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Orchid Species Glossary

Alphabetical Key

Abaxial: a surface that is turned to face the base instead of towards the apex
Aberrant: differing from the normal form or atypical
Abortive: [in reproductive organs] not completely formed and therefore barren or sterile [in seeds] failed to develop normally
Abbreviated: Shortened
Abscission layer: the juncture between the leaf and stem where there is a weak spot from which the leaf will fall
Acaulescent: refers to the absence or seeming absence of a stem by being very short or underground
Acicular: Needle-shaped - ususally round in crossection
Acinaciform: scimitar shaped
Acinose: resembling a bunch of grapes
Acrotonic: With a stem arising from 1/3 up on the side of the older stem
Aculeiform: resembling a pickle
Acuminate: [with leaves and bracts]with the tip, or occassionaly the base tapering gradually to a point, usually with somewhat concave sides
Acute: apical angle that is greater than 45' and less than 90'
Adherant: different parts touching but not joined
Adnate: attached along the entire length of two different flower parts ie. the petal to a column.
Adpressed: lying against
Adventitous: having roots arising all along the stem, instead of just basally
Affinis: the same or similar ambiguous
Afoliate: leafless
Ageotropic: growing up against gravity, ie roots of Catasetum, Ansella and Grammatophylum
Aggregate: clustered together, close set
Agglomerate: crowded together in a head
Agglutinate: glued together -such as pollen masses in orchids
Aerial: free hanging and exposed to the air.
Alate: having a wing
Alliance: a group of related genera - the Pleurothallis alliance - refers to those in the subtribe Pleurothallidinae - The Cattleya alliance - refers to those that can breed with it but are in the subtribe Laeliinae
Alternate: arranged in 2 ranks not parallel but alternating
Amplexicaul: enlarged and embracing or clasping the stem
Ampulla: a bladder shaped organ
Ampullaceous: bladder-shaped
Ancipitous: with 2 sharp edges
Andean: from the Andes mountains of western South America
Angraecoid: an orchid related to Angraecum by being in the genus or a similar one
Annular: ring forming or in rings
Annulate: ring shaped
Annulus: a node near the apex of the ramicaul and is the origination of the spathe or sheath that gives rise to the inflorescence
Anterior: the front side
Anther: the part of the stamen that holds the pollina.
Anther cap: the cover of the pollina on the exterior of the anther that detaches with the pollina when a pollinator comes by.
Anthesis: The period of time that it takes for the flower to fully open
Apetalous: without petals
Apex: the tip: plural: Apices
Aphyllous: lacking leaves
Apical: at or pertaining to the tip of any part of a plant
Apiculate: having an acute tip
Apicule: short, sharp point or acute tip
Applanate: flattened
Appressed: set closely against
Approximate: very closely set, but not co-joined
Arcuate: arched
Aristate: having a long, narrow projection with bristles
Articulate: Jointed
Aromatic: scented or fragrant
Articulate: jointed
Ascending: growing upward
Asexual: without sex charicteristics, sexless
Asperous: rough
Asperulous: very rough surface - having short hard projections or points
Asymmetrical: irregular in outline or shape, in a flower that is incapable of being bisected into two equal halves in any direction
Attenuate: tapering finely ond concavely to a long drawn out point
Auricle: a lobe shaped like an ear at the base of a lamina
Auriculate: furnished with auricles
Autogamous: self-fertilizing
Awn: a group of bristle-like appendages
Axil: the angle formed by the stem and a leaf or bract
Axillary: arising from the axil of a leaf, or bract
Axis: The central stem or column from which the organs originate
Bacciform: berry-shaped
Bacilliform: rod or club-shaped
Backbulb: an old pseudobulb sometimes leafless
Backcross: a cross between a hybrid and one of it's parent plants
Baculiform: rod-like
Barb: a hooked semi-rigid hair
Barbate: bearded
Barbed: bristles and hairs that are hooked backwards or downwards
Barbellae: short, stiff hairs found on the lip
Basal from the base of an organ
Beak: a, long pointed, horn like projection, often hollow beneath
Biauriculate: furnished with two auricles or ears
Bibracteolate: furnished with two bracteoles or minor bract
Bicalcarate: two-spurred
Bicallose: with two callosities or 2 hard or leathery thickenings on an organ
Bicarinate: two keeled
Bicornute: two horned
Bicrenate: scalloped with rounded teeth that have rounded teeth themselves
Bicuspidate: Having two prongs
Bidentate: Having two teeth
Bifid: Being divided into two distinct parts with a deep cleft
Bifoliate: having two leaves
Bifurcate: branching into, or twice forkred
Bilateral: having two vertical planes
Bilobate: having two earlike structures or lobes
Bilobed: having two lobes or earlike projections
Bipartite: divided into two parts
Biserial: arranged in two rows
Biserratew: with a row of double saw teeth
Bisexual: a flower that has both a stamen and a pistil
Bivalvate: having two valves
Blade: the expanded part of a leaf excluding the petiole, leaf sheath and the claw of the perianth segment
Blunt: rounded, as in a leaf or bud tip
