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. Most of these terms have been published by
TheAmerican Orchid Sociey (AOS), and may be found on their web site.
Learning these terms, and their pronunciation, will enhance your appreciation, understanding. and ability to communicate with others.

Bletia ensifolia Clowesia russelliana Meiracyllium wendlandii
Definitions A-F Definitions M-R Definitions S-Z Color Definitions

Definitions G thru L

G  H  I  J  K  L

Pronunciation Key

Pronunciation is based on the many variations of sound found in regional dialects both within a country and internationally. Pronunciation of the same Latin word by Americans, British, Italians, Spaniards, Japanese, etc. can sometimes be difficult to interpret. Below are vowels listed first, followed by a few consonants. With this guide, you should have little difficulty in sounding out the syllables as shown in the pronunciation guide.

Most terminology in this glossary, with the exception a few common English words, have a pronunciation guide in parentheses immediately following the word. In some cases alternate pronunciation is also shown.  Each syllable is separated by a hyphen. Syllables printed in CAPITALS are stressed, that is, the accent falls on these, while lower case syllables are not stressed.

a = a as in about
ab = ab as in absent
ad = ad as in advertise
af = af as in after
ag = ag as in aggravate
ah = a as in star
ak = ac as in active
al = al as in altitude
all = all as in fall
am = am as in amber
an = an as in ant
aw = aw as in saw
ay = ay as in say
i = i as in it
e = e as in often
ee = ee as in see
eh = e as in pet
eye = i as in pie
ew = ew as in few
o = o as in offer
oh = o as in bone
oo = oo as in soon
ow = ow as in how
oy = oy as in boy
u = u as in butter
uh - u as in medium
ff = ff as in stuff
g = g as in good
j = g as in ginger
k = k as in kite
s = s as in sing
ss = ss as in kiss
th = th as in thin
z = z as in zebra

For Latinized words the gender endings are also shown.

