• glossary

    Alternate – inserted at different levels of the axis
    Amplexicaul – clasping or embracing the stem, i.e. the leaf base extending to the side of the stem opposite the main lamina
    Angular – with an angle; in Nepenthes, Medinilla, and other plants, referring to the shape of the stems or branchlets in cross-section, e.g. angular or more specifically 4-angular (as opposed to terete)
    Appendages – in Nepenthes, referring to any small structure along the midline on the lower surface of the pitcher lid, may be needle-like, laterally flattened, or glandular
    Axillary – arising in an axil, the point between the stem and the leaf or other organ that arises from the stem; sometimes lateral is used to mean the same thing
    Basal Leaves – (sing. basal leaf) one of two types of leaves developed in some ferns (e.g. Platycerium) that grow erect in overlapping layers clasping the substrate and forming the ‘basket’; sometimes referred to as base leaves
    Bract – a modified and specialized leaf in the inflorescence below the partial peduncles or pedicels of flowers
    Brachyblast – in Strongylodon referring to the nodes of the inflorescence
    Callus – (referring to an orchid flower) a thickened area on the labellum
    Capsule – a dry dehiscent fruit compose of two or more united carpels
    Canaliculate – with a longitudinal channel or groove, opening valves, slits, or pores; a term used to describe petioles of Nepenthes 
    Carpel – the basic unit of the female sexual organ
    Carpellate – possessing carpels
    Cataphylls – a scale leaf; a scale-like leaf
    Ciliate – bearing a fringe of hairs along the margin
    CIrca – Latin for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, often abbreviated as c. or ca.
    Column – in orchids, the adnate styles and stamens of the flower forming a solid central body
    Column Foot – in orchids, a ventral extension at the base of the column, the labellum attached at its tip
    Conduplicate – folded together lengthwise with the upper surfaces closely parallel and facing each other
    Constricted – abruptly narrowed
    Convex – with a rounded surface, like that of a ball
    Cordate – deeply notched so the whole base is heart-shaped; also use for the shape of the whole leaf (referring to the base of the leaf or of the lid of a pitcher in Nepenthes or leaves of other plants)
    Coriaceous – leathery, tough
    Couplet – term for two opposing choices
    Crenellated – with alternating projections and indentations, with right angles between the two; in Nepenthes referring to the ribs of the peristome
    Cuneate – tapering gradually
    Deciduous – falling off seasonally, losing all its leaves for part of the year
    Decumbent – lying on the ground, but with the distal part upright
    Decurrent – extending downwards, referring to basal leaf edges when they continue down the stem as wings or raised lines
    Decussate – opposite organs (e.g. leaves), when alternate pairs are at right angles to each other
    Dehiscent – (referring to fruits) splitting, opening spontaneously when ripe
    Dentate – prominently toothed with acute symmetrical projections pointing outwards, usually referring to the margin of leaves or flower parts
    Dichotomous – forking, dividing into two equal branches; when referring to a key to identification, giving two alternative choices, each of which leads to the next couplets of choices or to the name of the plant being ‘keyed out’
    Distal – farthest away from the point or place of attachment; opposite: proximal
    Distichous – in two opposite rows, one on each side of the stem
    Domed – the cover shaped like a rounded roof; used in Nepenthes to describe the lid of the pitcher
    Dorsal Sepal – literally meaning ‘the back’; in orchids the dorsal sepal is the upper one
    Elliptic – broadest at the middle with two equal rounded, obtuse, or acute ends
    Ellipsoid – a 3-dimensional shape that is elliptic in the vertical plane
    Elongate – stretched, long
    Emarginate – (of apices) with a distinct sharp notch; see also retuse
    Endemic – restricted to, unique to, not naturally found elsewhere; ‘endemic to the Philippines’ means occurring or found only in the Philippines and nowhere else in the world
    Epiphyte – (adj. epiphytic), plant growing on an attached to another plant without deriving nourishment from it
    Ferns – plants not producing flowers; leaves with spores as sexual reproductive parts which give rise to small fern plantlets
    Filiform – slender, needle-like
    Fimbriate – (relating to margins) bordered by rather broad hair-like processes (as distinct from hairs or slender spines – fringed)
    Fissured – (relating to the surface of the outer bark) with short, narrow and slightly deep splits
    Fissured Scaly – (relating to the surface of the outer bark) fissured, but with small pieces flaking off
    Flora – the plants occurring in a certain area
    Flower – an axis bearing one more pistils (pistillate or female flower), or one or more stamens (staminate flower or male flower), or both (perfect flower); often with parts to make it functional or more attractive to pollinators (e.g. sepals and petal of various colors, or rewards such as nectar); in Medinilla the flowers are termed as 4- or 5-merous (or other number), referring to the number (or multiples thereof) of floral parts, e.g. four petals, eight stamens
