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Adventitious - Organs unusual in position, as roots developing from stems or leaves.

Acaulescent - Without a stem, the leaves all basal.

Achene - A small, dry, hard, 1-loculed, 1-seeded, indehiscent fruit.

Acute - Sharp; tapering to the apex with straight sides.

Ament - Catkin; a usually deciduous dense spike or raceme.

Amplexicaul - Clasping the stem, as a leaf base or stipule.

Ampliate - Enlarged.

Androgynous - With staminate flowers borne above the pistillate ones, as in many species of Carex.

Annual -Plant growing from seed and producing flowers and seeds and dying the same year.

Anther - The pollen-bearing part of the stamen.

Anthesis - Flowering; when the flower is expanded completely and typically functional.

Apical - Located at the tip.

Apiculate - Ending in an abrupt slender tip.

Appressed - Lying close and flat against another part.

Areola - A small space on or beneath the surface, as between the veins in cacti, which bears the flowers, spines, glochids, or all three.

Armature (armed) - Spines, barbs, prickles, or thorns (or bearing them).

Ascending - Growing obliquely upward, often curving.

Attenuate - Gradually narrowing to a tip or base.

Auricle - An ear-shaped appendage.

Auriculate - With one or more auricles.

Awn - A bristle-like appendage; the tips of glumes and lemmas on many grasses.

Axil - The upper (ventral) angle between a leaf and a stem.


Banner - Upper petal of a papilionaceous flower, as in the sweet pea.

Basal - Related to or located at the base.

Beak - A prolonged, usually narrowed tip of a thicker organ, as in some fruits and petals.

Bearded - Bearing long hairs, usually in tufts.

Bidentate - Having two teeth.

Biennial - Plants living two years, usually flowering and fruiting the second year.

Bifid - Two-cleft to about the middle.

Bilocular - With two locules, as an ovary.

Bipinnate - Doubly or twice pinnate, as in many compound leaves.

Bladdery - Thin and inflated.

Blade - The expanded part of a leaf or petal.

BLM - Bureau of Land Management.

Bract - A reduced leaf subtending a flower, usually associated with the inflorescence.

Bracteate - With bracts.

Bristles - Stiff hairs.

Bulb - An underground leaf bud with thickened scales, as in the onion.


Caducous - Falling off early or prematurely.

Caespitose - Growing in tufts.

Calyx (pl. calyces) - Outer whorl of flowering parts; collective term for all sepals of a flower.

Campanulate - Bell-shaped.

Canescent - Covered with gray white or hoary fine hairs.

Capitate - Head-shaped, or in a head.

Capsule - A dry fruit of more than one carpel, which opens to release the seeds.

Cartilaginous - Like cartilage, tough and firm.

Catkin - A deciduous dense spike or raceme with bracteate, apetalous, unisexual flowers, as in Salicaceae.

Caudex (pl. caudices) - The woody base of an otherwise herbaceous perennial.

Caulescent - With a definite leafy stem.

Cauline - Belonging to or on the stem.

Ciliate - Fringed with marginal hairs.

Cinereous - Ash-colored; light gray.

Clasping - Leaf partly or wholly surrounding the stem.

Clathrate - Resembling lattice-work.

Claw - The narrowed base of the petal in some flowers.

Cleft - Split nearly to the middle.

Conic - Cone-shaped, with the point of attachment at the broad base.

Connate - The union of like structures.

Connective - Portion of the filament connecting the two cells of an anther.

Copious - Abundant, plentiful.

Cordate - Heart-shaped.

Corolla - Inner whorl of floral parts; collective name for petals.

Corymb - A flat-topped or convex racemose flower cluster, the lower or outer pedicels longer, their flowers opening first.

Crenate - Having margins with rounded teeth.

Crisped - Curled, wavy.

Cuneate - Wedge-shaped.

Cuspidate - Tipped with a cusp or a sharp, short, rigid point.

Cyaneous - Sky-blue.

Cyathium (pl. cyathia) - The inflorescence of Euphorbia, consisting of a 3-loculed ovary and a cuplike involucre bearing male flowers with solitary stamens.