GALEATE (GAY-le-ate) - Helmet shaped.
GALEATUS, –a, -um (gal-ee-AY-tus) - Helmet-shaped; galeate.
GAMETAL (GAM-e-tal) - Pertaining to or the nature of a gamete.
GAMETE (GAM-ete) or (GAM-eet) - A sexual cell or germ cell. One of the sex-cells, either sperm or egg.
GAMETOPHYTE (GAM-e-to-FYTE) - In the alternation of generations in plants, that generation or phase which bears sex organs.
GAMOPETALUS (gam-oh-PET-a-lus) - Having a corolla of one piece; petals united.
GAMOPHYLLOUS (GAM-oh-FILL-us) - Having the leaves united
GAMOSEPALOUS (gam-oh-SEP-a-lus) - Having the calyx of one piece; sepals united.
GELIDUS, -a, -um (JEL-i-dus) - From icy-cold regions.
GELRITE (JELL-ryte) - One of several synthetic agars used to gel media used in micropropagation.
GEMINATE (JEM-i-nate) - In pairs; twin.
GEMINATUS, -a, -um (jem-i-NAY-tus) - In pairs; twin; geminate.
GEMMA (JEM-a) - A bud; particularly a bud or bud-like structure by which a plant propagates.
GEMMULE (JEM-yewl) - A little bud or bud-like structure.
GENE (jeen) - A portion of a chromosome that is a physical unit concerned with the transmission and development of a hereditary character(s). The self duplicating unit of inheritance located in chromosomes, 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.
GENERATION - Period from fertilization to death; the epoch from a 1-celled stage of a plant to the next 1-celled stage.
GENERIC (jen-AIR-ik) or (je-NER-ik) - Of or pertaining to a genus
GENETICS (je-NET-iks) - The study and science of heredity and variation; (singular), pertaining to genesis or origin.
GENICULATE (je-NIK-yew-late) - Knot or joint; bent abruptly at an angle.
GENICULATUS, -a, -um (je-nik-yew-LAY-tus) - Bent abruptly, like a knee; geniculate.
GENOME (JEE-nohm) - The set of chromosomes containing all the inherited traits.
GENOMES (JE-nomes) - Complete set of chromosomes inherited from one parent as a unit. A group of characters handed down from plant to plant.
GENOTYPE (JEE-noh-type) - The fundamental hereditary makeup of an organism.
GENUS (JEE-nus) - (pl. genera) A closely related group of plants. The first, and capitalized, word in a scientific name of a plant. A subdivision of a family consisting of one or more species that show similar characteristics and have an assumed common ancestry.
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.
GERM CELLS - Cell types that give to or are the reproductive cells (e.g., pollen or egg) -
GERMAN PEAT MOSS - A coarse, chunky peat moss used in potting media to retain moisture without significantly decreasing aeration.
GERMINATION (JER-MI-nay-SHUN) or (jur-min-ay-shun) - The unfolding of the embryo and self establishment of the plantlet. The development of an embryo into a plantlet or individual plant.
GIBBOSUS, -a, -um (gib-BOH-sus) - Protuberant or swollen on one side; gibbous.
GIBBOUS (GIB-us) - Protuberant or swollen on one side.
GIGANTEUS, -a, -um (jye-gan-TEE-us) - Greatly exceeding its congeners in size and stature; extremely large; gigantic.
GIGAS (JYE-gas) - A giant, in allusion to size, either of plant or flower.
GLABRATE (GLAY-brate) - Hairy at first but losing hair with increasing age.
GLABRATUS, -a, -um (glab-RAY-tus) - Nearly glabrous, or becoming glabrous with maturity or age; smooth; glabrate.
GLABROUS (GLAY-brus) - Free from hair or down, smooth skinned. Smooth, having a surface without hairs or projections
GLADIATE (GLAD-i-ate) - Having sword-shaped foliage.
GLADIATUS, -a, -um (glad-ee-AY-tus) - Having sword-shaped foliage; swordlike; gladiate.
GLAND - Properly, a secreting part or prominence of appendage, but often used in the sense of gland-like.
GLANDULAR (gland-U-lahr) - Bearing glands or of the nature of a gland; pertaining to or resembling a gland.
