Getting involved with any subject means getting to learn the language. Orchids, and plants in general, are no exception.

Listed below are a large number of terms which are commonly used in describing plants. Learning these terms, and their pronunciation, will enhance your appreciation, understanding. and ability to communicate with others.

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 Color Definitions

Bletia ensifolia Clowesia russelliana Meiracyllium wendlandii

ABAXIAL (ab-AK-si-al) - Remote or turned away from the axis. facing away from the axis of an organ or organism "the abaxial surface of a leaf is the underside or side facing away from the stem".
ABERRANT (ab-ER-ant) - Differing from the normal; atypical.
ABORTIVE (a-BOR-tiv) - Rudimentary or imperfectly formed; sterile.
ABRUPTUS (ab-RUP-tus) - Broken off or ending suddenly.
ABSCISSION (ab-SIZH-un) - Falling away or separation of an organ, frequently by rupturing of the thin walls of cells grouped in an absciss-layer when associated with a deficiency in auxin production.
ACAULESCENT (ak-au-LES-ent) - Having no true stem or axis or only a very short one concealed in the ground.
ACAULIS (ak-AU-lis) - Having no stem.
ACCLIMATION (ak-li-MAY-shun) - Process by which, through crossbreeding and selection, a species attains tolerance to a changed environment.
ACCRESCENT (a-KRES-ent) - Increasing with age-as fruit or flower parts increase in size after or during flowering period.
ACICULAR (a-SIK-yew-lar) - Pointed, needle-like.
ACINACIFORM (as-i-NAS-i-form) - Shaped like a scimitar.
ACROPETAL (a-KROP-i-tal) - Ascending, as leaves and flowers developing succession on an axis so that the youngest is at the apex. Also, the normal development root hairs.
ACUMINATE (a-KEW-mi-nit) - Gradually tapering to a point; ending in a sharp but tapering point.
ACUTE (a-KUTE) - Ending in a sharp point (not tapering), the converging edges separated by an angle less than 90į.
ADAXIAL (ad-AX-e-al) - nearest to or facing toward the axis of an organ or organism; the upper side of a leaf is known as the adaxial surface.
ADHERENT (ad-HEER-ent) - United to a dissimilar part which usually is separate.
ADNATE (AD-nate) - Congenitally grown together; having one organ attached wholly or in part to a dissimilar part. - said only of organic cohesion of unlike parts. Two dissimilar parts fused together are said to be adnate. Examples include petals fused to the column as in Gongora, or a lip fused to the column as in Epidendrum
ADUNCATE (a-DUN-kate) - Hooked.
ADVENTITIOUS (ad-ven-TISH-us) - Occurring in unusual or abnormal places; as adventitious leaves. Arising at various points along a stem, rather than at the base or apex, or another such specific zone.
AERIAL ROOT (AIR-re-al root) - Any root produced above the growing medium.
AESTIVATION (also estivation) (es-ta-VAY-shun) - The arrangement of the parts of a flower in the bud.
AGGREGATED (AG-gre-gate-ted) - formed of separate units in a cluster. Raspberries are aggregate fruits.
AGAR (A-gar) - Refined seaweed used in making up nutrient medium in which orchid seeds may be sown.
ALATE (AY-late) - Having wings or wing-like parts or structures. Many orchids have extensions of the sides of the column that appear to be wings..
ALKALINITY (al-ka-LIN-i-ty) - Degree to which a substance in solution dissociates hydroxide ions. Alkalinity is expressed by pH value which numerically increase as alkalinity increases, from 7.0 (neutral) to 14.
ALLELE (ah-LEE-leh) - One of two dissimilar genes which occupy positions on homologous chromosomes and which carry factors acting as alternative conditions in inheritance. Multiple alleles are members of a series of more than two alleles possessed by a genotype.
ALLOPOLYPLOID (AL-low-polly-ploid) - Polyploid derived from between widely different species.
ALTERNATE (all-TURN-it) - (of the arrangement of leaves) arising one from each node in a staggered formation.
ALTISSIMUS (al-TISS-I-mus) - Very tall, or tallest of its congeners.
AMABILIS (a-MAB-i-lis) - Lovely.
AMPHIDIPLOID (AM-fi-di-ploid) - Polyploid resulting from hybridization between two or more diploid species separated by barriers of hybrid sterility.
AMPHOTERIC (am-fo-TER-ik) - Having both acid and basic properties.
AMPLEXICAUL (am-PLEK-si-kol) - Clasping or embracing a stem, as the base of some leaves.
AMPLIATUS (am-ply-AY-tus) - Enlarged.
AMPLUS (AM-plus) - Large, fine, noble.
AMPULLACEUS (am-pu-LAY-shus) - Flask or bottle shaped.
ANAEROBIC RESPIRATION (an-air-O-bic) - Break-down of sugars and other organic materials for the release of energy, in the absence of oxygen. Usually identified with fermentation.
ANCEPS (AN-seps) - Two-edged.
ANCIPITOUS (an-SIP-i-tus) - Compressed or flattened, two-edged.
ANDROECIUM (an-DREE-shi-um) - Collective name for the stamens of a flower.
ANTENNIFERUS (an-ten-NIF-er-us) - Bearing antennae.
ANTENNIFORM (an-TEN-ni-form) - Shaped like an antennae.
ANTERIOR (an-TEE-ri-or) - On the front or forward end or side of an organ or flower.
ANTHER (AN-ther) - The part of a stamen containing the pollen.
ANTHESIS (an-THEE-sis) - The period of expansion of a flower.
ANTHO (AN-tho) - Prefix, flower, as in anthophilous-living on flowers, or anthophobia-fear of flowers.
ANTHOCYANIN (AN-th-SI-a-nin) - A reddish-blue coloring matter found in sap of many plants usually in the portion most exposed to the sun.
ANTRORSE (an-TRORS) - Directed forward or upward.
APEX (AY-pex) - The tip; point; the highest point.
APHID (AY-fid) - A plant-sucking insect; a plant louse.
APHYLLOUS (a-FILL-us) - Without leaves.
APICAL (AP-i-kil) - At or beginning to an apex or end.
APICULATE (a-PIK-you-lit) - Ending in a short pointed tip; leaf terminated abruptly by a small point.
APICULE (A-pik-ule) - Any small apical point or tip.
APOGAMETY (a-POG-a-me-ti) - Development of an embryo from a diploid gametophyte by the division of a cell other than an egg cell, with or without pollination and (partial) fertilization, the zygote so formed being maternal in genetic constitution.
APOGAMY (a-POG-a-mi) - The development of buds in place of ovules; growth of the normal product of fertilization directly from the female sexual organ.
APRESSED (ap-PREST) - Pressed close to or lying against something for its full length.
APTEROUS (AP-t'r-us) - Wingless; destitute of wing-like membranous expansions, as a stem or petiole.
ARCUATE (ARC-kew-ate) - Arched; bent or curved like a bow.
ARGENTINE (ARGENTUS) (AR-jen-teen) - Silvery.
ARIETINOUS (AR-i-ET-i-nus) - Shaped like a ramís head.
ARISTATE (a-RIS-tate) - Having a pointed or beard-like appendage.
ARTICULATE (ar-TIK-yew-late) - Jointed; having joints where separation may occur naturally; of a stem, having nodes.
ASCENDING (ah-SEND-ing) - arising at a steep angle, but not vertical.
ASEXUAL PROPAGATION (a-SEX-shu-al) - Any process of reproduction which does not involve or directly follow union of germ cells of two different sexes.
ASPER (AS-per) - Rough.
ASPERATUS (as-per-AY-tus) - Roughened.
ASYMBIOTIC (AS-im-bi-otik) - Refers to a method of germinating orchid seed without the presence of fungi.
ATTENUATE (at-TEN-yew-ate) - Slender, tapering; becoming narrow; tapering gradually.
AURICLE (AW-ri-kl) - A small ear-like appendage.
AURICULATE (aw-RI-kew-late) - Furnish with auricles.
AUTHOR (AW-thor) - One who first describes the species.
AUTOPHYTE (AW-to-fite) - A green plant capable of manufacturing its own food, neither saprophytic nor parasitic.
AUTOPOLYPLOID (AW-to-POL-i-ploid) - Polyploid derived from a single ancestral species, usually by intraspecific hybridization.
AUTOXIDATION (o-TOK-si-DAY-shun) - Poisoning by toxic substances produced within the organismís own body.
AUTUMNAL (aw-TUM-nal) - Pertaining to autumn.
AUTUMNALIS (AW-tum-na-lis) - Autumn flowering.
AUXINS (OKS-ins) - Chemicals - natural and commercial, that induce flowering or growth. (Indole acetic acid, for example)
AWN (on) - The bristly fibers or beard that terminate the anther.
AXIL (AK-sil) - The upper angle between a leaf, twig, etc. and the stem from which it grows.
AXILLARY (AK-sil-lar-i) - Situated in or arising from an axil; of or pertaining to an axil. Adj.: Angle between a branch or leaf and the stem it grows from.
AXIS (AK-sis) - The longitudinal support on which organs or parts are arranged, the central line of any body.
BACKBULB - An old pseudobulb behind the part of a sympodial orchid that is actively growing. Although there may be no leaves, the presence of undamaged "eyes" is a sign that growth is possible.
BACKCROSS - A mating between hybrid progeny and one of the original parents.
BACTERICIDAL (back-ter-i-SIDE-al) - Destroys bacteria.
BAMBUSIFOLIUS (bam-BOO-si-FO-li-us) - Bamboo-leaved.
BARBATUS (bar-BAY-tus) - Bearded, provided with long weak hairs or terminating in a mass of hairs, usually more or less straight and parallel.
BARBIGERUS (bar-BI-jer-us) - Bearded, alluding to the fringed lip of many plants.
BASAL (BAY-sul) - Of, at, or forming the base.
BI (buy) - Prefix indicating two.
BIALATE (buy-AL-ate) - Having two wings or wing-like attachments.
BIAPICULATE (buy-a-PI-kew-late) - Terminated abruptly with two points.
BICALLOSE (BUY-ka-lose) - Having two callosities (hard protuberance or thickening).
BICORNUTE (buy-KOR-nute) - Having two horns or horn-like processes.
BIDENTATE (buy-DEN-tate) - Two-toothed.
BIFARIOUS (buy-FAY-ri-us) - Arranged in two rows; pointing two ways as in opposite leaves.
BIFID (BUY-fid) - Divided by a deep cleft into two parts; slit in the middle; divided into two equal lobes or parts by a median cleft.
BIFOLIATE (buy-FO-li-at) - Having two leaves.
BIFURCATE (BUY-fur-kate) - Divided into two branches; forked.
BIGENER (BUY-gen-air) - A plant resulting from the cross of two genera, hence a bigeneric hybrid.
BIGENERIC (BUY-gen-air-ik) - A hybrid between two species of different genera.
BIGIBBUS (buy-GIB-bus) - Having two small protuberances.
BILABIATE (buy-LAB-i-ate) - Having two lips.
BILOBATE (buy-LOH-bate) - Having or divided into two lobes.
BILOBED (BUY-lobed) - Two lobed.
BILOBULATE (buy-LOH-bu-late) - Having, or divided into two lobules.
BINOMIAL (buy-NO-mi-al) - A name of two terms denoting, respectively, genus and species.
BIOTYPE (BUY-o-tipe) - Having the same genetic constitution.
BIPARTITE (buy-PAR-tite) - Divided in two parts from the middle upwards.
BIPUNCTATUS (buy-PUNK-tay-tus) - Having two dots.
BIVALENT (BUY-va-lent) - A pair of associated homologous chromosomes.
BLADE - The expanded portion of a leaf or floral segment.
BOTANICALS (bah-TAN-i-c'ls) - A term designating any species or genus of orchid which is not grown commercially for its flowers.
BOTRYTIS - a microscopic fungus that causes rot in flowers and fruits.
BRACHIATUS (BRAK-i-ay-tus) - Branched or having arms.
BRACHYPETALUS (brak-y-PET-a-lus) - Having short petals.
