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 G-L Definitions M-R Color Definitions

Definitions S thru Z

S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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.

S
SABULOSE (SAB-yew-lohz) - Growing in or pertaining to sandy places.
SABULOSE (SAB-yew-lus) - Growing in or pertaining to sandy places.
SACCATE (SAK-ate) - Having the form of a sack or pouch.
SACCATUS, -a, -um (sak-KAY-tus) - Pouch- or bag-shaped; saccate.
SACCHARINUS, -a, -um (sak-ka-RYE-nus) - Sweet.
SAGITTATE (SAJ-i-tate) - Elongated triangle with the two basal angles prolonged downward; shaped like an arrow.
SAGITTATUS, -a, -um (saj-it-TAY-tus) - Shaped like an arrowhead, with the basal lobes directed downward.
SALINUS, -a, -um (sal-LYE-nus) - Growing in salty places; saline.
SANCTUS, -a, -um (SANK-tus) - Holy.
SANGUINEUS,-a, -um (sang-GWIN-ee-us) - Blood-colored; blood-red; sanguine.
SANGUINOLENS (sang-gwin-OH-lenz) - Approaching blood color.
SANGUINOLENTUS, -a, -um (sang-gwin-oh-LEN-tus) - Having blood-red spots or veins.
SAPIDUS, -a, -um (SAP-id-us) - Pleasant to taste; sapid.
SAPROPHYTE (SAP-row-fite) - A plant growing in and deriving most of its nourishment from decaying organic matter, often apparently lacking in chlorophyll.
SAPROPHYTIC (sap-roh-FIT-ik) - Pertaining to a saprophyte.
SARCANTHINE (sar-KAN-theen) - An adjective referring to any Asiatic monopodial orchid, more inclusive than the similarly applied "vandaceous."
SARCODES (sar-KOH-deez) - Of fleshlike substance.
SATIVUS, -a, -um (sa-TYE-vus) - Cultivated.
SAXICOLUS, -a, -um (sax-IK-oh-lus) - Growing on rocks; saxicolous.
SCABER, SCABRA, SCABRUM (SKAY-ber) - Rough; scabrous.
SCABROUS (SCAB-rus) or (SKAY-brus) - Rough to the touch; having raised dots, scales or points.
SCALARIFORM (sklare-IH-form) - Having ladder-like markings
SCALE - (1) A name given to many kinds of small, modified leaves or bracts. (2) One of a number of kinds of minute sucking insects of the family Coccidae which attack the stems and leaves of orchid and other plants, the adult scales being flattened, disk-like and immobile.
SCALECIDE (SKAL-e-side) - A spray that is known to kill insects of the Coccidae family.
SCALLOPED (SKAL-lopd) - Crenate, with rounded teeth.
SCANDENS (SKAN-denz) - Climbing; scandent.
SCANDENT (SKAN-dent) - Climbing, by aerial roots or otherwise.
SCAPE (SKAYP)  - An inflorescence of a long peduncle topped with a single flower. 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
SCAPIFORM (SKAY-pih-form) - Resembling a scape.
SCAPOSE (SKAPE-ose) - Bearing or resembling a scape.
SCAPOSUS, -a, -um (skap-OH-sus) - Bearing or resembling a scape; scapose; often used for racemes or spikes borne on a long peduncle.
SCARIOSUS, -a,-um (skay-ree-OH-sus) - Thin, dry and membranaceous, not green; shriveled; scarious.
SCARIOUS (SKAY-ri-us) - Thin, dry and membranaceous, not green.
SCION (SYE-on) - A shoot used in grafting; a cutting; a descendant.
SCIOPHYTE (SYE-o-fite) - Plant with optimum development in subdued light.
SCLERENCHYMATOUS (skleer-eng-KIM-uh-tuhs) - Having cells with thickened and hard walls.
SCOBICULAR (sco-BIK-yew-lar) - In fine grains, like sawdust.
SCORPIOID (SKORE-pee-oyd) - Coiled in the bud.
SCROBICULATE (skrow-BIK-yuh-lit) - Having shallow depressions.
SCROTIFORM (SKROH-ti-form) - Pouch-shaped.
SCROTIFORMIS, -e (skro-ti-FOR-miss) - Pouch-shaped; scrotiform.
SCULPTUS, -a, -um (SKULP-tus) - Carved; sculpted.
SCURFY (SKER-fee) - Scaly.
SCUTELLARIS, -e (skew-tell-AY-ris) - Dish- or shield-shaped.
SEBOSUS, -a, -um (seb-OH-sus) - Full of grease or tallow.
SECTILE (SEK-til) - Cut into small partitions.As though cut up into partitions, as the pollen divisions.
SECTION - A taxonomic subdivision of a genus below the rank of a subgenus.
SECUND (SEE-kund) Borne on one side of an axis; one sided.
SECUNDUS, -a, -um (se-KUN-dus) - One-sided; borne along one side of an axis; secund.
SEED - The ripened ovule; the propagative part of a plant.
SEED POD - Horticultural and botanically incorrect term for the fruit or capsule of an orchid. The fruit or fully ripened pedicellate ovary of the orchid after fertilization.
SEEDLING - A plant raised from seed. A young plant that has not flowered.
SEGMENT (SEG-ment) - A part of the perianth, as the petal, sepal or lip; any division or part of a cleft or divided organ. A portion of the corolla.
SELECTION - The processing of breeding through the choosing of parents with outstanding characteristics for the type with the aim of improvement.
SELF-FERTILIZATION - The fertilization of an ovule by its own pollen (opposed to cross-fertilization); selfing.
SELFING (self-ing) - The pollination of a flower by its own pollen, or pollen from another flower on the same plant.
SELF-POLLINATION (self-pol-in-AY-shun) - The pollination of a flower by its own pollen, either through natural means or through the agency of man.
SELLIGERUS, -a, -um (sel-LIJ-er-us) - Saddle-shaped.
SEMI- (seh-mye or seh-mee) - A prefix meaning half.
SEMI-ALBA (seh-mee-al-ba) - A term applied to a white flower that has a colored lip.
SEMI-APERTUS, -a, -um (se-my-AP-er-tus) or (sem-ee-ah-PER-tus) - Half open, referring to a flower.
SEMITERETE (se-my-ter-ETE) or (sem-ee-ter-EET) - Applied to Vanda hybrids produced by crossing of terete-leaved and strap-leaved forms.
SENILIS, -e (seh-NIL-iss) - Of old people, aged.
SEPAL (SEE-pal) or (SEP-ul) or (SEE-pul) - 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) or (SEEP-a-leen) - Belonging to or consisting of the sepals; resembling a sepal.
SEPALOID (SEEP-ah-loyd) or (SEP-al-oid) - Resembling a sepal.
SEPTATE (SEP-tayt) - Partitioned; divided by partitions.