GLANDULIFEROUS (gland-U-lih-FUR-us) - Having glands.
GLAUCESCENT (glaw-sess-ent) - Being glaucous.
GLAUCOPHYLLUS, -a, -um (glaw-koh-FILL-us) - Having grayish or bluish-green leaves; having a bloom on the leaves.
GLAUCOUS (GLAU-kus) - Covered with bluish-gray, bluish-green or whitish bloom of wax; a sea-green color, coated with a waxy powder.
GLAUCUS, -a, -um (GLAW-kus) - Covered with a bluish-gray, bluish-green, or whitish bloom; glaucous.
GLENION (gl-NEE-on) – eyelike.
GLOBOSE (GLOW-bose) - Nearly spherical; Rounded or spherical shape.
GLOBOSUS, -a, -um (gloh-BOH-sus) - Nearly spherical; round; globose.
GLOCHID (gloh-kid) - A barbed hair; a bristle.
GLOMERATE (GLOM-er-ate) - Gathered together in a compact cluster.
GLOMERATUS, -a, -um (gloh-mer-RAY-tus) - In dense or compact clusters; glomerate.
GLOMERULE (GLOM-er-rool) - An inflorescence consisting of a cyme (a cluster of flowers opening from the center outward) - growing at the end of its own stalk.
GLORIOSUS, -a, -um (glow-ri-OH-sus) - Renowned, illustrious, very beautiful; superb, glorious.
GLUMACEOUS (gloo-MAY-shus) - Chaffy in texture.
GLUMACEUS, -a, -um (gloo-MAY-see-us) - Chaffy in texture or resembling the awns of wheat; having glumes; glumaceous.
GLUME (gloom) - A small chaff-like bract; in particular, one of the two empty bracts at the base of the grass spikelet.
GLUTINOSUS, -a, -um (gloo-tin-OH-sus) - Covered with a sticky exudation; glutinous.
GLUTINOUS (GLOO-ti-nus) - With a sticky or adhesive surface; with a sticky exudate.
GRACILIS, -e (gracile) (GRASS-i-lus) or (GRAS-ill-is) (GRAS-il) - slender and graceful.
GRAMINIFOLIUS, -a, -um (GRAM-i-ni-FOLE-ius) or (gram-i-ni-FOH-lee-us)  - Having grass-like leaves.
GRANDIFLORUS, -a, -um (grand-di-FLORE-us) (grand-i-FLOOR-us)  - Having flowers large in comparison with others of the genus.
GRANDIFOLIUS, -a, -um (GRAN-di-FOLE-i-us) or (grand-i-FOH-lee-us) - Having leaves larger than others of the genus.
GRANDIS, -e (GRAND-is) - Big, great, showy, imposing; grand.
GRANULOSE (GRAN-yew-lose) - Composed of or appearing as if covered by minute grains.
GRANULOSUS, -a, -um (gran-yew-LOH-sus) - Composed of or appearing as if covered by minute grains; granulose.
GRATISSIMUS, -a, -um (grat-ISS-i-mus) - Very agreeable; pleasing.
GRAVEOLENS (grav-ee-OH-lenz) or (gra-VEE-o-lens) - Strong smelling; heavy-scented; rank.
GREEN POD - A horticultural expression for seed capsules that are harvested prior to their dehiscence, allowing surface sterilization of the fruit and sowing of still immature embryos.
GREGARIOUS (gri-gair-ee-uhs) - Growing together in clusters or colonies; synchronous flowering in orchids, such as some Dendrobium and Thrixspermum.
GREGES (GRE-geez) – Plural of grex; also grexes.
GREX (greks) - All siblings of the same seed cross. A flock or group, applied collectively to the offspring of a given cross. (plural - GREGES
GROSSUS, -a, -um (GROH-sus) - Very large.
GUATEMALENSIS, -e (gwat-i-ma-LEN-sis) - A native of Guatemala.
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.
GUTTATUS, -a, -um (gut-TAY-tus) - Spotted; speckled with small dots; guttate.
GYMNOS (JIM-nose) - In Greek compounds signifying "naked" or not covered, as Gymnosperms, with naked seeds (not in a pericarp).
GYNANDROUS (jye-NAN-drus) - Junction of stamens and style. With the stamens borne on the pistil and united in one organ, as in the orchids.
GYNOECIUM (jye-NEE-see-um) - The female or pistil-bearing part of the flower. See androecium.
GYNOSTEMIUM (JIN-oh-stee-mi-um) or (jye-noh-STEM-ee-um) - Column-like structure formed by fusion of stamens to style and stigma, a characteristic of the family Orchidaceae.

