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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Sustaining Forests

Culturally and Economically Important Nontimber Forest Products of Northern Maine

Glossary of Botanical Terms

Alternate: Description of the arrangement of leaves, buds or leaf scars on branches or twigs.  In an alternate arrangement, leaves, buds or leaf scars appear singly, at different points. (Hyland & Hoisington, 1981)

Berry: A simple, pulpy fruit of a few or many seeds (but no stones), developed from a single ovary. (USFS Silvics manual)

Boreal Forest: A coniferous forest of the northern hemisphere characterized by evergreen conifers such as spruce, fir and pine. (USFS Silvics manual)

Breast Height: 1.37 m or 4.5 feet above groundline on standing trees, a standard height in the USA for recording diameter.  (USFS Silvics manual)

Catkin: A drooping, elongated cluster of bracted, unisexual flowers, found only in woody plants. (USFS Silvics manual)

Drupe: A simple, fleshy fruit surrounding one to several stony pits.  Ex- chokecherry. (Hyland & Hoisington, 1981)

Entire: Referring to a leaf whose margin does not have teeth or lobes.  (Hyland & Hoisington, 1981)

Leaflet: A component of a compound leaf (Gleason & Cronquist, 1991).  Some plants have leaves that are made up of two or more leaflets.  Leaflets usually resemble small leaves, and compound leaves are common in certain plant families.  For example, ash trees in the genus Fraxinus have leaves that are made up of 7 to 9 leaflets.

Margin: The edge of a leaf. 

Opposite:  Referring to leaves, bud, leaf scars or branches that appear directly across from each other on a twig, branch or stem.  (Hyland & Hoisington, 1981).

Raceme:  A long, cylindrical cluster of flowers.

Samara:  A dry, indehiscent winged fruit, one seeded in ash and elm species, two-seeded in maple species.  (USFS Silvics manual)

Serrate: Sharp, forward-pointing teeth.  (Hyland & Hoisington, 1981).

Spadix: A fleshy spike covered in small, crowded flowers. (Gleason & Cronquist, 1991).

Tincture: An extract prepared by soaking plant material in alcohol. The solid material is removed before use.

Glossary Sources: 3, 8, 10


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Last Modified: 05/24/2010