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Plant Identification Learning Module
Glossary of Botanical Terms: O–R







Oblanceolate Leaf Shape: The reverse of lanceolate, with the broadest half above the middle and tapering toward the apex. See Figure 15.
oblance Figure 15.


Oblate: Spherical, flattened on both ends.


Oblong: Longer than broad, and with the sides nearly parallel. See Figure 16.
oblong Figure 16.


Obovate: Inversely ovate, with the broadest half above the middle. See Figure 17.
obovate Figure 17.


Odd-pinnately Compound: A compound leaf terminated by a leaflet. See Figure 18.
oddpin Figure 18.


Opposite Leaf Arrangement: Two leaves at a node, one on the opposite side of the stem from the other. See Figure 19.
opposite Figure 19.


Oval Leaf Shape: Broadly elliptical, with the width usually greater than one half of the length. See Figure 20 .
oval Figure 20.


Ovary: Basal portion of the female flower that becomes a fruit.


Ovate Leaf Shape: Egg-shaped, with the broadest half below the middle. See Figure 21.
ovate Figure 21.


Ovoid: Shaped like an egg with the attachment at the broad end.



Palmate: A pattern where the leaves or leaf veins radiate from one point (as fingers radiate from the palm of a hand).


Panicle:  A branched inflorescence where the bottom flowers open first. 


Pedicel:  The stalk of a single flower in an inflorescence.


Perennial: A plant which lasts for three or more years.


Petal: One of the individual parts of the corolla.


Petiole: Stalk supporting the leaf.


Pinnate:  Arranged like a feather. In venation, major veins extend from the midrib to the margin. See Figure 21b .
oval Figure 21b.


Pinnately compound: A compound leaf divided into leaflets arranged on opposite sides of the stem.


Pit: The stone of a fruit such as in a plum or cherry.


Pith: Soft, spongy tissue in the center of the stem or roots.


Pods: Dry fruit that opens when mature.


Pome Fruit Type:  A fleshy fruit having seed chambers and an outer fleshy part. Ex: apple and pear. See Figure 22.
pome Figure 22.


Prickles:  A small, spine-like growth.


Pubescent: Covered with short, soft hairs.


Pyramidal:  Shaped like a pyramid, with a broad base and tapered point.



Raceme Flower Arrangement: An inflorescence consisting of a central stem bearing a number of pedicelled flowers; the pedicels of nearly equal length. See Figure 23.
raceme Figure 23.


Receptacle: The enlarged upper end of the stalk of a flowering plant, on which the flower parts are held.


Revolute Leaf Margin: Rolled backward, or underneath. See Figure 24.
fgh Figure 24.


Rhizome: Any prostrate, elongated, stem growing partially or completely beneath the surface of the ground.


Rosette Leaf Arrangement: Arrangement of leaves radiating from a crown or center and usually growing close to the ground. See Figure 25.
ghj Figure 25.