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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995

aile   wing  

the lateral petals in many orchids, pea flowers, etc.

aisselle   axil  

the upper angle between a leaf and its stem, where a bud usually develops (from the Latin for armpit).

akène   achene  

a single-seed dry fruit that does not split

anthère   anther  

the upper part of the stamen, attached to the filament, that produces pollen.

basale   basal  

grow at the base of the plant.

bractée   bract  

a leaf (or leaf-like structure) growing on the floral axis, often just below the flower.

caduque   deciduous  

(adj) trees that shed their leaves annually at the end of the growth period or at maturity.

calcaire   chalky, limestone  

calice   calyx  

the outer whorl of floral leaves that form the protective covering of the flower bud.

charnue   fleshy  

conifère   conifer  

(n) trees that reproduce by means of cones; generally evergreen, with slender prickly leaves (needles) or leaves with rounded points.

cyathe, cyme   cyme  

An inflorescence where the main axis and lateral branches are repeated and terminated by a flower. Branching can be regular and symmetrical or one-sides and asymmetrical.

digité   digitate  

having finger-like lobes, referring to leafs or bracts (the small leaf where the flower stalk joins the stem)

duveteux   hairy  


échancré   notched  

for ends of petals

épi   spike  

a simple elongated inflorescence with the individual flowers unstalked. (see also inflorescence, raceme)

épicalice   epicalyx  

a second calyx outside the true calyx; the calyx appears to be made of two whorls, or one set of sepals outside the other set of sepals.

étamine   stamen  

the male orgen of a flower, consisting of a stalk or filament, with the pollen-producing anther at the end.

foliole   leaflet  

garrigue   garrigue  

An extremely stony, limestone ground of the Mediterranean where only the hardiest plants (such as thistle, kermes oak and gorse) can survive. [compare: maquis]

glabres   hairless  

grappe   raceme  

an elongated inflorescence with the individual flowers stalked, with the youngest growing at the tip. (see also inflorescence, spike)

inflorescence   inflorescence  

A flower cluster on a plant, often at the top, on the same axis, above the leaves. The way in which flowers are arranged or develop on an axis. Very variable from one species to another. (see also spike, raceme)

lancéolé   lanceolate  

narrowing to a point at each end, or narrowing to a point at the tip (like a spear-head or lance-head).

limbes   falls  

the three outer and often drooping segments of the flower of an iris

maquis   maquis  

A scrub of thick, dense shrubs and small trees growing in the sandy soil of the Mediterranean region, including myrtles, heaths, arbutus (strawberry trees), rose laurel, ilex, cistus, Holm oak and cork oak. [compare: garrigue]

ombelle   umbel  

a flower cluster where the pedicels rise from the top of the main stem to form a flat or rounded cluster.

palmé   palmate  

hand-like shape.

panicule   panicle  

a loose, irregular flower cluster; a compound raceme

pappus   pappus  

thistle-down; tufts of fine hairs on fruit and achenes

pédicelle   pedicel  

a short slender stalk holding a flower or fruit.

pennée   pinnate  

having leaflets on each side of the central stalk (rachis).

pétiole   petiole  

the leaf-stalk

ramifiée   branched  

rhizome   rhizome  

a thickened, horizontal underground stem that stores food-producing roots below and leafy shoots above.

schiste   schist, shale  

silicule   silicula  

a pod-like fruit; not more than twice as long as broad, sometimes broader than long.

spathe   spathe  

a large bract-like organ that envelops or partly envelops an inflorescence at the end.

style   style  

the stalk that connects the stigma to the ovary.

tige   stem  

touffe   cluster  

grows in a clump or cluster

vivace   perennial