SEPTICIDAL (SEP-tih-SYE-dahl) - Said of those capsules that dehisce through the partitions and between the locules.
SEPTUM (SEP-tum) - A partition.
SERATINOUS (ser-at-IH-nuss) - Bearing bristles.
SERICEOUS (ser-ISH-us) - With the texture of silk.
SERICEUS, -a, -um (ser-ISS-ee-us) - Silky; covered with silky down; sericeous.
SERPENS (SER-penz) - Creeping; serpent.
SERRATE (SER-ate) - Having sharp teeth pointing forward.
SERRATUS, -a, -um (SER-at-us) or (ser-AY-tus) - A flat margin, notched like a saw. Having sharp teeth pointing forward; serrate.
SERRULATE (SER-oo-late) - Finely serrated; having fine teeth.
SERRULATUS, -a, -um (ser-yew-LAY-tus) - Finely serrate; serrulate.
SESQUIPEDALIS, -e (ses-KWI pe-day-lis) or (sess-kwee-ped-AY-liss) - 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).
SESSILIS, -e (SESS-il-iss) - Attached directly by the base; without a stalk; sessile.
SETA (SEE-tah) - A bristle.
SETACEOUS (se-TAY-shus) - Set with or consisting of bristles.
SETACEUS, -a, -um (se-TAY-see-us) - Bristlelike or bristle-shaped; furnished with bristles; setaceous.
SETIFORMIS, -e (set-i-FORM-iss) - Bristle-shaped; setiform.
SETIGEROUS also SETIFEROUS (se-TIJ-er-us, se-TIF-er-us) - Bearing bristles.
SETIGERUS, -a, -um (set-IJ-er-us) - Bearing bristles.
SETOSE (SEE-tose) or (SEE-tohs) - Covered with bristles, bristly.
SETULOSE (SET-oo-lose) or (set-YUH-lohs) - Having small short hairs or bristles.
SEXUAL PROPAGATION (seks-yu-hl pra-pa-GAY-shun) - The increasing of a plant population through the production and growth of seed.
SHADING (SHAY-ding) - The act of reducing the amount of sunlight entering a greenhouse by means of translucent panels, semi-opaque paint, or opaque screen; a substance or material used for such purpose.
SHAKER (SHAY-ker) - A mechanical table or rotating wheel used in micropropagation to break up and encourage the growth of callus tissue.
SHEATH (sheeth) - A protective leaf-like growth surrounding the developing leaves, inflorescence or flower buds on some genera. Normally dries and sloughs off, when inflorescence or leaf matures.
SHOOT - The part of the plant derived from the plumule of the embryo, usually comprising stem and leaves.
SHRUB - A woody plant that remains low and branches from the base.
SICULIFORM (sik-YUH-ih-form) - Having the shape of a dagger.
SICULIFORMIS, -e (sik-yew-li-FORM-iss) - Shaped like a dagger; siculiform.
SIGMOID (SIG-moid) - Curved in two directions, like the letter “S”.
SIGMOIDAL (sig-MOY-dal) - Curved in two directions, like the letter S.
SIGNATUS, -a, -um (sig-NAY-tus) - Well-marked.
SILICEUS, -a, -um (si-LISS-ee-us) - Growing in sand; siliceous.
SILVESTRIS, -e (sil-VES-triss) - Growing in woods.
SIMILIS, -e (SIM-ill-iss) - Similar; like.
SIMPLE - Not compound; of one piece.
SIMULANS (SIM-yew-lanz) - Resembling; simulate.
SINENSIS, -e (si-NEN-sis) - Native of China; Chinese.
SINISTROSE (SIN-is-trohs) - Turned to the left.
SINUATE (SIN-yew-ate) - With a wavy margin, the indentations marked.
SINUATUS, -a, -um (sin-yew-AY-tus) - Having the outline or the margin strongly wavy; sinuate.
SINUS (SYE-nus) - The cleft or recess between two lobes.
SLAB - A plaque or similar vertical mount for the growing of an epiphytic orchid.
SMOOTH - A surface that has no hairiness, roughness or pubescence.
SOBOLE (SO-bowl) - A shoot, usually originating from the base.
SOBOLIFEROUS (so-buhl-IF-er-us) -Having vigorous basal shoots.
SOCIALIS, -e (so-see-AY-liss) - Forming colonies.
SOLARIS, -e (so-LAY-ris) - Growing in sunny places.
SOLITARY (SOL-i-ter-ee) - Borne singly or alone; an inflorescence of one flower.
SOMACLONAL VARIANT (som-a-KLONE-uhl VAHR-ee-ent) - A sport that arises in plants regenerated from tissue culture.
SOMATIC CELLS (so-MAT-ik) - Cell types other than those that are or give rise to the germ cells (e.g., pollen or egg) -
SORDIDUS, -a, -um (SOR-did-us) - Dirty; usually meaning dull-colored; sordid.
SPARSUS, -a, -um (SPAR-sus) - Few; far between; sparse.
SPATHACEOUS (spa-THAY-shus) - Resembling or having a spathe.
SPATHE (SPAY-th) - A large, stiff, usually leathery bract or pair of bracts subtending or enclosing an inflorescence.
SPATHULATUS, -a, -um (spath-yew-LAY-tus) - Shaped like a spoon or spatula, round at summit and narrow at base; spatulate.
SPATULATE (SPAT-yew-late) - Gradually dilated upward to a rounded apex; spoon-shaped.
SPECIE (SPEE-see) - Gold coin; not the singular of species.
SPECIES (SPEE-sheez) - (sing. and pl.) - A group of plants (or animals) showing integration among its individuals and having in common one or more characteristics that definitely separate it from any other group; a kind of plant distinct from other kinds; a group of interbreeding individuals usually unable to interbreed with other groups. 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.
SPECIFIC - Of or pertaining to a species.
SPECIMEN - An individual exemplifying a group; a specimen plant is a noteworthy example of cultivation to an unusually high degree; a herbarium collection.
SPECIMEN PLANT (SPES-i-men) - A specimen plant is an example of cultivation to a high degree.
SPECIOSISSIMUS, -a, -um (speesh-i-os-ISS-I-mus) or (spee-see-oh-SISS-i-mus) - Very handsome, uniting elegance of form and brilliance of color.
SPECIOSUS, -a, -um (SPEESH-i-ose-sus) - Handsome in form and color; showy.
SPECTABILIS, -e (spek-TAY-bi-lis) or (spek-TAH-bi-lis) or (spek-TAB-il-is - Deserving notice by reason of intrinsic worth; spectacular.
SPECULUM (spek-U-lum) - shiny square or U-shaped area found on the lip of some orchids. A mirror or reflector, especially one of polished metal.
SPERMATOPHYTE (spur-MAT-oh-fite) - A seed-producing plant.
SPHACELATED (SFAS-e-Iate-ed) - Withering or decayed.