Cylindric - Elongate and circular in cross-section.

Cyme - A flat-topped or convex paniculate flower cluster, with the central flowers opening first.

Cymose - With flowers in a cyme.


Deciduous - Falling off; not evergreen.

Decumbent - Resting on the ground, but with tip of the stem ascending.

Decurrent - Extending down the stem below the insertion, as with leaves or stipules.

Deflexed - Turned abruptly downward.

Dehiscent - Opening spontaneously when ripe to discharge the contents (fruit and anthers).

Deltoid - Equilaterally triangular; shaped like the Greek letter Delta.

Dentate - Having the margins cut with sharp teeth, which are not directed forward.

Denticulate - Minutely dentate or toothed.

Depauperate - Small or poorly developed, usually due to environmental conditions.

Dimorphic - Having two forms.

Dioecious - Having staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants.

Discoid - Disklike; having disk flowers.

Disk flowers - In Asteraceae, the tubular flowers of the head as distinct from the ray flowers.

Dissected - Deeply divided into numerous fine segments.

Dorsiventral - Having an upper and lower surface.


Elliptic - A flattened circle form, more than twice as long as broad, widest in the center and the two ends equal.

Emarginate - With a small notch at the apex.

Entire - Undivided; the margin continuous, not incised or toothed.

Epipetalous - Growing separately on the sides of the corolla, as with stamens.

Erect - Upright in relation to the ground, or sometimes perpendicular to the surface of attachment.

Erose - Irregularly toothed as if gnawed.

Explanate - Spread out flat.

Exserted - Protruding, as stamens projecting from the corolla; not included.


Federally listed species - Any species processed through the proposed and final rulemaking stages by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as threatened or endangered.

Filament - A thread, especially the stalk of an anther.

Filiform - Threadlike.

Fimbriate - Fringed.

Fistulose - Hollow, often rather enlarged.

Floret - The lemma and palea of the small included flower of a grass; also the small flower of the Asteraceae.

Follicle - A dry, dehiscent fruit with locule opening on one suture line.

Fornices - A set of small appendages in the throat of the corolla in the Boraginaceae.

FS - U. S. Forest Service

Funnelform - Gradually widening upwards, like a funnel.

FWS - U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Galea - The upper lip in certain 2-lipped corollas, as in Castilleja.

Gibbous - Swollen on one side.

Glabrate - Becoming glabrous with age.

Glabrous - Without hairs.

Gland - A depression, protuberance, or appendage which secretes a usually sticky fluid.

Glandular - Bearing glands.

Glaucous - Covered or whitened with a bloom, as a cabbage leaf.

Globose - Spherical or rounded.

Glomerate - Densely compacted in clusters.

Glumes - The pair of bracts at the base of a grass spikelet.

Glutinous - Sticky; with a sticky exudation.

Graduated - Marked with small regular distances.

Gynophore - The stalk of the pistil.

Gynaecandrous - Having the pistillate flowers of a spikelet borne above the staminate flowers.


Habit - General appearance of a plant.

Hemispheric - Half spherical.

Herbaceous - Pertaining to an herb; opposed to woody; having the texture or odor of a foliage leaf; dying to the ground each year.

Herbage - The stems and leaves of a plant.

Hispid - Rough, with stiff or bristly hairs.

Hispidulous - Minutely hispid.

Hirsute - Rough, with coarse, stiff hairs.

Hyaline - Translucent when seen in transmitted light.

Hypanthium - A cup-shaped enlargement of the receptacle on which the calyx, corolla, and often the stamens are inserted; in perigyny, the "calyx tube."

Hypogeous - Growing or living below the surface of the ground.


Imbricate - Overlapping as shingles on a roof.

Indusium - In ferns, the epidermal outgrowth that covers the sorus.

Inflorescence - The flower cluster of a plant.

Internode - The portion of stem between two connective nodes.

Involucel - A secondary involucre, as the bracts subtending the secondary umbels in the Apiaceae.

Involucre - A whorl of bracts subtending a flower cluster, as in the heads of Asteraceae.

Involute - With edges rolled inward toward the upper side.


