or in a reverse direction

Oblanceolate
Narrow pointed leaf shaped wider at the top, sharply narrowing at the base.

Oblique
With unequal sides, especially a leaf base; petiole attachment where the midrib extends at an angle of approximately 45 degrees from the petiole, Ex. B. rex

Oblique Acute
A leaf base that is a combination of oblique and acute, meaning sharply tapering to a point but two sides unequal

Oblique Base
A leaf base that has unequally sided lobes, can be used in conjunction with other base descriptions

Oblique Leaf Position
The midrib extends from the petiole at an angle of about 45 degrees

Oblong
Having an elongated form with slightly parallel sides, roughly rectangular

Obovate
A leaf shape where the broadest part is above the middle, oval shape with narrower end near the base, reverse egg shape

Obovoid
A solid having the form of an inverted egg

Obtriangular
An inverse or reversed triangle

Obtrullate
A leaf shape that is a wide diamond shape, angular obovated

Obtuse
Blunt or rounded, having converging edges at the apex at an angle greater than 90 degrees

Obtuse Apex
A leaf apex (tip) that has an angle between 90 degrees and 180 degrees and has sides that are reasonably straight with the angle. If the apex is pointed it is a sharply obtuse apex, and if the apex is rounded off, it is a rounded obtuse apex

Operculum
In begonias, a small lid that is found on the seed ends

Opposed
With two leaves or other part originating at one point, but located on opposite sides of the axis

Orbicular
A leaf shape that is approximately or nearly round in outline, peltate

Ovary
The expanded basal portion of the pistil that contains the ovules View Illustration

Ovary, Partly Superior
With part of the ovary extending above the tepals

Ovary, Wholly Inferior
With the ovary totally below the tepals

Ovate
Oval, or egg-shaped, with a tapering point and the widest portion near the petiole

Ovoid
In the shape or outline of an egg

Ovule
The plant structure that develops into a seed when fertilized

Paleae
Vestite small, weak, erect membranous scales, chaff

Palmate
Lobed, veined or divided from a common point, like the fingers of a hand, with the sinuses between the lobes pointing to the umbo

Palmate Blade Venation
Three or more primary veins diverging from the umbo on a leaf

Palmate-Pinnate Venation
When the primary leaf veins diverging from the umbo have secondary veins arranged along each primary, paired oppositely like a feather

Palmately
Compound Leaf composed of many leaflets connected from a common point, in a palm-like manner

Palmatifid
The blade is lobed or divided for halfway down or more

Palmatisect
The various elements of the blade are free almost down to the base

Papillose
Pimpled, covered with minute tubercles or excrescences of uneven size, and rather soft.

Papyraceous
Papery, having the consistency of writing paper and quite opaque

Parietal Placentation
Ovules that are borne on the inner sides of the ovary wall or on outgrowths of that wall

Parted Leaf
A leaf with Incisions or sinuses that cut to the inner third of the distance from the perimeter to the umbo, but not quite to the mid-vein or the petiole Ex. B. crassicaulis, B. mananjenbensis

Pectinate
Divided into very numerous segments, close and narrow, like the teeth of a comb

Pedate
Split into three main divisions with two outer divisions forked into two smaller ones

Pedicel
Stalk supporting each single flower in a cluster (compare peduncle) View Illustration

Pedicellate
Flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels

Peduncle, Pedunculate
Main flower stalk supporting either a cluster or a solitary flower (compare pedicel) View Illustration

Peltate
A leaf with a petiole attached to the lower surface of the blade (leaf) rather than the margin, or at the base of the leaf, which would be basifixed. Outline of the leaf shape is immaterial. View Illustration

Pendent, Pendulous
Hanging downward, drooping

Penninerved
Feather-like veining

Perennial
A plant grown from seed and reproducing, lives for two or more years

Perianth
The collective term for both the petals and the sepals; in Begonia these two organs may look similar View Illustration

Perianth Segments
Used rather than tepal, to mean segments of both the calyx and the corolla

Perpendicular
Regarding plant habit, at a right angle to the stem

Persistence
Regarding stipules, how long the stipule remains attached to the stem

Persistent
Regarding stipule persistence, neither withers or falls off after the leaf matures

Petal
One of the separate parts of the corolla (a group of petals); usually attractively colored or white View Illustration