HABIT - The characteristic form, aspect or mode of growth of a plant.
HABITAT - The kind of locality in which a plant normally grows.
HAIRS - A general name (technically known as trichomes) for many kinds of small and slender outgrowths on the parts of plants; special kinds of hairiness are designated as setose, villous, comose, pubescent, hirsute, etc.
HALOPHYTE (HAL-uh-fayt) - Plants growing in saline soil.
HAMATE (HAY-mayt) - Hook-shaped; having a hooklike process.
HAPLOID (HAP-loid) - With a single set of unpaired chromosomes in the nucleus. An individual or cell with only a single set of chromosomes. (n) - The characteristic chromosome number of the gametes.
HAPUU (HAH-poo) or (hah-POO-oo) - Hawaiian term for tree-fern fiber.
HARPOPHYLLUS, -a, -um (har-poh-FILL-us) - Having sickle-shaped leaves.
HASTATE (HAS-tate) - Of leaves, triangular with the basal angles or lobes spreading.
HASTATUS, -a, -um (has-TAY-tus) - Like an arrowhead; spear-shaped; hastate.
HASTILABIUS, -a, -um (has-ti-LAY-bee-us) - With a spear-shaped lip.
HEAD - A short dense spike; capitulum.
HELICOID (HEL-i-koyd) - Twisted or coiled in snail-shell form.
HELIOTROPISM (hee-lee-o-TROPE-ism) - The characteristic of turning toward the light.
HEMI- - in Greek compounds, a prefix signifying "half."
HEMIEPIPHYTE (hem-ee-EPP-i-fyte) - A plant, such as Vanilla, whose life history includes both terrestrial and epiphytic phases.
HEPTA- (HEHP-ta) - In Greek compounds, a prefix signifying "seven."
HERB (erb) - A plant with no persistent woody stem above ground.
HERBACEOUS (her-BAY-shus) - Without woody tissue, green and succulent.
HERBACEUS, -a, -um (her-BAY-see-us) - Herblike; not woody; green and succulent; herbaceous.
HERBARIUM (her-BAIR-ee-um) - A collection of dried (or otherwise preserved) - plant specimens, annotated and identified, and systematically arranged.
HERBARIUM SHEET - A paper with a prepared and dried plant specimen used for identification.
HERBARIUM SPECIMEN (her-BAIR-ee-um speh-SIH-men) - A dried preserved plant mounted on a sheet of paper, synonymous with a herbarium sheet, also applied to associated research collections such as spirit-preserved flowers.
HERBICIDE (her-bih-SIDE) - The class of chemicals that is used to destroy plants.
HERMAPHRODITE (her-MAF-ra-dite) or (her-MAF-roh-dyte) - A flower having both the male and female organs, characteristics or attributes of both sexes, hence, perfect.
HERMAPHRODITIC (her-maf-roh-DIT-ik) or (her-maf-ro-DI-tic) - Pertaining to hermaphrodite; with the 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, -a, -um (HET-er-oh-KAR-pus) - Having variable or various kinds of seed-pods.
HETEROGAMOUS (het-er-OG-a-muss) - With two or more kinds or forms of flowers.
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.
HETEROZYGOUS (het-er-oh-ZY-guss) - Pertaining to an individual that has inherited different alleles for a gene from each parent.
HEXAPLOID (HEKS-ah-ployd) - Having six sets of chromosomes (6N).
HIEMALIS (See hyemalis)
HIPPOCREPIFORM (HIP-po-CREP-i-form) or (hip-ah-KRIP-ih-form) - Shaped like a horseshoe.
HIRSUTE (HIR-soot) - Covered with long, rather coarse or stiff hairs.
HIRSUTISSIMUS, -a, -um (her-soo-TISS-eh-muss) - Most hairy; very hairy.
HISPID (HIS-pid) - With rigid or bristly hairs or with bristles.
HISPIDULUS, -a, -um (hiss-PID-yew-lus) - Somewhat or minutely hispid; hispidulous.
HISPIDUS, -a, -um (HISS-pid-us) - Beset with rigid or bristly hairs or with bristles; hispid.
HOARY (HOHR-ee) - Covered with a close white or whitish pubescence.
HOLOPHYLETIC (HOHL-oh-fy-let-ick) - Cladistic term referring to a phylogenetic group that is both monophyletic (from one ancestor) - and includes all derivatives from that one ancestor.
HOLOTYPE (hole-oh-TYPE) - The specimen that was used for the original genus description.
HOLOMYCOTROPHIC (hole-oh-MY-ko-tro-pic) - deriving its nutrition solely from a mycorrhizal symbiosis.
HOMO-  - in Greek compounds, a prefix signifying "alike" or "very similar."
HOMOCARPOUS (ho-moh-KAR-pus) - All the fruits, as of a flower head, alike.
HOMOGAMOUS (ho-MOG-ah-mus) - Having flowers that do not differ sexually.
HOMOLOGOUS (ho-MAHL-oh-gus) - Corresponding in origin and in type of structure, but not necessarily in function. (See analogous)
HOMOMORPHOUS (hoh-moh-MOR-fus) - Uniform; all the given parts alike; possessing perfect flowers of only one kind.
HOMONYM (HOM-oh-nim) - A scientific name that is has already been used by its earlier application to a different entity of the same type and hence untenable under the rules of taxonomic priority. For instance the use of Carria to describe a genus of orchids since the name has previously been used to describe another genus in the plant world.
HOMOZYGOUS (hoh-moh-ZYE-gus) - An individual that possesses the same two alleles for a particular gene.
HORMONE - A chemical produced in one part of the body and transported to another area of the body where it affects growth and development.
HORNY - Hard and dense in texture; corneous.
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. The condition of dampness; the percentage of water vapor in the air out of the total amount capable of being contained at the same temperature
HUMIFUSE (hum-ih-fuse) - Spreading over the ground. Procumbent.
HUMILIS, -e (HEW-mi-lis) - Low growing; more dwarf than most of its kind.
HUMUS (HEW-mus) - Finely divided organic matter from decomposed vegetable litter together with the mineral material from which it is incorporated in the soil. Decomposing organic matter in the soil.
HYACINTHINUS, -a, -um (hye-a-sin-THYE-nus) - Resembling a hyacinth.
HYALINE (HYE-a-lin) or (HYE-a-leen)  - Glassy, , translucent when viewed in transmitted light; almost like clear glass, rarely transparent.
HYBRID (HYE-brid) - Result of a cross between two plants not of the same variety. The offspring resulting from the union of a species or hybrid with another species or hybrid.
HYBRID SWARM - A cross between two species that becomes fertile and breeds true, imitating a true species.
HYBRIDIZATION (HYE-brid-eye-ZA-shun) - Causing the production of hybrids by crossing different species or varieties.
HYDROPHYTE (hye-druh-fahyt) - Said of plants growing near water.
HYDROPONICS (hye-droh-PON-iks) - A soiless method of growing plants, using nutrient solutions and an inorganic supporting medium.
HYEMALIS, -e (hye-em-AY-lis) - Of winter; flowering in winter. (Also spelled hiemalis)
HYGROSCOPIC (hye-groh-SKOP-ik) - Capable of absorbing moisture from the atmosphere.
HYPANTHIUM (hip-AN-thi-um) - a floral cup or tube.
HYPERBOREUS, -a, -um (hye-per-BOR-ee-us) - Far northern.
HYPHAE (HYE-fee) - The cylindrical threadlike filaments that constitute the vegetative body of a fungus.
HYPHAEMATICUS, -a, -um ((hye-fee-MA-ti-kus) - Blood red underneath.
HYPOCHILE (HYE-po-kile) - The lower part of the labellum in certain orchids. The lower or basal part of the compound lip in some orchids; also hypochilium.
HYPOGAEOUS (hye-puh-JEE-uhs) - Growing underground.
HYSTRIX (HISS-triks) - Bristly; like a porcupine.