Botuliform: sausage-shaped
Bract: a modfied leaf on a flowering stem usually just below the flower or along the inflorescence
Bracteate: having bracts
Bracteole: a small bract below a flower
Bulbous: a stem swollen at the base
Bullate: having a raised surface between veins
Bursicle: a pouch-like recepticle
Cactiform: succulent stems resembling cacti
Caducous: soon falling, as in leaves
Caespitose: tufted, occuring in tiny thick clumps, matted; used as a growth habit description
Calcarate: Having a spur
Calcareous: Containing an excess of available calcium
Calceiform: shoe shaped or shoe like
Calceolate: in the shape of a slipper
Calcicole: plant that favors calcareous soils
Calciform: shaped like a shoe or slipper
Callose: bearing callosities or having a hard thickened surface
Callosity: a hard bump
Callus, plural Callis: a swelled area especially of the labellum
Callus, plural Callis: a swelled area especially of the labellum
Calyptrate: Having a cap-shaped hood
Calyx: all the sepals combined [separate or united] forming the outer covering of the floral envelope
Campanulate: bell shaped
Campanulate: bell shaped
Canaliculate: with a longitudinal groove
Canescent: densely covered by short gray-white hairs
Capillary: hair like
Capitate Arranged in heads or; ending in a knob or orbicular tip
Capitulum: a dense cluster of flowers at the head of an inflorescence as in reed stem epidendrum
Capsule: a seed pod which formed from a flower that was fertilized on an inflorescence of most orchids
Carina: a keel, midvein of a leaf, petal or sepal
Carinate: having a keel
Carnose: fleshy
Cartilaginous: hard and tough in texture yet pliable
Caruncle: a small lumpy outgrowth
Cassideous: helmut-shaped
Castaneous: chestnut or deep reddish brown colored
Cauda: a tail like growth
Caudate: adjective of Cauda as in a caudate pseudobulb or sepal
Caudicle: a star like object that is attached to the pollina of orchids
Caulescent: having a leafy stem
Cauline: attached to or arising from the stem
Cavate: hollowed out
Cernuous: nodding or nutant flowers
Channeled: grooved longitudinally
Chartaceous: thin and papery as in a bract or sheath
Chelate: lobster claw like
Chlorotic: yellowing due to a brakdown of Chlorophyl
Chrysanthus: golden-flowered
Chrysocrepis: Golden shoed
Chrysotis: Golden-eared
Cilia: fine hairs
Ciliate: fine hairs around the edges of organs
Ciliolate: having a marginal fringe of fine hairs
Cinereous: ashy grey
Circinate: coiled into a spiral
Cirrhous: an apex that terminates in a coiled or spiralling continuation of the midrib
Cirrhus: Latin for fringe or tendril
Clambering: vine climbing without support of tendrils or twining stems ie. Vanilla
Clasping: partially or entirely enveloping the base of an organ; such as a leaf clasping the stem
Clavate: club-shaped
Claviform: club-shaped
Claw: the stalk like base of the petal, sepal or labellum
Cliestogamous: self-fertilizing
Clinandrium: the depression where the pollina sets at the head of the column
Clone: exact genetic duplicate created from an original donor through a process known as meristeming where a piece of the meristematic growth eye of a new pseudobulb is taken and through a process, a group of clones is created.
Clone: exact genetic duplicate created from an original donor through a process known as meristeming where a piece of the meristematic growth eye of a new pseudobulb is taken and through a process, a group of clones is created.
Clypeate: sheild-shaped
Coarctate: crowded together
Cochlear, Cochleariform: spoon-shaped
Cochleate: coiled like a snail's shell
Coherent: similar parts that are somewhat joined but not fused
Column: the hub of an orchid that holds the flowers sexual organs, the stamen and the pistil
Column Foot: a basal platform between the column and the lip
Column Foot: a basal platform between the column and the lip
Compicate: folded over onto itself
Complanate: flattened or compressed
Compressed: flattened laterally
Concatenate: linked in a chain
Concolor: all one color
Conduplicate: folded face to face
Conferted: crowded
Confluent: merging together
Congested: crowded
Conglomerate: tightly congested - often ball-like
Congregate: gathered into close proximity
Conical: cone shaped
Connate: groups of similar parts united at their bases
Connivent: merging but not fused
Conspecific: of the same species
Conspicuous: easily visible - enlarged or showy, prominent
Constipate: crowded or massed together
Constricted: abruptly narrowed or contracted
Contiguous: touching parts that are not fused
Contorted: twisted or bent
Contracted: narrowed or shortened
Convergent: coming into contact yet not fused
Convex: a rounded surface
Convolute: pleated or rolled like an umbrella
Corraloid: resembling coral in structure
Cordate: heart shaped
Cordiform: heart shaped
Coriaceous: leathery texture
Corm: the swollen, solid, subterranean, bulb-like stem or stem base
Corniculate: having small horn-like protruberance
Cornute: horn-shaped
Corolla: The second lower most whorl of sterile parts of a flower, and each member is termed a petal
Corrugate: loosely wrinkled or crumpled
Corymb: a racemose inflorescence that has the lower flowers at the same height as the upper, the outermost flowers open first
Corymbose: having a corymb shape
