small, hard, dry, 1-celled, indehiscent fruit.
Acrid—Sharp or biting to the
Acuminate—Tapering at end to a
Acute—Terminating in a sharp
Aggregate fruit—Cluster of
ripened ovaries produced from a single flower containing numerous
pistils inserted on a common receptacle. Example: fruit of
magnolia or blackberry.
Alternate—Not opposite on the
axis, but borne at regular intervals at different levels.
structure of a stamen.
Apex—The tip or end of a bud
or leaf, i.e., the part opposite the base.
Apical—Pertaining to the tip,
end, or apex.
Appressed—Lying tight or close
Aromatic—Fragrant; with a
Axil—The upper angle formed by
a leaf or branch with a stem.
Axis—The central line of an
organ; a stem.
Bark—The outer covering of a
trunk or branch.
Basal—Pertaining to or
situated at the base.
Berry—A fruit which is fleshy
or pulpy throughout, and with several seeds imbedded in the pulpy
Bisexual—Having both stamens
and pistils, i.e., male and female.
Bloom—A powdery or somewhat
waxy substance easily rubbed off. Also, to produce or yield
Bole—The main axis or trunk of
Bract—Modified leaf subtending
a flower or belonging to an inflorescence.
covering a bud.
Bundle-scars—Scars on the
surface of a leaf-scar. Severed ends of the fibro-vascular bundles
which connected the twigs with the leaves.
Calyx—The outer perianth or
floral envelope, usually green in color; sepals, collectively.
formative tissue between the bark and wood. The active growing
portion of the tree.
Carpel—A simple pistil or one
member of a compound pistil. Capsule—A dry fruit composed of more
than one carpel and splitting open at maturity.
Catkin—An ament or spike of
Chambered—Said of the pith
when interrupted by hollow spaces at rather regular intervals.
Ciliate—Fringed with hairs on
buds at the side of auxiliary buds.
Compound—Composed of two or
more similar parts united in a whole.
Conifers—A group of trees
which usually produce their fruit in the form of a cone or
Corolla—The petals of a flower
Crown—The upper mass of
branches; also known as head.
Deciduous—Falling off, usually
at the close of the season.
Dehiscent—Splitting open at
Deliquescent—Said of the form
of a tree with a broad spreading habit. The branches sub-divide
until they apparently disappear.
Deltoid—Triangular like Greek
symbol for delta.
Dentate—Toothed, usually with
the teeth directed outwards.
Said of wood when pores in a growth ring are equal in size.
Dioecious—Unisexual, with the
staminate and pistillate flowers on separate plants.
extending out. Said of buds which point away from the twigs.
Downy—Covered with fine hairs.
Drupe—A fleshy fruit with a
pit or stone like a cherry.
Elliptical—Shaped like an
ellipse with sloping ends.
Elongated—Long, drawn out.
not cut or toothed.
Excurrent—Said of a tree with
a continuous trunk and erect habit of growth.
cleaving off of outer layers of bark.
Exotic—Of foreign origin.
Exudation—Oozing out of sap.
resin, or other juice.
Fascicle—A close bundle or
Fissures-—Grooves, furrows, or
channels as in the bark.
Follicle—A dry fruit produced
from a simple pistil and dehiscing along one line of suture.
Fruit—The ripened ovary of a
Glabrate—Somewhat glabrous or
Glandular—Bearing glands or
Glaucous—Covered with a bluish
or whitish waxy coating; a bloom.
Globose—Ball-like or nearly
Habitat—Site or place of
Hardwood—A collective term for
broadleaved trees, the wood of which may or may not be dense.
dead, central, usually darker colored portion of the tree trunk.
Hybrid—A crossbreed of two
Incised—Divided into lobes
separated by narrow or acute sinuses which extend halfway or more
Indehiscent—Applied to fruits
that do not split open to discharge the seeds, remaining closed at
Indigenous—Applied to plants
that are native to a certain locality. Not introduced.
Intolerant—Not shade enduring.
Involucre—A cluster of bracts
subtending a flower.
Lamina—The blade or flattened
portion of a leaf.
Lanceolate—Shaped like a
lance; several times longer than wide, and growing to a point.
Lateral—Situated on the side,
as the buds along the side of the twig.
Leaflets—One of the small
blades or divisions of a compound leaf.
Leaf-sear—The scar left after
a leaf falls.
Lenticel—A corky growth on
young or sometimes older bark, which admits air to the interior of
the twig or branch.
Linear—Line-like, long and
narrow, with parallel edges.
Lobed—Said of leaves that have
the margins more or less cut or divided.