BRACT - A modified leaf growing from the flower stem or enveloping a head of flowers.
BRACTEATE (BRAK-ti-ate) - Having a bract or bracts.
BRACTEIFORM (BRAK-tee-i-form) - Of the shape and form of a bract.
BRACTEOLE (BRAK-ti-al) - A small bract.
BRACTEOSE (BRAK-tee-ose) - With numerous or conspicuous bracts.
BRACTESCENS (BRAK-tes-sens) - Having very large bracts, or tendency to develop bracts.
BREAKING - Term used when a bud starts to open; or an eye or a root starts to sprout.
BREVIFOLIUS (BREV-i-FOLE-i-us) - Short-leaved.
BUD INITIATION - Early stage of differentiation of the primordial flower stem and flowers.
BULBOSUS (bul-BOH-sus) - Having bulbs.
BULBOUS (BUL-bus) - Having the character of a bulb.
BURSICLE (BURR-si-kl) - A pouch-like receptacle.
BURSIFORM (BURR-si-form) - Shaped like a purse.
CAESPITOSE (SES-pi-tose) - growing in dense clumps or tufts; having low stems; forming a turf or mat.
CALCARATE (KAL-kar-ate) - Spurred.
CALCARATUS (kal-ka-RAY-tus) - Having a spur.
CALCAREOUS (kal-KAY-re-us) - Containing an excess of available calcium, usually in the form of calcium carbonate.
CALCARES (kal-CARE-eez) - Spurs.
CALCARIFORM (kal-KAR-i-form) - Spur-shaped.
CALCEIFORM (KAL-se-a-form) - Shaped like a slipper.
CALCEOLATE (KAL-see-oh-late) - Slipper-shaped.
CALCEOLUS (kal-SEE-oh-lus) - Shaped like a little shoe.
CALLOSE (KAL-ohs) - Having a hard protuberance or thickening.
CALLUS (KAL-us) - an isolated thickening of tissue, especially a stiff protuberance on the lip of an orchid; the soft parenchymateous tissue which forms over any wounded or cut surface of a stem. Cuttings develop new roots from the callus.
CALLUS (of orchids) - Prominence, varied in number, form and arrangement on the labellum of certain orchids (Cyrtostylis, Caladenia, Chiloglottis, et al.)
CALOCHEILUS (KAL-o-KY-lus) - Having a beautiful lip.
CALYPTRATE (ka-LIP-trate) - Having a cap-shaped hood.
CALYX (KAY-liks) - The outer of the two series of floral segments. The calyx consists of sepals that may be separate or partly or fully fused to one another and which are commonly green in contrast to the more colorful petals.
CAMPANULATE (kam-PAN-you-lit) - Bell-shaped.
CANALICULATE (KAN-a-LIK-you-lit) - With longitudinal grooves, striated, having one or more channels or grooves.
CANE - An elongated psuedobulb, usually used when describing Dendrobiums or Epidendrums.
CAPITATE (KAP-i-tate) - Shaped like a head; collected into a head or dense cluster; being abruptly enlarged and globose at the tip. Of an inflorescence, with the flowers unstalked and aggregated into a dense cluster; of a stigma, globose, like the head of a pin.
CAPSULE (KAP-sl) - A dry dehiscent fruit composed of more than one carpel. A seed-pod.
CARINA (ka-RI-na) - A structure or a part resembling a keel or ridge down the middle.
CARINATE (KAR-i-nate) - Shaped like a keel or prow; having a ridge down the middle.
CARINIFERUS (kar-in-i-FAIR-us) - Having a keel.
CARINIFORM (kar-IN-i-form) - Shaped like a keel.
CARPEL (KAR-pel) - A simple pistil, or one member of a compound pistil; the fundamental unit of a flowers gynoecium (female organ) usually differentiated into an ovary containing ovules (embryonic seeds) and a narrower style tipped by a stigma which receives pollen. Carpels may be single or multiple, and multiple carpels are often fused together.
CARTILAGINOUS (kar-ti-LAJ-i-nus) - Hard and tough.
CATAPHYLL (CAT-a-fil) - A rudimentary leaf as a cotyledon, scale leaf, or bud-scale concerned with storage and/or protection.
CAUDA (CAW-dah) - A tail. Stalk of the pollinium.
CAUDATE (CAW-date) - Having tailor tails.
CAUDICLE (CAW-di-k'l) - The slender stalk-like appendage of the pollen masses in orchidaceous plants.
CAULESCENS (koh-LES-ens) - Having a tendency to develop stems.
CAULESCENT (koh-LES-n't) - With visible stem; having a leafy stem above ground.
CAULINE (CALL-ine) - Of or on the stem; growing on or belonging to a stem.
CEBOLLETA (SEE-bow-LET-ah) - The leaves of the Oncidium, so-called, because they resemble those of chives.
CELL (sell) - One of the ultimate compartments or vesicles of which plants are composed.
CELLULAR (SELL-u-lar) - Composed of cells.
CEPIFORMIS (SEE-pi-FORM-us) - Onion-shaped (Cepa - Latin name for onion).
CERACEOUS (sir-AY-shi-us) - Like wax; waxy.
CEREOLUS (SEE-re-oh-lus) - Waxy.
CEREOUS (SEE-re-us) - Waxy.
CERNUOUS (SUR-new-us) - Somewhat pendulous, drooping.
CESPITOSE (SES-pi-tose) - Matted; growing in tufts; in dense clumps.
CHARTACEOUS (kar-TAY-shus) - Resembling, or of the nature of paper; papery.
CHLOROPHYLL (KLO-ro-fil) - The green coloring matter in plants essential in the manufacture of food by the plants.
CHLOROSIS (klo-RO-sis) - Condition induced by reduction in chlorophyll content in green tissue as evident by yellowing.
CHLOROTIC (klo-ROT-ik) - Abnormally yellowed, due to a breaking down of the chlorophyll.
CHROMOGEN (KRO-mo-jen) - Color content of the plant body; color gene.
CHROMOSOME (KRO-mo-som) - One of the rod-like or bead-like bodies in the cell during division, containing the genes.
CILIA (SIL-i-a) - Eyelashes; similar fringe on leaf or bloom.
CILIARIS (SIL-i-AIR-is) - Fringed.
CILIATE (SIL-i-ate) - Marginally fringed with stiff hair.
CIRCINATE (SIR-sin-ate) - Rolled up on the axis with the apex at the center. Applied to vernation or foliation.
ClRCUMBOREAL (SIR-cum-bor-e-al) - In northern regions around the world.
CIRCUMSCISSILE (sir-cum-SIS-il) - Breaking of a transverse split around the circumference.
CIRRHUS (SIR-us) - The tendril-like extension on lips of some Phalaenopsis, or on other organs in other genera, such as the columns of some Catasetums.
CITROSMOS (si-TROS-mus) - Citron-scented.
CLAVATE (CLAY-vate) - Club-shape, gradually thickening near one end.
CLAVELLATE (CLA-vel-lit) - Diminutive of clavate.
CLAVIFORM (CLAV-i-form) - Club-shaped.
CLAW (kloh) - The narrow base of a floral segment, especially the petal.
CLAWED - Furnished with a claw.
CLEISTOGAMOUS (klise-TOG-a-mas) - Self-fertilizing in the unopened flower; having small inconspicious flowers that are pollenated from their own anthers.
CLINANDRIUM (kli-NAN-dri-um) - In orchids, a cavity in the apex of the column between the anther sacs often containing the stigmatic surface.
CLON - Plants propagated vegetatively from a single original seedling or plant.
COALESCENT (ko-a-LES-int) - Growing together; merging.
COCCINEUS (ko-SIN-e-us) - Bright scarlet.
COCHLEATE (KOCK-le-ate) - Shell-shaped like a valve of a clamshell.
COESPITOSE (SES-pit-ose) - Matted; growing in tufts; in dense clumps.
COHERENT (ko-here-ent) - Having similar parts united.
COLUMN (KOL-um) - The organ formed by the union of the stamens and pistils. In orchids, the fleshy structure in the flower's center consisting of a fused style, stigma, and stamens.
COLUMN-FOOT - Extension of the base of the column in some orchids to which the lip is joined.
COMMUNITY POT - A pot in which multiple orchid plantlets are set out after being removed from the nutrient flask.
COMOSE (KOH-mose) - Bearing a tuft of hair, esp. on a seed.
COMPOST (KOM-post) - Organic material (e.g. litter, vegetable waste, manure) which may be broken down in soil to form humus.
COMPOUND (KOM-pound) - Composed of a number of similar parts.
CONCAVE (KON -kave) - curved inward like a bowl
CONDUPLICATE (kon-DOO-pli-kate) - Folded length-wise on the mid-rib so that halves are applied together by their faces. Said of leaves or petals in vernation.
CONFLUENT (KON-floo-ent) - Convergent, going together.
CONGENER (KON-je-ner) - Of the same genus.
CONGLOMERATE (kon-GLAH-mer-ate) - Clustered; brought together.
CONNATE (KON-nate) - Congenitally or firmly united, referring to like organs.
CONNECTIVE (kon-EK-tiv) - The portion of the column which connects the two portions of the anther.
CONNIVENT (kon-NIVE-ent) - Arched inward so that the points meet; converging but not united.
CONVEX (KON-vex) - curved outward like the out-side of a bowl
CONVOLUTE (KON-vo-lute) - Rolled up longitudinally.
COOL-HOUSE - A growing house with night temperatures about 50 degrees (F).
CORALLOID (KOR-al-loid) - Branching, like coral.
CORDATE (KOR-date) - Heart-shaped.
CORIACEOUS (KOR-ri-AY-shus) - Leathery in texture; firm; resembling or made to resemble leather; tough but pliable.
CORM (kor'm) - A bulb-like but solid, enlarged fleshy base of a stem.
CORNIGERUS (kor-NIJ-er-us) - Bearing horns.
CORNU-CERVI (kor-nu-SER-vi) - Stag's horn; flattened like an antler.
CORNUCOPIATE (kor-nu-ko-pi-ate) - Shaped like a cornucopia.
CORNUTA (kor-NEW-at) - Horned.
CORNUTE, CORNUTED (kor-NEW-tid) - Horned.
COROLLA (kor-OL-la) - The petals of a flower collectively; the inner perianth.
CORYMB (KOR-imb) - Any flat topped or convex flower cluster; a form of centripetal inflorescence in which the outermost flowers are first expanded.
CORYMBOSE (kor-IMB-bose) - Resembling a corymb.
CRASSIFOLIUS (KRAS-i-FOE-li-us) - Thick-leaved.
CRASSINODE (krass-in-OH-dee) - Having markedly swollen joints.
CRENATE (KRE-nate) - having margin cut into rounded projections or scallops.
CRENULATE (KRE-new-late) - Minutely crenate.
CREPIDATUS (kreep-i-DAY-tus) - Shaped like old fashioned sandals.
CREST - A toothed, fringed, or hairy thickened portion of the disc of the lip.
CRESTED (KREST-t'd) - Bearing elevated appendage or protruding fringes.
CRINIFERUS (krin-IF-er-us) - Hairy.
CRINITUS (kri-NI-tus) - Having hairs upon the surface.
CRISPUS (KRIS-pus) - Crisped along the margins.
CRISTATA (kris-TA-at) - Crested.
CROCK - Small pieces of earthenware or flowerpots, or other materials, placed in the bottom of a pot to aid in drainage.
CROSS POLLINATION - Fertilization of one plant by pollen from another.
CRUCIFORM (KREW-si-form) - Cross-shaped.
CRYPTOSE (KRIP-tose) - In Greek compounds, signifying concealed.
CUCULLATE (KU-ku-late) - Hooded, having the basal edges rolled inward.
CULTIVAR (KUL-to-var) - A cultivated plant and its vegetative propagations; a horticultural variety or strain. The term "cultivar" is used to replace "variety" for the naming of horticultural plants. Cultivar names are not Latinized.
CUNEATE (KU-ne-ate) - Wedge-shaped or triangular with the narrow end at the point of attachment.
