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

Glossary: S

saccate saccate
Shaped like a pouch or bag.
sagittate sagittate
Leaf base consistes of two triangular lobes pointed downward, like an arrow-head.
salverform salverform
A corolla with a basal tube that expands out into a flat limb.
samara samara
A winged, dry, indehiscent fruit (achene) that has wings.
sap sap
A watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant.
Species is listed as Special Concern in the indicated New England state.
scabrous scabrous
With the rough texture of sandpaper.
A tiny, modified, usually wedge-shaped leaf; in Carex species, the tiny bract associated with the perigynium; or, in some Asteraceae, a pappus of flattened chaff.
scape scape
A flower or inflorescence stalk that arises without leaves from ground level.
Thin and dry, often paper-like.
The smell given off by a plant or plant part; usually indicates an underlying chemical or signal.
schizocarp schizocarp
A dry, dehiscent fruit that splits into sections, each holding a single seed, as in some plants in the Apiaceae (carrot family).
scorpioid scorpioid
Resembling a scorpion's curling tail; as in an inflorescence with small alternating branches that curves to accommodate developing flowers.
scurfy scurfy
Covered with small, dandruff-like scales.
The shape of a corolla (or other structure) that is circular or nearly circular in outline and lacks a basal tube and has somewhat ascending lobes (i.e., the corolla is slightly convex within), more concave than rotate but not as concave as cupuliform; saucer-shaped.
scutelliform scutelliform
Saucer-shaped; a slightly upwardly rounded corolla.
secund secund
Bearing all like structures on one side of an axis, as with leaves or flowers all pointing to one side.
seed seed
A mature, fertilized ovule that contains the developing embryo (developing plant).
seed cone
An organ on conifers that contains the reproductive structures; the familiar "pine cone" is the organ that produces seeds.
Aging, about to die back.
sepal sepal
A single part of the outermost whorl of flower organs (the calyx). Often green, but sometimes other colors.
sepaloid sepaloid
An organ that resembles a typical, leaf-like sepal in color (green, brown or drab), texture, and shape.
septate septate
With one or more partitions (septa).
septicidal septicidal
Splitting along a partition (septum).
septum septum
A partition (plural: septa).
sericeous sericeous
Silky with long, soft hairs.
serrate serrate
With forward-pointing, sharp teeth.
serrulate serrulate
With small, forward-pointing teeth on the margin; finely serrate.
sessile sessile
Without a stalk.
seta seta
A short, thin, straight bristle.
setaceous setaceous
setose setose
Covered with bristles.
sheath sheath
A tubular tissue enclosing another tissue, usually referring to the area where a leaf base encloses the stem (important in grasses and Cyperaceae).
short shoot short shoot
A peg- or knob-like shoot (branchlet or other new growth) with closely crowded leaves.
shrub shrub
A woody plant lacking a tree-like form, usually shorter than 6m (18 feet) and with many stems at the base.
silicle silicle
A fruit, less than 3 times as long as wide, splitting by two valves (in Brassicaceae).
silique silique
A fruit, 3 times as long as wide, splitting by two valves (in Brassicaceae).
simple simple
Undivided or unbranched.
sinus sinus
The indented area between two lobes of an organ.
solid pith solid pith
Interior of branchlet is filled completely with tissue.
With a gray, dingy color.
sorus sorus
A structure in ferns and fern relatives that contains clusters of sporangia (spore-producing organs); plural: "sori".
spadix spadix
An unbranched, fleshy spike with flowers partially imbedded in it (unique to species in the Araceae).
spathe spathe
A large, sheathing bract that surrounds a specialized inflorescence called a spadix (in Araceae).
spatulate spatulate
special concern
A species that has suffered a decline (documented by scientific evidence), which could threaten its continued existence, or with a highly restricted distribution or specialized habitat.