IGNEUS, -a, -um Fiery color, red; igneous.
ILLUSTRIS, -e (ill-LUS-tris) - Brilliant; lustrous.
IMBRICATE (Im-bri-kate) - Leaves arranged so as to overlap, like roofing tiles or shingles, or fish scales.
IMBRICATUS, -a, -um (im-bree-KAY-tus) - Overlapping, like shingles on a roof, either vertically or spirally; imbricate.
IMMACULATUS, -a, -um (im-mak-yew-LAY-tus) - Spotless; immaculate.
IMMARGINATE (im-MAR-ji-nayt) - Without a rim or edge; lacking a definite margin.
IMMERSUS, -a, -um (im-MER-sus) - Entirely under water.
IMPERFECT - Said of a flower that has either stamens or pistils but not both.
IMPLEXUS, -a, -um (im-PLEKS-us) - Tangled; interlaced; implexuous.
IMPREGNATION (im-preg-NAY-shun) - Fecundation or fertilization of the ovule by the pollen; also the infiltration of substances.
IMPRESSUS, -a, -um (im-PRESS-us) - Deeply nerved; furrowed or grooved as if by pressure.
IN VITRO (in-VEE-tro) - Biological processes and reactions under artificially controlled conditions outside of the organism. Living organism observable in an artificial environment (such as a test tube) theoretically simulating the organism's natural habitat.
IN VIVO (in-VEE-vo) - Biological processes and reactions within a living organism.
INAEQUALIS, -e (in-ee-KWAY-lis) - Unequal; having unequal parts.
INCANUS, -a, -um (in-KAY-nus) - Hoary; quite gray; incanescent; canescent.
INCARNATUS, -a, -um (in-kar-NAY-tus) - Flesh-colored.
INCERTUS, -a, -um (in-SER-tus) - Doubtful; uncertain.
INCISED (in-SIZ'D) - With margins cut into deep sharp irregular teeth.
INCISUS, -a, -um (in-SYE-sus) - Deeply and irregularly cut; incised.
INCLUDED - Not protruding from the surrounding segments.
INCOMPUTUS, -a, -um (in-KOMP-tus) - Unadorned.
INCORRECT NAMES - Names that are not in conformity with all requisite provisions of the International Codes of Nomenclature.
INCRASSATE (in-KRAS-sate) or (in-KRASS-ayt) - Thickened or swollen.
INCRASSATUS, -a, -um (in-krass-AY-tus) - Thickened; incrassate.
INCUMBENT (in-KUM-bent) - Resting or leaning upon another organ.
INCURVUS, -a, -um (in-KER-vus) - Crooked, bent; curved inward.
INDEFINITE (in-def-ih-nit) - Very numerous, as above 20; see "definite."
INDEHISCENT (in-dee-HISS-ent) - Not opening by valves, etc.; remaining persistently closed.
INDETERMINATE (in-dee-TUR-min-ate) - Of indefinite or protracted growth as an axis of an inflorescence not terminated by a terminal flower. Growing on from the apex, particularly of the main axis.
INDIGEN (IN-di-jen) - A plant that is indigenous or native to a specific area.
INDIGENOUS (in-DI-jen-us) or (in-DIJ-en-us) - Native to a country or area; not introduced. Part of the original natural flora of a region (but not necessarily endemic). Not introduced
INDIVISUS, -a, -um (in-div-EYE-sus) - Undivided.
INDUMENT (in-DEW-ment) - Any pubescent or hairy covering
INDUPLICATE (in-DEW-pli-kayt) - With margins folded inward.
INDURATE (IN-doo-rate) - Hard, hardened.
INDURATUS, -a, -um (in-dew-RAY-tus) - Hard, hardened.
INFERIOR – Below, beneath, lower. As an inferior ovary, one that is below the attachment of the petals and sepals.
INFLATUS, -a, -um (in-FLAY-tus) - Blown up; bladdery; swollen; inflated.
INFLEXED (in-FLEXD) - Bent or turned abruptly inwards or downwards.