Petaloid
Petal-like in color and shape, resembling a petal

Petiole
Leaf stalk that provides support between the main stem and the blade (leaf), is usually wider where it joins the stem to provide strength at that point and has additional strengthening structures along its length to help support the blade

Petiole Apex
Top end of the petiole or leaf stalk, where the petiole attaches to the blade, that is, at the umbo

Petiole Indument
A covering, especially of hairs on the leaf stem

Petiolulate
Having a petiolule

Petiolule
The stalk of a leaflet in a compound leaf

Phenology
The study of cyclical and seasonal natural phenomena, especially as it relates to climate and plant and animal life

Picotee
A flower that has petals that are characterized by having a dark color only on the edge of the petals, the petals are slightly serrated or fringed at the edge, as in many tuberous, Begonia flowers

Pilose
Covered with long, soft, straight hairs, scattered not dense

Pinnate
Resembling a feather, having parts or branches arranged on each side of a common axis, a compound leaf having leaflets growing opposite each other in pairs on either side of the rachis or prolongation of the petiole

Pinnate Venation
With one somewhat central midrib having secondary veins paired oppositely arranged along it, like a feather

Pinnatifid
Leaves with pinnate lobes that are not discrete and remain sufficiently connected to each other that they are not separate leaflets

Pinnatisect
A leaf shape where the lobes or clefts are nearly to the midrib in narrow divisions but do not form separate leaflets

Pistil
The stigma, style, and ovary of a female flower; the female reproductive organs. The ovary supports a long style topped by a stigma, the part of the pistil that receives and germinates the pollen from the male flower, and the ovary, the enlarged basal portion of the pistil, is where the ovules or seed are produced View Illustration

Pistillate
Bearing a pistil or pistils, but lacking stamens; female flowers

Placenta
The portion of the female flower’s ovary bearing the ovules (immature seeds). Plural is placentae

Placentae, entire form
Each individual placenta is not divided

Placentation
The arrangement or configuration of the placentae such as axile, entire and parietal

Placentation, axile with bifid placentae
Ovules attached to the central axis or partitions of the ovary but each placenta is deeply divided into two

Placentation, axile, with entire placentae
Ovules or seeds, attached to the central partitions of the ovary that has multiple locules or compartments with the placenta not lobed

Placentation, parietal with branched placentae
Ovules are borne on the ovary wall or on outgrowths of the wall

Plicate
Folded into pleats or furrows, usually lengthwise

Polymorphic
Having various forms

Procumbent
Growing flat on the soil or ground

Propagule
A seed, spore, or vegetative portion of a plant, such as an offshoot, that may produce a new plant

Prostrate
Laying flat

Protendrous
In monoecious plants, the maturing of anthers (on staminate flowers reach anthesis and shed pollen), before the stigma on pistillate flowers reach maturity

Protogynous
In monoecious plants, when the pistillate flowers are receptive to pollen before the pollen is shed from the staminate flowers

Pseudodichotomous
Resembling but not exactly dividing into two equal parts or branches

Puberulous
Densely covered with very short fine hair barely visible to the naked eye

Pubescent
Covered with soft short hairs; a general term of hairiness

Puncticulate
Marked with dots, depressions, or translucent glands

Purpurascent
Purple or becoming purple

Pustulate
Where surface has numerous uniform acute elevations, like pimples e.g., B. ‘Emerald Jewel’, or Foveolate where the surface is pitted with shallow distinct depressions e.g., B. ‘Tom Ment’

Quadrate
Square or squared

Raceme
An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with pedicellate flowers maturing from the bottom upward, an indeterminate single axis type of inflorescence

Racemiform
An inflorescence with the general appearance, but not necessarily the structure, of a true raceme

Racemose
Having flowers in raceme-like inflorescence that may or may not be true racemes

Rachis
The main axis of a structure such as on a compound leaf where the leaflets are attached, or on an inflorescence

Ramification, Ramified
The act of branching out or dividing into branches; branched

Receptacle
The portion of the pedicel where the flower parts are attached

Recurved
Curls gradually outward or downward towards its tip

Reflexed
Regarding plant habit, bends outward or downward at a sharp angle

Reniform
Shaped like a kidney, as in a leaf shape View Illustration

Repand
A leaf margin with an uneven, slightly wavy or weakly sinuate margin; undulate