    Foetid – stinking smell
    Foliage Leaves – (sing. foliage leaf) one of two types of leaves developed in some ferns (e.g. Platycerium) that are arching or pendulous and irregularly dichotomously divided 
    Fringed – bordered by hair-like appendages
    Fronds – leaf (lamina + petiole); term often used of ferns, sometimes used also for palms
    Funicle – the stalk of the ovule or seed attaching it to the fruit
    Glabrous – smooth and without hairs
    Globose – round and spherical
    Glossy – shiny
    Gnarled – twisted, mis-shapen
    Herbaceous – with texture of an herb, soft and pliable
    Hieroglyphic – referring to the ancient Egyptian script of writing
    Hilum – the scar left on the seed from its attachment point in the fruit
    Hypanthium – (pl. hypanthia) extension of the floral axis (the receptacle); enlargement of the basal part of the flower, bearing the sepals, petal, stamens, and surrounding the ovary, solid or tubular; often used in describing flowers of Medinilla
    Inflorescence – that part of the plant that bears the flowers, including all its bracts, branches, and flowers (excluding unmodified leaves)
    Infundibular – funnel-shaped, i.e. abruptly widening from a narrow cylindrical part to a wider distal part; also infundibuliform
    Keel – (noun) a narrow longitudinal ridge sticking out from a surface; (adj.) keeled
    Labellum – in orchids, the lowest petal, usually larger or smaller and different in shape and other characters than the two lateral petals; also referred to as lip
    Lamina – the expanded part or blade of a leaf, petal, or sepal
    Lanceolate – narrowly ovate and tapering to a point in the apex
    Lateral Lobes – (referring to an orchid flower) on the side of a labellum 
    Lateral Veins – on or at the side of the midrib; also called lateral nerves
    Leaf Sheath – part of leaf stalk that envelops the stem and runs concurrently with it for some distance
    Lid – in Nepenthes, referring to the more or less flattened structure that acts as a cover for the mouth of the pitcher
    Linear – narrow and much longer than wide, with parallel margins
    Lip – see labellum
    Lithophyte – (adj. lithophytic) plant growing on rock
    Lobed – divided into about half of any plant organ
    Lunate – moon-shaped
    Malesia – a plant geographical region that includes Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, Moluccas, Borneo, and the Philippines
    membranaceous – flexible and thin, usually also translucent; also the same as membranous
    Mid-lobe – (referring to an orchid flower) the main projecting lobe of a labellum
    Midrib – the main vein of a leaf, a continuation of the petiole from the base to the apex
    Midvein – see midrib
    Monograph – a taxonomic treatment of a particular group of plants that is definitive, comprehensive and usually exhaustive
    Monopodial – growth form with the main stem axis growing indefinitely at the apex, secondary branches may develop below the growing point
    Mottled – with spots or blotches of a different color
    Nerves – see vein
    Node – the area of the stem where a leaf is attached or used to be attached
    Notched – with a cut from an otherwise entire edge
    Oblanceolate – narrowly obovate with an attenuate base and an acute apex
    Oblong – longer than broad, with the margins parallel for most of the length
    Obovate – egg-shaped (2 dimensional) with the broadest part near the apex
    Ochre – light brownish yellow
    Opposite – referring to leaves or other parts, when two are borne on the same node but on diametrically opposed sides of the stem
    Orbicular – (2 dimensional) flat with a circular outline
    Ovate – egg-shaped (2 dimensional) with the broad part below the middle or nearest the base
    Panicle – an inflorescence type in which the main axis has several lateral branches, each of which is branched
    Paniculate – with the inflorescence a panicle 
    Peduncle – (referring to an inflorescence) the lower unbranched part or stalk
    Peltate – round and attached at or near the center (of a leaf with the petiole attached to the blade, not by the margin) 
    Pendent – hanging
    Pendulous – hanging
    Peristome – in Nepenthes, the reflexed ring (or partial ring) of tissue that surrounds the rim of the entrance (mouth) of the pitcher, often cylindrical or flattened, crenellated, and with sharp, overhanging 'teeth'
    Petiolate – having a distinct petiole or leaf stalk attaching the leaf blade (lamina) to the stem; not sessile
    Petiole – the stalk of a leaf; the basal and usually cylindrical part of the leaf that attaches to the stem 
    Phylogenetic – relating to ancestral or evolutionary history or relationship
    Pinnatifid – pinnately lobed, usually the lobes shallow; often used just for pinnately lobed regardless of the depth of the lobes
    Pistillate – female; flower with only female organs
    Pitcher – in Nepenthes, the hollow, tube-like structure at the distal end of the tendril of a leaf 
    Porrect – pointing upwards at a slight angle from the vertical
    Proximal – nearest to the point of attachment, basal; opposite: distal
