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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Glossary: B

bark bark
The outermost layer of non-living tissue on the main stem of a woody plant.
basal basal
At the bottom or base of; "all basal" leaves are confined to the base of the plant (compare alternate, whorled, or opposite leaves).
base base
Bottom of a plant at the ground, or proximal part of structure where it meets another structure (i.e., leaf base near junction with petiole).
basifixed basifixed
Attached at the base, as in the area where a petiole meets the leaf blade.
basipetal basipetal
In the direction of the base.
basiscopic basiscopic
In the direction of the basal end.
beak beak
Slender projection.
beard beard
Tuft of long hairs.
berry berry
A fleshy fruit with a juicy or succulent wall (called a pericarp) that encloses two or more seeds.
A plant that lives for two years, usually reproducing only in the second year before dying.
bifid bifid
Divided at the tip into two equal parts by a cleft (think "Pac Man").
bilabiate bilabiate
A corolla with two prominent lips and petals that are fused (usually into a tube) at the base.
bipinnate bipinnate
Twice-divided, as with leaves that are further subdivided into separate leaflets.
bisexual bisexual
A flower that bears both pollen-bearing organs (stamens) and ovule-bearing organs (carpels); aka "perfect".
bladder bladder
A hollow appendage that assists with flotation or captures prey (in Utricularia species).
blade blade
The expanded, outer portion of an organ, such as a leaf or petal, as opposed to the narrow, basal or inner portion.
bloom bloom
A white or white-blue powdery or waxy coating on a surface that can be rubbed away; or, a term referring generally to the flower.
blunt blunt
Ending abruptly in a rounded or squared-off tip; opposite: "sharp".
bract bract
A modified leaf that subtends an inflorescence or flower that is not part of the flower proper, commonly of reduced size compared with the foliage leaves.
bracteate bracteate
Having bracts.
bracteole bracteole
A small, modified leaf that grows just beneath the flower or on the pedicel above larger bracts.
branch branch
The side shoot of a stem or flower stem.
branched hairs branched hairs
Hairs with divided tips.
branchlet branchlet
An ultimate segment of a branch; a twig.
bristle bristle
A stiff hair.
brittle brittle
Easily broken when bent, as in some branchlets of Salix (willow) species.
broad leaf broad leaf
Leaves with blades that are conspicuously flattened and wider than needles.
bud bud
An undeveloped leafy shoot or flower.
bulb bulb
Underground storage organ enclosed by leaf bases or fleshy scales, such as an onion.
bulbiferous bulbiferous
Having bulbs.
bulbil bulbil
A small, leafy bulb, usually produced in the axils, capable of growing into a new plant; it is a plantlet that is genetically identical to the parent.
bulblet bulblet
A small bulb, usually arising from a parent bulb.
bundle scar bundle scar
A mark on the stem of a woody plant, created by the petiole and vascular bundles of vessels, that shows where a fallen leaf or twig had been attached; aka "leaf trace".
bundle sheath
Cylinder of cells surrounding a vascular bundle or bundle scar.
bush bush
buttress buttress
Flares or extension of a tree base that support the main stem.