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Plant Printouts
EnchantedLearning.com
Botany and Paleobotany Dictionary
yucca
Plants
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

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the plant term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

A

ABAXIAL

Abaxial means being located on the side away from the axis. The abaxial surface of a leaf is its underside.

ABSCISIC ACID

Abscisic acid is a plant hormone that inhibits growth, causes the abscission of leaves, induces dormancy, closes stomata, and triggers other phenomena in response to adverse conditions.

ABSCISSION

Abscission is the normal separation of a leaf, fruit, or flower from a plant. Abscisic acid is the plant hormone involved in abscission.

ABSCISSION ZONE

The abscission zone is the area at the base of leaf's petiole, a fruit stalk, or a branch in which the separation (abscission) layer develops. The disintegration of this layer causes a leaf, fruit, or flower to fall from a plant. Abscisic acid is the plant hormone involved in this process.

ACICULAR

Acicular means needle-like (for example, pine needles are acicular).


ACID RAIN

Acid rain is polluted and harmful to the environment. Acid rain has a low pH. Acid rain may have been a component of the K-T extinction.

ACHENE

An achene is a dry, indehiscent one-seeded fruit with a leathery pericarp that is easily separated from the seed coat (for example, sunflower).

ADAPTIVE RADIATION

Adaptive radiation is the diversification of a species as it adapts to different ecological niches. If successful, the species becomes specialized for the new environments (the mechanism being natural selection), and they eventually evolve into different species.

ADAXIAL

Adaxial means being located on the side towards the axis. The adaxial surface of a leaf is the upper side.

ADENOSINE TRIPHOSPHATE

ATP (short for adenosine triphosphate) is a nucleotide that has a ribose sugar and three phosphate groups. ATP is a high-energy molecule used for energy storage by organisms. In plant cells, ATP is produced in the cristae of mitochondria and chloroplasts.

ADVENTITIOUS

Adventitious organs are those organs that grow from an unusual part of the plant. For example, fibrous adventitious roots grow from the trunk above the ground instead of starting underground.
AERIAL ROOT
An aerial root is a plant's root that is produced above the ground.

AGE

An age is a unit of geological time which is distinguished by some feature (like an Ice Age). An age is shorter than epoch, usually lasting from a few millions of years to about a hundred million years.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is the science of farming, including growing plants and raising animals.

AGROFORESTRY

Agroforestry is a land use system in which woody perennials are grown with agricultural crops (together with other land uses, like animal production).

AGROLOGY

Agrology is a branch of soil science that studies the soil used in producing crops.

AGROSTOLOGY

Agrostology is a branch of botany that studies grasses.

AIR SPACE

Air space is the intercellular gaps within the spongy mesophyll of leaves. These gaps are filled with gas that the plant uses (carbon dioxide - CO2 ) and gases that the plant is expelling (oxygen - O2, and water vapor).

AIR PLANT

Air plants (also called epiphytes) are plants that live attached to a plant (or other structure like a telephone pole or a building) and not in the ground). Epiphytes include many orchids and bromeliads. Epiphytes are not parasites; they get water and nutrients from the air (and not from their host).

ALGAE

Algae are simple photosynthetic organisms that belong to the kingdom Protista. Most algae are aquatic; seaweeds are algae. Some algae are unicellular while others are multicellular.

ALIEN

An alien is a plant that is not native to a place; it came from another place.

ALOE

Aloes are succulent, clumping plants with fleshy, toothed (non-fibrous) leaves. THere are about 300 species of aloe; they live in warm, dry habitats and most originated in northern Africa. Aloe vera is a popular plant whose gel-like sap is used as a medicinal salve; it is originally from northern Africa, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Canary Islands. Aloe vera has gray-green leaves and tubular yellow flowers that grow on a stalk that is up to 3 feet tall. Classification: Family Liliceae (lilies). Genua Aloe, Species - about 300 including A. vera, A. ferox, etc.

ALTERNATE

An alternate pattern of leaves or buds is a pattern in which there is one leaf (or bud) per node, and on the opposite side of the stem (not in pairs).

ALVAREZ THEORY OF EXTINCTION

This theory is that a large asteroid, meteor, or comet hit the Earth 65 million years ago, causing huge atmospheric and geologic disruptions, leading to a mass extinction which killed the dinosaurs and many other plant and animal species.