SPHACELATUS, -a, -um (SFAS-ee-LAY-TUS) - Scorched; dead; diseased; some part looking as if withered, as the psuedobulbs of Oncidium sphacelatum; sphacelate.
SPHAGNUM (SFAG-num) - A bog-moss of the genus Sphagnum, used dried or alive, fresh or partially decomposed (peat), used in some kinds of potting media to retain moisture.
SPHEROIDAL (sfeer-OY-dul) - A solid that is nearly spherical.
SPICATE (SPY-kate) - Having spikes, as a plant; arranged in spikes, as flowers; in the form of a spike, as an inflorescence.
SPICATUS, -a, -um (spy-KAY-tus) - Bearing flowers arranged in or resembling a spike;
SPICIFORMIS, -e (spye-sih-FOR-miss) - In the form of a spike; spiciform.
SPICULATE (spy-KEW-late) – pointed, like a spike.
SPICULATUS, -a, -um (spik-yew-LAY-tus) - With a small, fleshy and erect point; spiculate.
SPICULOSE (SPIK-yuh-lohs) - Covered with fine points on the surface.
SPIKE - A type of inflorescence with stalkless (sessile) or short-stalked flowers borne on an upright unbranched flower stem. A term sometimes used in place of ‘inflorescence’.
SPIKLET (spike-let) - A small secondary spike.
SPILOPTERUS, -a, -um (spy-LOP-ter-us) - Having spotted wings.
SPINE - Sharp outgrowth from leaf of leaf-part or a modification of an entire leaf. A sharp-pointed hard or woody outgrowth on a plant.
SPINESCENT (SPY-ness-ent) - Terminated in or bearing a spine.
SPINOSE (SPY-nose) - Having spines.
SPINOSUS, -a, -um (SPY-no-sus) or (spy-NO-sus) - Having spines; spiny; spinose.
SPIRALIS, -e (spy-RAY-lis) - Spiralled; having flowers arranged in a spiral.
SPLENDENS (SPLEN-denz) - Showy and handsome; radiant or shining; lustrous; splendid.
SPLENDIDUS, -a, -um (SPLEN-did-us) - Magnificent; superb; glorious; splendid.
SPORADIC (SPORE-ad-ik) - Not occurring continually
SPORE - A simple reproductive body, usually composed of a single detached cell and containing no embryo.
SPORT - (1) A sudden, spontaneous deviation from a typical form; a mutation; (2) a plant or part of a plant that arises through mutation and is phenotypically different from the parent.
SPRAY - (1) To scatter a liquid or powder in the form of fine particles; (2) a substance used for spraying (referring either to watering of plants or to the application of pesticides); (3) a term for an inflorescence.
SPREADING - Extending outward or horizontally over a relatively large area; diverging; said of floral segments that diverge to present a wide open flower.
SPUR - A hollow, saclike or tubular extension of the base of the lip, often bearing nectar.
SQUALENS (SKWAL-enz) - Dirty; becoming dull in color; squalid.
SQUALIDUS, -a, -um (SKWAL-id-us) - Dirty; usually applied to flowers of dull color.
SQUAMELLATE (SKWAM-ell-eyt) - Having tiny scales.
SQUAMOSUS, -a, -um (skwam-OH-sus) - Covered with scurf; having a rough or ragged surface.
SQUARROSE (SKWAR-ros) - With parts spreading or recurved at ends. 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.
STACHYS (STAK-iss) - In Greek compounds, signifying a spike.
STALK - The supporting stem of an organ, such as petiole, peduncle, pedicel, filament or stipe.
STAMEN (STAY-men) - The male organ of the flower, which bears the pollen. The pollen-bearing anther and supporting filament of a flower.
STAMINATE (STAY-min-nate) or (STAM-in-ayt) - Male; having stamens only.With all functional fertile parts of a flower, male. Capable of fertilizing female organs.
STAMINODE (STAY-min-ode) or (STAM-in-ohd) - A sterile stamen, or any structure (without anther) corresponding to a stamen.
STANDARD - Said of a digital dorsal sepal or petal
STAPELIAEFLORUS, -a, -um (stap-ee-lee-aye-FLOR-us) - Having flowers like a Stapelia (Asclepiadaceae) -
STAPELIOIDES (sta-pee-lee-OY-deez) - Resembling a Stapelia (Asclepiadaceae) -
STELE (STEE-lee) or (STEE-lahy) - The primary arrangement of a vascular system; an axial cylinder of vascular tissue.
STELIDIA (stel-ID-e-uh) - Column teeth.
STELLATE (STELL-ate) - Star-shaped; giving the effect of a star.
STELLATUS, -a, -um (stell-AY-tus) - Star-shaped; resembling a star; stellate.
STEM - The main axis of a plant, bearing leaves and flowers; distinguished from the root-bearing axis.
STENOPHYLLUS, -a, -um (sten-oh-FILL-us) - Narrow-leaved.
STERILE (STER-ill) - Barren; imperfect.
STERILE CULTURE (STER-ill kuhl-chure) - The growing of organisms under laboratory conditions in an aseptic environment.
STIGMA (STIG-ma) - That part of a pistil which receives the pollen. It is often separated from the ovary by a slender style.
STIGMATIC (stig-MAT-ik) - Pertaining to the stigma.
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. The stalklike support of a pistil or other small organ such as a pseudobulb or pollinium.
STIPEL (STAHY-puhl) - A leaf appendage similar to a stipule
STIPITATE (STIP-i-tate) - Borne on a stipe.
STIPITATUS, -a, -um (stip-i-TAY-tus) - Having a stipe; stipitate.
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. An appendage at the base of a leaf petiole.
STOLON (STOH-lun) or (STOH-lon) - An above-ground creeping stem producing roots or new shoots, usually giving rise to new individuals.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) or (sto-lon-IFF-er-us) - Having stolons; trailing over the soil surface and rooting at the nodes.
STOMA (STOH-ma) - Plural: Stomata(sto-MAH-tah). 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.
STRAMINEUS, -a, -um (stra-MIN-ee-us) - Strawlike or straw-colored; stramineous.
STRATIOTES (strat-ee-OH-teez) - Soldierly; resembling Stratiotes, an aquatic herb with sword-like leaves.
STREPTOPETALUS, -a, -um (strep-toh-PET-a-lus) - With twisted petals.
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.
STRIATUS, -a, -um (stry-AY-tus) - Striped; marked with longitudinal lines, grooves, or ridges; striate.
strictus, -a, -um (STRIK-tus) - Very straight and upright; erect.
STRIDENTICULATE (stry-den-TIK-yew-late) - Slightly toothed; grooves or stripes.
STRIGOSUS, -a, -um (strig-OH-sus) - Set with stiff bristles; hispid; strigose.
STRIOLATUS, -a, -um (stry-oh-LAY-tus) - Somewhat or faintly striped, or with fine lines.
STROBILE (STROH-bile) - An inflorescence with imbricate scales like a cone.