CURVIFOLIUS (kur-vi-FOH-li-us) - Curving leaved.
CUSP - A sharp and rigid point; a point; pointed end.
CUSPIDATE (KUS-pi-date) - Terminating in a point.
CYMBIFORM (SIM-bi-form) - Boat-shaped; convex and keeled.
CYME (sime) - Any form of determinate or centrifugal florescence.
CYMOSE (SI-mose) - Full of shoots.
CYTOGENETICS (ST-toe-je-NET-iks) - Cell formation or development.
DAMPING DOWN - To spray or sprinkle the walks, benches, etc., of a greenhouse to cool it or to increase the humidity without watering the pots or plants.
DAMPING OFF - Disease causing abrupt death of apparently healthy seedlings induced by soil inhabiting fungi virulent to plant growth under conditions of high humidity and temperature.
DECIDUOUS (de-SID-yew-us) - A plant that sheds all its leaves at maturity or at certain seasons.
DECUMBENT (di-KUM-bent) - Of stems, branches, etc., lying or trailing on the ground with extremity tending to ascend.
DECURRENT (di-KUR-ent) - Extending down the stem below the point of insertion. With base continuous along the stem in the form of a wing.
DECURVED (d~KURV-d) - Curved downward.
DECUSSATE (de-KUS-sate) - Arranged in pairs alternately crossing each other at regular angles; arrangement of opposite leaves in which each leaf pair is oriented at right angles to the next pair below it. This creates four vertical ranks of leaves.
DEFLEXED (de-FLEKS-d) - Bent or turned down or away abruptly.
DEFOLIATION (DE-fol-i-ay-shun) - Shedding of leaves either as a season normality or as the result of insect attack or physiological disturbance.
DEHISCE (de-HIS) - To split into definite parts by valves, slits, or pores, as the capsules of orchids. A bursting open of a capsule or pod.
DEHISCENCE (de-HIS-ens) - The opening of an anther for the discharge of pollen, or of a seed pod.
DEHISCENT (de-HIS-sent) - Splitting open along definite lines; opening spontaneously at maturity to release seeds.
DEHISCING (de-HIS-sing) - Same as dehiscence.
DELTOID (DEL-toid) - Triangular in shape; shaped like the Greek letter delta.
DENDRON (DEN-drun) - In Greek compounds, signifying a tree.
DENSIFLORUS (den-si-FLOW-rus) - Having flowers densely clustered.
DENSUS (DEN-sis) - Thick. Alludes to the habit of the plant.
DENTATE (DEN-tate) - Having a toothed margin, notched. (See bidentate and tridentate).
DENTICULATE (den-TIK-yew-late) - Having very small tooth-like projections.
DETERMINATE (de-TUR-mi-nate) - Condition of inflorescence when the terminal flower opens first and so terminates further elongation of the floral axis.
DIAPHANOUS (dye-AF-a-nus) - Transparent or translucent.
DICHOGAMY (dye-KOG-a-mi) - The maturing of sexual parts at different times, effect being avoidance of self-pollination.
DICHOTOMY (dye-KOT-o-mi) - Regular division into pairs.
DIDYMOUS (DID-i-mus) - Twin; two-parted; found in pairs.
DIFFUSE (di-FEWZ) - Of open, loosely spreading habit.
DIGITATE (DIJ-i-tate) - Finger-like. Branches clustering from one point like fingers on a hand.
DIMORPHIC (dye-MOR-fik) - Having two shapes.
DIMORPHISM (dye-MOR-fizm) - Members of the same species, having two distinct shapes or structures.
DIOECIOUS (dye-EE-shus) - Unisexual. Male and female plants born on separate plants. The plant has either pistillate or staminate flowers but not both. Flowers can be termed dioecious if they are of different sexes and borne on the same plant.
DIPHYLLOUS (dye-FILL-us) - Having two leaves.
DIPLOID (DIP-loid) - Having two matched sets of chromosomes.
DISC (disk) - In orchids, the face or upper surface of the lip.
DISCOLOR - Having two-toned leaves, such as green above and purple below.
DISTAL EDGE - Remote from the point of attachment or origin; as, the distal end of a bone or muscle; -- opposite of proximal.
DISTICHOUS (DIS-tik-us) - In two vertical rows on opposite sides of the stem.
DIURNAL - opening flowers during the daytime. Opposite of noctural.
DIVARICATE (dye-VAR-i-cate) - Diverge, branch; spread apart, branch off.
DIVISION (di-VIZH-un) - Separation of a plant into small units.
DOLABRIFORM (do-LAB-re-form) - Hatchet-shaped.
DORSAL (DOOR-sal) - Designating or pertaining to the surface turned away from the axis, as the under or outer side of the leaf. In an orchid flower, the apparent upper sepal is called the dorsal sepal.
DORSIFEROUS (dor-SIF-air-us) - Bearing anything on the back.
EAST INDIA HOUSE - Hottest house for growing plants.
EBRACTEATE (ee-BRAK-te-ate) - Lacking bracts.
ECCALLOSE (e-CAL-lose) - Without protuberances.
ECHINATE (EK-in-ate) - Prickly.
ECOLOGY (e-KOL-o-ji) - The branch of botany which deals with the mutual relation between organisms and their environment.
ECOPHENE (E-ko-feen) - Group of plants, essentially of the same genetic constitution, with members differing in appearance and reproductive vigor due to the influences of their varying environments.
ECORNUTUS (e-kor-NEW-tus) - Without horns.
ECOTYPE (EE-co-type) - Individual variant from species In genetic constitution adjusted as response to a particular environment.
EDAPHIC (e-DAF-ik) - Relating to soil as medium for plant growth.
EDAPHON (e-DAF-on) - Flora and fauna of a soil.
ELATUS (e-LAY-tus) - Tall; taller than the parts or organs of the plant would lead one to expect; tall in comparison with its near allies.
ELEGANS (EL-e-gans) - Very choice; attractive.
ELLIPSOID (e-LIP-soy'd) - Oblong, with regularly rounded ends. A spheroid; a solid figure generated by the revolution of an ellipse about one of its axes. It is called a prolate spheroid, or prolatum, when the ellipse is revolved about the major axis, and an oblate spheroid, or oblatum, when it is revolved about the minor axis.
ELLIPTIC (e-LIP-tik) - Of oval surface widest at middle and tappered to rounded ends.
ELONGATED (e-LON-gay-ted) - Drawn out in length
EMARGINATE (e-MAR-ji-nate) - Notched at the apex as a leaf or petal; having a notched tip, or slightly indented surface.
EMBRYO (EM-bri-oh) - The plantlet in the seed.
ENDEMIC (EN-dem-ik) - occurring in the wild in only one readily defined region.
ENDOSPERM (EN-do-spurm) - The nutritive tissue within seeds of flowering plants, surrounding and absorbed by the embryo.
ENSIFORM (EN-si-form) - Sword shaped, having sharp edges and tapering to a slender point.
ENTIRE (en-TIRE) - With margin unbroken, in reference to the floral segments and leaf-blade. Having the margin continuous, not broken with teeth or serrations.
ENTOMOPHILY (en-to-MOF-i-li) - Pollination through agency of insects.
ENZYME (EN-zime) - Organic substance capable of effecting by catalytic action the transformation of some other compound or compounds.
EPHEMERAL (e-FEM-er-al) - Lasting for brief period.
EPICHILE (EP-i-kil) - The terminal lobe of the labellum in certain orchids.
EPINENDROIDES (e-pi-den-DRO-id-ez) - Resembling an Epidendrum.
EPIDERMIS (ep-i-DER-mis) - Outermost primary tissue layer covering entire plant body, functioning primarily as a controller of water loss and as protective coverring against injury.
EPIPHYTIC (EP-i-fit-ik) - A plant which is an epiphyte.
EPIPHYTE (EP-i-fite) - An air plant. A plant which grows upon other plants but is not parasitic upon them. Many orchids are epiphytic in their natural habitats.
EPSEUDOBULBOUS (ee-SOO-do-BUL-bus) - Without pseudobulbs.
EQUITANT (e-KWA-tant) - Overlapping each other; -- said of leaves whose bases are folded so as to overlap and bestride the leaves within or above them, as in the iris.
ERICOID (ER-ii-koid) - With slender leaves, often sharp pointed and xeromorphic. Pertaining to or resembling the genus Erica.
EROSE (ER-os) -Having a jagged edge or appearing to have been gnawed. Sepal, petal  and lip margins may be entire (smooth), erose (jagged) or dentate (appearing to have teeth), fimbriate (fringed)  or  ciliate  (fringed  so finely as to appear like hair).
EROSTRATE (e-ROS-trate) - Without a beak.
ETIOLATION (e-ti-o-LAY-shun) - Effect on green plant from nonproduction of chlorophyll, the normally green tissue becoming white or yellow by unmasking of carotenoides within the chloroplasts.
EVANESCENT (ev-a-NES-ent) - Quickly fading: to wilt or to lose the scent.
EVERGREEN (EV-er-green) - Retaining foliage throughout the year.
EXCAVATUS (eks-cav-VAY-tus) - Hollowed.
EXCURRENT (eks-KUR-ent) - Passing beyond, as a nerve of a floral segment or leaf projecting beyond the margin; projecting beyond the apex, as the midrib of a mucronate leaf.
EXOTIC (eg-ZOT-ik) - Not native; foreign. Not endemic.
EXSERTED (EKS-ser-tid) - Protruding, e.g. of stamens with respect to a corolla tube.
EXTINE (EKS-tin or tine) - The outer coating of a pollen grain.
EXTRORSE (eks-TRORSE) - Looking or facing outward.
EYE - A bud on the rhizome of a sympodial orchid that will eventually develop into a new psuedobulb and flower.
FALCATE (FAL-kate) - Flat, curving and tapering to a point; like a sickle.
FARINOSE (FAIR-i-nose) - Covered with a meal-like powder.
FASCIATION (FASH-I-AY-shun) - Malformation in which normally cylindrical structures (stems, petioles, roots) become flattened to form ribbon or thallus-like structures.
FASCICLE (FAS-I-kl) - A close cluster of flowers, leaves, stems, roots.
FASCICLED (FAS-ikl`d) - Growing in a bundle, tuft, or close cluster; as, the fascicled leaves of the pine or larch; the fascicled roots of the dahlia; fascicled muscle fibers; fascicled tufts of hair.
FASCICULAR (fa-SIK-cu-lar) - Arranged in a fascicle, a bundle or cluster.
FERTILE (FUR-til) - Said of pollen bearing stamens and seed bearing fruits.
FERTILIZATION - 1. The effect of pollination resulting in conversion of ovules into seeds. 2. Adding of a nutrient to soil or substrate, for absorption by the roots.
FETID (FET-ed or FEE-tid) - Having a disagreeable odor.
FIBROUS (FYE-brus) - Composed of or resembling fibers; the texture of roots; a tufted root system.
FILAMENT (FIL-a-ment) - Sterile stalk of a stamen bearing the anther at its tip.
FILIFORM (FIL-I-form) - Thread-like.
FIMBRIATE (FIM-bri-ate) - Fringed.
FIR BARK - A potting medium consisting of chopped or ground bark of White, Red or Douglas fir.
FLABBELLATE (fla-BEL-ate) - Fan-shaped.
FLABELLIFORM (fla-BEL-li-form) - Fan-shaped.
FLACCID (FLAK-sid or FLA-sid) - Soft, not rigid, weak.
FLASK - 1. Glass container used in germination of orchid seeds or the growth of very young seedlings. 2. To sow orchid seeds or transplant seedlings in such a container.
FLASKING - The process of sowing orchid seed, etc.
FLEXUOUS (FLEK-shu-us) - Bending alternately in opposite directions.
FLOCCOSE (FLO-cos) - Wooly or fuzzy.
FLORIFEROUS (flo-RIF-er-us) - Flower bearing; blooming freely.
FLORIGEN (FLO-rij-en) - A flowering hormone related to photo periodism.
FOLIACEOUS (FO-li-AY-shus) - Resembling a leaf in form and texture.