INFLORESCENCE (in-flo-RES-ens) or (in-floor-ESS-ents) - The general arrangement and disposition of the flowers on an axis; the mode of flowering; The flowering part of a plant. The arrangement in which flowers are borne on a plant.
INFRA- (IN-frah) - In combinations, a prefix signifying "below."
INFRASTIGMATIC (in-fra-stig-MAT-ik) - Below the stigma.
INFUNDIBULIFORMIS, -e (in-fund-dib-yew-li-FORM-is) - Funnel-form, trumpet-shaped; infundibuliform.
INFUNDIBULAR (in-fun-DIB-yew-lar) – Shaped like a funnel.
INFUNDIBULUM (in-fun-DIB-yew-lum) - A funnel.
INHIBITION (in-hi-BISH-un) - Suppression of a phase or growth or development.
INNATE (in-nayt) - Borne at the apex of the supporting part.
INODORUS, -a, -um (in-oh-DOOR-us) - Scentless; without a scent.
INSCRIPTUS, -a, -um (in-SKRIP-tus) - Marked, as if with letters; inscribed.
INSECTICIDE (in-sekt-ih-SIDE) - The class of chemicals that is used to attack insects.
INSERTED (in-sir-ted) - Attached; as a stamen growing on the corolla.
INSIGNIS, -e (in-SIG-nis) - Noble, admirable, conspicuous, distinguished.
INTEGER, -gra, -grum (IN-tej-er) - Entire.
INTER-  - Prefix meaning between.
INTERFOLIACEOUS (in-ter-foll-EE-AY-shuss) - Between the leaves of a pair.
INTERGENERIC (in-ter-jen-NAIR-ik) - Between or among two or more genera.
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).
INTERMEDIUS, -a, -um (in-ter-MEE-dee-us) - Halfway between two other things; intermediate in color, form or habit.
INTERNODE (IN-ter-nohd) - That portion of a stem between two nodes or joints.
INTERRUPTUS, -a, -um (in-ter-RUPP-tus) - Not continuous, as with scattered leaves or flowers; interrupted.
INTERSPECIFIC (in-ter-speh-SIFF-ik) - Between or among two or more species.
INTORTED (in-TORT-ed) - Twisted upon or around itself.
INTORTUS, -a, -um (in-TORT-us) - Twisted upon or around itself.
INTRA- (in-tra) - A prefix meaning within.
INTRAMARGINAL (in-tra-mar-GIN-ahl) - Just within the margin or edge; between the margins.
INTRODUCED - Brought from another region, either intentionally or otherwise; in horticulture, used to designate the intentional bringing of plants into cultivation either from another country or from the wild.
INTRODUCTION (in-tro-DUK-shun) - An exotic plant introduced by man or other agency from its native region to another area.
INTRORSE (in-TRORS) - Turned inwards or towards the axis.
INTRORSUS, -a, -um (in-TROR-sus) - Turned or faced inward or toward the axis; introrse.
INVERTED - Turned over; end-for-end; topside down.
INVOLUTE (IN-voh-lute) - Rolled inward at the margin or edge; said of a flat body (as a leaf). Said of foliage leaves in vernation or of floral leaves in aestivation. - See "revolutus."
IRIDIFOLIUS, -a, -um (eye-rid-i-FOH-lee-us) - Iris-leaved.
IRREGULAR - Showing inequality in the size, form or union of its similar parts.
IRRORATUS (IR-o-rate-us) - Dewy; moistened or sprinkled with dew.
IRRORATUS, -a, -um (ir-ror-AY-tus) - Dewy; moistened, sprinkled with dew; irrorate.
ISOZYME (eye-so-zyme) - Different forms of the same enzyme that have slightly different activities; used in chemotaxonomy.
ISTHMUS (IS-muhs) - A narrowed portion of a part or segment of a flower. A connecting part, especially when narrow or joining structures larger than itself.
IXIOIDES (iks-ee-OY-deez) - Resembling plants of the African genus Ixia in the Iridaceae.