STROBILUS (STROH-bi-lus) - A cone-like reproductive structure. An inflorescence with imbricate scales like a cone.
STRUCTURAL GENE - A gene that codes for an enzyme or other protein required for the structure or metabolism of a cell.
STYLAR CANAL (STY-lahr KAN-al) - A tube connecting the stigmatic surface with the ovary that allows the pollen tubes grow down into the ovary and thus fertilize the ovules.
STYLE - the slender portion of a carpel, or of several fused carpels, between the stigma and the ovary. The narrowed portion of the pistil that connects the ovary and the stigma, not usually applicable to orchids.
STYLIDIUM (pl stylidia) (sty-LID-ee-um) - An appendage to the column, typical of most Bulbophyllum, usually filiform and less pronounced than structures referred to as column wings.
SUAVEOLENS (swahv-ee-OH-lenz) - Sweet-smelling.
SUAVIS, -e (SWAH-viss) - Sweet-scented; agreeable; delightful.
SUAVISSIMUS, -a, -um (swahv-ISS-i-mus) - Very fragrant.
SUB- - A prefix denoting an approach to the condition designated; nearly.
SUBACUTE (sub-a-CUTE) - A blunt point. less than acute. Somewhat or partially acute.
SUBAMPLEXICAUL  (sub-am-PLEK-si-kol) - Clasping or embracing a stem but not tightly.
SUBCAPITATE (sub- KAP-i-tate) - (less than) being abruptly enlarged and globose at the tip
SUBCORDATUS, -a, -um (sub-kor-DAY-tus) - Almost heart-shaped; subcordate.
SUBCORIACEOUS (sub-kor-ee-AY-shus) - Somewhat or approaching leathery in texture.
SUBCORYMBOSE (sub-kor-IM-bose) - Slightly convex cluster.
SUBEQUAL (sub-ee-KWAL) - Nearly equal in size.
SUBERECT (sub-ee-REKT) - Nearly or almost upright.
SUBEROSUS, -a, -um (soo-ber-OH-sus) - Cork-barked; corklike or corky; suberose.
SUBFALCATUS, -a, -um (sub-fal-KAY-tus) - Somewhat curved or hooked; subfalcate.
SUBGENUS (sub-JEE-nus) - One of the divisions into which large genera are sometimes taxonomically divided; between the ranks of genus and section.
SUBGLOBOSE (sub-GLOW-bos) - Not quite globose.
SUBMERSUS, -a, -um (sub-MER-sus) - Submerged; growing under water.
SUBORBICULAR (sub-or-BIK-yew -lar) - Almost circular.
SUBPANDURATE (sub-PAN-due-rate) - almost violin-shaped
SUBQUADRATE (sub-KWAD-rate)- Nearly or approximately square; almost square. Square with round corners.
SUBRENIFORM (sub-REN-i-form) - Slightly kidney-shaped.
SUBSACCATE (sub-SAK-ate) – Not quite in the form of a sack or pouch (irregular).
SUBSESSILE (sub-SESS-ill) - Almost stalkless.
SUBSIMILAR (sub-SIM-ill-ar) – Mopre or less similar.
SUBSPECIES (sub-SPEE-sheez) - Taxonomic category between a species and a botanical variety, referring to a population having minor morphologic differences and a distinct geographic range, abbreviated "ssp.": e.g., Rhynchostylis gigantea ssp. violacea (Lindl.) - Christ. for the Philippine plants of the Indochinese-Borneo species.
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.
SUBSTRATUM (SUB-strat-um) - The material upon which a plant or germinating seed grows; substrate.
SUBTENDED (SUB-ten-did) - Enclosed or embraced in its axil; to occupy an adjacent position to, as a bract subtending a flower.
SUBTERETE (sub-ter-REET) - Somewhat or imperfectly terete.
SUBTERRANEUS, -a, -um (sub-ter-RAY-nee-us) - Underground; subterranean.
SUBTRIBE (sub-TRY-b) - Taxonomic category below a tribe, ending in "-inae": e.g., subtribe Angraecinae is one of the subtribes in the tribe Vandeae.
SUBTRIGONOUS (SUB-trig-uh-nuhs) - almost triangular
SUBTRUNCATE (sub-TRUN-kate) - Having the end slightly square or even.
SUBULATE, -a, -um (SOO-bew-late) or (sub-yew-LAY-tus)  - Slender, more or less cylindrical and tapering to a point; awl-shaped.
SUBULIFOLIUS, -a, -um (sub-yew-li-FOH-lee-us) - Having foliage shaped like an awl.
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. Soft and juicy; fleshy; adapted to the retention of water.
SUCKER - A shoot arising from the roots or beneath the surface of the ground.
SUECICUS, -a, -um (soo-EE-sik-us) - Native of Sweden; Swedish.
SUFFRUTESCENT (suf-FREW-tess-sent) - Said of plants slightly woody at the base.
SULCATE (SUL-kate) - Grooved or furrowed, longitudinally.
SULCATUS, -a, -um (sull-KAY-tus) - Grooved or furrowed longitudinally; sulcate.
SULPHUREUS, -a, -um (sull-PHUR-ee-us) - Sulfur-colored, light yellow
SUMATRANUS, -a, -um (soo-ma-TRAY-nus) - Native of Sumatra; Sumatran.
SUMMER-CLOUD - A coating of lime, white lead or cold water paint applied to greenhouse glass to intercept the sun's rays.
SUPER- - Prefix meaning above.
SUPERBIENS (soo-PER-bi-ens) or (soo-PER-bee-enz) - Becoming grand and stately.
SUPERBUS, -a, -um (soo-PER-bus) - Excellent, splendid; superb
SUPERIOR OVARY (SOO-peer-ee-or OH-vah-ree) - Said of an ovary that is completely above the attachment of the calyx.
SUPERPOSED (soo-per-POHZD) - Placed one on top of another.
SUPINUS, -a, -um (soo-PYE-nus) - Prostrate; lying on its back; supine.
SURCULOSE (SUR-kyuh-lohs) - Sucker-producing.
SUTURE (SOO-cher) - A line or groove marking a natural division or union.
SYLHETENSIS, -e (sill-het-TEN-siss) - Native of Sylhet, India.
SYLVATICUS, -a, -um (sill-VAT-i-kus) - Of the woodlands or forests.
SYLVESTRIS, -e (sill-VEST-ris) - Growing in woods; forest-loving.
SYMBIOSIS (sim-bi-OSE-is) or (sim-bi-OH-siss) - 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.
SYMMETRICAL (sim-MET-rih-cuhl) - Said of a flower that is regular as to the number of parts and their arrangement in the perianth.
SYMPETALOUS (sim-PET-ah-luss) - The petals being united, gamopetalous.
SYMPHYSIS (SIM-fiss-iss) - Growing together; coalescence.