Corymbiform: having a corymb shape
Costa: a single pronounced midvein or midrib
Costate: having a single pronounced midrib or midvein
Crassinode: nodes that are swollen
Crenate: scalloped or toothed
Crenulate: toothed margins
Crest: a dentate elevation or ridge
Crispate: curled
Cristate: crested
Cruciate: cross-shaped
Cruciform: cross-shaped
Ctenoid: comb-like
Cubiform: dice-shaped
Cucullate: arched into a hood
Cucumiform: cucumber-like
Cultrate: Knife-shaped
Cultriform: resembling a knife blade
Cuneate: wedge or triangular shaped with the narrow point attached
Cuneiform: wedge shaped
Cupreous: color or luster of copper
Cupulate: Cup-Shaped
Cusp: a short, stiff, abrupt point
Cuspidate: ending in a sharp hard point
Cuspidulate: minutely ending in a sharp point
Cyclic: having whorls or circles
Cymbiform: boat shaped
Cymose: an inflorescence that is divaricately broad, of determinate or centrifugal type
Dactyloid, Dactylose: finger-like
Dambo a type of African inland wetland
Deciduous: sheds leaves in a certain season
Declinate: bent down or forward
Declined: bent down or forward
Decrescent: gradually reducing in size
Decumbent: when the stem lays close to the ground
Decurrent: extending outwards
Decurved: curved downward
Deflexed: bent outwards
Dehisce: split in definite parts by valves, slits, or pores as in fruit capsules
Deltoid: triangular with rounded corners
Dentate: toothed
Denticulate: fine toothed
Dentiform: tooth-shaped
Denudate: Stripped or made bare
Depauperate: organs that through selection can dessicate or be ill-formed as if starved, yet are perfectly healthy and are adapted to deal with environmental stress
Dependant: hanging down from the weight of flowers or fruit
Deplanate: flattened or expanded
Depressed: flattened down as if pressed from above
Descending: tending to go gradually downwards
Diandrous: Having two stamen
Diaphanous: transparent
Dichotomous: forked in pairs,or repeatedly divided into branches
Didymous:B Found in pairs, two parted
Difform: dissimilar
Diffuse: spreading out widely
Digitate: fingered
Digonous: two-angled
Dilated /Dilating: broadened, expanding
Dilation: widens into a blade
Dimorphic / Dimorhpous: occuring in two different shapes or forms
Dioeciuous: Unisexual
Disc: the upper surface or face of the central labellum
Disciform: circular and flattened
Discoid: disc-shaped
Dissected: leaves or flattened organs that are cut in any way [lacinate, lacerate, incised, palmatisect, or pinnatisect
Distal: towards the free end of an organ
Distant: oppisite of proximate - widely spaced flowers, pseudobulbs or leaves
Distichous: leaves or flowers borne in to opposite ranks
Distinct: Separate - not connate or otherwise united or fused - easily distinguishable, evident or obvious
Divaricate: widely diverging
Divergent: broadly spreading from the center
Dolabriform: hatchet-shaped
Doleiform: barrel-shaped
Dorsal: relating to the side facing farthest away from the axis of a flower
Dorsal sepal: the upper-most sepal in nonresupinate orchid flowers
Dorsifixed: any organ that is attached with the dorsal surface to another
Dorsiventral: flattened with a separate dorsal and ventral side ie most leaves and leaf blades
Downy: finely haired or pubescent
Duplicate: double or doubled over, as the 2 similar sides of a leaf
Ebracteate: bractless
Ecallose: without calli
Eccentric: off center or one sided
Echinate: prickly
Echinulate: Covered with spiney points
Eciliate: without cilia
Eglandular: without glands
Eligulate: without ligules or not ligulate
Ellipsoid: a compressed sphere
Elliptic: oblong with regular rounded ends
Elongate: stretched or extended
Emarginate: notched usually at the apex
Embracing: clasping at the base
Endemic: confined to a particular area
Ensiform: sword shaped
Entire: divisionless or without irregularity
Ephemeral: very short-lived, fleeting
Epichile: The end part of a jointed labellum of some orchids
Epidermis: the outer layer of the periderm
Epigeal: on or above the soil
Epilithic: occuring on rocks
Epiphyllic/ Epiphyllous; growing from or positioned on a leaf -flowers and inflorescence
Epiphyte: orchids occuring on trees but not parasitic
Epseudobulbous: Without pseudobulbs
Equitant: each leaf is folded along it's length and encloses the leaf that is younger
Erianthous: wooly flowered
Erinose: covered with sharp points or hairs - prickly
Erose: jagged, bitten or gnawed
Erostrate: Without a beak
Evanescent: Soon vanishing
Evolute: unfolded
Exarate: grooved
Excentric: off center or one sided
Excrescense: Small warty outgrowth
Excurrent: running out, like the nerve of a floral segment or leaf projecting beyond the margin
Explanate: flat or spread out
Exsert: extend beyond
Extine: The outer coat of a pollen grain
Extrorse: turned or facing out - abaxial
Eye: the incipent bud of a growth
Falcate: sickle shaped
Farinaceous: resembling flour
Farinose: covered with very short hairs resembling a whitish mealy dust.
Fascile:a cluster or head of flowers, stems, leaves, stems or roots that are most always independant by seem to arise from a single point
Fasciation: a malformation caused by several stems being fused into one
Fasciculate: an inflorescence that has all the flowers radiating from a base point, bundle or cluster.
