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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995

achene   akène  

a single-seed dry fruit that does not split

anther   anthère  

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

axil   aisselle  

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

basal   basale  

grow at the base of the plant.

bract   bractée  

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

branched   ramifiée  

calyx   calice  

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

chalky, limestone   calcaire  

cluster   touffe  

grows in a clump or cluster

conifer   conifère  

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

cyme   cyathe, 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.

deciduous   caduque  

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

digitate   digité  

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

epicalyx   épicalice  

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.

falls   limbes  

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

fleshy   charnue  


the individual flowers that make a complete flower, or flowerhead


a flower that is made up of a tight group of separate flowers, or florets (as in daisies)

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]


spherical, globular shaped.

hairless   glabres  

hairy   duveteux  


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)

lanceolate   lancéolé  

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

leaflet   foliole  

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]

notched   échancré  

for ends of petals

palmate   palmé  

hand-like shape.

panicle   panicule  

a loose, irregular flower cluster; a compound raceme

pappus   pappus  

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

pedicel   pédicelle  

a short slender stalk holding a flower or fruit.

perennial   vivace  

petiole   pétiole  

the leaf-stalk

pinnate   pennée  

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

raceme   grappe  

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


bearing one or more racemes.


the central stalk which bears the leaflets of a compound leaf

rhizome   rhizome  

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

schist, shale   schiste  

silicula   silicule  

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.

spike   épi  

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

stamen   étamine  

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

stem   tige  

style   style  

the stalk that connects the stigma to the ovary.

umbel   ombelle  

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

wing   aile  

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