SYMPLESIOMORPHY (sim-PLEEZ-ee-oh-more-fee) - A cladistic term meaning a shared ancestral character state, as opposed to synapomorphy.
SYMPODIAL (sim-POH-di-al) or (sim-PO-dee-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. A form of growth in which each new shoot, springing from a bud of the rhizome, is complete in itself and terminates in a potential inflorescence, such as in the genus Cattleya, the plant usually growing in a horizontal direction.
SYNAPOMORPHY (syn-APP-oh-more-fee) - A cladistic term meaning a shared derived character state, implying a common phylogenetic history, as opposed to symplesiomorphy (which see) -
SYNONYM (SIN-uh-nim) - A scientific name considered the same as an earlier name for a species of plant or animal, hence superfluous.
SYNSEPALUM (sin-SEP-a-lum) - The ventral portion of the flower of the lady's-slipper orchids formed by the fusion of the lateral sepals; synsepal.
SYRINGE (sih-RINJ) - To sprinkle or spray lightly with fine jets.
SYRINGOTHYRSUS, -a, -um (si-ring-oh-THEER-sus) - With trusses of flowers like a lilac.
SYSTEMATICS (sis-tuh-MAT-iks) - The science of nomenclature, identification and classification of organisms.
SYSTEMICALLY (sis-TEM-i-cal-ly) - Borne within the organism.

T
TABECULATE (tab-ih-KUY-layt) - Cross-barred.
TABULARIS, -e (tab-ew-LAY-riss) - Having a flat surface like a table or board; tablelike.
TAEDIGERUS, -a, -um (tee-DIJ-er-us) - Torch-bearing.
TAENIALIS, -e (tee-nee-AY-liss) - Ribbonlike; banded.
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.
TARDUS, -a, -um (TAR-dus) - Late.
TAURINUS, -a, -um (taw-RYE-nus) - Having horns like a bull; bull-like.
TAXON (pl. taxa) - (TAKS-on) or (TAK-son) - A general term applied to a taxonomic category of any rank, such as species, genus, family, order, etc. Botanical category relating populations of individuals with certain similarities. Major plant taxa in descending order are division, class, order, family, genus, species.
TAXONOMY (tak-SON-oh-mee) or (taks-ON-oh-mi) - The science of classification, dealing with the arrangement of plants (or animals) - into groups according to natural relationships.
TENDRIL (TEN-drill) - A twisting threadlike process of extension by which a plant grasps an object and clings to it for support; morphologically it may be stem or leaf.
TENEBROSUS, -a, -um (ten-eh-BROH-sus) - Dark; growing in shaded places.
TENUIFOLIUS, -a, -um (ten-yew-ee-FOH-lee-us) - Slender-leaved.
TENUIS, -e (TEN-yew-iss) - Slender; delicate.
TERATOLOGICAL (ter-at-oh-LOJ-i-kal) or (ter-a-toh-LOJ-ik-ul) - Science of abnormal development. Monstrous; relating to a monstrosity.
TERES (TEH-reez) - Long and cylindrical; terete.
TERETE (teh-REET) or (ter-EET) - Cylindrical or nearly so; circular in cross section.
TERETIFOLIUS, -a, -um (teh-ree-ti-FOH-lee-us) - Having terete leaves.
TERMINAL - Apical; produced at the end. At the apex or far end of something.
TERMINOLOGY (ter-min-OL-a-gee) - The system of terms dealing with a given science or subject.
TERNATUS, -a, -um (ter-NAY-tus) - In clusters of three; ternate.
TERRESTRIAL (ter-RESS-tree-uhl) - Growing in the ground and supported by soil.
TERRESTRIS, -e (ter-REST-tris) - Of the ground; growing in the ground as opposed to growing in trees, on rocks, or in water.
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.
TESSELLATUS, -a, -um (tess-sel-LAY-tus) - Arranged in a checkered or mosaic pattern; tessellated.
TESTA (pl. testae) (TESS-ta; TESS-tee) - The outer seed coat, particularly when bony, hard or brittle.
TESTACEUS, -a, -um (tes-TAY-se-us) - Of a brick-red or brownish-red color; testaceous.
TETRAD (TET-rad) - A structure formed of four cells, as in the pollen mother-cells; a group of four.
TETRAGONUS, -a, -um (tet-trah-GO-nus) - Having four angles.
TETRAMEROUS - Any group with four members.
TETRAPLOID (TET-ra-ploid) or (TET-tra-ployd) - Having four sets of chromosomes. (4N)
THALLOID (THAL-loyd) - Looking like a thallus.
THALLUS (THAL-lus) - No differentiation into distinct stem, leaves, and roots.  Said of a plant part that does not have true roots, stem or leaves.
THORN - A spine.
THROAT - The lower part of the tube of orchids having a tubular lip.
THYRSE, THYRSUS (THURSS, THUR-sus) - A form of mixed inflorescence, having the main axis racemose and the secondary axes cymose.A compact, more or less compound panicle; more correctly a paniclelike cluster with main axis indeterminate and other axes cymose; the inflorescence of a grape.
THYRSIFLORUS, -a, -um (THURS-i-flow-rus) or (thur-si-FLOR-us) - Having flowers in a thyrse or compact, clustered panicle.
TIBICINUS, -e (ti-BIS-in-us) or (tib-i-SIN-iss) - Resembling a flute or trumpet.
TIGRINUS, -a, -um (ti-GRYE-nus) - Striped or spotted like a tiger.
TISSUE CULTURE (TISH-yu KULL-chure) - The culture of cells in vitro.
TITANUS, -a, -um (tye-TAY-nus) - Very large; titanic.
TOMENTOSE (to-MEN-tose) - Covered with long densely matted hairs.
TOMENTOSUS, -a, -um (to-men-TOH-sus) - Densely pubescent with matted hairs; woolly; tomentose.
TOMENTUM (to-MEN-tum) - A covering of densely matted hairs.Long, densely matted hairs.
TONSUS, -a, -um (TON-sus) - Sheared; smooth-shaved.
TOROSE (taw-rohs) or (TAWR-ohs) - Round with swellings at the internodes; having a knobby surface.
TORRIDUS, -a, -um (TOR-rid-us) - Growing in hot, dry places.
TORTILIS, -e (TOR-ti-liss) - Twisted; coiled; tortile.
TORUS (TORE-uhs) - The receptacle of the flower.
TOTIPOTENCY (toh-TIP-oh-ten-see) - The principle that each cell has the genetic information needed to code for an entire individual, and hence small pieces of tissue can be used to generate adult plants through micropropagation.
TOXICARIUS, -a, -um (tok-si-KAY-ree-us) - Poisonous; toxic.
TOXIN (TOKS-in) - Poison secreted by an organism.
TRAILING (TRAY-ling) - Said of plants with stems growing horizontally but not rooting along the stem.
TRANSCRIPTION (tranz-CRIP-shun) - The process of producing RNA from a DNA template.