Faucet gland: A tap like gland on coryanthes that secretes smelly liquid
Fenestrate: with window-like areas
Ferruginous: brown red, rust colored
Fibrillose: having thread-like fibers or scales
Fibrose: woody and stringy texture
Fibrous:woody and stringy texture
Filament: a thread-like hair, organ or appendage
Filliform: thread like
Fimbria: fringe
Fimbriate: fringed with hair or thread like growths
Fissile: easily split
Fistulose / Fistular: pipe-like, hollow and cylindrical
Flabellate: fan-shaped often pleated and nerved
Flabelliform: fan shaped
Flaccid: flabby
Flagellate: having whip-like growths
Flagelliform: whip like
Flavescent: Yellowish
Flexuose: zigzag
Flexuous: zigzag
Floccose: having woolly hairs that fall away easily
Flocculent/flocculose: woolly
Floriferous: having many flowers and or often
Foliaceous: leaf like
Foliate: having leaves
Foveolar: pitted or with small depressions
Fractiflex zigzag
Free: separate, not fused, distinct
Fringed: having hairs or outgrowths arounf the margin
Fugacious: soon withering
Funneleiform: funnel-like
Furcate: forked into two
Furfuraceous: scruffy, scaly or flakey
Furrowed: channeled or grooved lengthwise
Fuscous: blackish-gray
Fused: fully almagamated to make a whole
Fusiform: spindle shaped
Fusoid: slightly fusiform
Galea: helmet shaped structure such as in the flowers of pterostylis
Galeate: helmet-shaped
Gammate: shaped like a greek letter, "Gamma"
Geminate: paired
Geniculate: bent as a knee
Geniculum: a joint or node that is bent sharply like a knee
Genus: the smallest group of species that have certain essential characteristics in common, the first word in any scientific biological name is the genus and the second is the species, ie., Cattleya skinnerii.
Geophyte: terrestrials that have a large water storage capability to survive arid conditions
Gibbous: with a swollen spur
Glabrous: hairless or having a smooth surface
Gladiate: sword-like
Gland: any organ or cells that secrete a fluid
Glandular: gland bearing
Glaucescent: somewhat glaucose
Glaucose: pale blue green or grayish green furze that easily wipes off
Glaucous: pale blue green or grayish green furze that easily wipes off
Globose: almost round
Glomerate amassed in one or more dense or compact clusters
Glumaceous scaly in the sense of bracts
Glutinose: covered with a sticky or wet substance
Gracile: slender and graceful
Graminaceous: grassy or grass-like
Graminifolius: grassy or grass-like leaves
Granulose: composed or appearing to be made up of minute grains
Guttate: Spotted
Gynostemium: An alternate name for the column.
Hamate: hooked apically
Hastate: spear-shaped or arrow-shaped
Helicoid: spirally clustered, snail or spring-shaped
Herbaceous: without woody tissue
Hermaphroditic: having both male and female sexual organs in the same flower
Heteranthous: a growth that produces neither pseudobulb or leaf yet from which a new inflorescence arises
Heterophyllous: having two or more leaf forms on the same plant either at once or at different times
Hippocrepiform: horseshoe-shaped
Hirsute: covered with long hairs.
Hirsutullous: somewhat hirsute
Hirtellous: minutely hirsute
Hirtuse: same as hirsute
Hispid: with bristles or strong hairs
Hispidulous: minutely hispid
Hoary: covered with white or gray hairs
Homogamous: having hermaphrodite flowers
Hooded: cucullate
Horn: an outgrowth that is shaped like an animal's horn
Hyaline: transparent or transluscent
Hydroponic: a method of growing with nutrient solutions only
Hypochile: lower or basal part of a jointed labellum of some orchids
Hysteranthous: An infloresccence that arisies on a mature pseudobulb and leaf
Imbricate: overlapping
Immersed: embedded below the surface
Imperfect: parts that normally are present but do not deveolp - or flowers that are unisexual
Impressed: sunken into the surface of
Incised: dissected but cut deeply and irregularly with the parts joined by a broad lamina
Included: enclosed within
Incrassate: thickened most often of skin
Incumbent: lying upon a surface
Incurved: curved inwards
Indent: notched
Indigenous: native
Indumentum: covering of hair or scales
Induplicate: folded inwards
Indurate: hardened and tough
Inferior: the description of an ovary that is below the perianthe, the norm for all orchids
Inflated: blown up or swollen, bladder-like
Inflected: bent or flexed
Inflexed: turned or bent inwards
Inflorescence: the shoot or stick that the flowers are arranged on that arises from a plant
Infundibular/ infundibuliform: funnel-shaped
Inodorus: Not scented
Inrolled: rolled inwards on the upper side
Insectiform: has the appearance of an insect
Inserted: attached to or placed upon
Insignis: Noble, admirable, conspicuous
Internode: the space on a stem between nodes
Inverted: turned updide down
Involute: rolled inwards on the upper side
Irritable: sensitive to the touch
Islenbergs: Refers to flat topped buttes that form in Madagascar
Karst: A rocky outcrop formation usually limestone related
Keel: an obvious ridge that runs longitudinally down the center of a leaf, petiole, bract, petal, sepal or lip
Keeled: having a ridelike structure
Keiki: a plantlet that develops on an inflorescence from a floral bract.
