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Botanical Terminology Tutorial
Leaf Arrangement
Leaf Shape
Leaf Margin
Leaf Apex
Leaf Base
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Alphabetical w/ Definitions

  1. Calyx
    Outer part of the flower usually green and consists of the sepals; Plural calyces; (See also Corolla).

  2. Cambium
    A meristematic layer of cells responsible for the growth of the bark and the wood.

  3. Capsule
    Dry dehiscent fruit that has more than one carpel or ovule.

  4. Carpel
    The female reproductive organ that consists of the stigma, style, and ovary.

  5. Catkin
    A unisexual spike flower that is a long unbranched petal-free male or female flower with bracts between the flowers and that uses wind to spread the pollen; hangs down and can be ornamental.

  6. Ciliate
    Fringe of fine hairs; can be found on leaves, stems, buds, flowers, etc.

  7. Collateral
    Situated side-by-side; often in reference to multiple buds at a node.

  8. Columnar
    Shaped like a column; much longer than wide and having a defined central leader.

  9. Compound
    Divisions where there are two or more similar characteristics.

  10. Concave
    Curved inward

  11. Cone
    Woody cluster of seeds on a scale attached to a center axis; see also Strobile.

  12. Conical
    Cone-shaped being taller than wide and attached at the wide end.

  13. Connate
    The fusion of plant organs; such as sexual organs, leaves, petals, etc.

  14. Connate-perfoliate
    Fusion of the bases of a pair of opposite leaves that attach directly to the stem (no petiole).

  15. Contorted
    Twisted or bent in many directions; can appear on any part of plant.

  16. Convex
    Curved outward.

  17. Cordate
    Heart-shaped; can be overall leaf shape, or leaf base with the notched section connecting to the petiole.

  18. Coriaceous
    Thick leathery texture of a leaf that is pliable.

  19. Corolla
    The collective name for all of the petals of a flower; portions of the petals can be fused into a corolla tube (See also Calyx).

  20. Corymb
    A flat-topped or round-topped indeterminate inflorescence with the lower pedicels growing to the same height as the upper and flowering first from the outside towards the center (See also Cyme and Umbel).

  21. Crenate
    Rounded teeth along margin.

  22. Cuneate
    Narrow wedge-shaped leaf base tapering to a point at the petiole.

  23. Cuspidate
    Tipped with a short, abrupt point on a leaf apex narrowing to tip.

  24. Cyme
    Flat-topped or round-topped determinate inflorescence; paniculate; terminal flower blooms first (See also Corymb and Umbel).

Tutorial Terms

Leaf Apex

Leaf Arrangement

Leaf Base

Leaf Margin

Leaf Shape



2005 Gary J. Kling, Laura L. Hayden, and Joshua J. Potts University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Notes about this tutorial.