Medullary—Pertaining to the
pith or medulla.
Medullary Ray—Radial lines of
tissues crossing the growth of rings at right angles and extending
into the bark.
Midrib—The central or main rib
or vein of a leaf.
Monoecious—Bearing male and
female flower parts in separate flowers on the same plant.
Mucilaginous—Slimy or gummy
when touched or chewed.
Multiple fruit—A cluster of
fruits of separate flowers crowded together and forming what
appears to be a single fruit. Examples: mulberry, strawberry,
Naked—Said of buds without
scales, and seeds without a covering.
Naval Stores—Refers to tar,
turpentine, resin, etc.
Node—A place on a twig where
one or more leaves originate.
dry, 1-seeded, fruit with a hard indehiscent covering and encased
partly or wholly in an involucre or husk.
Nutlet—A small nut.
Oblong—About twice as long as
wide, the sides nearly parallel.
Opposite—Said of leaves and
buds, directly across from each other.
Ovoid—Egg-shaped or nearly so.
Palmate—Radiately lobed or
divided from the petiole; hand- like as leaflets of buckeye.
Panicle—A loose, irregularly
compound flower cluster with flowers on pedicels.
Pedicel—The support or stem of
a single flower or fruit in a cluster.
Peduncle—A primary flower
stalk supporting a cluster of flowers or a solitary flower, later
the fruit. A fruit-stem.
Perennial—Lasting for more
than one year.
blooming, fruiting, or maturing.
Petiole—The stalk of a leaf.
leaflets on both sides of rachis or leaf stalk.
Pistil—Seed bearing organ of
flower. May consist of stigma, style, and ovary.
Pith—The soft central part of
a twig or stem.
Pod—Any dry, one chambered,
Pollen—The dust-like substance
from the anthers of a flower.
Pollination—The process of
bringing the pollen of the male flower in contact with the stigma
of the female flower.
Pome—A fleshy fruit with a
core, such as the apple or pear.
Porous—With open tubes
Pubescent—With short, soft,
Pungent—Acrid or sharp to
Pyramidal—Shaped like a
pyramid with the broadest part near the base.
Rachis—The stalk supporting
the leaflets of a compound leaf.
Resin-ducts—A passage for the
conduction of resin found in the leaves and wood.
Ring-porous—Said of wood which
has pores of unequal size, the larger ones being found in the
spring wood and the smaller ones in the summer wood.
indehiscent winged fruit such as that of maple.
Sapwood—The recently formed,
usually light colored wood, lying outside of the heartwood.
Scabrous—Rough, with stiff,
Scales—The small, modified
leaves which protect the growing- point of a bud or the part of a
cone which bears the seeds. The small flakes into which the other
bark of a tree divides.
Scurfy—Covered with small
Serrate—Having sharp teeth on
Sessile—Seated; without a
Sheath—A tubular envelope or
covering such as surround the base of pine-needles.
Silky—Covered with long, soft,
straight, fine hairs.
Simple—Consisting of one part,
Sinus—The cleft or opening
between two lobes.
Softwood—A general term given
conifers, the wood of which may or may not be of low density.
Stamen—Male organ of flower.
Consists of a pollen-bearing anther on a filament.
Stipule—A leaf-appendage at
the base of the leaf-stalk.
Stipule-scar—The scar left by
the fall of the stipule.
Stolon—A runner or basal
branch that may root.
Striate—Marked with fine
elongated ridges or lines.
Striations—Long narrow lines
Strobile—A fruit marked by
overlapping scales as in the pine, birches, etc.
Sucker—A shoot arising from an
Superposed—Said of buds when
they are arranged one above the other.
Symmetrical—Regular as to the
number of parts. Having the same number of parts in each circle.
Terminal—Located at the outer
Thorn—A stiff, woody,
sharp-pointed projection as found on locust; a spine.
Tolerant—Applied to trees
which endure certain factors, particularly shade.
hairy. Covered with matted hairs.
Tomentum—A dense layer of
Truncate—Ending abruptly, as
if cut off at the end. Tufted—Growing in clusters.
Unisexual—Consisting of one
sex only, either staminate or pistillate.
Valvate—Said of buds in which
the scales merely meet without overlapping. Fruit opening by
fibro-vascular tissue in leaves or other organs.
Whorl—A group of three or more
similar organs, as leaves or buds, arranged about the same place
Whorled—Borne in a whorl.
This content comes from an excellent regional publication of the Texas Forest Service:
Forest Trees of Texas, How to Know Them;
Bulletin 20, Texas Forest Service. Permission
granted for republication by the Texas Forest Service for