Kliniandrum: the place where the pollina are attached to the column
Labellum: a very distinct lip like petal on orchids
Lacerate: cut as if torn
Lacinate: finely and irregularly cut as if slashed
Lacrimiform, lachrymaeform: tear-shaped
Lacunose: pitted with depressions or holes
Laevigate: smoothly polished
Lageniform: flask-shaped
Lamella: raised ridges on the lip as in coelogyne
Lamellate: composed of thin plates
Lamina: a flattened expansion of an organ, ie. the broad middle part of the labellum
Laminate: blade like
Lanate: woolly
Lanceolate: lance or spear shaped
Lanose: woolly
Lanuginose: finer than lanate - cottony
Lanulose: finer than lanulose - extremely fine hair
Lateral: at the side
Lax: loose - as in flower placement on an inflorescence
Laxpendant: loosely hanging
Leathery: coriaceous
Lead: the emergence of a new pseudobulb usually at the base of a developed pseudobulb
Leaf-fistula: the opening of a hollow leaf that has the stem emerging
Lectotype: a species that serves as a type species when original author does not designate one
Lenticular / lenticulate: lens-shaped - both sides convex
lentiform: Convex on both sides
Lentiginous: covered with tiny dots - dusty
Lepidote: covered with tiny scurfy scales - as in butterfly scales
Ligneous / lignose: woody
Ligulate: strap or tongue-shaped
Ligule: a thin membraneous appendage at the apex of a leaf sheath
Linear: long and narrow
Lineate: striated
Lined: striated
Lingulate: tongue or strap-shaped
Linguiform: toungue-shaped
Lip: the unpaired petal of an orchid
Lithophyte: a rock growing plant
Lithophytic: found growing on rocks
Lobate: furnished with lobes
Lobe: a division or segment in a organ,leaf or petal
Lobulate: having lobes
Lobule: a small lobe
Lorate: strap-like
Lunate: crescent or moon-shaped
Lyrate: harp-shaped
Maculate: spotted
Mammillate: having nipple like projections
Marcescent: withering yet persistent
Marginal: at the edge of an organ
Marginate: having an obvious border
Mealy: farinose
Median: the radius of a leaf
Medium: an organic or inorganic material used to fill pots and support the root system of orchids or a jelly-like or liquid nutrient substance for which seeds are laid to enhance germination in sterile conditions such as in a sealed a flask.
Membranaceous: thin and semi-transluscent
Mentum: a chin or pouch like extension formed by the column foot and the bases of the lateral sepals being united
Mericlone: a plant created by meristematic propagation
Meristem: The growing tissue that is constantly dividing at the tips of the roots and the growth eyes on a pseudobulb
Mesial: towards or on the middle of a part
Mesochile: the middle section of the jointed labellum of some orchids, ie the Gongoreae
Midrib: the central or primary vein of a leaf, most often in the center as a continuation of the petiole
Moniliform: like a string of pearls
Monocot: a monocotyledonous plant. differs from dicots by having a single, not double, cotyledon in the seed. The Orchidaceae is a member of this group called Angiosperms which include Palmae and Amaryllidaceae.
monopodial: a single main axis that continues to extend at the apex in the original line of growth, giving off lateral branches beneath in acropetal succession.
Monotypic: a genus with a single species
Motile: capable of moving; ie the lip of many Bulbophyllum
Mucilage: gluey or vicous fluid
Mucilaginous: slimey
Mucro: a sharp, abrupt terminal point
Mucronate: having a mucro or sharp point
Multifid: cleft more than once giving rise to 3 or more lobes
Multigeneric: A cross made out of more than 3 genera
Muricate: having many sharp points
Muriculate: slightly muricate
Muscariform: brush or broom-shaped
Mutation: a sudden change from the parent type due to changes in the genes or chromosomes
Mycoheterotrophic: a plant that derives its food from fungi, and has only tubers, no leaves to make chlorophyl and an erect stem that blooms, hence when seen is only an inflorescence with flowers arising from the ground
Mycorrhizza: a fungi that lives symbiotically with a plant mostly in the roots
Myrmecophilia: ant bearing
Mymecophyte: a plant in symbiosis with ants
Navicular: Boat-shaped
Nectary: a tiny to large tubular spur or gland capable of secreting and or holding nectar
Nervation: refers to the pattern of veins or nerves on an organ
Nerved: furnished with ribs or veins
Nervose: furnished with ribs or veins
Netted: reticulated or net-veined
Nigrescent: turning black
Nocturnal: night active - as having night scent or flowers opening or closing at night
Node: the area on a stem where on or more leaves, shoots, flowers, branches or whorls are connected
Nodose: having many nodes packed close together
Nodule: a small rather globose projection
Nomenclature: a system of names and naming
Non-resupinate: holding the lip of the flower at the top and the median sepal is held below; most orchid flowers are resupinate with the lip of the flower held below and a dorsal sepal above.