Keel - A prominent dorsal ridge, analogous to the keel of a boat; the two lower united petals of a papilionaceous corolla.


Laciniate - Cut into narrow lobes or segments.

Lanate - Woolly; densely clothed with long entangled hairs.

Lanceolate - Lance-shaped; much longer than broad, tapering from below the middle to the apex and to the base.

Leaflet - A segment of a compound leaf.

Lemma - In grasses, the lower of the two bracts immediately enclosing the floret.

Ligneous - Woody, or resembling wood.

Ligule - Thin, collarlike appendage on the inside of the blade at the junction with the sheath in grasses; the strap-shaped part of a ray corolla in Asteraceae.

Limb - The expanded flat part of an organ.

Linear - Long and narrow, of uniform width, as the leaf blades of grasses.

Lip - One of the projections of an irregular corolla or calyx, as in the Lamiaceae or Orchidaceae.

Lobe - A division or segment of an organ, usually rounded or obtuse.

Locule - The cavity or cell of an organ, in reference to the pistils and stamens.

Loment - A legume which is constricted between the seeds.


Malpighian - Straight appressed hairs attached by the middle and tapering to the free tips; pick-shaped.

Marcescent - Withering without dropping off, especially basal leaves.

-merous - A suffix denoting parts or numbers, as 3-merous.

Mesic - Moist.

Midrib - The central rib of a leaf or other organ.

Moniliform - Having a chain-like series of bumps, swellings, or joints, resembling beads on a string.

Monoecious - Having staminate and pistillate flowers on the same plant, but not perfect ones.

Mottled - Marked with colored spots.

Mucilaginous - Moist and viscid; slimy.

Mucronate - Possessing a short, straight point, as some leaves.

Muricate - Rough with short and firm sharp outgrowths.


Nerve - A simple vein or slender rib of a leaf or bract.

Nodding - Bent to one side.

Node - The joint of a stem; the point of insertion of a leaf or leaves.

NPS - National Park Service.

Nut - A hard, indehiscent, usually 1-seeded fruit, produced from a compound ovary.

Nutlet - A small nut.


Obconic - Conical, but attached at the narrower end.

Oblanceolate - Inversely lanceolate.

Oblong - Much longer than broad, with nearly parallel sides.

Obovate - Shaped like the longitudinal section of an egg, but with the broadest part toward the tip.

Obtuse - Blunt to almost rounded at the end.

Ochroleucous - Yellowish white.

Odd-pinnate - Having a terminal leaflet instead of a tendril or pair of leaflets.

Orbicular - Approximately circular in outline.

Ovary - The part of the pistil that contains the ovules.

Ovoid - Egg-shaped.

Ovule - The part within the ovary that becomes a seed.


Palate - An appendage in the throat of an irregular flower partly or completely closing the throat.

Palea - One of the chafflike scales on the receptacle of many Asteraceae; the inner bract of a grass floret, often partly surrounded by the lemma.

Palmate - Lobed or veined where the branches arise from a central point, like the fingers on a hand.

Palmatifid - Palmately lobed or cleft.

Panicle - A compound racemose inflorescence.

Papilionaceous - Butterflylike corolla of the pea; with banner, wings, and keel.

Papillae - Soft superficial glands or protuberances.

Papillate - Having papillae.

Pappus - Modified calyx limb of the Asteraceae; consisting of a crown of bristles or scales at the summit of the achene.

Pectinate - With narrowly set divisions, as in the teeth of a comb.

Pedicel - The stalk of a single flower in a cluster, or of a spikelet in grasses.

Peduncle - The stalk of a flower or flower cluster.

Peltate - Shield-shaped; a flat body having a stalk attached to the lower surface.

Pendulous - Hanging downward; pendant.

Perennial - Of three or more years duration.

Perfect - A flower having both stamens and pistils.

Perianth - The floral envelopes; collectively, the calyx and corolla, especially when they are alike.

Perigynium (pl. perigynia) - The scalelike organ surrounding the pistil in Carex.

Perigynous - Borne around the ovary, not beneath it; as when the stamens, corolla, and sepals are inserted on the floral tube.