The basic unit of biological classification consisting of organisms that share similar physical and molecular characteristics, and are capable of reproducing successfully.
spicule spicule
A tiny, stiff needle-like structure on the edge of an organ.
spike spike
An indeterminate flower cluster (inflorescence) consisting of a long axis with unstalked (sessile) flowers.
spikelet spikelet
In Cyperaceae and Poaceae, the structure contaning bracts and a number of florets.
spine spine
A slender, firm, sharp structure (round in cross-section) derived from a leaf or a portion of a leaf.
spinulose spinulose
With spines.
sporangiaster sporangiaster
A modified sporangium that partly covers the sorus in ferns.
sporangium sporangium
A small, thin-walled, usually stalked case that bears the spores of ferns and fern relatives (plural: sporangia).
spore spore
The tiny offspring of a sporophyte, as in ferns and their relatives.
sporocarp sporocarp
A hard, capsule-like structure that encloses the sorus.
sporophore sporophore
A fertile, modified leaf that bears sporangia in moonworts (Botrychium species) and adder's-tongues (Ophioglossum species).
sporophyll sporophyll
A reduced leaf that bears sporangia (spore-producing organs) at its base, i.e., in Lycophytes.
sporophyte sporophyte
The generation of plant that produces spores.
spreading spreading
Diverging from an axis by an angle of 45–90°, as in leaves or branches that are splayed out at a right angle from the stem.
spur spur
A tapering, sometimes curving projection.
squarrose squarrose
With tips of scales or bracts bending outward to create a rough appearance.
A state-level conservation status rank used to reflect the risk of extinction.
Generic term for a slender structure that attaches a small part to a larger support; includes peduncle, stipe, petiole, etc.
stamen stamen
A highly modified leaf in a flower that bears pollen; anther and filament collectively.
staminate staminate
With male organs (stamens).
A sterile, modified stamen.
stellate stellate
Star-shaped, as in hairs that form three or more branches from a single point.
stem stem
The main supporting axis of a plant, like the trunk of a tree.
sterile flower sterile flower
A structure with petals and/or sepals but no functionally reproductive parts; often produced to attract pollinators to more inconspicuous, truly reproductive flowers as in some Viburnum species.
stigma stigma
The surface tissue that receives pollen during the process of fertilzation, often found at the apex of the style.
stipe stipe
stipel stipel
Stipule-like outgrowth at the base of leaflets in compound leaves.
Borne on a stipe.
stipule stipule
An appendage, often paired, found at the base of the petiole in some species of plants, a part of the leaf.
stolon stolon
Horizontal stem growing along surface or just above or below the ground, rooting at intervals and giving rise to new plants or culms.
stomate stomate
A pore on the leaf that allows passage of gases into the leaf and water out of the leaf (plural: "stomata").
striate striate
With parallel lines or grooves.
strigose strigose
With stiff, short, appressed hairs.
strobilus strobilus
A spore-, pollen-, or seed-bearing spike covered in overlapping small leaves or scales, such as a pine cone or spore cone of horsetails.
style style
The stalk that connects the stigma(s) to the ovary.
submersed submersed
Below the surface of the water.
Appearing slightly before (as in flowers emerging shortly before leaves emerge).
subshrub subshrub
Small plants that are woody mainly at the base, with stems that are tough or only weakly woody; often used for low-growing evergreen species such as Mitchella repens (partridgeberry).
subtend subtend
To be positioned at the base of, as with bracts of a flower.
subulate subulate
Narrowly tapering from the base to the apex; awl-shaped.
succulent succulent
Juicy, thick, fleshy.
sulcate sulcate
summit summit
Top or apex of an organ, facing away from its point of attachment.
superior ovary superior ovary
The ovule-bearing organ of a flower that has the other floral parts (calyx, corolla, etc.) attached to its base.
superposed bud superposed bud
An extra (accessory) bud placed above or on top of a bud on the side of a branch.
suture suture
Seam or line at a juncture, usually referring to the place where a fruit will open to expose the seeds.
symmetrical symmetrical
With equally sized and shaped parts on either side of a central axis.
When species often tend to be found together; occuring in the same type of natural community or geographic area.
sympodial sympodial
With a discontinous main axis, where stem is a series of superposed branches.
syncarpous syncarpous
With united carpels.
Alternative scientific name for a taxon that is not the accepted, current name.