Nutant: nodding as in inflorescence or stems
Obconic: conic upsidedown
Obclavate: club shaped, widest at the base
Obcordate: cordate upside down, with the nose towards the apex and the two lobed towards the base
Obcuneate: cuneate upside down
Obfalcate: inversly sickle shaped, broadest above the middle
Oblanceolate: lance shaped in reverse, widest at the apex
Oblate: a sphere that is compressed dorsally and ventrally
Oblique: with unequal sides, asymetrical
Oblong: elongate but blunt at each end
Obovate: tapering to both ends
Obovoid: like obovate but widest below the middle - obovate in crossection
Obpyramidal: a pyramid tapering from the apex
Obpyriform: pear-shape upside down - wide apically and narrowing towards the base
Obsolescent: reduced to the point of being vestigal
Obsolete: extinct or not evident
Obtuse: bluntly pointed or rounded at the apex
Obverse: the front side
Opaque: dull, neither shining nor transluscent
Operculate: having a cap or lid
Operculum: Anther Cap
Orbicular: circular
Orifice: the mouth of a cavity
Osmophore: a gland in the flower that produces scent to attract pollinators
Ovary: the lower part of the pistil that has the ovules, and when fertilized holds the fruit or seed
Ovate: egg-shaped
Ovoid: egg shaped
Ovule: an unfertilized seed in the ovary
Palae: roundish, flat, movable projections connected by a thin thread
Paleaceous: chaffy in texture
Palmate: lobed and radiating like fingers
Pandurate: fiddle-shaped as in the lip of Coelogyne pandurata
Panduriform: Fiddle-shaped
Panicle: an inflorescence that has the axis divided into branches both bearing a group of flowers
Paniculate: an adjective for an inflorescence type growing in panicles.
Pannose: felt-like
Papilla: small wart like glands or nodes
Papillose: a texture with small round ended hairs,minute projection on the surface of a stigma, petal, or leaf.
Papyraceous: papery
Parallel: veins running along longitudunally even with the margin
Patellate: saucer-shaped
Patelliform: saucer shaped
Patent: spreading
Pectinate: like the teeth of a comb
Pedicel: the stalk of an individual flower on an inflorescence
Peduncle: stalk of a flower cluster
Pedunculate: possesing a peduncle or stalk
Peltate: the stalk is attached at the back and center of the leaf
Pellucid: Partially or totally transparent
Peloria: An hereditary malformation which adds extra segments to a flower
Pendulous: hanging
Penicillate: ending in a tuft of hair
Perfect: Having both sexes represented in the same flower
Perianth: single term for the calyx and corolla
Persistant: does not wither or fall off
Petals: an individual member of the corolla, orchids have 3
Petaloid: resembles a petal
Petiolate: Having a petiole
Petiole: the leaf stalk
Pilose: covered with fine soft hair.
Pistil: the female sexual organs of an orchid consisting of the stigma, ovary and styles
Pitcher: a cup like or tubular organ
Pitcher-shaped, cup-like yet narrows towards the opening
Placenta: parts of the ovary that the ovules are attached
Plane: a flat surface
Plantlet: a smaller or secondary plant that develops upon another
Pleated: folded like a fan
Plicate: folded like a fan
Plumed: having a feather-like appearance
Plumose: feather like
Pollina: generally more than one mass formed by the grouping of pollen grains and housed in the stamen
Pollinarium: the male reproductive system in entirety - Pollina, anther, viscidium and stipe
Pollinium: The plural of pollina
Polygamous: having both unisex and bisexual flowers on the same inflorescence or different plants within the same species
Polymorphic: having more than one distinct form
Polystichous: arranged in several rows
Polytrichous: many haired
Porrect: directed forwards and downwards
Posterior: the parts of an organ closest tothe axis or stem on which it grows
Praemorse: bitten off at the apex
Primordium: a organ or tissue in it's earliest state of development
Proboscis: nose
Process: a projecting appendage
Procumbent: trailing over the ground without rooting
Projecting: extended outwards past the apical margins
Proliferation: producing ample offshoots
Prominent: standing out from the surface
Prostrate: lying on or trailing over the ground
Proteranthous: the inflorescence arises from the base of the leaves before the development of the pseudobulbs and leaf
Protocorm: a tuber like shape that is formesd in the early stage of a plant's development before roots and leaves are produced
Protruding: extending beyond the edge
Proximal: part nearest to the axis
Proximate: close together
Pruinose: a surface frosted with white
Pseudobulb: a swollen bulb like part of most orchids that holds the leaves and is attached to the rhizome
Pseudocopulation: orchid flowers through eveloution that develop a similarity to a female of a pollinator whereby causing a male of that species to attempt to copulate and in turn affecting pollination of the flower
Pseudoterminal:seeemingly terminal yet under close inspection is axillary
Puberulent: minutely pubescent or covered with very soft, fine hairs
Puberlose / Puberlous: minutely pubescent or covered with very soft, fine hairs
Pubescent: having soft, downy hairs
Pulverulent: powdery, or covered in a fine bloom
Pulvinate: cushion or pad shaped
Pulvinus: a cushion or pad at the insertion of a stalk on a a stem
Punctate: speckled with spots, dents or pits
Puncticulate:minutely punctate
Pungent: ending in a rigid and sharp long point
Pustular/ Pustulate: refers to a surface that is covered with pustules
Pustule: a blister or pimple-like eruption
Pustuliform: blister-like
Pyramidal: conical yet with more angular sides
Pyriform: pear shaped
Quadrangular: four-angled
Quadrate: rectangular or square
Quadrilateral: four-sided
Raceme: a single , elongate, indeterminate inflorescence with pedicellate flowers
Racemiform: an inflorescence that appears to be a raceme
Racemose: an inflorescence that has flowers that are set in a zig zag from side to side.