Petal - One of the leaves of a corolla, usually colored.

Petiolate - With a leaf stalk or petiole.

Phenology - The study of the timing of recurring natural phenomena (such as flowering), especially as they relate to climatic conditions.

Pilose - Bearing soft and straight spreading hairs.

Pilosulose - Bearing very small, soft, straight, spreading hairs.

Pinna (pl. pinnae) - a leaflet or primary division of a pinnate leaf.

Pinnate - A compound leaf having leaflets arranged on each side of a common petiole; featherlike.

Pinnatifid - Pinnately cleft into narrow lobes not reaching the midrib.

Pistil - The ovule-bearing organ of a flower, consisting of a stigma and ovary, usually with a style between; gynoecium.

Pistillate - Provided with pistils and without stamens; female.

Pluricipital - Many-headed, as in a branched caudex.

Pod - Any dry, dehiscent fruit, especially a legume.

Procumbent - Trailing on the ground, but not rooting.

Proposed Species - Any species of fish, wildlife, or plant that is proposed by the FWS or the National Marine Fisheries Service to be listed as threatened or endangered.

Prostrate - Lying flat upon the ground.

Pseudoscape - A false scape, as in a tulip where not all the leaves are basal.

Puberulent - Minutely pubescent.

Pubescent - Covered with short, soft hairs; downy.

Pulvinate - Cushion-shaped.

Punctate - Dotted with punctures, translucent pitted glands, or colored dots.

Pustulose - Bearing irregular blister-like swellings or pustules, mostly at the bases of hairs.


Raceme - A simple, elongated, indeterminate inflorescence with each flower subequally pedicelled.

Rachis - The axis of a spike or raceme or of a compound leaf.

Radiate - Bearing rays.

Ray - A primary branch of an umbel; also, in Asteraceae, the strap-shaped part of a ray flower, or the ray flower itself.

Receptacle - That portion of the floral axis upon which the flower parts are borne; in Asteraceae, that which bears the flowers in the head.

Recurved - Curved backward or downward.

Reflexed - Bent downward.

Reniform - Kidney-shaped.

Repand - With an undulating margin; less strongly wavy than sinuate.

Retrorse - Bent backward or downward.

Revolute - Rolled backward from both margins toward the underside.

Rhizome - An underground stem or rootstock with scales at the nodes, producing leafy shoots on the upper side and roots on the lower side.

Rhombic - Diamond-shaped.

Rosette - A crowded cluster of radiating leaves appearing to rise from the ground.

Rosulate - With a collection of clustered leaves; a rosette.

Rugose - Wrinkled.


Saccate - Bag-shaped.

Sagittate - Arrowhead-shaped, with the basal lobes turned downward.

Scaberulose - Intermediate between scabrous and minutely pilose.

Scabrous - Rough to the touch, owing to the structure of the epidermis or to the presence of short stiff hairs.

Scale - Any thin, scarious bract, usually a vestigial leaf.

Scape - A leafless peduncle rising from the ground in acaulescent plants.

Scarious - Thin, dry, and membranous; not green.

Secund - Arranged on one side only; unilateral.

Sensitive Species - A plant species, subspecies, or variety for which the Regional Forester or BLM State Director have determined there is a concern for the species viability within a state, as evidenced by a significant current or predicted downward trend in populations or habitat. This includes federal candidates and federally proposed species.

Sepal - A segment of the calyx.

Sericeous - Silky with long, slender, soft, more or less appressed hairs.

Serrate - Saw-toothed, the sharp teeth pointed forward.

Sessile - Attached directly by the base, not stalked, as a leaf without a petiole.

Seta - A bristle.

Setose - Beset with bristles.

Sheath - The tubular basal part of the leaf that encloses the stem, as in grasses and sedges.

Silicle - A short silique, typically less than twice as long as wide.

Silique - A many-seeded capsule of the Brassicaceae, with two valves splitting from the bottom and leaving the placentae with the false partition (replum) between them.

Sinuate - With a strongly wavy margin.

Soboliferous - Bearing sobols; elongate caudex branches.

