If plant names weren't difficult enough, plant terms are often a real barrier to understanding in gardening. However, get to know them and the opposite is true. Your knowledge grows and things become clearer and simpler.
Take the term pinnate for example. Once you know it, you can use just one word to communicate all the following:
'The arrangement of leaflets on opposite sides of a central axis, so that it looks a little like a "feather". The whole structure is the leaf which has been divided up into leaflets.'
For instance, the Kentia palm, Howea forsteriana, which many people have as a houseplant, has 'pinnate' leaves (see photo).
When writing plant records at GreenPlantSwap we like that! But it's not much good if people do not know the word. So we have recently added a Glossary of plant terms to GreenPlantSwap ... and not just any old plant glossary.
We wanted to build one as comprehensive as we could make it. The result is over 4x larger than any other dictionary of plant terms we could find online. It has over 3,300 botanical and plant-related terms, and 70,000+ words. If our Glossary was a book, it would have a chunky 250+ pages.
Not that you might think so looking at it. With web sites it can be difficult to know how much is there. So, feeling a bit immodest, I thought I would tell you.
As for the ladybird on the camellia bud, she's:
'A winged, brightly coloured beetle insect which is a predator on aphids, and therefore helps the grower.'
So we thought it was a good image to use for the Glossary. And as for for the aphids, here's the general definition:
'aphid (greenfly, blackfly)
These are plant sap-sucking insects which are generally regarded a pest. They may have the common name of greenfly or blackfly and may mass on succulent leaves and apical buds on plants such as roses and honeysuckle. They feed using a stylet which is inserted into the plant tissue, and can exude sticky honeydew (which may be fed on by insects such as ants). They may transfer diseases from plant to plant as they feed. They do have natural predators such as ladybirds.'
And then there's 30 aphid species to browse. It can become compulsive!
NB. You'll find the Glossary of plant terms in our Grower Tips section.