Rachis: The axis of a compound inflorescence, as an extention of the peduncle
Radiate: speading outward from a common center
Radical: arising from the root or near the nexus of the stem and root
Raft: a wood or treefern plaque that is used to attach an orchid for it to root to
Ramet: an individual of a clonal line
Ramicaul: well developed erect one leafed stems ie. Zootrophion, Pleurothallis
Reclinate: turned or bent down from the apex
Reclining: leaning backward from the vertical
Recomplicate: folded back on itself and then folded again
Recurved: curved backwards or downwards
Reflexed: suddenly bent backwards
Remomtant: blooming more than once in a season
Remote: distant
Reniform: kidney shaped
Repent: ground creeping and rooting at the joints
Resupinate: the flower is reversed by a 180' twist of the pedicel during development and holds the lip at the bottom and the dorsal sepal above
Reticuate: net like
Retinaculum: the attachment of stipitate pollina to the rostellum
Retracted: drawn back
Retroflex: bent or turned backwards
Retrorse: turned, bent or curved away from the apex
Retuse: a shallow dent or notch in a rounded apex
Reversed: in a flower, not having a twisted pedicel, non resupinate
Revolute: The edges of the leaves rolled back towards the mid-rib
Rhizome: a prostate or underground stem, that which the pseudobulbs arise from
Rhombic: of the lamina, nearly square with petiole at one of the acute angles
Ribbed: possesing raised veins or nerves
Ringent: wide open and gaping
Roridulous: covered with small transluscent projections giving the appearance of being dew covered
Rosellate: Held in a rosette or radiating cluster of leaves
Rosette: a cluster of radiating leaves
Rostellum: a structure on the column as a little beak a slender extensin from the upper edge of the stigma
Rostrate: beaked
Rostrum: a beak like extension
Rotund: rounded or curved as in an arc
Rudimentary: imperfectly developed
Rufescent/ Rufous: reddish brown
Rugose: Eneven texture .
Rugulose: finely wrinkled
Ruminate: seemingly chewed on
Runcinate: having sharp teeth facing backwards
Rupicolus: Growing on or deeply among rocks
Saccate: short and rounded like a small bag
Sagittate: arrow head shaped
Saprophyte: a plant that lives in dead organic matter and has only tubers, no leaves and an erect stem that blooms
Saprophytic: a plant that derives its food from decaying organic matter, and has only tubers, no leaves and an erect stem that blooms, hence when seen is only an inflorescence with flowers arising from the ground
Saxicolous: growing in around or on rocks
Scaberlous: minutely rough
Scabrous: having short, wiry hairs making a rough surface
Scandent: climbing
Scape: a stalk from the base of the plant that has flowers and not leaves
Scapose: having inflorescence or carried on an inflorescence
Scarabaeiform: beetle-shaped
Scarious: dry, transparent, thin, brown as if charred
Scarred: having leftover marks from where organs have been attached - ie where leaves fall off stems
Scobicular: in fine grains like sawdust
Scrotiform: Pouch shaped
Scurfy: covered with tiny scal-like particles
Scutate: shaped like a shield
Scutelliform: small shield-shaped
Scutiform: shield shaped
Sectile: loosely amassed in packets such as some pollina
Secund: all organs or flowers are positioned to one side
Semilunar: half moon shaped
Semiterete: semi-cylindrical with a very narrow v-shape to one side
Sepal: a calyx segment of which orchid flowers have three
Sepaline: pertaining to the sepals
Sepaloid: sepal-like
Septate: partitioned
Sequentially: occuring in a sequence, one at a time
Sericeous: silky
Serrate: saw-like
Serrulate: tiny saw teeth
Sessile: stalkless
Seta: stiff hair or bristle
Setae: plural of seta
Setaceous: bristly
Setiform: bristle-shaped
Setose: covered with sharp, pointed bristles
Setulose: finely or minutely setose
Sheath: a conduplicate, tubular to bract-like structure that is at the base of a leaf and has the inflorescence arise from it
Sigmoid: s-shaped
Simple: an unbranched inflorescence
Sinuate: having wavy margins
Sinus: a pocket or cavity between 2 lobes
Solitary: occuring singly
Spathaceous: Occuring with a spathe
Spathe: A concspicuous leaf or bract subtending the inflorescence
Spatulate: spoon-shaped
Speculum: a mirroe like surface on an organ ie the iridescent blue patch occuring on some Ophyrs
Spicate: resembling a spike
Spiciform: spike-shaped
spiculate: having fine, fleshy points
Spike: an unbranched inflorescence that has the youngest flowers at the end
Spinescent: having or capable of having spines; ending in a spine-like tip
Spinous: having spines
Spinule: a small spine
Spinulous: having small or sparsely spread spines
Spreading: opening outwards
Spur: a horn-like extension of the petals
Squamose: covered in scales
Squamulous: having small scales
Stalk: a stem like support of any organ
Stamen: the male organ of a flower made up of the pollen bearing anther and a sterile filament
Staminal; attached to or related to a stamen
Staminate: a male or unisexual flower that has no functioning pistil or female part
Staminodal: relating to a staminode
Staminode: a sterile stamen or stamen-like structure, in orchids used only for the slipper orchids, Paphiopedilum and Cypripedium
Stellate: star-like
Stelidia: A star-like projection at either side of the column
Stem-clasping: the leaf is wrapped around the stem at the base
Stigma: at the top of the pistil which is the recieving end for the pollen or female part
Stigmatic: attached or related to the stigma
Stipe: stalked part of the pollina
Stiptate: plural of stipe
Stolon; a running stem that forms roots
Stoma: a pore where gases are exchanged, a mouth
Stramineous: straw colored
Striate: having parallel lines
Strict: straight and erect
Strigose: covered with sharp, adpessed, stiff hairs
Strigulose: minutely or finely strigose
Striolated: obscurely striated
Subacuminate: almost acuminate
Subimbricate: slightly overlapping
Subopposite: opposite yet slightly alternate
Subquadrate: almost square
Subsessile: with a partial or very short stalk
Subtend: being immediately below something
Subterranean: below ground
Subulate: shaped like an awl, thin and tapering to a small point
Subumbellate: a partial or seeming to be an umbel but not quite
Succulent: Cactus like, thick and fleshy, ie leaves, roots or stems
Suffusion: overspreading of a color
Sulcate: grooved or furrowed
Sympodial: Growing from a new lead forming a new pseudobulb with each spurt of growth.