FOLIAGE (FOH-li-aje) - Collective term for leafy units (leaves, leaf-buds, and their associate structures).
FOLIAR SPRAY (fo-LI-ar spray)- Many minor nutrients and trace elements beneficial to growth are best absorbed through the stomata of an orchids leaves when mixed with water and sprayed on the plant.
FOOT (of column) - Callus-like growth at basal end of column.
FOOT-CANDLE - A unit of light equivalent to that produced by a standard candle at a distance of one foot.
FORMOSUS (for-MOE-sus) - Beautiful in shape; strinkingly ornamental.
FORMULA - In regards to hybrids, the parents' name forming the hybrid. The names are connected by the multiplication sign X (by)
FRACTIFLEX (FRACK-ti-flex) - Zig-zag.
FUGACIOUS (fu-GAY-shus) - Fall or withering away almost immediately after development.
FUNICLE (FEW-ni-kl) - Basal stalk of an ovule or seed.
FURCATE (FUR-kate) - Forked or two horned.
FURFURACEUS (FUR-few-RAY-shus) - Scurfy.
FUSED (fewz'd) - United.
FUSIFORM (FEW-zi-form) - Spindle-shaped; circular in cross section, broadest at center and tapering evenly to ends, i.e. narrower at both ends than at the center.
GALEATE (GAY-le-ate) - Helmet shaped.
GAMETAL (GAM-e-tal) - Pertaining to or the nature of a gamete.
GAMETE (GAM-ete) - A sexual cell or germ cell.
GAMETOPHYTE (GAM-e-to-FYTE) - In the alternation of generations in plants, that generation or phase which bears sex organs.
GAMOPHYLLOUS (GAM-oh-FILL-us) - Leaves united.
GEMINATE (JEM-i-nate) - In pairs; twin.
GENE (jeen) - Self duplicating unit of inheritance located in chromosome, recognized by constant effect on an individual for a particular character, and remaining relatively unchanged from cell-division to cell-division and from generation to generation.
GENERA (JEN-er-a) - Plural of genus.
GENERIC (jen-AIR-ik) - Relative to a genus.
GENICULATE (je-NIK-yew-late) - Knot or joint; bent abruptly at an angle.
GENOMES (JE-nomes) - Complete set of chromosomes inherited from one parent as a unit. A group of characters handed down from plant to plant.
GEOTROPISM (je-OT-ro-pism) - Plant growth response, effected by bending towards or away from gravitational field of the earth. Roots are positively geotropic, stems negatively geotropic.
GENUS (JEE-nus) - (pl. genera) A closely related group of plants. The first, and capitalized, word in a scientific name of a plant.
GERMINATION (JER-MI-nay-SHUN) - The unfolding of the embryo and self establishment of the plantlet.
GIBBOUS (GIB-us) - Protuberant or swollen on one side.
GLABRATE (GLAY-brate) - Hairy at first but losing hair with increasing age.
GLABROUS (GLAY-brus) - Free from hair or down, smooth skinned.
GLADIATE (GLAD-i-ate) - Having sword-shaped foliage.
GLAUCOUS (GLAU-kus) - Covered with bluish-gray, bluish-green or whitish bloom of wax; a sea-green color, coated with a waxy powder.
GLOBOSE (GLOW-bose) - Nearly spherical; Rounded or spherical shape.
GLOMERATE (GLOM-er-ate) - Gathered together in a compact cluster.
GLOMERULE (GLOM-er-rool) - An inflorescence consisting of a compact or sessile cyme.
GLUMACEOUS (gloo-MAY-shus) - Chaffy in texture.
GLUTINOUS (GLOO-ti-nus) - With a sticky or adhesive surface; with a sticky exudate.
GRACILIS (gracile) (GRASS-i-lus, GRAS-il) - slender and graceful.
GRAMINIFOLIUS (GRAM-i-ni-FOLE-ius) - Having grass-like leaves.
GRANDIFLORUS (grand-di-FLORE-us) - Having flowers large in comparison with others of the genus.
GRANDIFOLIUS (GRAN-di-FOLE-i-us) - Having leaves larger than its congeners.
GRANULOSE (GRAN-yew-lose) - Composed of or appearing as if covered by minute grains.
GRAVEOLENS (gra-VEE-o-lens) - Strong smelling.
GREX (grex) - All siblings of the same seed cross.
GUTTATE (GUT-tate) - Spotted.
GUTTATION (gu-TAY-shun) - Escape of water and dissolved salts through hydathodes under conditions favoring rapid absorption of water by roots but resulting in reduced transpiration rate.
GYMNOS (JIM-nose) - In Greek compounds signifying "naked" or not covered, as Gymnosperms, with naked seeds (not in a pericarp).
GYNANDROUS (ji-NAN-drus) - Junction of stamens and style.
GYNOSTEMIUM (JIN-oh-stee-mi-um) - Column-like structure formed by fusion of stamens to style and stigma, a character of the family Orchidaceae.
HABITAT - The type of place, or environment, in which a orchid normally grows.
HAPLOID (HAP-loid) - With a single set of unpaired chromosomes in the nucleus.
HAPUU (HAH-poo) - Hawaiian term for tree-fern fiber.
HASTATE (HAS-tate) - Of leaves, triangular with the basal angles or lobes spreading.
HERBACEOUS (her-BAY-shus) - Without woody tissue, green and succulent.
HERBARIUM SHEET - A paper with a prepared and dried plant specimen used for identification.
HERMAPHRODITE (her-MAF-ra-dite) - A flower having both the male and female organs.
HERMAPHRODITIC (her-maf-ro-DI-tic) - With stamens and pistils in the same flower.
HETEROBLASTIC (HET-er-OH-BLAS-tik) - Having an indirect embryonic development; arising from cells of another kind.
HETEROCARPUS (HET-er-oh-KAR-pus) - Having variable or various kinds of seed-pods.
HETEROSIS (het-er-OH-sis) - Property of a hybrid displaying one or more characters in greater degree than either of its parents due to recombination of dominant and recessive genes. Hybrid vigour.
HIPPOCREPIFORM (HIP-po-CREP-i-form) - Horseshoe-shaped.
HIRSUTE (HUR-sute) - Pubescent with rather coarse or stiff hairs.
HISPID (HIS-pid) - With rigid or bristly hairs or with bristles.
HOST - A plant from which a parasite plant derives its nourishment. A tree on which an epiphytic plant grows.
HUMIDITY (hew-MID-i-ty) - The relative amount of moisture in the air.
HUMILIS (HEW-mi-lis) - Low growing.
HUMUS (HEW-mus) - Finely divided organic matter from decomposed vegetable litter together with the mineral material from which it is incorporated in the soil.
HYALINE (HYE-a-lin) - Glassy, transparent, translucent when viewed in transmitted light; almost like clear glass.
HYBRID (HYE-brid) - Result of a cross between two plants not of the same variety.
HYBRIDIZATION (HYE-brid-eye-ZA-shun) - Causing the production of hybrids by crossing different species or varieties.
HYBRID SWARM - A cross between two species that becomes fertile and breeds true, imitating a true species.
HYDROPONICS (hye-droh-PON-iks) - A soiless method of growing plants, using nutrient solutions and an inorganic supporting medium.
HYPANTHIUM (hip-AN-thi-um) - a floral cup or tube.
HYPHA (HYE-fee) - The branched cylindrical thread-like structure which constitutes the vegetative body of a fungus.
HYPHAEMATICUS ((hye-fee-MA-ti-kus) - Blood red underneath.
HYPOCHILE (HYE-po-kile) - The lower part of the labellum in certain orchids.
IMBRICATE (Im-bri-kate) - Leaves arranged so as to overlap, like roofing tiles or shingles, or fish scales.
INCISED (in-SIZ'D) - With margins cut into deep sharp irregular teeth.
INCRASSATE (in-KRAS-sate) - Thickened or swollen.
INCUMBENT (in-KUM-bent) - Resting or leaning upon another organ.
INDETERMINATE (in-dee-TUR-min-ate) - Of indefinite or protracted growth as an axis of an inflorescence not terminated by a terminal flower.
INDIGEN (IN-di-jen) - Native to a specific area.
INDIGENOUS (in-DI-jen-us) - Native to a country or area; not introduced. part of the original natural flora of a region (but not necessarily endemic)
INDURATE (IN-doo-rate) - Hard, hardened.
INFERIOR (in-FEER-i-or) - Ovaries when situated beneath perianth, as in an orchid. Below.
INFLORESCENCE (in-flo-RES-ens) - The flowering part of a plant. The arrangement in which flowers are borne on a plant.
INFRASTIGMATIC (in-fra-stig-MAT-ik) - Below the stigma.
INFUNDIBULUM (in-fun-DIB-u-lum) - A funnel.
INHIBITION (in-hi-BISH-un) - Suppression of a phase or growth or development.
INSIGNIS (in-SIG-nis) - Noble, admirable, conspicuous.
INTERGENERIC hybrid - A hybrid between members of two or more genera.
INTERMEDIATE HOUSE A growing house with night temperatures about 55-60 (F) degrees. Day time temperatures about 70-75 (F).
INTERNODES (IN-ter-nodes) - Part between two nodes or joints.
INTORTED (in-TORT-ed) - Twisted upon or around itself.
INTRORSE (in-TRORS) - Turned inwards or towards the axis.
IN VITRO (in-VEE-tro) - Living organism observable in an artificial environment (such as a test tube) theoretically simulating the organism's natural habitat.
INVOLUTE (IN-voh-lute) - Rolled inward at the margin or edge. Said of foliage leaves in vernation or of floral leaves in aestivation.
IRRORATUS (IR-o-rate-us) - Dewy; moistened or sprinkled with dew.
ISTHMUS (IS-mus) - A connecting part, especially when narrow or joining structures larger than itself.
JOINTED - having nodes, or points of real or apparent divisions along the stem or psuedobulb.
KEEL - Any ridge-like process.
KEELED - Of leaves or bracts, folded and ridged along the midrib.
KEIKI (KAY-i-ki) - Hawaiian term to signify an off-shoot or off-set from a plant. Used when referring to Dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis, or Vandaceous orchids.
LABELLUM (la-BEL-lum) - The lip, a modified petal. - (in orchids) the usually large and distinctive pedal that commonly juts forward from the flowers center.
LABIATE (LAY-bi-ate) - Lipped as the bilabiate corolla characteristic of the Labiatae family.
LACINIATE (la-SIN-i-ate) - Slashed; cut into narrow pointed segments.
LAMELLAE (la-MEL-eye) - Scales or appendages at the base of a petal in some corolllas; like gills of a fish or mushroom.
LAMINA (LAM-i-na) - Usually the blade or expanded part of a foliage leaf, as distinguished from the petiole. Also, the expanded portion of a petal or sepal of a flower.
LAMINAR (LAM-i-nar) - Thin and flat, resembling a leaf blade.
LAMINATUS (lam-i-NATE-us) - Covered with plates or scales.
LANATE (LAN-ate) - Woolly.
LANCEOLATE (LAN-se-o-late) - Lance shaped, several times longer than wide; tapering at both ends, widest about 1/3 above the base.
LANUGINOSE (la-NEW-ji-nose) - Covered with down or soft fine hair.
LAPIDOSE (LAP-i-dose) - Found in stony places.
LASIOGLOSSUS (LA-sii-o-GLOS-sus) - Woolly tongued.
LATERAL (LAT-er-al) - On or at the side of. "the lateral branches of a tree shot out sidelong the boughs."
LATH HOUSE - Lattice work structure which provides broken shade for orchids grown outside in warm climates.
LATIFOLIOUS (LAT-i-FOH-li-us) - Broad lobed.
LATILOBA (lat-i-LOW-ba) - Broad lobed.
LAXUS (LAKS-us) - Loose, usually applied to flower spikes.
LEAD (Leed) - A new terminal bud that will grow into a new pseudobulb.
LIGULATE (lig-YEW-LATE) - Strap-shaped.
