Glossary

Ancient woodland indicator
n. Plants that are commonly found in woodland that have been in existence since at least 1600 AD. Ancient woodlands often have a rich variety of wild plants. As a rough guide, if the wood has three or more of the ten species listed in our guide, it can be considered ancient.

Anther
n. The part of the stamen that contains pollen.

Basal
adj. leaf. Located at or near the base of a plant. Arising, in bluebells, from the bulb.

Bract
n. A leaf-like or scale-like part, frequently small, sometimes brightly coloured, and located below a flower or flower stalk.

Bulb
n. bulbous adj. A short underground stem surrounded by fleshy leaf bases containing food stores.

Bulb scales
n. The succuluent structures that make up the bulb.

Diameter
n. (Abbr. d or diam.) A straight line passing through the centre of a figure, usually a circle or sphere.

Endemic
adj. Native to or confined to a particular region.

Filament
n.The part of the stamen that supports the anther, a stalk.

Flower
n. The reproductive structure of many plants, having either male (stamens) or female (pistil) organs or both male and female organs and normally enclosed by petals and sepals.

Flower spike
n. An elongated flower cluster (or inflorescence) with individual flowers borne on very short stalks (a raceme) or attached directly to the main stem (a spike).

Flower stalk
n. A stem-like structure that supports an individual flower.

Genus
n., genera pl. A category of classification ranking below a family and above a species and generally consisting of a group of species exhibiting similar characteristics.

Inflorescence
n. The flowering portion of the plant above the leaves, including its branches, bracts and flowers.

Keel
n. A ridge, like the keel of a boat.

Herb
n. A plant that does not produce woody tissue and dies back at the end of the growing season.

Leaf
n.
  • leaves pl. A usually green, flattened, structure attached to the stem and functioning as a principal organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in most plants.
  • linear adj. Narrow and elongated with nearly parallel margins.
  • lanceolate adj. Tapering from a rounded base toward an apex; lance-shaped.
  • acute adj. Having a sharp tip.
  • blunt adj. Having a rounded, not sharp, tip.
Native
adj. Originating in a certain place or region; indigenous.

Perennial
adj. A plant that lives three or more years.

Perianth
n. The outer, usually showy, non-sexual parts of the flower.

Petal
n. One of the often brightly coloured parts of a flower surrounding the male and female organs.

Line drawing to show different bluebell petal shapes
Pollen
n. A fine powder which produces the male gametes (sperm cells) in flowers.

Raceme
n. A type of flower spike with stalked flowers arranged singly along an elongated unbranched stem.

Species
n., pl. A category of classification, ranking below a genus, consisting of closely related organisms capable of interbreeding. An organism belonging to a species is represented by an uncapitalized Latin name and a capitalized genus name, as in Hyacinthoides non-scripta, the bluebell.

Stem
n. The main axis of a plant, a stalk or trunk.

Stamen
n., stamens pl. The male reproductive organ(s) of a flower, usually consisting of a filament and an anther.

Line drawings to show attachment of bluebell stamens
Tepal
n. The name given to the parts of the perianth when the outer sepals and inner petals are practically indistinguishable.

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