Category Archives: WoW

Word of the Week: Pubescent

Generally, the hairy surface (indumentum) of a stem, leaf, calyx, or corolla is described as pubescent. The individual hair (trichome) is an outgrowth of the epidermis. There are a number of different terms to describe hairiness,… Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Palmate

Two common forms of venation that are the starting point for many plant identification systems are palmate and pinnate. A third venation pattern is fan-shaped, as in gingko trees… A fourth form, arcuate, has a strong midrib, but also curved secondary veins in a more heart-shaped arrangement. The parallel venation of a fifth form appears in most monocot plants. Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Peltate

Plants with peltate leaves are rare in temperate climates like our mid-Atlantic states, appearing more commonly in tropical areas. But spring is a time when we see one of our local native ephemerals spreading out in broad colonies in the woods or on their edges like so many little umbrellas. Podophyllum peltatum, commonly known as mayapple, spreads via rhizomes and sends up stems that attach directly to the center of its lobed leaves. Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Samara

In some plants, the pericarp of an achene extends into a papery, wing-like tissue longer than the seed. This fruit is called a samara. The wings enable the wind to carry the seeds farther from the mother plant than wingless seeds.

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