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Botanical Terminology Tutorial

The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce basic botanic terminology to students using verbal and visual examples to help describe and learn woody plant material. Explore the various helpful leaf identification features. Start by choosing one of the categories below. Relevant definitions, photos, and links to plants with similar features will be displayed.

Leaf Characteristics
Explore Leaf Apex
Leaf Apex
Explore Leaf Arrangement
Leaf Arrangement
Explore Leaf Base
Leaf Base
Explore Leaf Margin
Leaf Margin
Explore Leaf Shape
Leaf Shape
Explore Venation

Download Assignment Instructions (pdf) (doc)






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A working glossary of terms seen and used in plant descriptions.

Available Illustrations (pdf):

  1. Buds Characteristics
  2. Bud Types
  3. Leaf Arrangements
  4. Leaf Venation
  5. Leaf Shapes
  6. Leaf Margins
  7. Leaf Apices
  8. Leaf Bases
  9. Stem Characteristics


2005 Gary J. Kling, Laura L. Hayden, and Joshua J. Potts University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
External sites are not endorsed by the University of Illinois.

Notes about this tutorial.