JAPONICUS, -a, -um (ja-PON-ik-us) - Native of Japan; Japanese.
JAVANICUS, -a, -um (ja-VAN-ik-us) - Native of Java; Javanese.
JOINTED - having nodes, or points of real or apparent divisions  or articulation along the stem or psuedobulb.
JUGOSUS, -a, -um (joo-GOH-sus) - Furrowed, lipped; mountainous; connected or yoked.
JUNCIFOLIUS, -a, -um (jun-ki-FOH-lee-us) - Rush-leaved.

KARYOLOGY (cair-ee-OLL-oh-gee) - The science of studying chromosome morphology.
KARYOTYPE (CAIR-ee-oh-type) - The morphologic type or characterization of the chromosome complement.
KEEL - A central dorsal ridge, like the keel of a boat. Any ridge-like process.
KEELED - Of leaves or bracts, folded and ridged along the midrib. Provided with a keel
KEIKI (KAY-i-ki) or (KAY-kee)  - Hawaiian term to signify an off-shoot or off-set from a plant. Used when referring to Dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis, or Vandaceous orchids.
KEY - A series of paired, contrasting statements used to facilitate identification.

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.
LABIATUS, -a, -um (lah-bee-AY-tus) - Large-lipped; having a lip; labiate.
LABYRINTHIFORMIS, -e (lab-i-rin-thee-FORM-iss) - With intricate winding lines or passages; labyrinthine.
LACERATUS, -a, -um (la-ser-RAY-tus) - Torn; irregularly cleft or cut; lacerate.
LACINIATE (la-SIN-i-ate) - Slashed; cut into narrow pointed segments.
LACINIATUS, -a, -um (la-sin-ee-AY-tus) - Slashed; cut into narrow pointed segments; laciniate.
LACTESCENS (lak-TESS-senz) - Containing milk or a milklike substance; lactescent.
LACUNOSUS, -a, -um (lak-yew-NO-sus) - Having holes or empty places; deeply pitted; lacunose.
LAEVIGATUS, -a, -um (lay-vig-AY-tus) - Having a smooth, polished surface.
LAMELLA (la-MEL-la) - A thin flat plate or laterally flattened ridge; (pl. lamellae) -
LAMELLAE (la-MEL-eye) - Scales or appendages at the base of a petal in some corolllas; like gills of a fish or mushroom.
LAMELLATE (LAM-el-layt) - Provided with lamellae.
LAMINA (LAM-i-na) or (LAM-in-ah) - 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. (See blade)
LAMINAR (LAM-i-nar) - Thin and flat, resembling a leaf blade.
LAMINATUS, -a, -um (lam-i-NATE-us) or (lam-i-NAY-tus) - 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.
LANCEOLATUS, -a, -um (lan-see-oh-LAY-tus) - Shaped like the head of a lance; spear-shaped; narrow and tapering toward the apex or toward each end; lanceolate.
LANUGINOSE (la-NEW-ji-nose) - Covered with down or soft fine hair.
LANUGINOUS, -a, -um (lan-oo-jin-OH-sus) - Woolly or cottony; covered with soft, downy hairs; lanuginose.
LAPIDOSE (LAP-i-dose) - Found in stony places.
LASIOGLOSSUS, -a, -um (LA-sii-o-GLOS-sus) or (lay-zee-oh-GLOSS-us) - Woolly tongued; having a rough or hairy lip..
LATERAL (LAT-er-al) - On or at the side of. "the lateral branches of a tree shot out sidelong the boughs."
LATERIALIS, -e (la-ter-AY-lis) - On or at the side of; lateral.
LATEX - The milky sap found in some plants.
LATH HOUSE - A lattice-work structure that provides broken shade for orchids grown outdoors in warm or frost-free climates or seasons.
LATIFOLIOUS (LAT-i-FOH-li-us) - Broad lobed.
LATIFOLIUS, -a, -um (lat-i-FOH-lee-us) - Broad-leaved.
LATILABRUS, -a, -um (lat-i-LAY-brus) - Broad-lipped.
LATILOBA (lat-i-LOW-ba) - Broad lobed.
LAX - Open or loose, not dense.
LAXUS, -a, -um (LAKS-us) - Loose or open, usually applied to flower spikes.
LEAD (Leed) - A new terminal bud that will grow into a new pseudobulb.
LEAFLET (LEEF-let) - One part of a compound leaf; secondary leaf.
LEAF-STALK (LEEF-stawk) - The stem of a leaf; petiole.
LECTOTYPE (lek-TOE-type) - A specimen chosen by subsequent workers in taxonomy when no holotype was designated or when the original holotype was lost or destroyed.
LEGITIMATE NAME - A name that is in accordance with the articles of the International Codes of Nomenclature.