TRANSLATION (tranz-LAY-shun) - The process of producing proteins from a RNA template.
TRANSLUCENT (tranz-LOO-sent) - Partially transparent to light.
TRANSPIRATION (tran-spi-RAY-shun) or (tran-spir-AY-shun) - The act or process of exhaling water or watery vapor from the stomata of plants.
TRANSPLANTING (tranz-PLAN-ting) - The transferring of seedlings from the original germinating flask to pots, or older plants from one container to another.
TRANSVERSELY (tranz-VERS-lee) - Broader than long; at right angles to an axis.
TRAPEZIFORM (tra-PEE-zi-form) - Like a trapezium in form with four non-parallel sides.
TRAPEZIFORMIS, -e (trap-ee-zi-FORM-iss) - An unsymmetrical four-sided figure; with four unequal sides; trapeziform.
TREE-FERN - A large tropical or subtropical fern, generally of the family Cyatheaceae, whose fibrous trunk is used is a potting medium for orchids, either in shredded form, in the form of logs or in shaped blocks; it is commonly known by the Hawaiian term hapuu or the Brazilian xaxim.
TREMULUS, -a, -um (TREM-yew-lus) - Quivering; trembling; tremulous.
TRI-  (try) - A prefix meaning three.
TRIAD (TRI-ad) - In a group of three
TRIANDRUS, -a, -um (trye-AN-drus) - With three stamens; triandrous.
TRIBE  - A primary taxonomic category of related genera, or the fundamental division of an order.
TRICARPUS, -a, -um (try-KAR-pus) - Having three carpels or fruits.
TRICHOME (TRYE-kohm) - The correct botanical term for any hairlike outgrowth of the epidermis, as a hair or bristle.
TRICOLOR (TRI-kuhl-er) - Three-colored.
TRICOSTATE (trye-KOSS-tayt) - With three ribs.
TRIDENTATUS, -a, -um (trye-den-TAY-tus) - Three-toothed; tridentate.
TRIDENTICULATE - having 3 prongs or three points, a trident.
TRIFIDUS, -a, -um (try-FI-dus) or (TRYE-fid-us) - Three cleft; trifid.
TRIFOLIATUS, -a, -um (trye-foh-lee-AY-tus) - Having three leaves; trifoliate.
TRIGENERIC (trye-jen-ER-ik) - a plant resulting from crosses between three genera. Of or pertaining to three genera, usually applied in reference to hybrids derived from the combination of three parent genera.
TRIGONOUS (TRI-go-nus) - Three-angled.
TRILAMELATE (tri-LAM-el-late) - Three lipped.
TRILINGUIS, -e (trye-LING-gwiss) - Three-tongued.
TRILOBATE (trye-LOH-bayt) - With three lobes.
TRIMEROUS (tri-MER-us) - Occurring in threes.
TRIMORPHOUS (tri-MOR-fuss) - Having three forms.
TRIPARTITE (try-PAHR-tahyt) – in three parts
TRIPLOID (TRIP-laid) or (TRIP-loyd) - Having three sets of chromosomes (3N), often infertile.
TRIPUDIANS (trye-PEW-dee-anz) - Dancing.
TRIPUNCTATUS, -a, -um (trye-punk-TAY-tus) - Three-spotted.
TRIQUETROUS (try-KWEE-trus) - Having three acute angles; triangular.
TRIQUETRUS, -a, -um (trye-KWET-rus) - Three-cornered.
TRISECTED (tri-SEK-ted) - Divided into three deeply cut parts.
TRISTIS, -e (TRIS-tiss) - Dull-colored; dull; sad.
TRIUMPHANS (trye-UM-fanz) - Conquering; excelling all others; triumphant.
TROPICUS, -a, -um (TROP-ik-us) - Of or from the tropics.
TRULLA (TROO-la) or (TRULL-ah) - Trowel-shaped.
TRULLIFERUS, -a, -um (troo-LIF-er-us) or (trul-LIFF-er-us) - Trowel-bearing.
TRULLIFORM (TROO-li-form) - Trowel-shaped.
TRULLIFORMIS, -e (trull-i-FORM-iss) - Trowel-shaped; trulliform.
TRUNCATE (TRUN-kate) - Having the end square or even as if cut off.
TRUNCATUS, -a, -um (TRUN-ka-tus) or (trun-KAY-tus) - Terminating abruptly, as if shortened by removal of the apex; truncate.
TUBATUS, -a, -um (tew-BAY-tus) - Trumpet-shaped.
TUBER (TOO-ber) or (TEW-ber) - An underground stem or root, giving rise to new shoots and roots.
TUBERCLE (TEW-ber-kul) - A small tuber or tuberlike body, not necessarily subterranean.
TUBERCLES (TOO-ber-k'ls) - A tuberous root which bears adventitious buds.
TUBERCULATUS, -a, -um (tew-ber-kew-LAY-tus) - Covered with wartlike excrescences; tuberculate.
TUBERIFEROUS (TEW-ber-if-er-us Having tubers
TUBEROID (TEW-ber-oyd) - A thickened root resembling a tuber, as those found in many terrestrial orchids.
TUBEROSUS, -a, -um (tew-ber-OH-sus) - Having the character of a tuber; tuberlike in appearance; tuberous.
TUMIDUS, -a, -um (TEW-mid-us) - Swollen; tumid.
TUNICATUS, -a, -um (tew-ni-KAY-tus) - Provided with concentric or enwrapping coats or layers, as the bulb of an onion; tunicate.
TURBINATUS, -a, -um (ter-bin-AY-tus) - Inversely conical; shaped like a top; turbinate.
TURFACE (TER-face) - An extruded clay product used as an ingredient in orchid composts.
TURGIDUS, -a, -um (TER-jid-us) - Inflated, swollen to fullness; turgid.
TYPE - The original representative of a species, genus or other taxon, upon which the distinguishing characters of the taxon are based; type specimen.
TYPE SPECIMEN - The original material used to describe a new species, used to anchor nomenclatural usage, variously modified as: holotype, the one original element before a scientist; isotype, duplicates of the holotype; lectotype, a secondary original element selected as the nomenclatural type when the holotype has been destroyed; neotype, a specimen designated as the nomenclatural type when all original material is lacking; topotype, a specimen from the same locality as the holotype; etc.
TYPICUS, -a, -um (TIP-ik-us) - Agreeing with the type of a group; typical.

U
UBIQUITUS (yew-BIK-wi-tus) - Everywhere; Growing in all types of habitat.
ULIGINOSUS, -a, -um (yew-lij-in-OH-sus) - Of or from marshes and wet places.
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.
UMBELLET (UM-bell-et) - A secondary umbel
UMBROSUS, -a, -um (um-BROH-sus) - Shade-loving.
UNCINATE (un-sin-ate) - Bearing short hook-like process at the apex.
UNCINATUS, -a, -um (un-sin-AY-tus) - Hooked; bent at the end; like a hook; uncinate.
