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Glossary of plant terms

Search our dictionary of 3,300 botanical and plant-related terms – the largest online.
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Another term for 'cross-fertilization'.


Means "loving dry places" in Latin.


A plant growing characteristically in dry situations, and often having features enabling it to withstand prolonged drought. Cacti, succulents, brooms and heathers all have adaptations to tolerate periods of little water. The cacti and succulents have swollen stems and leaves acting as reservoirs, whilst the brooms and heathers have reduced leaf surfaces to limit transpiration.


Means "sword-leaved" in Latin.

x symbol

The x symbol is used in many botanical texts to represent a hybrid plant produced from the cross-fertilisation of two distinctly different plants.


Vascular tissue made up of vessels and fibres, which transport water and mineral nutrients around the plant. Xylem is the main constituent of wood. Annular rings showing each years growth may often be seen. Plant tissue which has a fair amount of wood in it is referred to as "woody tissue". Lignin and cellulose are the major molecular compounds that make up the hard cell walls in woody tissue.

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