Repent
Creeping along the surface rooting at nodes

Reticulate, Reticulation
Having a netted or network pattern showing weak grooves outlining veining

Retuse
With a rounded sinus at the apex

Rex
A type of Begonia that is grown for its multicolored leaves. All Rex culturum types are descended from the Indian species B. rex that has been crossed with other types of rhizomatous begonias

Rhizomatous
Begonias possessing rhizomes, these are easy-care plants with interesting leaves, growing year-round, and having flower clusters that stick out above the foliage like clouds. Ex. B. ‘Erythrophylla’

Rhizome
A persistent stem that grows on, or under the ground, with nodes and internodes producing roots on the underside when it touches the soil, or stems or shoots above ground

Rotate
Venation In peltate leaves, the veins radiating out from the umbo

Rotundate
Round or rounded in outline

Rugose
Surface covered with a network of veins (reticulated) with the spaces between them convex (wrinkled) with irregularly curving, inward or outward, elevations Examples: B. rajah, B. goegoensis

Sagittate
Leaf that is triangular, arrowhead shaped, with its basal lobes pointing downward, unlike hastate

Sarmentose
Producing long flexible runners or stolons

Scabrous
Covered with scattered short, rigid or harsh hairs that are not erect, often not visible without magnification but evident to touch

Scale
Vestite flattened plate-like elements

Scandent
Climbing; vine-like

Scape
Flower stalk that arises directly from the soil

Scarious
Regarding texture, shriveled, thin, membranous, and dry

Section (sectio)
1. A taxonomic category intermediate in rank between subgenus and species. The subgenus, if present, is higher than the section, and the rank of series, if present, is below the section. Sections can be further divided into subsections. 2. The cutting a piece of plant tissue in order to see its internal structure

Secund
Arranged on, or turned to one side of an axis

Seed
A ripened, fertile ovule made up of a protective coat enclosing an embryo and food reserves. In begonias, these are tiny golden barrels ranging in size from .25 to .75mm long. Typically, Begonia species produce between 100-600 seeds per seed capsule

Seedling
Plant raised from a seed

Semi-inferior
On an ovary, where the lower part is inferior, but the upper part is free and projects over the perianth. This is rare in the plant kingdom but only found in the Begonia relative Hillebrandia sandwicensis

Semi-tuberous
Caudex forming

Semperflorens
A type of Begonia that is probably the most widely grown, in some parts of the country are called “wax type” because of the waxy look to their leaves, grown mostly as bedding plants and treated as annuals, but are really a perennial shrub type in areas that do not freeze

Sepal
One segment of the calyx; usually green in most plants, found just below or under the petals, but in begonias it is usually attractively colored or white and can be indistinguishable from the petals themselves View Illustration

Septum, Septa
A wall dividing a cavity or structure into smaller ones

Sericeous
Silky, satin-like sheen; long fine appressed hairs

Serrate
A leaf margin with sharp saw-like teeth that point forward or slant towards the apex or tip of the leaf

Serrate double
Where each saw-toothed element on a margin, itself has a saw-tooth

Serrulate
A leaf margin with a minutely serrated edge, similar to serrate, but the teeth are smaller

Sessile
A leaf with base attached directly to the stem or peduncle without a petiole or pedicel; stalkless

Setaceous
Having bristles, bristle-like

Setose
Covered with bristles, similar to hispid but less dense

Setulose
Minutely setose

Shape
The geometric outline of a Begonia leaf

Shoot
A young growing branch or stem

Short Acuminate Apex
A leaf apex that starts out straight or convex then changes to concave and gradually comes to a point and the angle it makes is greater than 90 degrees. If the angle is less than 60 degrees that it is a long acuminate apex

Shrub
Begonias characterized by growing upright on branching stems, some have hairy, velvet-like leaf surfaces while others are distinguished by leaf coloring never seen anywhere else. Ex. B. ‘Brevirimosa’, B. venosa, B. lyallii f. Masoalensis, B. polliloensis

Shrub-like
A woody plant that produces stems or shoots from the base

Simple
Having or being composed of only one thing; scarcely divided or branched at all; an elementary shape

Simple Dichasium
A determinate inflorescence with a simple cluster of three flowers arising from a common peduncle by dichotomous branching