LIGULE (LIG-yule) - A thin appendage of a foliage leaf at the junction of blade and petiole; a tongue-like or strap-like shaped part.
LINEAR (LIN-e-ar) - Long and narrow, with parallel margins, like a blade of grass.
LINEATE (LIN-e-ate) - With thin parallel lines; pencilled with fine lines.
LINEOLATE (LIN-e-oh-late) - Marked with fine lines.
LINGUIFORM (LIN-gwi-form) - Tongue-shaped.
LINGULATE (LIN-gu-late) - Tongue-shaped.
LIP - The labellum; the third or unpaired petal. The modified petal of the orchid flower specialized to aid in pollination and different than the other petals.
LITHOPHYTE (LITH-o-fite) - Plants that grow on rocks but secure their nourishment from the atmosphere and from accumulated debris (natural compost).
LOBATE (LOH-bate) - Furnished with lobes.
LOBE - Any part or segment of an organ.
LOBULES (LOB-yewls) - A small lobe; any rounded division or projection of an organ, especially a leaf.
LOCULE (LOKE-yewl) - Compartment or cell of a pistil or anther.
LONGICOLLIS (Lon-ji-COL-us) - Having a long neck.
LONGICORNUS Lon-ji-KOR-nus) - Having a long horn.
LONGIFOLIUS (Lon-ji-FOH-li-us) - Having a long leaf.
LONGISCAPUS (Lon-ji-SKAPE-us) - Having a long flower stalk.
LORATE (LOH-rate) - Strap-shaped.
LUCID (LEW-sid) - Shining, referring to the surface of an organ.
LUNATUS (LEW-nay-tus) - Crescent-shaped.
LYRATE (LYE-rate) - With terminal leaflet much larger than other leaflets.
LYSIGENOUS (LYE-sij-ee-nus) - With cavity in tissue formed by break-down of cells.
MACRANTHUS (ma-KRAN-thus) - Broad or large flowered.
MACROCERAS (ma-KROH-ser-us) - Long-horned.
MACROCHILUS (ma-kroh-KY-lus) - Broad or large lipped.
MACROSTACHIUS (ma-kro-STACK-i-us) - Having long spikes.
MACULATE (MAK-u-late) - Marked with spots, blotched or mottled.
MACULE (MAK-yule) - The color spot or mask on the base of the lip in Miltonias.
MAJALIS (ma-JAY-lis) - Flowering in May.
MAJOR (MAY-jer) - Large compared to others of the same genus.
MAJUS (MAY-jus) - Large compared to others of the same genus.
MALQUIQUE (mal-KEE-ke) - Mexican term for tree fern and for tree fern fiber.
MAMMILLATE (MAM-mil-late) - Having nipple-shaped processes.
MARCESCENT (mar-SES-ent) - Withering without falling off.
MARCOTTAGE (MAR-ko-tazh) - The method of vegetative propagation in which a ball of sphagnum moss is bound about the stem of a plant to furnish a congenial medium for the growth of roots.
MARGINATE (MAR-ji-nate) - Furnished with a margin or border of distinct character.
MARGINATUS (MAR-jin-ay-tus) - When flat surface has an edge of a different color.
MARMORATE (MAR-mae-rate) - Variegated or lined like marble.
MATUTINUS (ma-TEW-tin-us) - Morning flowering.
MAXILLARIS (MAKS-si-lay-ris) - Resembling jaws.
MAXIMUS (MAK-si-mus) - The largest of its group.
MEDIUM (germinating) - A nutrient substance upon which orchid seeds are germinated under sterile or aseptic conditions.
MEDIUM (potting) - The material in which an orchid plant is grown under cultivation, it may be organic such as fir bark or inorganic such as lava rock.
MELEAGRIS (MEL-ee-AY-gris) - Spotted like a Guinea fowl.
MEMBRANACEOUS (MEM-bray-NAY-shus) - Thin and pliable, often semient as many leaves.
MEMBRANOUS (MEM-bra-nus) - Pliable and thin, transparent and usually not green.
MENTUM (MEN-tum) - A basal projection in certain orchids, formed by the sepals and extended foot of the column.
MERICLONE (MER-i-clone) - A plant derived from tissue culture that is identical to its parent.
MERISTEM (MER-i-stem) - Embryonic or undifferentiated tissues, the cells of which are capable of active division. The actively growing tissue of a plant, used for artificial cloning.
MESIC (mes-IK) - Constantly moist.
MESOCHILE (ME-so-kile) - The central portion of the labellum in certain orchids.
MESOPHYLL (MES-o-fill) - This thin walled cell tissue of a leaf-blade; a photosynthetic tissue, concerned with the gaseous exchange with the atmosphere.
MESOPHYTE (MES-o-fite) - Plant growing under average conditions of moisture and in a temperate climate.
MICROCHILUS (MY-kro-ky-lus) - Small-lipped.
MICROPYLE (MY-kro-pile) - The point on the seed through which impregnation takes place; point on the seed marking the orifice of the ovule.
MITOSIS (my-TOE-sis) - The usual, and more complex, of the two methods in which cells of animals and plants multiply.
MONILIFORM (mo-NIL-i-form) - Constricted at intervals along its length; like a string of beads.
MONILIFORMIS (mo-NIL-i-form-is) - Necklace-like.
MONOCOTYLEDONS (mon-o-kot-i-LEE-duns) - Any seed plant having a single cotyledon or seed leaf.
MONOECIOUS (mo-NEE-shus) - With unisexual flowers of both sexes appearing in one plant.
MONOMORPHIC (mon-o-MOR-fik) - In mycology, producing spores of one kind or form.
MONOPHYLETIC (mon-o-FILE-e-tik) - Derived from a single ancestrial line.
MONOPHYLLOUS (mon-o-FILL-us) - Composed of a single leaf as opposed to bifoliate.
MONOPHYLY– having a single common ancester relating all members of the clade
MONOPODIAL (mono-PO-di-al) - With growth continuous from a terminal upright leader. Orchids which grow upward from a single stem producing leaves and flowers along that stem.
MONOPODIUM (mono-PO-di-um) - A single axis from which all lateral branches rise.
MONOSTICHOUS (mo-NOS-ti-kus) - Arranged in a single row, or on one side of an axis.
MONOTYPIC (mo-no-TIP-ik) - Contains only one; a genus with one species.
MORPHOLOGY (mor-FOL-o-ji) - The branch of biology which deals with the form and structure of plants and animals without regard to functional processes.
MOSCIFERA (mohs-ki-FER-a) - Bearing flies, alluding to the resemblance of some flowers to flies.
MUCRONATE (MEW-kro-nate) - Ending abruptly in a sharp point.
MULTIGENERIC (MUL-tee-jen-AIR-ik) - A plant that has resulted from crossing several genera.
MURICATE (MU-ri-kate) - With sharp points or prickles.
MUTATION (mu-TAY-shun) - Alteration of the chromosomal material. The majority of mutations are changes of individual genes.
MYCELIUM (my-SEE-li-um) - Vegetative part of a fungus, composed of threads or thready tissue.
MYCORRHIZA (mi-ko-RYE-za) - a fungus that invades the root tissues and forms a symbiotic relationship with it. The fungus digests organic matter, making it easier for the plant to absorb, and the fungus is assured access to moisture.
MYRIANTHUS (mir-i-AN-thus) - Innumerable-flowered.
NAVICULAR (na-VIK-yew-lar) - Boat-shaped; cymbiform.
NECROTIC (nec-ROT-ik) - The condition of cells and tissues killed through disease or injury.
NECTAR (NEK-tar) - The saccharine secretion of a plant which attracts the insects that pollinate the flower.
NECTAREOUS (nek-TAR-e-us) - Resembling nectar.
NECTARIFEROUS (nek-tar-IF-er-us) - Having nectar.
NECTARY (NEK-tar-i) - A nectar secreting organ or part such as the spurs of many orchids.
NEOTROPICAL (NEE-o-TROP-i kal) - Of, pertaining to or designating the region comprising South America, the West Indies and tropical North America.
NEPHROID (NEF-roid) - Kidney-shaped, reniform.
NERVOSE (NUR-vose) - Sinewy, vigorous, prominently nerved.
NEUTRAL (NEW-tral) - A chemical condition of water or moist soil in which acid and alkaline constituents are exactly balanced; pH 7.
NITIDUS (NIT-id-us) - Shining, lustrous, bright.
NITRIFICATION (NYE-tri-fi-KAY-shun) - Conversion of organic nitrogen compounds in soil to inorganic compounds (as ammonium salts or as nitrates) - available to plants by the cumulative action of a succession of soil micro-organisms.
NOBILIS (NO-bee-leez) - Remarkable for fine qualities.
NOCTURNUS (nok-TUR-nus) - Night blooming.
NODE - A joint on a stem or pseudobulb from which a leaf or growth originates.
NODOSE (NOH-dose) - Knobby or knotty.
NODOSUS (noh-DOSE-us) - Having many joints or nodes.
NOMENCLATURE (noh-men-CLAY-chure) - Names referring individuals to groups of related members according to a binomial system.
NUCLEOLUS (noo-klee-OH-lus) - The central denser structures of a cell.
NUTRIENT (NEW-tree-ent) - A chemical needed for growth, or a substance providing such.
NUTRIENT SOLUTION A water solution of chemicals or natural substances required for growth or germination.
OBCORDATE (ahb-CORD-ate) - Heart-shaped with the attachment at the apex; inversely cordate.
OBLANCEOLATE (ohb-LAN-see-o-late) - Shaped like a lance, point reversed, that is, having the tapering point next to the leafstalk.
OBLATUM (ob-LAY-tum) - an oblate spheroid. (See Ellipsoid)
OBLIQUE (ob-LEEK) - Of a leaf or leaflet, larger on one side of the midrib than on the other, i.e. asymmetrical.
OBLONG - Having the length greater than the width but not many times greater, and the sides parallel.
OBOVATE (ob-OH-vate) - Inversely ovate; inversely egg-shaped; egg-shaped with the narrower end at the base. Usually used in describing a leaf.
OBOVOID (OB-oh-void) - Ovoid with broad end toward the apex.
OBPHYRIFORM (ob-PIR-i-form) - Having the form of an inverted pear.
OBSOLESCENT (OB-soh-LES-ent) - Becoming rudimentary.
OBSOLETE (OB-so-leet) - Rudimentary or not distinct.
OBTRIANGULAR (Ob-try-ang-you-lar)- like an upside down triangle
OBTUSE (ob-TUSE) - Blunt or rounded as a leaf with a wide apex.
OCULATE (OK-u-late) - Having spots or holes resembling eyes.
OCULATUS (OK-u-la-tus) - Having spots or holes resembling eyes.
OCULUS (OK-yew-lus) - An eye; a leaf bud used as a cutting.
ODORATISSIMUS (OH-dor-a-TISS-i-mus) - Very fragrant.
ODORATUS (oh-dor-AY-tus) - Fragrant.
OFFSET (AWF-set) - A plant arising close to the base of mother plant. Synonym: keikei.
ONCIDIODES (on-sid-ee-OH-eye-dees) - Resembling an Oncidium.
ONTOGENY (on-TOJ-e-ni) - Development cycle of an organism or organ.
OPAQUE (o-PAKE) - Neither shiny nor translucent.
OPERCULATE (o-PUR-ka-late) - Lid-like, as some anthers, or furnished with a lid.
OPERCULUM (o-PUR-ka-lum) - A cap or lid to an organ shedding by circumscissle dehiscence.
OPPOSITE - attached to the stem in pairs, on opposite sides of the node.
ORBICULAR (or-BIK-u-lar) - Circular.
ORBICULATE (or-BIK-u-late) - Circular.
ORCHIDACEAE (or-ki-DAY-se-ee) - The large family of perrenial epiphytes and terrestial plants, considered the most highly developed of the monocotyledons.
ORCHIDALES (or-ki-DAY-lees) - A Lindleyan alliance including the orchids.
ORCHIDIST (OR-ki-dist) - One whose interest in orchids is primarily horticultural.
ORCHIDOLOGIST (orki-DOL-o-jist) - One who specializes in the study of orchids.