LENTICULARIS, -e (len-tik-yew-LAY-ris) - Lentil-shaped; lens-shaped; lenticular.
LENTIGINOSUS, -a, -um (len-tij-in-OH-sus) - Freckled; lentiginose.
LEONIS (lee-OH-niss) - Of a lion, in the sense of strong, stout, leonine.
LEOPARDINUS, -a, -um (lee-oh-par-DYE-nus) - Tawny, or conspicuously spotted like a leopard.
LEPIDOTUS, -a, -um (le-pi-DOH-tus) - Covered with small scurfy scales; lepidote.
LEPIDUS, -a, -um (LEP-id-us) - Neat, pretty, pleasing; graceful; elegant.
LEPTOSEPALUS, -a, -um (lep-toh-SEP-al-us) - Having slender sepals.
LEUCOCHILUS, -a,-um (lew-ko-KYE-liss) - White-lipped.
LEUCORRHODUS, -a, -um (lew-ko-ROH-dus) - Rosy-white.
LIGNEOUS (LIG-nee-us) - Woody.
LIGULATE (lig-YEW-LATE) - Strap-shaped.
LIGULATUS, -a, -um (lig-yew-LAY-tus) - Strap-shaped; ligulate.
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.
LIGULIFORM (lig-yu-LIH-form) - Strap-shaped
LILACINUS, -a, -um (lye-la-SYE-nus) - Like lilac in color or form.
LIMB - The expanded portion of any petal, lip or leaf.
LIMBATUS, -a, -um (lim-BAY-tus) - Having a distinct border of some other color; limbate.
LINEAR (LIN-e-ar) - Long and narrow, with parallel margins, like a blade of grass.
LINEARIS, -e (lin-e-AY-ris) - Long and narrow, with sides nearly parallel, like a blade of grass; linear.
LINEATE (LIN-e-ate) - With thin parallel lines; pencilled with fine lines.
LINEATUS, -a, -um (lin-ee-AY-tus) - Lined; bearing thin parallel stripes; lineate.
LINEOLATE (LIN-e-oh-late) - Marked with fine lines.
LINGUIFORM (LIN-gwi-form) - Tongue-shaped.
LINGUIFORMIS, -e (ling-gwee-FOR-miss) - Tongue-shaped; linguiform.
LINGULATE (LIN-gu-late) - Tongue-shaped.
LINGULATUS, -a, -um (ling-u-LAY-tus) - Tongue-shaped; lingulate; ligulate.
LINKAGE MAP - Delineation of the relative position of the genes on the chromosome.
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) - A plant that grows on rocks. Plants that grow on rocks but secure their nourishment from the atmosphere and from accumulated debris (natural compost).
LITHOPHYTIC (lith-oh-FIT-ik) - Pertaining to a lithophyte; growing on rocks.
LIVIDUS, -a, -um (LIV-id-us) - Lead-colored; bluish-gray; livid.
LOBATE (LOH-bate) - Furnished with lobes.
LOBATUS, -a, -um (lo-BAY-tus) - Furnished with lobes; lobed; lobate.
LOBE (lohb) - Any division or segment of an organ such as a leaf, petal, etc.
LOBED (lohb d) - Furnished with a lobe or lobes.
LOBULATE (LOB-yew-layt) - Furnished with lobules; having small lobes.
LOBULE (LOB-yewl) - A small lobe.
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.
LOCUS, LOCI (LOH-kus, LOH-sigh) - The position of a gene on the chromosome.
LONGICOLLIS, -e (Lon-ji-COL-us) or (lon-jee-KOL-liss) - Having a long neck.
LONGICORNU (lon-jee-KOR-noo) - Having a long horn.
LONGICORNUS Lon-ji-KOR-nus) - Having a long horn.
LONGIFOLIUS, -a,-um (Lon-ji-FOH-li-us) or (lon-jee-FOH-lee-us) - Having a long leaf.
LONGISCAPUS, -a, -um (Lon-ji-SKAPE-us) or (lon-jee-SKAY-pus) - Having a long scape or flower stalk.
LORATE (LOH-rate) - Strap-shaped.
LORATUS, -a, -um (lor-AY-tus) - Strap-shaped; lorate.
LUCID (LEW-sid) - Shining, referring to the surface of an organ.
LUNATUS, -a, -um (LEW-nay-tus) - Crescent-shaped; lunate.
LURIDUS, -a, -um (LOO-rid-us) - Dismal-colored; yellowish brown; lurid.
LUTEOLUS, -a, -um (loo-tee-OH-lus) - Pale yellow; yellowish.
LUTEO-PURPUREUS, -a, -um (LOO-tee-oh-pur-PUR-ee-us) - Yellowish purple or yellow and purple.
LUTESCENS (loo-TESS-sens) - Yellowish; becoming yellow; lutescent.
LUTEUS, -a, -um (LOO-tee-us) - Golden-yellow; luteous.
LYRATE (LYE-rate) - With terminal leaflet much larger than other leaflets. Divided transversely into several lobes, the smallest at the base becoming gradually larger toward the end of the leaf.
LYSIGENOUS (LYE-sij-ee-nus) - With a cavity in tissue formed by break-down of cells.

Definitions A-F Definitions M-R Definitions S-Z Color Definitions