Simple leaf
Leaf with one blade per petiole Ex. Peltate: B. ferramica, B. letouzeyi, Basifixed: B. dioica, B. multistaminea

Sinuate
A leaf margin that has a strongly wavy or uneven edge that turns inwards and outwards but is not lobed

Sinus
The cleft, depression, space, or recess between two lobes or deep incisions of a leaf or petal View Illustration

Sparse
Occurring or growing at widely spaced intervals; not thick or dense

Spatulate
Like a spatula in shape, with a rounded blade gradually tapering to the base

Species
Subdivision of a genus of a plant family (species is both the singular and plural)

Spiral
Winding in a continuous and gradually widening (or tightening) curve, either around a central point on a flat plane or about an axis so as to form a cone

Squamiform
Having the shape of scales, scaly; a scale

Squarrose
Rough or scruffy

Stamen
The male reproductive organ of a flower that produces pollen and consists of an anther and filament View Illustration

Staminate
Bearing stamens but not pistils, a male flower which does not produce fruit or seeds

Stellate
Forked or Multiple-branched hairs, each on a short central stalk or sessile; star like

Stem
A stalk bearing nodes, supports leaves, buds, flowers, or fruit, and is usually found above ground

Stem Attachment
How the petiole and stem connect to the blade (leaf), can be straight, oblique or transverse

Sterile
Lacking functional sex organs or infertile

Stigma
In the female flower, the top part of the pistil that receives the pollen from the male flower and germinates the pollen prior to fertilization ovule production by the ovary View Illustration

Stipule
One of a pair of leaf-like appendages found at the base of the petiole. In begonias, they protect a new leaf bud until they split and the new leaf unfolds with its stem (petiole). Caducous fall off early after leaf emerges, Persistent hang on for a while, Marcescent ones dry up but stay in place

Stolon
A shoot that bends to, or runs along either above or below the ground and takes root giving rise to a new plant at the nodes or tip

Stoloniferous
A plant that sends out stolons

Stomata
Pores in the leaf formed by two guard cells

Straight Leaf Position
The blade position relative to the petiole where the midrib or midnerve of the blade continues in a straight line with the petiole, Ex. B. cucullata

Strigose
Having harsh, stiff, straight, short hairs, bristle-like in harshness

Style
The slender stalk of a pistil connecting the stigma to the ovary View Illustration

Sub
Prefix meaning almost or nearly

Subentire
Having very slight marginal incisions or indentations, almost entire

Subspecies
A taxonomic category within species, where there may be a few morphological or genetic distinctions within the same species and a big difference in their geographic distribution. Its taxonomic rank is between species and variety

Substrate
The material on which a plant lives, the soil or rock or sphagnum moss

Subulate
Awl-shaped; tapering to a point

Succulent
Juicy; fleshy; soft and thickened

Suffricticose
Somewhat woody

Suffrutescent stems
Stems that are woody at the base that survive from year to year, with herbaceous distal portions

Sulcate
With longitudinal grooves

Suprabasal
Above the base

Supraterraneus
Above ground; above the soil

Symmetric; symmetry
Divided into similarly identical or mirror-image parts; near repetition of the pattern element either by reflection or rotation

Sympodial
Type of branching pattern where one branch develops more strongly than the other, resulting in the stronger branches forming the primary shoot and the weaker branches appearing laterally

Synonym
Alternate or previous name

Taxonomy
The science of identification, nomenclature, and classification of plants

Tepal
In begonias, when the calyx and corolla cannot be differentiated, the petal-like structures are then called tepals. Perianth is the collective name for the sepal and petals when they can be differentiated, and in begonias though these two may look similar, each can be identified anatomically

Terete
Cylindrical, or slight tapering in form, and circular in cross section, many Begonias have terete petioles; circular and columnar as in plant stems

Terminal
At the tip or apex of a leaf or structure; apical

Terrarium
A container or enclosed atmosphere

Thecae
Pollen sacs of the anther; anther cells

Thick-stemmed
Group of begonias with overly thick upright stems, that don’t branch much, but send up new growth from the base, and then drop their lower leaves and usually only have leaves on the tips Ex. B. ludwigii, B. sulcata, B. ulmifolia