ORIFICE (OR-i-fis) - An opening.
ORNITHORHYNCHUS (or-ni-tho-RIN-kus) - Resembling the beak of a bird.
ORTHOS (OR-those) - In Greek, compounds, signifying straight.
OSMOSIS (os-MOS-sis) - Diffusion of water through a membrane which is selectively permeable to water.
OSMUNDA (os-MUN-da) - A genus of swamp fern forming large clumps or crowns.
OSMUNDINE (os-MUN-deen) - Osmunda fiber. The root system of the royal fern or cinnamon fern, used in potting orchids.
OVARY (OH-va-ri) - The part of the pistil of a flower that contains the ovules (young seeds). The swollen part of a female organ.
OVATE (OH-vate) - Shaped like an egg in two dimensions, and attached by the wider end.
OVERPOT To place in too large a pot, usually to the detriment of a plant.
OVERWATER Keeping the medium wet or too damp, thus destroying the roots and preventing the plant from absorbing needed water.
OVOID (OH-void) - Shaped like an egg, with the broader end downward.
OVULE (OH-vule) - One of the young bodies in the ovary which, upon fertilization, develop into seed; structure bearing megaspores, the site of egg cell formation and finally the site of embryo development.
OVULIFEROUS (OH-voo-LIF-er-us) - Ovule-bearing.
PACHYCAUL (PA-ki-caw`l) - An abnormally thick-stemmed plant.
PACHYPHYLLUS (PA-ki-FIL-lus) - Thick leaved.
PALMATE (PAL-mate) - Lobed, radiating like fingers.
PALUDOSE (PAL-oo-dose) - Growing in marshes.
PANDURATE (pan-DUR-ate) - Shaped like a violin; oblong.
PANDURIFORM (pan-DU R-i-form) - Fiddle-shaped.
PANICLE (PAN-i-k'l) - A compound raceme or branched cluster of flowers. A pyramidal form of inflorescence, in which the cluster is loosely branched below and gradually simpler toward the end.
PANICULATE (pan-I-kew-late) - Arranged in panicles. Indeterminate and much branched.
PAPILIONACEOUS (pa-PIL-i-a-NAY-shus) - Having an irregular corolla shaped somewhat like a butterfly.
PAPILLA (pa-PEE-la) - A small, elongated protuberance on the surface of an organ, usually an extension of one epidermal cell.
PAPILLOSE (pa-PEE-los) - Covered with, or bearing, papill[ae]
PAPYRACEOUS (pa-pee-RAY-shus) - paperlike
PARASITE (PAR-a-site) - A plant dependent on another plant (the host) for its nutrition.
PARTHENOCARPY (par-then-o-CAR-py) - Development of fruit without fertilization and seed formation.
PARTHENOGENESIS (par-then-I-o-JEN-I-sis) - Phase of development in which the egg-cell of a diploid gametophyte divides without fertilization. Plants so formed are maternal in genetic constitution.
PARVIFLORUS (PAR-vi-FLOR-us) - Small flowered.
PATENT (pah-TENT) - flat to spreading
PATHOGEN (PATH-oh-gen) - A disease producer.
PATHOLOGICAL (path-oh-LOJ-i-cal) - Diseased.
PATULOUS (PAT-u-lus) - Spreading, broad, loosely expanded.
PEDICEL (PED-i-sel) - The stalk of a flower. a small stalk bearing a single flower of an inflorescence; an ultimate division of a common peduncle.
PEDICELLATE (PED-i-se-late) - Borne on a pedicel, or like a pedicel.
PEDUNCLE (pe-DUN-krl) - Stalk of a flower cluster or an individual flower when that flower is the sole member of the inflorescence. The stem or stalk that supports the flower or fruit of a plant, or a cluster of flowers or fruits.
PEDUNCULARIS (pe-DUN-koo-lar-is) - Having long peduncles or flower stalks.
PELLUCID (pe-LOO-sid) - Clear or transparent.
PELORIA (pe-LOR-I-a) - Floral abnormality common in the scrophularia family by which bilabiate corollas become radially symmetrical. Also “pelory.”
PELORIC (pe-LOR-ik) - Having peloria; abnormally regular or symmetrical – applied to flowers.
PENDENT (PEN-dent) - supported from above; Hanging down; "fuchsias in hanging pots"; "pendent bunches of grapes"; dangling, hanging, suspended.
PENDULUS (PEN-doo-lus) - Drooping.
PENTADACTYLUS (pen-TA-dak-to-LUS) - Five fingered.
PENTAPLOID (PEN-ta-ploid) - Having five sets of chromosomes.
PERGAMENTACEOUS (pur-gam-men-TAY-shus) - Texture of parchment.
PERI (PEE-ri) - A prefix (from Greek) meaning around about, beyond.
PERIANTH (PER-i-anth) - The floral envelope considered as a whole, whether the calyx or corolla or both. The parts of a flower that enclose the sexual organs in the bud, normally the corolla (the combined petals) and the calyx (the sepals).
PERIANTH SEGMENTS - The sepals and petals considered separately.
PERICARP (PEAR-i-karp) - The ripened ovary.
PERISPERM (PEAR-i-spurm) - Nutritive tissue accessory to endosperm. External skin of seed.
PERVULENT (PURR-va-lent) - humped
PETAL (PET-al) - Unit of a corolla typically laminar, considered a sterile stamen; inner segments of perianth. In Orchids, one of the three petals is usually modified into a lip or labellum.
PETALOID (PET-al-OID)  - Resembling a petal, as a petal-like sepal.
PETIOLATE (PET-i-o-late) - Having a petiole.
PETIOLE (PET-i-ole) - A leaf stalk. The stalk portion of a leaf.
PETIOLULE (PET-i-o-lool) - Individual stalk of a leaflet.
pH - An expression of acidity or alkalinity with 7.0 representing the neutral point. Below is acid, above is alkaline.
PHENOGAM (FEE-no-gam) - Flowering plants; seed bearing.
PHENOGAMOUS (fee-NOG-am-us) - Plants as distinguished from spore-bearing cryptogams.
PHENOLOGY (fee-NOL-o-ji) - Part of ecology concerned with correlation of climattic factors with the vegetative and reproductive development of a plant.
PHENOTYPE (FEE-no-type) - A term referring to a group fo individuals having similar external characteristics but differing in genetic composition.
PHOTOCHROME (fo-to-KROME) - A protein substance related to the flowering process. (Also - A photograph in colors.)
PHOTOPERIODISM (fot-toh-PEER-i-od-izm) - Response of the plant to length of daily exposure to light. Correct duration, combination of light and dark periods for production of flower producing hormones.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS (foh-toh-SIN-thee-sis) - The process a plant uses to produce carbohydrates and sugar from water and carbon dioxide in the air using chlorophyl-containing cells exposed to light.
PHOTOTROPISM (foh-TOT-ro-pizm) - Growth response to light, either positive when vegetative parts bend or reach towards light, or negative when turning away from light (as roots).
PHYLLOTAXY (fil-ah-TAK-si) - Leaf and flower arrangement on a stem.
PHYLOGENETICAL (phye-loh-je-NET-i-kal) - Pertaining to the race history of a type or group of organisms
PHYLOGENY (fye-LOJ-e-ni) - Evolutionary development of a population, organism, organ or tissue.
PHYTOLOGY (fye-TOL-oh-ji) - The study of plants. Botany.
PHYTOTOXICITY (fye-toh-tok-SIS-i-ty) - Toxicity to plants.
PILOSE (PYE-lose) - With long, soft hairs.
PINNATE (PIN-ate) - With leaf arrangement on both sides of a rachis in featherlike fashion.
PISTIL (PIS-til) - The seed bearing organ of the flower, consisting of the ovary, stigma and style, when present.
PISTILLATE (PIS-ti-late) - Of a flower with fertile parts represented by carpels only. The ovule-bearing organ of a seed plant.
PLATY (PLA-ti) - In Greek combinations, signifying broad or wide.
PLICATE (PLY-kate) - Folded like a fan.
PLICATILIS (ply-ka-TYE-lis) - Folded.
POD - A maturing or mature ovary which may contain seed. A dehiscent fruit containing the seed.
POLLEN (POL-en) - The fertilizing grains contained in the anther.
POLLINATION (pol-i-NAY-shun) - The act of transferring pollen from an anther to a stigma.
POLLINIA (pol-i-LIN-i-a) - Masses of waxy pollen or of coherent pollen grains.
POLYANTHUS (PAH-li-AN-thus) - Many-flowered.
POLYBULBON (pol-i-BUL-bon) - Having many bulbs.
POLYGAMOUS (pol-IG-a-mis) - Bearing both hermaphrodite and unisexual flowers on the same plant.
POLYMIN (POL-i-min) - A term applied to hybrids between polypoid and miniature Cymbidiums.
POLYMORPHIC (POL-i-MOR-fik) - Having or assuming various forms, character, or styles.
POLYMORPHISM (POL-i-MORE-fiz'm) - Differentiation within a population of a particular habitat as a phase of the process of selection.
POLYPLOID (POL-i-ployd) - Having several sets of chromosomes. Having more than 2 sets of matching chromosomes, such as triploids (3 sets), tetraploids (4 sets), and hexaploids (6 sets).
PORECT (po-RECKT) - Directed outward and forward; not stretched out.
POT - A container, made of baked clay, plastic or other material in which plants are grown. To plant an orchid in such a container.
POTTING - Placing an orchid plant in a container and securing it with a medium for support and growth.
PRAECOX (PREE-cox) - Early blooming.
PRAEMORSE (PREE-mors) - Jagged as if bitten off.
PRAESTANS (PREE-stanz) - Standing in front; excelling.
PRIMORDIUM (pri-MOR-di-um) - Site of active cell division initiating new growth of parts. The rudiment or commencement of any part or organ.
PROCUMBENT (proh-KUM-bent) - Trailing or lying flat, but not rooting.
PROLATUM (pro-LAY-tum) - a prolate spheroid. (See Ellipsoid)
PROLIFERATION (pro-lif-er-AY-shun) - Producing offshoots.
PROSTRATE (PROS-trate) - Lying flat on the ground.
PROTOCORM (PRO-toe-corm) - The first grown, a tuber-like body produced by a germinating orchid seed prior to the production of leaves, roots, etc.
PSEUDOBULB (SOO-do-bulb) - The solid bulbous enlargement of the stem found in many orchids. The pseudobulb functions as a water and food storage device. It does not contain concentrically arranged leaves modified for food storage.
PSEUDOBULBOUS (SOO-do-bul-bus) - Having pseudobulbs.
PUBERULENT (poo-BER-yew-lent) - Minutely downy.
PUBESCENT (pew-BES-end) - An epidermal covering of soft hair.
PULCHELLUS (pull-KEL-us) - Fair, pretty.
PUMILUS (PEW-mill-us) - Dwarf, or low-growing.
PUNCTATE (PUNK-tate) - Dotted with translucent glands or spots.
PUNCTATUS (punk-TAY-tus) - Spotted.
PYRAMIDAL (pi-RAM-i-dal) - Pyramid-shaped.
PYRIFORM (PIR-i-form) - Having the form of a pear. Pear-shaped.
QUADRATE (KWAD-rate) - Four-sided.
QUADRICORNIS (KWAD-ri-korn-is) - Four-horned.
QUADRIGENERIC (KWAD-ri-jen-er-ik) - Pertaining to four genera, primarily used to describe hybrids which contain genetic material from four different genera.
QUAQUAVERSAL (KWA-kwa-VER-sal) - Turning or dipping in any or every direction.
RACEME (ray-seem) - usually an elongate, unbranched, cluster of flowers along the main stem.
RACEMIFORM (ray-see-ma-form) - an inflorescence that appears to be a raceme.
RACEMOSE (ra-se-mos) - having stalked flowers along an elongated stem that continue to open in succession from below as the stem continues to grow; an inflorescence that has flowers that are set in a zigzag from side to side.
RACHIS (ray-kiss) - the central spine of an inflorescence.
