From the 1989Yearbook of the CRFG Fruit Gardener


Pat Sawyer

Aggregate Collected into dense clusters or tufts.

Aggregate fruit One formed by clustering together the pistils that were distinct in the flower, as in a blackberry.

Akene (achene) A small, dry, hard, indehiscent, one-seeded fruit.

Alternate Growing singly at the nodes or axils; not opposite and not whorled.

Androecium The whole set of stamens.

Anastomosing Netted, particularly applied to veins so connected by cross veins as to form a network.

Annual A plant that completes its life-cycle within one year.

Anther The part of the flower on the stamen that produces the pollen.

Apomictic Producing seed without any form of fertilization orí sexual union.

Asepalous Without sepals.

Axis The central stem along which parts or organs are arranged; the central line of any organ.

Axillary Situated in or originating from the axil, or point at which a stalk or branch diverges from the stem.

Bark The outer woody or corky layer of the stems, functioning as a protector of the tissues within. The bark is composed of two layers, the outer and the inner, both distinct in structure, color, texture, and function.

Beak A prolonged firm tip, particularly of a seed or fruit.

Berry A fleshy fruit with more than one seed, but no true stone.

Blade The expanded part of a leaf or petal.

Calyx The external, usually green, whorl of a flower, contrasted with the inner showy corolla.

Cambium A single layer of cells between the xylem and the phloem. The cells of the cambium divide to produce more xylem and more phloem cells.

Capsule A dry fruit of more than one cell, usually splitting lengthwise along two or more seams. The fruits of the horse chestnut are capsules.

Carpel A modified leaf, one or more of which make up the female parts the plant.

Catkin A slender, compact flower cluster in which the unisexual flowers are developed on an elongated axis and are more or less concealed by conspicuous bracts. The walnut and oak have catkins.

Chimaera A plant formed from the tissues of two different forms or species, usually originating at a point where one form has been grafted onto the other, and showing parts of each parent. A graft-hybrid.

Clones A group of identical plants derived asexually from a single plant.

Compound Made up of several similar parts; a leaf made up of several leaflets.

Crown In a tree, the head or canopy of foliage.

Cultivar A cultivated plant distinct from others in any of its characteristics and which remains distinct when reproduced.

Dehiscent Refers to fruit which splits open at maturity.

Dimorphic Having two forms, as flowers with short stamens and long styles or long stamens and short styles.

Dioecious Having staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants, e.g., the kiwi plant.

Entire With smooth, untoothed margins.

Filament A thread, especially the stalk of an anther.

Floral tube A more or less elongate tube consisting of perianth and other floral parts.

Fruit The ripened pistil with all its accessory parts.

Genetic That which is inherited.

Girdling Removal of a ring of bark from around the stem, removing the phloem, but not disturbing the xylem, allowing water to pass readily up the stem. Removing the phloem prevents the sugar manufactured in the leaves from moving down the stem beyond the girdled area.

Glabrous Completely smooth, without hairs or any sort of roughness.

Glaucous Covered with an extremely fine whitish or grayish powder which rubs off easily.

Guard cells Cells around the stoma. They swell and close the stoma, preventing transpiration.

Hardpan A layer of compact clay or silt, too tight to allow roots to penetrate.

Hardy Able to withstand cold.

Head A tight flower cluster; in a tree, the crown.

Head back In pruning, to shorten the branches.

Hybrid The offspring of a cross-fertilization between two different but related species. Hybrids may or may not breed true.

Hermaphrodite Containing both sexes, i.e., functional ovary and stamens.

Husk The thin dry covering on some fruits and seeds.

lndehiscent Not splitting open, as an akene.

Internode The part of a leaf or branch between two successive nodes which serves to space them apart.

Lateral On or at the sides; not terminal.

Leader Central growing shoot.

Leaflet One of the divisions of a compound leaf.

Lenticel A warty or corky bark on the surface of branches or stems which provides a pore for air to reach the tissues beneath the bark layer.

Ligneous Woody.

Midrib The principal vein in a leaf.

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

Node The place at which a leaf, bud, flower or branch appears on the stem to which it is attached.

Nut A hard, dry fruit.

Opposite Of leaves, arising at the same point on either side of a stem or a branch.

Ovary The part of the flower that encloses the ovules.

Ovule The female part which, upon fertilization, forms the seed.

Palmate With the leaflets of a compound leaf, or the lobes of a simple leaf, radiating from one point like the fingers of a hand.

Panicle A compound, loosely branched flower cluster.

Pedicel The stalk of an individual flower of a cluster.

Perfect A flower having both stamens and pistils.

Petiole The stalk of a leaf.

Perianth The collective term for the sepals and stamen.

Pericarp The wall of a ripened ovary; sometimes refers to the fruit.

Phloem Food-conducting tissue.

Pinnate Referring to a compound leaf with two rows of leaflets, one on either side of a central stem.

Pistil The female parts of a flower.

Pod A dry fruit that splits open at maturity.

Pollen The fertilizing powder (male cells) formed in the anthers.

Pollinization The transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma; the union of the male and female elements for the purpose of fertilization.

Polyploid Having a chromosome number that is a multiple greater than two of the monoploid number.

Pome An apple-like fruit.

Proterandrous Shedding pollen before the stigma of the flower is receptive.

Proterogynous Having the stigma receptive before the stamens of the flower mature.

Pubescent Covered with soft, downy hairs.

Raceme An elongated flower cluster with many individual flower stalks springing from a single main stalk.

Rate of growth Rapid: an annual growth of three or more feet each year. Moderate: an annual growth of 1 foot or slightly more each year. Slow: an annual growth of less than one foot.

Receptacle The enlarged end of a stem which bears the parts of a flower. Also the fleshy part which encloses the ovaries in some types of plants.

Rib The primary vein of a leaf, or the ridge on a fruit.

Root stock The tree onto which a graft is made.

Scion A detached portion of a shoot used in grafting.

Sessile Unstalked.

Simple Not compound.

Species A group of individual plants resembling each other more than they differ from each other, and breeding true to reproduce their own kind.

Spike A flower cluster with the individual flowers stalkless, or nearly so, and set along a central axis.

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

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

Stoma (p1. stomata) A pore or opening between two specialized cells called guard cells.

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

Sucker A shoot arising near the base of a plant, from the roots or from the lower part of the stem or trunk.

Taproot The main central root of a plant, usually extending straight down into the ground on a line with the main stem.

Topwork Cut off the branches of tree and graft onto the stump.

Transpiration The giving off of water vapor from the plant.

Terminal At the end of a branch.

Tomentose Covered with short, flat, matted, dense hairs.

Turgid Full, but not swollen.

Umbel A flower cluster in which all flower stalks arise from the same point. The cluster can be flat-topped or round, depending upon the length of the individual flower stalks.

Variety A group of individuals within a species set aside from others by their slight deviation from the typical form.

Whorls Leaves or flowers arranged at the same level around a branch of a stem.

Xylem Water-conducting tissue.


Maimo. Evelyn and Frances Howard. Ornamental Trees, An illustrated Guide to Their Care and Selection. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, Calif. 1975.

Munz, Philip A. and David D. Keck. A California Flora. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, Calif. 1963.

Phillips, Roger. Trees of North America and Europe. Random House Inc. New York. 1978.