Thickset
Short jointed stem thickly leaved

Tomentose
Thickly covered with densely matted wool-like hair, curled and appressed, hairs rub off easily

Toothed
Pointy or tooth-like projections that emanate along a margin of a leaf

Torus
Receptacle where filaments are basally attached

Trailing-Scandent
Group of begonias named for their growth habit, they grow to some length over the ground and climb, some have glossy leaves that look like a philodendron, but others grow large leaves, and in their native habitat climb up tree trunks, most have white or pink flowers Ex. B. thelmae, B. glabra, B. elaeagnifolia

Transverse
Cross wise, crossing from side to side, at a right angle to the longitudinal axis of a structure; petiole attachment where the midrib is almost at a 90 degree angle with the petiole, Ex. B. amphioxus

Trialate
Three winged

Trichome
Vestite hair or bristle, but often used to include scale or paleae

Trichotomous
Having divisions always in three

Trilobate
Having three lobes

Tripartite
Three-parted

Trisculcate
Three-furrowed

Trullate
Angular ovate blade shape, like a trowel, broadest below the middle

Truncate
With an apex or base squared off as if it had been cut straight across

Truncate Apex
A leaf apex (tip) that is flat, appearing as if the leaf apex was cut off straight across at a 180 degree angle

Tuber, tubercule, tuberculate
A thick, fleshy portion of stem base, rhizome, that bares nodes and buds; underground stem that serves as food storage

Tuberous
Producing or baring tubers; a variety of begonias that have a thick fleshy root base, Ex. B. partita, B. bogneri, as well as double flowered complex hybrids that are popular as a bedding or a greenhouse plant whose flowers can be a small two inches, up to dinner plate size Ex. tuberhybrida, and Non-Stop varieties

Type Specimen
A specimen selected to serve as a reference point when a plant species is first named. These specimens are extremely important to botanists who are attempting to determine the correct application of a name

Umbel
Pedicels arising from the same point, an indeterminate, usually flat-topped or convex inflorescence where the pedicels arise from the same point

Umbelliform, umbellate
In the form of, or resembling, an umbel

Umbo
The place on the blade or leaf where the petiole is attached, when peltate the umbo is not on the margin of the blade Ex. B. venosa, when basifixed or non-peltate, the umbo is on the margin or outer edge of the blade Ex. B. kellermanii

Undulate
A leaf margin that is wavy from the horizontal or side view of the leaf. This is unlike the other leaf margins which are described and viewed while looking down at the surface of the leaf. With a somewhat wavy margin but not so deeply or pronounced as sinuate

Unilateral
One sided

Unisexual
Having only one sex of flowers, either staminate or pistillate

Variety (var.)
A taxonomic subdivision below that of species and between the ranks of subspecies and form, based on one or more morphological and genetic differences, and is slightly geographically separated from other members of the same species

Veinlets
Small veins

Velutinous
Velvety, covered with long, straight, very dense, soft fine hairs

Venation
The pattern of veining on a leaf blade, three types Palmate radiates from one point near the stem, Pinnate branches off a central rib that runs the length of the leaf, and Palmately Pinnate which is basically palmate but with each main vein having pinnate branches.

Verrucose
Having a wart-like or nodular surface

Verticillate
Three or more leaves radiating from a single node

Vestite, evanescently
A vanishing cover on a surface that was causing it to be other than glabrous

Vestite, vestiture
Surface covering or vestiture of blade/leaf, either Scale, Paleae, Gland, Indument, or Trichome

Villous, villi
Having moderately long, soft, somewhat shaggy, but unmatted, and not necessarily straight hairs

Wedge-shaped
Narrowly triangular, wider at the apex and tapering towards the base. Cuneate

Whiplash
Hair with a rounded basal section elongated into a long whip-like shape

Whorl, whorled
An arrangement of three or more (verticil) leaves, sepals, petals, stamens, or carpels that radiate from a single point and surround or wrap around the stem or stalk. In a typical flower, the four main parts or whorls are known as the calyx, corolla, androecium and gynoecium

Wing
In Begonia, a flat protrusion with a pointed or rounded tip that may number three or four, each found behind a pistillate, or female flower’s ovary

Zygomorphic
Bilaterally symmetrical, capable of being divided into two equal parts (mirror image) by a line passing through the middle


Submit a name