Sorus (pl. sori) - The fertile portion of a fern frond; the place where sporangia are borne.

Spathaceous - Like a spathe (bracts enclosing a flower cluster).

Spatulate - Like a spatula, a blade rounded above and gradually tapering to the base.

Spicate - Having the form of or arranged in a spike.

Spike - An elongated axis of sessile flowers.

Spikelet - A secondary spike; the ultimate flower cluster in grasses, consisting of two glumes and one or more florets.

Spinulose - Having spinules, or small spines.

Sporangium (pl. sporangia) - A spore case or sac.

Sporophore - A spore-bearing stalk, as in Botrychium.

Spreading - Diverging almost to the horizontal; nearly prostrate.

Spur - A slender, saclike, nectariferous process from a petal or sepal.

Stamen - The male organ of the flower which bears pollen.

Staminate - Having stamens but no pistils; male, not seed-bearing.

Staminode - A sterile stamen, or what corresponds to a stamen.

Stellate - Star-shaped.

Stigma - The receptive part of the pistil on which the pollen germinates.

Stipe - The stalk beneath an ovary inserted on the receptacle.

Stipitate - With a stipe or a stalk.

Stipule - One of a pair of usually leaflike appendages found at the base of the petiole in many plants.

Stolon - A modified stem bending over and rooting at the tip or creeping and rooting at the nodes; a horizontal stem giving rise to a new plant at its tip.

Stoloniferous - Having stolons.

Stramineous - Strawlike as color or texture.

Striate - Marked with fine longitudinal lines or furrows.

Strigose - Clothed with sharp and stiff appressed straight hairs.

Strigulose - Intermediate between strigose and pilose.

Style - The contracted portion of the pistil between the ovary and the stigma.

Stylopodium - An enlargement or disklike expansion at the base of the style as in the Apiaceae.

Sub - A prefix signifying somewhat, slightly, rather, or almost.

Subulate - Awl-shaped.

Suffrutescent - Obscurely shrubby; very slightly woody, but not necessarily low.

Suture - The line of dehiscence of fruits or anthers; the line of a natural union or division between coherent parts.


Taproot - The primary root from which the secondary roots arise.

Taxon (pl. taxa) - Any taxonomic entity, as a division, class, order, genus, species, etc.

Terete - Cylindric; round in cross-section.

Ternate - Occuring in threes, as a leaf consisting of three leaflets.

Thyrse - A compact, ovate panicle.

TNC - The Nature Conservancy

Tomentose - With tomentum; covered with a short, densely matted, soft white wool.

Torulose - Constricted between the seeds.

Trichome - A hair.

Trichotomous - Three-forked.

Trifid - Three-cleft to about the middle.

Trifoliate (or trifoliolate) - With three leaves or three leaflets.

Trigonous - Three-angled.

Tripinnate - Triply or three times pinnate, as in many compound leaves.

Trophophore - A sterile leafy blade, as in Botrychium.

Truncate - As if cut squarely on the end.

Tuberculate - Bearing tubercles, or small tuberlike prominences or nodules.

Tuberous - Producing or resembling a tuber or underground stem.

Turbinate - Top-shaped.


Umbel - A flat or convex flower cluster in which the pedicels arise from a common point, like the rays of an umbrella.

Undulate - Wavy.

Unilocular - With a single cavity or compartment, as in many fruits.

Utricle - A small, bladdery, 1-seeded, usually indehiscent fruit.


Valve - One of the segments into which a dehiscent capsule or legume separates.

Villous - Bearing long, soft, and unmatted hairs; shaggy.

Viscid - Sticky, glutinous.


Whorl - A ring of similar organs radiating from a node.

Wing - A thin, usually dry extension bordering an organ; a lateral petal of a papilionaceous flower.

Atwood, D., J. Holland, R. Bolander, B. Franklin, D.E. House, L. Armstrong, K. Thorne and L. England. 1991. Utah Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Plant Field Guide. USDA Forest Servce Intermountain Region, Ogden, Utah.

Welsh, S. L., N. D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L. C. Higgins. 1993. A Utah Flora. Second edition. Brigham Young University Press. Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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