UNDULATE (UN-du-late) - With wavy margin or surface.
UNDULATUS, -a, -um (UN-doo-late-us) or (un-dew-LAY-tus) - Wavy; with a wavy margin or surface; undulate.
UNGUICULATE (un-GWIK-ya-lit) - Tapering below into a claw or stalk-like base.
UNGUICULATUS, -a, -um (un-gwik-yew-LAY-tus) - Contracted at the base into a claw or narrow stalk; unguiculate.
UNI- (YOO-nee or YOO-nih) - A prefix meaning one.
UNICORNIS, -e (YEWN-i-korn-is) or (yew-ni-KOR-niss) - One-horned.
UNIFLORUS, -a, -um (yew-ni-FLOR-ris) or (yew-ni-FLOR-us) - One-flowered, or having single-flowered peduncles.
UNIFOLIATE (YEW-ni-FOH-li-ate) or (yew-ni-FOH-lee-ayt) - One-leaved. Having only one leaf.
UNILATERAL (yew-ni-LAT-er-ul) - One-sided; arranged on a single side only; secund.
UNISEXUAL (YEW-ni-sek-shu-al) or (yew-ni-SEK-shu-al) - Of one sex, as a flower in which only one sex is present or functional, either staminate (male) or pistillate (female)..
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.
URCEOLATUS, -a, -um (er-see-oh-LAY-tus) - Hollow and cylindrical or ovoid, and contracted at or below the mouth like an urn; urn-shaped; urceolate.
URENS (YEW-renz) - Stinging; burning.
UROPHYLLUS, -a, -um (yew-roh-FILL-us) - With leaves like a tail.
URSINUS, -a, -um (er-SYE-nus) - Like a bear, in smell or other respects.
UTILIS, -e (YEW-till-iss) - Useful.
UTRICLE (YEW-trih-kuhl) - A bladder-like body
UTRICULARIOIDES (yew-trik-yew-layr-ee-OY-deez) - Resembling the bladderwort, Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae.)
UTRICULATUS, -a, -um (yew-trik-yew-LAY-tus) - Bladderlike; inflated; utriculate.

V
VAGANS (VAY-ganz) - Of wide distribution; wandering.
VAGINATUS, -a, -um (vaj-i-NAY-tus) - Having sheaths; vaginate.
VALID PUBLICATION - Publication in accordance with the rules of the International Codes of Nomenclature.
VALIDUS, -a, -um (VAL-id-us) - Strong; well-developed.
VALLECULA (vuh-LEK-yuh-luh) - Said of grooves between ridges.
VALVATE (VAL-vayt) - Opening by valves or pertaining to valves; meeting at the edges without overlapping, as leaves or petals in the bud.
VALVE (valv) - A separable part of a pod; the units or pieces into which a capsule slits or divides in dehiscing.
VANDACEOUS (van-DAY-shuss) - An adjective referring to any large monopodial orchid, usually restricted to Asiatic genera with the parallel term angraecoid applying to African plants.
VARIABILIS, -e (vair-ee-AY-bil-liss) - Varying in form or color; variable.
VARIEGATUS, -a, -um (vair-ee-GAY-tus) - Irregularly colored in patches; blotched; variegated.
VARIETAL (va-RYE-et-al) or (vuh-RYE-eh-tuhl) - Pertaining to or having the character of a variety or sub-species.
VARIETY (va-RYE-a-ti) or (vuh-RYE-eh-tee) - A plant having minor characteristics or variations which separate it from the type species. A subset of the population having minor characteristics which distinguish it from the type of the species. (For horticultural variety, see cultivar)
VASCULAR (VAS-kewl-er) - Pertaining to, composed, of, or provided with vessels or ducts which convey fluids such as water and sap.
VEGETATIVE (VEJ-i-tay-tiv) - That part of the plant, such as the stem and leaves, not directly concerned with reproduction.
VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION (VEJ-i-tay-tiv prah-pah-GAY-shun) - The increasing of a plant population through cuttings, divisions, bud stimulation, protocorm proliferation, and various techniques of tissue culture.
VEGETUS, -a, -um (VEJ-et-us) - Lively; vigorous.
VEIN (vane) - A strand of fibro-vascular tissue (vascular bundle) in a leaf or other organ through which water and other fluids are conducted.
VELAMEN (ve-LAY-min) or (VEL-lah-min) - The thick spongy epidermis covering the aerial roots of epiphytic orchids which helps prevent water loss and aids in absorption of water and mineral nutrients.
VELAMENTOUS (vel-a-MEN-tus) - Resembling or having a velamen.
VELARIS, -e (vel-AY-riss) - Pertaining to a veil.
VELATED (VEE-lay-ted) - Veiled.
VELATUS, -a, -um (vel-LAY-tus) - Veiled. Velated.
VELOX (VEE-loks) - Quick-growing.
VELUTINUS, -a, -um (ve-LOO-ti-nus) or (vel-YEW-tin-us) - Covered with a fine and dense silky pubescence; velvety, soft; velutinous.
VENOSUS, -a, -um (vee-NOH-sus) - Veined; having many or prominent veins; venous; venose.
VENTRAL (VEN-trahl) - Referring to the lower surface of an organ such as a leaf; that surface that faces the center or axis of a flower or a petal; opposite of dorsal.
VENTRICOSE (VEN-tra-kose) - Swelling out, especially on one side or unequally; protuberant; bellied, inflated.
VENTRICOSUS, -a, -um (ven-tri-KOH-sus) - Distended; swelling, especially on one side; unevenly inflated; ventricous; ventricose.
VENUSTUS, -a, -um (vee-NOOS-tus) - Comely; graceful; ladylike; charming.
VERATRIFOLIUS, -a, -um (veh-rat-tri-FOH-lee-us) - Having leaves like Veratrum nigrum, the black hellebore.
VERECUNDUS, -a, -um (veh-re-KUN-dus) - Modest, shy, coy; blushing; verecund.
VERMICULITE (ver-MIH-cuhl-ite) - A heat-expanded mica sometimes used to provide aeration in orchid-potting media.
VERNAL (VUR-nal) or (VER-nuhl) - Appearing in the spring.
VERNALIS, -e (ver-NAY-liss) - Of the spring; spring-flowering; vernal.
VERNATION (ver-NAY-shun) - The disposition of the foliage leaves within the bud.
VERNICOSE (VER-ni-kose) - Shiny as though varnished.
VERNICOSUS, -a, -um (ver-ni-KOH-sus) - Shiny, as though varnished; vernicose.
VERRUCOSE (VER-oo-kose) - Covered with wart-like elevations; warted.
VERRUCOSUS, -a, -um (ver-rew-KOH-sus) - Covered with wartlike elevations or excrescences; verrucose.
VERRUCULOSE (VER-uh-coo-los) - minutely warted
VERSICOLOR (VER-si-kul-er) - Changeable in color; variously colored; versicolor.