RADIATE (ray-dee-ate) - spreading outward from a common center.
RADICAL (rad-e-cul) - arising from the root or near the nexus of the stem and root.
RAFT - a wood or tree fern plaque that is used to attach an orchid for it to root to.
RAMET (ray-met) - an individual of a clonal line.
RAMICAUL (ram-e-call) - well developed erect one leafed stems ie. Zootrophion, pleurothallis.
RECLINATE (rek-li-nate) - turned or bent down from the apex.
RECLINING - leaning backward from the vertical.
RECOMPLICATE (rek-om-pli-cate) - folded back on itself and then folded again.
RECURVED (re-curved) - curved or curled downwards or backwards.
REFLEXED (re-flex-t) - suddenly bent backwards.
REMONTANT  (ri-mon-tent) - blooming more than once in a season.
REMOTE - distant.
RENIFORM (ren-i-form) - kidney shaped.
REPENT - ground creeping and rooting at the joints.
RESUPINATE (re-soo-pin-ate) - 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. Most orchids are resupinate.
RETICULATE (re-tik-yew-lat) - net like.
RETICULATIONS (re-tik-yew-lay-shuns) - a network of veins or lines on a leaf surface.
RETINACULUM (re-ti-nak-yew-lum) - the attachment of stipitate pollina to the rostellum.
RETRACTED (re-trak-ted) - drawn back.
RETROFLEX (re-tro-fleks) - bent or turned backwards.
RETRORSE (retrorse) - turned, bent or curved away from the apex.
RETUSE (re-toos) - having the end rounded and slightly indented; as, a retuse leaf.
REVERSED - in a flower, not having a twisted pedicel, non resupinate.
REVOLUTE (rev-o-lute) - rolled backward from the tip or margins to the undersurface.
RHIZOMATOUS (rye-zo-ma-tus) - having rhizomes as its form of food storage or mode of spreading.
RHIZOME (rye-zome) - a stem that runs horizontally along, above or below the soil surface, putting out roots along its length and sending up shoots or pseudobulbs at intervals.
RHOMBIC (rom-bik) - of the lamina, nearly square with petiole at one of the acute angles.
RIB - a distinct vein or linear marking, often raised as a linear ridge
RIBBED - possessing raised veins or nerves.
RINGENT (rin-jint) - wide open and gaping.
RORIDULOUS (ror-e-due-lus) - covered with small transluscent projections giving the appearance of being dew covered.
ROSELLATE (ro-sell-it) - held in a rosette or radiating cluster of leaves.
ROSETTE (rose-ette) - a cluster of leaves growing in crowded circles from a common center or crown.
ROSTELLUM (ros-tell-lum) - a structure on the column as a little beak. A slender extension from the upper edge of the stigma.
ROSTRATE (ros-trate) - beaked, the apex narrowed into a slender, usually obtuse point
ROSTRUM (ros-trum) - a beak like extension.
ROTUND (row-tund) - rounded or curved as in an arc.
RUDIMENTARY (rhu-da-men-ta-ree) - imperfectly developed. being in the earliest stages of development
RUFESCENT (ru-fes-sent)  - reddish brown. tinged with red.
RUFOUS (roo-fus) - reddish brown.
RUGOSE (roo-gose) - uneven texture. deeply wrinkled.
RUGULOSE (roo-gue-lose) - finely wrinkled. a diminutive of rugose
RUMINATE (roo-mi-nate )- seemingly chewed on.
RUNCINATE (run-sin-ate) - having sharp teeth facing backwards.
RUPICOLUS (Rah-pik-o-lus) - growing on or among rocks.
SABULOSE (SAB-yew-lus) - Growing in or pertaining to sandy places.
SACCATE (SAK-ate) - Having the form of a sack or pouch.
SAGITTATE (SAJ-i-tate) - Elongated triangle with the two basal angles prolonged downward; shaped like an arrow.
SAPROPHYTE (SAP-row-fite) - A plant that grows on decaying vegetable matter.
SCABROUS (SCAB-rus) - Rough to the touch; having raised dots, scales or points.
SCALE (scale) - Any of the small but prolific insects of the family Coccidae, which attack orchids (or other plants).
SCALECIDE (SKAL-e-side) - A spray that is known to kill insects of the Coccidae family.
SCANDENT (SKAN-dent) - Climbing, by aerial roots or otherwise.
SCAPE (scape) - A flowering stem, usually leafless, but occasionally furnished with bracts; a peduncle arising at or beneath the surface of the ground. An erect leafless flower stalk growing directly from the ground
SCAPOSE (SKAPE-ose) - Bearing or resembling a scape.
SCARIOUS (SKAY-ri-us) - Thin, dry and membranaceous, not green.
SCIOPHYTE (SYE-o-fite) - Plant with optimum development in subdued light.
SCOBICULAR (sko-BIK-u-lar) - In fine grains like sawdust.
SCROTIFORM (SKROH-ti-form) - Pouch-shaped.
SCURFY (SKUR-fi) - Scaly.
SECTILE (SEC-til) - As though cut up into partitions, as the pollen divisions.
SECUND (SEE-kund) Borne on one side of an axis; one sided.
SEEDLING - A plant raised from seed. A young plant that has not flowered.
SEED POD - The fruit or fully ripened pedicellate ovary of the orchid after fertilization.
SEGMENT (SEG-ment) - A portion of the corolla.
SELFING The pollination of a flower by its own pollen, or pollen from another flower on the same plant.
SEMI-APERTUS (se-my-AP-er-tus) - Half open, referring to a flower.
SEMITERETE (se-my-ter-ETE) - Applied to Vanda hybrids produced by crossing of terete-leaved and strap-leaved forms.
SEPAL (SEE-pal) - One of the separate, usually green parts forming the calyx of a flower. In orchids, the three outside divisions that protect the flower.
SEPALINE (SEP-al-een) - Resembling a sepal.
SEPALOID (SEP-al-oid) - Like a sepal.
SERICEOUS (ser-ISH-us) - With the texture of silk.
SERRATE (SER-ate) - Having sharp teeth pointing forward.
SERRATUS (SER-at-us) - A flat margin, notched like a saw.
SERRULATE (SER-oo-late) - Finely serrated; having fine teeth.
SESQUIPEDALIS (ses-KWI Pe-day-lis) - A foot and half long. Very long.
SESSILE (SES-il) - Attached directly to the base; not raised upon a stalk or peduncle; without a supporting stalk. (when applied to a stigma, indicates that the style is absent, the stigma being 'sessile' on the ovary).
SETACEOUS (se-TAY-shus) - Set with or consisting of bristles.
SETIGEROUS also SETIFEROUS (se-TIJ-er-us, se-TIF-er-us) - Bearing bristles.
SETOSE (SEE-tose) - Covered with bristles, bristly.
SETULOSE (SET-oo-lose) - Having small short haris.
SHEATH - A protective leaf-like growth surrounding flower buds on some genera. Normally dries and sloughs off, when inflorescence or leaf matures.
SIGMOID (SIG-moid) - Curved in two directions, like the letter “S”.
SINUATE (SIN-yew-ate) - With a wavy margin, the indentations marked.
SINUS (SYE-nus) - The cleft or recess between two lobes.
SPATHACEOUS (spa-THAY-shus) - Having or resembling a spathe.
SPATHE (SPAY-th) - The large sheathing bract or pair of bracts enclosing the inflorescence.
SPATULATE (SPAT-yew-late) - Gradually dilated upward to a rounded apex; spoon-shaped.
SPECIES (SPEE-sheez) - A kind of plant distinct from other kinds. A group of plants carrying characteristics which distinguishes them from other plants. The second word in a scientific name. It is not capitalized. The word species is both singular and plural.
SPECIMEN PLANT (SPES-i-men) - A specimen plant is an example of cultivation to a high degree.
SPECIOSISSIMUS (speesh-i-os-ISS-I-mus) - Very handsome, uniting elegance of form and brilliance of color.
SPECIOSUS (SPEESH-i-ose-sus) - Handsome in form and color.
SPECTABILIS (spek-TAY-bi-lis, also spek-TAH-bi-lis) - Deserving notice by reason of intrinsic worth.
SPECULUM (spek-U-lum) - shiny square or U-shaped area found on the lip of some orchids.
SPHACELATED (SFAS-e-Iate-ed) - Withering or decayed.
SPHACELATUS (SFAS-ee-LAY-TUS) - Scorched; some part looking as if withered, as the psuedobulbs of Oncidium sphacelatum.
SPHAGNUM (SFAG-num) - A genus of mosses used in vegetative propagation of orchids and in some composts.
SPICATE (SPY-kate) - Having spikes, as a plant; arranged in spikes, as flowers; in the form of a spike, as an inflorescence.
SPICATUS (spy-KAY-tus) - Bearing the flowers on spikes.
SPIKE - Unbranched, elongated indeterminate inflorescence with flowers sessile on the rachis, either close together or scattered. A term sometimes used in place of ‘inflorescence’.
SPILOPTERUS (spy-LOP-ter-us) - Having spotted wings.
SPINE - Sharp outgrowth from leaf of leaf-part or a modification of an entire leaf.
SPINOSE (SPY-nose) - Having spines.
SPINOSUS (SPY-no-sus) - Having spines.
SPORE - A simple reproductive body, usually composed of a single detached cell and containing no embryo.
SPORT - A sudden, spontaneous deviation from a typical form; a mutation.
SPUR - A sac-like tubular projection from a sepal or petal, frequently secreting nectar.
SQUARROSE (SKWAR-ros) - Consisting of scales widely divaricating; having scales, small leaves, or other bodies, spreading widely from the axis on which they are crowded; -- said of a calyx or stem.
STAMEN (STAY-men) - The pollen-bearing anther and supporting filament of a flower.
STAMINATE (STAY-min-nate) - With all functional fertile parts of a flower, male. Capable of fertilizing female organs.
STAMINODE (STAY-min-ode) - A floral unit representing a sterile stamen.
STELE (STEE-lee) - The primary arrangement of a vascular system; an axial cylinder of vascular tissue.
STELIDIA (stel-ID-e-uh) - Column teeth.
STELLATE or STELLATUS (STELL-ate) - Star-shaped; giving the effect of a star.
STIGMA (STIG-ma) - That part of a pistil which receives the pollen. It is often separated from the ovary by a slender style.
STIPE (stipe) - A stalk of slender support; the stalk-like elongation of the receptacle of a flower. The supporting stalk or stemlike structure especially of a pistil or fern frond or supporting a mushroom cap
STIPITATE (STIP-i-tate) - Borne on a stipe.
STIPULE (STIP-yewl) - A lateral part of a leaf borne either near or at the base of a leaf, one on each side, or on the stem free from the leaf but originating from the leaf base.
STOLON (STOH-lun) - A shoot bending to the ground and developing adventitious roots, each section of stem and root on division capable of becoming an individual plant.
STOLONIFEROUS (STOH-lin-if-er-us) - Having stolons; trailing over the soil surface and rooting at the nodes.
STOMA (STOH-ma) - Plural: Stomata. A pore-like structure of the leaf epidermis together with the associated crescent-shaped guard cells, regulating the passage of water-vapor from the plant to the atmosphere, and the gaseous exchange during photosynthetic and respiratory processes.
STOMATIFEROUS (stoh-ma-TIF-er-us) - Bearing stomata.
STRIATE (STRY-ate) - Furrowed, streaked, striped; with the fine longitudinal lines or channels.
STRIATE-NERVED - Striped with parallel longitudinal lines or ridges.
STRIATIONS (stry-AY-shuns) - Parallel grooves like stripes.
STRIDENTICULATE (stry-den-TIK-yew-late) - Slightly toothed; grooves or stripes.
STROBILE (STROH-bile) - An inflorescence with imbricate scales like a cone.
STROBILUS (STROH-bi-lus) - A cone-like reproductive structure.
STYLE - the slender portion of a carpel, or of several fused carpels, between the stigma and the ovary.
