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Page history last edited by Lindsay Merkle 14 years, 10 months ago

Leaf Morphology:


Phyllode/ Cladode: modifyed stems that act as leaves.



Ensiform: leaves sharp edges, taper into a slender point (fern)



Stellate: hairs come up like fingers. Looks like cluster of hair.


Peltate: "petiole joins to the center" in leaves. With hair, at the end of each single hair, a flat, round, part is attached.


Glossary of Terms:


WHORLED - more than two (2) opposite leaves.





OPPOSITE - leaf nodes are on opposite sides of twig. Arranged by Compound (below left) or Simple (below right):





ALTERNATE - leaf nodes alternate in pattern along branch. Arranged in Compound or Simple.






DECUSSATE - Arranged on a stem in opposite pairs at right angles to those above or below, resulting in vertical rows of leaves. 





PALMATE - consisting of leaflets or lobes radiating from the base of the leaf.




CAPSULE - a hollow dry fruit with 3+ locules (chambers)

     Dehiscent = splits open to release the seed.

     Indehiscent: remaining closed, do not split open at maturity.

  •      Capsule Types-

Dehiscent: Capsule breaks to release fruit         Indehiscent: This is a drupe, no hard capsule that is made to split open



DRUPE - a fruit which has an outer fleshy part [exocarp/skin or mesocarp/flesh] that surrounds a shell (pit or stone) with a seed inside.

  • A walnut is a drupe fruit.





SAMARA - (“Helicopters” or “Whirligigs”)- Winged seed, indehiscent, distributed by wind.


SCHIZOCARP- ("split fruit") - Dry fruit; when mature it splits up into one-seeded mericarps. The mericarp is either: 







OVATE (ovoid)                     OBOVATE (obovoid)                          ELLIPTICAL 




Root Index


Adventitious- Develops from any plant part other than the roots

     Modifications of Adventitious roots :

          Tuberous Roots: ex- Sweet Potato

          Fasciculated Root: ex- Asparagus

          Nodulose Roots: ex- Tumeric

          Stilt Roots: ex- Maize

          Prop Roots: ex- Mangrove

Fibrous- Root system branched and of simalar thickness, main taproot not obvious. ex: White Clover

Taproot- Main root, large, down-growth ex: Carrot

Aerial- Root grows above ground or water ex: Epiphytes

Fleshy-Thick root, stores water or carbohydrates ex: Beets

Haustorial- Root penetrates other plants, parasitic to other plants (absorbs water and nutrients from them) ex-Love Vine (Bahamas :) )




Other Terms


Xerophytes: plants that are adapted to dry climates/habitats


Halophytes: PLants that can tolerate high levels of soil salinity


Erect Stems: Stems that stand with vertical or upright habit
















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