VERTICIL (VER-ti-sil) - A circle of foliar organs, flowers or inflorescences about the same point on the axis; a whorl.
VERTICILLASTRATE (VER-ti-sill-a-strayt) - Said of leaves arranged in a group resembling a whorl.
VERTICILLATE (ver-TIS-il-late) - Arranged in a transverse whorl like the spokes of a wheel.
VERTICILLATUS, -a, -um (ver-tis-sil-LAY-tus) - Arranged in a whorl, like the spokes of a wheel; verticillate.
VERUS, -a, -um (VEE-rus) - True; genuine; true to type; standard.
VESCUS, -a, -um (VESS-kus) - Thin; feeble; gross-feeding.
VESICLE (VES-i-kal) or (VESS-i-kul) - A small bladder or air cavity.
VESPERTINUS, -a, -um (ves-per-TYE-nus) - Of the evening; evening-blooming.
VESTALIS, -e (ves-TAY-liss) - Virgin-like; chaste; vestal.
VESICLE (VES-i-kal) - A small bladder or air cavity.
VESTIGIAL (ves-TIJ-ee-al) - Rudimentary; imperfectly developed or underdeveloped.
VESTITUS, -a, -um (ves-TYE-tus) - Clothed with soft hairs; covered.
VEXILLARIS, -e (vek-sill-AY-riss) - Showy, like a banner or vexillum, the flag carried by an ancient Roman soldiers.
VEXILLARIUS (veks-i-LAR-i-us) - Showy, like a banner, from 'vexillum', the flag or standard carried by ancient Roman soldiers. Bearing a flag or banner; a standard-bearer.
VIABILITY (vye-a-BIL-i-ti) or (vye-a-BILL-ih-tee) - The possibility of growth. The capability of survival.
VIABLE (VYE-a-b'l) or (VYE-a-buhl) - Capable of survival and development; as germination of seed.
VIATICAL (VYE-at-ih-kuhl) - Said of plants growing by paths or streams.
VILLOSE (vil-OHS) – Shaggy.
VILLOSUS, -a, -um (vil-OH-sus) - Shaggy; clothed with long soft hair; villous; villose.
VILLOUS (VIL-us) - Pubescent with soft and not matted hair.
VINOSUS, -a, -um (vye-NOH-sus) - Wine-red in color.
VIOLACEUS, -a, -um (vye-oh-LAY-see-us) - Violet-colored; violaceous.
VIOLESCENS (vye-oh-LESS-enz) - Almost violet-colored; turning violet.
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, -a, -um (vur-GAH-tus) or (ver-GAY-tus) - Rodlike; long, slender, and straight; twiggy; virgate.
VIRGINALIS, -e (ver-jin-AY-liss) - Maidenly; pure white; virginal.
VIRIDESCENS (veer-i-DESS-enz) - Becoming green.
VIRIDIFLORUS, -a, -um (vi-rid-i-FLOR-us) - With green flowers; green-flowered.
VIRIDIPURPUREUS, -a, -um (vi-rid-i-purr-PURR-ee-us) - Greenish purple.
VIRIDIS, -e (VEER-i-diss) - Green.
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. The portion of a rostellum that affixes the pollinarium to a pollinator.
VITELLIN (vi-TEL-in) - Any of several related substances in the seeds of plants.
VITELLINUS, -a, -um (vye-tell-LYE-nus) - The color of an egg yolk; vitelline.
VITTATE (vit-TATE) - Striped longitudinally.
VITTATUS, -a, -um (vit-TAY-tus) - Banded; marked with longitudinal stripes; also, provided with a vitta or vittae; vittate.
VIVIPAROUS (vye-VIP-a-ruhs) - Growing or sprouting on the parent plant.
VIVIPARY (vi-VIP-a-ri) - Germination of seed before abscission of its fruit.
VOLUBILIS, -e (vol-YEW-bil-iss) - Twining; rolling; turning.
VOLUTE (VOH-lewt) - Rolled.
VOLUTUS, -a, -um (voh-LOO-tus) - Rolled up like a scroll; having rolled leaves; volute.
VULCANICUS, -a, -um (vul-KAN-ik-us) or (vul-KAN-i-kus) - Growing on the sides of a volcano.
VULGARIS, -e (vul-GARE-iss) - Common; ordinary.

W
WARM HOUSE - A greenhouse intended for the growing of warm-growing tropical plants, the minimum night temperature usually maintained at 60 F.
WEED - Any plant growing out of place.
WETTING AGENT - Any surfactant, functionally aiding the even dispersal and application of pesticides.\
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. The arrangement of parts, such as leaves, in a circle around an axis.
WILDING - Any plant that grows wild or lives in a state of nature; not tame, domesticated, or cultivated.
WING - Any more or less thin, dry or membranaceous expansion of an organ or part.
WOOLLY - Provided with long, soft, and more or less matted hairs; like wool; lanate.
WORT - An old word for a plant or herb; now used only in combination, as "motherwort," "spiderwort," "liverwort.
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.

X
XANTHIN (ZAN-thin) - A yellow insoluble coloring matter extracted from yellow flowers.
XANTHINUS, -a, -um (zan-THYE-nus) - Yellow; yellowish; xanthous.
XANTHODON (ZAN-thoh-don) - Yellow-toothed.
XANTHOLEUCUS, -a, -um (zan-tho-LEW-kuss) - Yellowish white.
XANTHOPHLEBIUS, -a, -um (zan-tho-FLEE-bi-us) - Yellow-veined.
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).
XANTHOPHYLLUS, -a, -um (zan-tho-FILL-us) - Yellow-leaved.
XANTHOUS - Yellow or yellow-green.
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 (ZEER-oh-fite) - A plant adapted for growth under dry conditions.
XIPHIFOLIUS, -a, -um (zi-fi-FOH-li-us) - Having leaves like an Iris; iris-leaved; swordlike
XYLEM (ZYE-leem) or (ZYE-lem)  - That part of a vascular bundle which consists of vessel elements, tracheids and associated cells, which function in water transport throughout the plant.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.

Y

Z
ZEBRINUS, -a, -um (ze-BRYE-nus) - Zebra-striped; striped.
ZEYLANICUS, -a, -um (zee-LAN-ik-us) - Native of Ceylon; Ceylanese.
ZONATUS, -a,-um (zoh-NAY-tus) - Banded or marked with a zone of a distinct color; zonate.
ZYGOMORPHIC (zye-go-MOR-fik) - Capable of being divided into symmetrical halves in one plane only (usually the anterior-posterior), as the flowers of orchids; bilaterally symmetrical.
ZYGOTE (ZYE-goat) - Any spore formed by the conjunction of two gametes; loosely a zygospore. The cell produced by the union of two gametes; the individual developing from such a cell.
Definitions A-F Definitions G-L Definitions M-R Color Definitions