    Pseudobulb – in orchids, a swollen internode or several internodes
    Pseudostem – ‘false’ stem consisting of leaf sheaths or leaf bases; common in species of ginger plants (Zingiberaceae) and related families
    Pubescent – with dense short, soft hairs or any kind of hair covering
    Raceme – a monopodial inflorescence type in which the flowers are borne on pedicels (or sometimes without pedicels) along a central axis, with the terminal flower being the youngest and the last to open
    Racemose – in the form of a raceme, resembling a raceme
    Reflexed – curved backwards or downwards
    Reniform – kidney-shaped
    Retuse – notched, with a rounded indentation (usually of apex); see also emarginate, with a sharp notch
    Revision – a taxonomic study of a particular group of plants
    Rhizomatous – (adj.) with an underground stem (rhizome)
    Rhizome – underground stem distinguished from root by its nodes, buds or scale-like leaves
    Saccate – pouch-shaped, irregularly obovoid and hollow
    Sagittate – (of a shape) triangular at the base with two acute lobes pointing downwards, like an arrowhead
    Scandent – climbing without twining or the use of tendrils
    Scape – a leafless flower-stalk or inflorescence-stalk arising from the ground; naked peduncle
    Sessile – without a stalk or petiole, attached directly
    Setose – beset with bristles; often used in describing nodes of branchlets of Medinilla
    Shrub – a self-supporting woody shrub branching at or near the ground or with several stems from the ground
    Sinus – (pl. sinuses) a recess between the lobes or teeth of a margin, the angle formed by the basal lobes of a leaf (as in the foliage leaves of Platycerium)
    Soral Patch – the area on the leaf lower surface bearing sori
    Sorus – (pl. sori) in ferns, the structure bearing groups of sporangia that have sacs or capsules with spores
    Spathulate – shaped like a small spatula; oblong with an extended basal part
    Spiral – (of leaf arrangement) in a spiral or ascending coil along an axis
    Spore – a cell capable of developing into a gametophyte, analogous to a seed in flowering plants
    Spur – a tapering projection, usually short and curved; in orchid flowers, a slender hollow extension of the perianth often containing nectar; in Nepenthes referring to the projection at the base of the pitcher lid
    Spurred – (adj.) bearing a hollow slender projection or extension (the spur)
    Staminate – (of flowers) bearing stamens (male organ of the flower); (of plants or flowers) male
    Staminode – a sterile or abortive stamen
    Stellate – star-shaped, with numerous arms radiating outwards (e.g. stellate hairs)
    Succulent – (adj.) juicy, pulpy; (noun) a plant with thick, fleshy, and swollen stems and leaves
    Sympodial – growth form with a discontinuous axis, where the stem is made up of a series of superposed branches (imitating a single main axis)
    Synsepalum – in orchids, a structure formed by two or more joined sepals (as in Paphiopedilum)
    Teeth – (of dentate, serrate, and crenate margins) small sharp protuberances; in Nepenthes may be found below the peristome of the pitcher
    Tendril – in Nepenthes, a slender coiling structure derived from an extension of the leaf midrib that is used by the plant for climbing, the distal part of it is the pitcher
    Terete – circular in cross-section, usually of a cylindric structure lacking grooves or ridges
    Terminal – at the apex of the part; (of inflorescence) ending the axis (as opposed to axillary)
    Terrestrial – growing in or on the ground
    Tessellated – (referring to leaf, petal, or sepal surfaces) with markings in squares or rectangles (as in the flowers of Dendrobium nemorale)
    Tree – perennial woody plant with secondary thickening (increase in diameter) and with a clear main trunk
    Trifoliolate – leaf with three leaflets, also written as ‘3-foliolate’
    Truncate – ending abruptly in a more or less straight line, as if cut off
    Tubular – cylindrical and hollow
    Ultramafic – soil type that is high heavy metals; preferred by certain plants, including many species of Nepenthes
    Umbel – an inflorescence type in which the individual flowers originate from the same point on a common peduncle
    Umbellate – with umbels
    Vein – a strand of vascular tissue in a flat organ such as a leaf, often visible on the surface; also referred to as nerve; in Medinilla the leaves are characterized as 3-plinerved, 5-plinerved, 9-plinerved etc., referring to the number of main nerves arising from near the base of the leaf
    Velamen – referring to the roots of orchids, consisting of one or more layers of spongy cells on the outside
    Vine – climbing herbaceous or woody plant; also = climber
    Wavy – referring to a leaf, sepal, or petal margin that smoothly curves in and out; = undulate
    Whorl – (adj. whorled) a set of similar plant organs arranged in a circle around a central axis
    Winged – (adj.) commonly used in Nepenthes (see wings); sometimes also used when referring to branchlets of Medinilla when angular and have ‘wings’
    Wings – (noun) in Nepenthes, referring to the flattened to blade-like ridges on the frontal side of the pitcher or along the petiole or the stem 
    Woody – made of wood or wood-like tissue