Synanthous: An terminal inflorescence that arises with a new pseudobulb and leaf growth
Synflorescence: a terminal inflorescence that has a lateral extension as well ie Epidendrum porphyreum
Synsepal: formed by the fusion of more than one sepal
Taxonomy:B the science of classification
Teeth: marginal sharp projections in a row
Tentacle: a sensitive, glandular hair
Tepal: sepals and petals together excluding the lip
Terete: cylindrical or tubelike
Terminal: at the end
Terrestrial: grows in the ground
Tessellate: crisscross pattern, like a mosaic
Tetragonal: four-sided
Throat: the opening in a tubular lip
Tomentose: having matted hairs
Tortuous: turned every which way
Torulose: an elongated cylindrical, terete or ellipsoid shape that is pinched and then slightly swollen at intervals and less so than moniliform
Trapezoid: four sided figure wqith two sides parallel
Trapeziform: shaped like a four sided object with two parellel sides
Trichome: glandular hair
Tridactyl or tridactylate: three fingered
Tridentate: three toothed
Tridenticulate: finely three toothed
Trifid: having three sections divided by clefts or notches
Trifoliate: having three leaves
Trifurcate: three branched or forked into three limbs
Trigonus: three-angled
Trilobate: three lobed
Trullate: shaped like a trowel
Trimerous: having three each of the sepals and petals
Trimorphic: having three distinct forms
Trinervate: three-nerved
Tripartite: split almost to the base in 3 segments
Tripterous: three-winged
Triquetrous: triangular in cross-section
Trisulcate: three grooved or furrowed longitudinally
Trullate / Truliform: trowel-shaped
Truncate: blunt ended
Tsingy: Tsingy Forest on karst [a rocky limestone outcrop] in Madagascar
Tuber: swollen underground stem that stores food for the plant
Tuberculate: having knobby projections
Tuberiferous: having tubers
Tuberoid: having a tuber like look
Tuberous: shaped like a tuber
Tumid: swollen
Turbinate: shaped like an inverted cone at the apex
Turgid: swollen of inflated, sometimes with fluid
Type: mostly the specimen upon which the genus is originally described
Umbel: A flat-topped or rounded flower cluster in which the individual flower stalks arise from about the same point
Umbellate: an inflorescence, where flowers arise from the same point in the main stem and have stalks of the same length, to give a cluster with the youngest flowers at the center.
Umbelliform: resembling or in the form of an umbel
Umbelicate: having a central depression, like a navel
Umbonate:orbicular witha point sticking out from the center
Unarmed:devpiod of pointy sharp objects, ie spine etc
Unicinate: barbed or hooked at the apex
Undulate: having wavy sides
Unguiculate: clawed or having talon like extensions
Unifoliate: Having a single leaf
Unilocular: single cavity or chamber
Urceolate: pitcher like
Vaginate: having or enclosed by a sheath
Valvate: having valves, or the petals and sepals being arranged so that they are up against the next without overlapping
Variegated: having various colors or color forms
Vein: an externally visible strand of vascular tissues
Velamen: protective coating or sheath on the roots
Velutinous: velvety
Venation: the pattern of vein arrangment
Venose: having veins
Ventral: relating or attached to the inner side of an organ
Ventricose: unequally swollen
Verniculate: worm-shaped
Verrucose: having a warty appearance
Verruculose: finely verrucose
Vesicle: a small bladder-like sac or cavity flled with fluid or air
Vesicular: having or made up of vesicles
Vestigal: an organ that at one time in history served a purpose but as of now it is reduced and obsolete
Villous: having long soft hairs
Virgate: long, slim and rod-like
Viscid: sticky
Viscidium: the sticky part of the male pollina so that it can adhere to an insects back for transport to a female flower part
Viviperous: buds that become plantlets while still attached to the parent plant ie. Epidendrum purpurescens
Whorl: arranged in a circular pattern
Wings: extensions of the lip that are winglike
Wooly: fine hair texture
Xerophyte: A plant that is adatped to a very dry arid climate
Xerophytic: drought resistant through adaptation
Zygomorphic: bilaterally symmetrical with only a single plant that can be divided into two equal halves