SUBACUTE (sub-a-CUTE) - A blunt point. less than acute
SUBCAPITATE (sub- KAP-i-tate) - (less than) being abruptly enlarged and globose at the tip
SUBCORYMBOSE (sub-kor-IM-bose) - Slightly convex cluster.
SUBGLOBOSE (sub-GLOW-bos) - Not quite globose.
SUBORBICULAR (sub-or-BIK-oo-lar) - Almost circular.
SUBPANDURATE (sub-PAN-due-rate) — almost violin-shaped
SUBRENIFORM (sub-REN-i-form) - Slightly kidney-shaped.
SUBSTANCE - The quality, in evaluating an orchid flower, of firmness and durability.
SUBSTRATE (SUB-streyt) - A stationary surface upon which other things, such as roots, can attach.
SUBTRIGONOUS (SUB-trig-uh-nuhs) - almost triangular
SUBTENDED (SUB-ten-did) - Enclosed or embraced in its axil; to occupy an adjacent position to, as a bract subtending a flower.
SUBTRUNCATE (sub-TRUN-kate) - Having the end slightly square or even.
SUBULATE (SOO-bew-late) - Slender, more or less cylindrical and tapering to a point; awl-shaped.
SUCCULENT (suk-YEW-lent) - Adapted to drought tolerance by production of an extensive water absorbing root system, and a modification of aerial parts into fleshy water holding structures with a reduced transpirating surface.
SULCATE (SUL-kate) - Grooved or furrowed, longitudinally.
SUMMER-CLOUD - A coating of lime, white lead or cold water paint applied to greenhouse glass to intercept the sun's rays.
SUPERBIENS (soo-PER-bi-ens) - Becoming grand and stately.
SYMBIOSIS (sim-bi-OSE-is) - The living together of dissimilar organisms with benefit to both; example-the relationship between certain fungi and orchid seed germinating in the wild.
SYMBIOTIC (sim-bi-OT-ik) - Referring to symbiosis.
SYMPODIAL (sim-POH-di-al) - A growth that is continued by several lateral shoots; type of growth made up of successive secondary axis or growths as in Dendrobium. Orchids which grow laterally and produce leafy growths along a rhizome.
SYNSEPALUM (sin-SEP-a-lum) - The ventral part of a cypripedium flower formed by the fusion of the lateral sepals.
SYSTEMICALLY (sis-TEM-i-cal-ly) - Borne within the organism.
TAPETUM (ta-PEE-tum) - Uniseriate layer of cells formed around a pollen-mother cell and its micro-spores, serving as a nutritive tissue for them.
TAXON (TAK-son) - Botanical category relating populations of individuals with certain similarities. Major plant taxa in descending order are division, class, order, family, genus, species.
TAXONOMY (taks-ON-oh-mi) - Classification of plants according to their natural relationships.
TERATOLOGICAL (ter-at-oh-LOJ-i-kal) - Science of abnormal development.
TERETE (ter-EET) - Cylindrical or nearly so; circular in cross-section.
TERMINAL (TUR-me-nal) - Apical; produced at the end. At the apex or far end of something.
TERRESTRIAL (ter-RES-tri-al) - Growing on the ground and supported by soil.
TESSELATE (TESS-a-late) - To form small squares or blocks, to arrange in mosaic pattern; therefore netted, veined in similar pattern.
TESSELATED (TESS-el-lated) - Netted, lined, or veined. Having a checkered or mosaic pattern. Broken into small squares or bits, like floor tiles or broken tree bark.
TETRAPLOID (TET-ra-ploid) - Having four sets of chromosomes.
THALLUS (THAL-lus) - No differentiation into distinct stem, leaves, and roots.
THYRSE (thurs) - A form of mixed inflorescence, having the main axis racemose and the secondary axes cymose.
THYRSIFLORUS (THURS-i-flow-rus) - Having flowers in a thyrse or compact, clustered panicle.
TIBICINUS (ti-BIS-in-us) - Resembling a trumpet.
TOMENTOSE (to-MEN-tose) - Covered with long densely matted hairs.
TOMENTUM (to-MEN-tum) - Long, densely matted hairs.
TOROSE (taw-rohs) - cylindrical, with swellings or constrictions at intervals; having a knobby surface
TOXIN (TOKS-in) - Poison secreted by an organism.
TRANSPIRATION (tran-spi-RAY-shun) - The act or process of exhaling watery vapor from the stomata of plants.
TRAPEZIFORM (tra-PEE-zi-form) - Like a trapezium in form with four non-parallel sides.
TREE-FERN A tropical or sub-tropical fern used as a potting medium for orchids.
TRI (try) - A prefix meaning three; therefore:
Tridenticulate - three points, a trident.
Trigeneric - a plant resulting from crosses between three genera.
Trilobulate - three lobed.
TRIDENTICULATE - having 3 prongs.
TRILAMELATE (tri-LAM-el-late) - Three lipped.
TRIFIDUS (try-FI-dus) - Three cleft.
TRIPARTITE (try-PAHR-tahyt) – in three parts
TRIPLOID (TRIP-laid) - Having three sets of chromosomes, often infertile.
TRIQUETROUS (try-KWEE-trus) - Having three acute angles; triangular.
TRULLA (TROO-la) - Trowel-shaped.
TRULLIFERUS (troo-LIF-er-us) - Trowel-bearing.
TRULLIFORM (TROO-li-form) - Trowel-shaped.
TRUNCATE (TRUN-kate) - Having the end square or even as if cut off.
TRUNCATUS (TRUN-ka-tus) - Terminating abruptly.
TUBER (TOO-ber) - Thickened underground branch of stem.
TUBERCLES (TOO-ber-k'ls) - A tuberous root which bears adventitious buds.
UBIQUITUS (yew-BIK-wi-tus) - Growing in all types of habitat.
UMBEL (UM-bel) - Inflorescence with pedicellate flowers arising from a common point of the floral axis.
UMBELLATE (UM-bell-ate) - Arranged in an umbel or resembling an umbel.
UMBELLATUS (UM-bell-AY-tus) - Having flowers in an umbel.
UNCINATE (un-sin-ate) - Bearing short hook-like process at the apex.
UNDULATE (UN-du-late) - With wavy margin or surface.
UNDULATUS (UN-doo-late-us) - Wavy.
UNGUICULATE (un-GWIK-ya-lit) - Tapering below into a claw or stalk-like base.
UNICORNIS (YEWN-i-korn-is) - One-horned.
UNIFLORUS (yew-ni-FLOR-ris) - One-flowered, or having single-flowered peduncles.
UNIFOLIATE (YEW-ni-FOH-li-ate) - Having only one leaf.
UNISEXUAL (YEW-ni-sek-shu-al) - Of one sex, as a flower in which only one sex is present or functional.
URCEOLATE (UR-si-a-late) - Shaped like a pitcher (urn); swelling out like the body of a pitcher and contracted at the orifice, as a corolla.
VARIETAL (va-RYE-et-al) - Pertaining to or having the character of a variety or sub-species.
VARIETY (va-RYE-a-ti) - A plant having minor characteristics or variations which separate it from the type species.
VEIN (vane) - Strand of conducting tissue (vascular bundle) forming an interconnectting system of water and solute exchange throughout the leaf and continuous with the stem.
VELAMEN (ve-LAY-min) - The thick spongy epidermis covering the aerial roots of epiphytic orchids which helps prevent water loss and aids in absorption.
VELAMENTOUS (vel-a-MEN-tus) - Resembling or having a velamen.
VELATED (VEE-lay-ted) - Veiled.
VELUTINUS (ve-LOO-ti-nus) - Covered with a fine and dense silky pubescence; velvety, soft.
VENTRAL (VEN-tral) - Of or designating the lower or inner surface, as of a petal, etc.
VENTRICOSE (VEN-tra-kose) - Swelling out, especially on one side or unequally; protuberant; bellied, inflated.
VERNAL (VUR-nal) - Appearing in the spring.
VERNATION (ver-NAY-shun) - The disposition of the foliage leaves within the bud.
VERNICOSE (VER-ni-kose) - Shiny as though varnished.
VERRUCOSE (VER-oo-kose) - Covered with wart-like elevations; warted.
VERRUCULOSE (VER-uh-coo-los) - minutely warted
VERTICIL (VER-ti-sil) - A circle of foliar organs, flowers or inflorescences about the same point on the axis; a whorl.
VERTICILLATE (ver-TIS-il-late) - Arranged in a transverse whorl like the spokes of a wheel.
VESICLE (VES-i-kal) - A small bladder or air cavity.
VESTIGIAL (ves-TIj-i-al) - Rudimentary; imperfectly developed or under developed.
VEXILLARIUS (veks-i-LAR-i-us) - Showy, like a banner, from 'vexillum', the flag or standard carried by ancient Roman soldiers.
VIABILITY (vye-a-BIL-i-ti) - The possibility of growth.
VIABLE (VYE-a-b'l) - Capable of development; as germination of seed.
VILLOSUS (vil-OH-sus) - Shaggy; clothed with long soft hair.
VILLOUS (VIL-us) - Pubescent with soft and not matted hair.
VIRENS (VYE-renz) - Fresh looking; lively green.
VIRESCENS (vye-RES-enz) - State of being green through development of chloroplasts in organs normally white or colored; having a tendency to turn green.
VIRGATE (VUR-gate) - Long straight and slender; having form of a rod; wand-shaped.
VIRGATUS (vur-GAH-tus) - Twiggy.
VIRUS (VYE-rus) - A submicroscopic organic particle associated with disease of plants, shown to retain capacity for re-infection of plant tissue, transmissible by physical contact, by grafting, through soil and by insect vector, several forms of which affect certain kinds of orchids.
VISCID (VIS-id) - Sticky; glutinous; having the properties of glue, adhesive, gluey, glutinous, gummy, mucilaginous, pasty, sticky, viscous.
VISICIDIUM (VIS-sid-ee-um) - sticky substance in flowers that allows pollen to attach to or be removed from the pollinating insect.
VIVIPARY (vi-VIP-a-ri) - Germination of seed before abscission of its fruit.
VITTATE (vit-TATE) - Striped longitudinally.
VITTATUS (vit-TAY-tus) - Banded; marked with longitudinal stripes.
VITELLIN (vi-TEL-in) - Any of several related substances in the seeds of plants.
VULCANICUS (vul-KAN-i-kus) - Growing on the sides of a volcano.
WARM HOUSE - A growing house for tropical plants usually kept above 60°F.
WHORL (wurl) - Radical group of leaves or flowers at a node, or the sterile and fertile parts of a flower arising from receptacle in cyclic manner.
WILDING - Any plant that grows wild or lives in a state of nature; not tame, domesticated, or cultivated.
WING - Thin, dry or membranous expansion of an organ or part.
WOUND HORMONE - A specific growth substance released from injured cells of a wounded tissue which stimulates activity of un-injured cells to initiate new growth.
XANTHIN (ZAN-thin) - A yellow insoluble coloring matter extracted from yellow flowers.
XANTHOPHYLL (zan-thow-FILL) - A yellow crystalline pigment related to carotene, found in leaves most of the time, but only revealed when chlorophyll is absent. The yellow in fall leaves becomes evident when chlorophyll is destroyed by the environmental changes (changes in light intensity or cooler temperatures).
XAXIM (ZAKS-im) - Brazilian term for tree fern and for fiber from it.
XENOGAMY (zee-NOG-a-mi) - Cross fertilization.
XERIC (ZIR-ik) - Adapted to arid conditions.
XEROPHYTE (ZIR-a-fite) - A plant adapted for growth under dry conditions.
XIPHIFOLIUS (zi-fi-FOH-li-us) - Iris leaved, sword-like.
XYLEM (ZYE-leem) - The water and mineral solute conducting, and supporting tissue system of vascular plants. A tissue that conveys water from the roots up the stem and furnishes support to the plant.
ZYGOMORPHIC (ZYE-go-MOR-fik) - Flowers which are divisible into equal halves in one plane only. Having only one vertical plane of symmetry (nearly all orchids).
ZYGOTE (ZYE-goat) - Any spore formed by the conjunction of two gametes; loosely a zygospore.