GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Here are our definitions for many of terms used on our site.
Acidic: A soil with a ph less than 7.0.
Alkaline: A soil with a ph greater than 7.0.
Annual bearing: Produces fruit in consecutive years.
Anther: The pollen-bearing part of the stamen (center of the flower)
Balled in burlap: A plant that has been dug from the field and has the root ball with the soil held intact by a wrapping of burlap. Abbreviated as BB.
Bareroot: A plant that has the soil removed from the root system. Abbreviated as BR.
Biennal bearing: Produces fruit in alternating years. (Produces fruit the first year, does not produce fruit the second year, then produces fruit the third year.)
Bipinnately compound: Twice divided leaves where the leaflets are arranged along a secondary stem.
Biopathic: A plant that secretes (throught the roots, nut husks, leaves) a substance that is toxic to other plants.
Botanical Name: This is the Latin name used to ditinguish plants. Appears throughout our site in parenthesis immediately following the common name. Since many plants have multiple common names, use of the botanical name eliminates confusing two plants with similar common names.
Cane: A long, vertical shoot with few or no braches. Usually associated with raspberries and roses.
Capsule: A pod or husk which contains a seed nut.
Chlorosis: A yellowing of the leaf due to a lack of chlophyll.
Clingstone: The flesh of the fruit is adhered to the pit (seed).
Clone: A plant that is reproduced vegetatively and will carry the same characteristics of the original plant.
Clump Form: Most commonly used to describe a tree with more than one trunk. Standard clumps typically would have 3 trunks.
Co-dominant Leader: A tree that does not have a single main stem, but forms two or more main stems in the crown of the tree.
Compound Leaf: A leaf with more than one blade. All blades are attached to a single leaf stem.
Conifer: Any plant that produces cones.
Columnar: A narrow, vertical form.
Crown: For a tree, it refers to the form or shape that the branches and leaves create, (rounded, dense, etc...). For other plants it refers to the point where the root system and the top of the plant meet, usually at ground level.
Cultivar: A specific selection of a species. May be used interchangably with variety. Example: Maple describes the species, Autumn Blaze Maple is a cultivar.
Deciduous: Any woody plant that drops its foliage and is leafless for part of the year.
Dripline: The point under the outermost tips of the branches.
Dwarf: A plant whose mature size is smaller than the mature size of the parent plant.
Exfoliating: The natural process and condition of the plants bark peeling away from the trunk or stem.
Evergreen: Any plant that does not drop its foliage for a part of the year.
Freestone: The flesh of the fruit does not adhere to the pit (seed).
Foliage: Another term for the leaf, or needle (in the case of an evergreen) of a plant.
Graft: The joining of tissues from two different plants by sectioning and allowing them to grow together.
Graft Union: The point where the graft is made.
Habit: Used to describe the general shape of a plant.
Herbaceous: Fleshy, soft tissue that dies to the ground in winter.
Hybrid: A genetic cross of 2 plants.
Introduced Native: A plant which did not grow here naturally, but was brought into the area from a distant geographical location and has established a reproducing population.
Invasive: A plant that will spread uncontrollably, possibly creating a monoculture.
Lance Shaped: Used to describe foliage shape. Meaning a long, narrow leaf with a pointed tip.
Leader: The dominant or main center stem of a tree.
Leaflet: Part of a compound leaf. The leaflet may resemble an entire leaf, but is only a part of the complete leaf assembly.
Lustrous: Glossy or shiny appearance.
Microclimate: A local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area.
Monoculture: An occurance where one plant type or species dominates a location, eliminating all other species.
Native: A plant that occurs here naturally. Has not been introduced from a another geographical location.
New Wood: Growth of a plant that was produced in the current growing season.
Old Wood: Growth of a plant that was produced from the previous growing season.
Palmately Compound: Used to describe leaf structure. The foliage is arranged around a central point, like the fingers are arranged around the palm of your hand.
Panicle: A cluster of small flowers that form a larger single flower head.
Part Shade: A location exposed to direct sunlight for 1/2 of the day.
Perennial: A plant which has foliage that dies to the ground in winter, then regrows from the root in spring.
Persistant: Hangs on for a long time, usually describing foliage or fruit that hangs on through winter into spring.
ph: The measure of a soils acidity or alkalinity. A scale of 0 to 14 is used, with values greater than 7.0 being alkaline, values less than 7.0 being acidic, and a value of 7.0 being neutral.
Pruning: A form of trimming in which individual branches are removed. Hedges are sheared, trees are pruned.
Pyramidal Form: Has a general form that is wider at the base than the top, ususally terminating with a point.
Racemes: A loose cluster of flowers.
Rhizome: A horizontal undergrond stem that sends out root and shoots.
Rootpruning: A process of cutting the root system at specific times of the year to form a more compact root system.
Scape: The stem that supports the flower on perennials. Usually associated with hosta and daylily.
Self: Used to describe the entire flower of a daylily.
Semi-dwarf: Usually associated with fruit trees, it refers to a mature size approximately 2/3 to 3/4 the size of a mature standard tree.
Serrated: Having a leaf edge that is jagged, often with teeth like that of a saw.
Shearing: A form of trimming in which multiple branches are trimmed at the same time, usually to reduce size and/or shape. Hedges are sheared, trees are pruned.
Species: Encompasses the entire family of similiar plants. Example: Maple is the species, Autmun Blaze Maple is a variety.
Specimen: A plant that is used singly as a focal point.
Standard: There are 2 definitions: 1) Refers to the full size plant. A standard plant is the full size, as opposed to a semi-dwarf or dwarf variety. 2) Refers to the trunk on a top grafted tree. Example: For Dwarf Korean Lilac Tree, the standard (trunk) is Japanese Tree Lilac, and the crown is Dwarf Korean Lilac.
Substance: Often used in regards to hosta foliage, it refers to the charcateristics of the leaf. (Heavy, wavy, lustrous, etc...)
Sunscald: Splitting or cracking on the trunk of a tree that occurs during the winter. This result occurs from direct exposure of the sun on the bark of the tree trunk.
Systemic: Affects the entire system of the plant.
Undercutting: Another term for root pruning. A process of cutting the root system at specific times of the year to form a more compact root system.
Understory: A plant that grows under the canopy (crown) of larger plants.
Variety: Another term for cultivar. Refers to a specific selection of a species. Example: Maple is the species, Autmun Blaze Maple is a variety.
Water Soluble: Dissolves when mixed in water.
Winterburn: The discoloration of evergreen foliage (needles) that occurs over winter. The foliage may turn orange-brown, and drop in spring. The technical term is dessication, which is a dehydration of the needle when low humidity and winter winds draw the moisture from the needle.
Xeriscape: A landscaping method developed especially for semi-arid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques. May also describe a plant that is drought tolerant.