AMBER

Amber is a yellowish, fossilized tree resin (from conifers) that sometimes contains bits of trapped matter.

AMYLOPLAST

A organelle (with double membranes) in some plant cells that stores starch. Amyloplasts are found in starchy plants like tubers and fruitsr.


ANGIOSPERM

(pronounced AN-jee-oh-sperm) Angiosperms (meaning "covered seed") are flowering plants. They produce seeds enclosed in fruit (an ovary). They are the dominant type of plant today; there are over 250,000 species. Their flowers are used in reproduction. Angiosperms evolved about 145 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period, and were eaten by dinosaurs. They became the dominant land plants about 100 million years ago (edging out conifers, a type of gymnosperm). Angiosperms are divided into the monocots (like corn) and dicots (like beans).

ANNUAL

An annual is a plant that goes through its entire life cycle within a year. It grows from a seed, matures, produces seed, and dies within a year.

ANNUAL RING

Annual rings are concentric circles that appear on tree trunk cross-sections that mark the end of a growing season. These rings show whether the tree grew a lot or a little that year.

ANTHER

The anther is the tip of a flower's stamen. The anther produces and contains the pollen.

ANTHOPHYTA

Anthophyta are flowering plants, the largest group of plants (which includes the grasses). The flowers are used in reproduction. They evolved during the Cretaceous period.

APICAL DOMINANCE

Apical dominance is the phenomenon in which a terminal (end) bud inhibits the development of lateral (side) buds.

APICAL MERISTEM

The apical meristem consists of meristematic cells located at the tip (apex) of a root or shoot.

APOGEOTROPIC ROOTS

Apogeotropic roots are roots that grow upwards to the soil surface (other roots grow downwards), emerging from the soil and growing upwards. The sego palm has apogeotropic roots, as do cycads.

APOMIXIS

Apomixis is a type of reproduction in which a plant produces seeds without fertilization.

APOMORPHY

An apomorphy is a new genetic characteristic common to a clade. Feathers are an apomorphy for birds.
Johnny Appleseed

APPLESEED, JOHNNY

Johnny Appleseed was a man who spread apple trees through the USA. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.

AQUATIC

Aquatic organisms are those found in water. Many plants are aquatic, including seaweeds.

ARABLE

Arable land is suitable for growing crop plants.

ARBOREAL

Arboreal means living in trees. Many animals are arboreal, including the sugar glider.

ARBORETUM

An arboretum is a park or garden where trees and shrubs are grown for educational and/or scientific uses.

ARCUATE

Leaves with arcuate venation have veins that are curve towards the apex (tip).

AREOLE

Areoles are circular clusters of spines on a cactus. Flowers bud at an areole and new stems branch from an areole.

ARID

An arid area is dry and hot, with little rainfall and few plants.

ASTEROID

An asteroid is a large rock or small planet orbiting the Sun. Most asteroids lie in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. An asteroid impact with the Earth may have caused the K-T mass extinction.
atmosphere

ATMOSPHERE

The atmosphere is the mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth. The Earth's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen.

ATOM

Everything is made up of tiny atoms. An atom is the smallest part of an element that has the properties of that element.

ATP

ATP is short for adenosine triphosphate; it is a nucleotide that has a ribose sugar and three phosphate groups. ATP is a high-energy molecule used for energy storage by organisms. In plant cells, ATP is produced in the cristae of mitochondria and chloroplasts.
firfern
AUTOTROPH

(pronounced AW-toh-trofe) An autotroph (or producer) is an organism that makes its own food from light energy or chemical energy without eating. Most green plants, many protists (one-celled organisms like slime molds) and most bacteria are autotrophs. Autotrophs are the base of the food chain.

AUXIN

Auxins are growth hormones found in plants. Auxins induce phototropism, apical dominance, cell elongation and many other reactions.

AWN

The awn is a bristle-like extension of a plant near its tip.

AXIL

The axil of a plant is the angle between the upper side of the stem and a leaf, branch, or petiole. In flowering plants, the bud develop in the axil of a leaf.

AXILLARY BUD

The axillary bud is a bud that develops in the axil (the angle between the stem and the leaf) of a plant.

AXIS

The axis of a plant runs through the middle of it, e.g., the stem of a plant or the rachis of a compound leaf.
fir
Plant Printouts
EnchantedLearning.com
Botany and Paleobotany Dictionary
yucca
Plants
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

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the plant term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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