Latex: complex, often milky solution exuded from cut surfaces of some plants, representing the cytoplasm of laticifers and may contain defensive substances.
Laticifers: In many plants, elongated phloem cells that contain rubber, latex and other metabolites.
Layering: partial burial of stem tips or lightly injured sections of stem to encourage rooting. Once rooted, these sections can be removed to form new plants.
Leaflet: single segment (blade) of a compound leaf.
Legume: member of the family Fabaceae often associated with rhizobia (nitrogen fixing bacteria).
Lenticel: a corky spot on the surface of a twig or fruit; sometimes persists on the bark or skin to admit air into the interior.
Light soils: with a high percentage of sand, are free-draining and easily cultivated.
Lignin: polymer that may be associated with celluloses and proteins. When deposited in secondary walls, it adds strength and has significant defensive properties.
Littoral: shoreline environment.
Locule: a compartment or cavity of an ovary, anther or fruit.
Meristem: tissue where cells can divide mitotically to produce new cells, tissues and organs.
Mesocarp: fleshy part of the wall of a succulent fruit; the middle layer of the pericarp in a drupe.
Mesophyll: leaf tissue found between the upper and lower epidermal layers.
Micronutrient: a nutrient required in small amounts by plants.
Mineralisation: the process of breaking down organic compounds by soil microbes that releases nutrients in a form that can be assimilated by plants.
Monoecious: having stamens and pistils in separate flowers on the same plant.
Monotypic: having only one representative.
Mother cells: special cells in the anther and ovule that give rise to pollen or egg cells.
Mycelium: the mass of hyphae that forms the body of a fungus.
Mycorrhiza: symbiotic association of fungus and root.
Naked flower: having no perianth.
Necrosis: a type of cell death.
Nectar: the sugary fluid produced in specialised glands of some flowers to attract insects as pollinators.
Nectary: a gland that secretes nectar.
Node: the narrow region on a stem where a leaf or leaves are or were attached.
Nodules: specialised organs of a plant host containing symbiotic nitrogen fixing microbes.
Nucellar embryony: pollination occurs but there is no exchange of genetic material. Instead the embryo is formed from tissue surrounding the ovule and the progeny produced are clones of the parent.
Nucellus: maternal tissue surrounding the ovule.
Nut: a dry, hard, indehiscent, one-celled and one-seeded fruit; usually derived from a unilocular ovary.
Nutation: spontaneous spiralling movement of a growing plant part, especially with vines, caused by variation in the growth rates on different sides.
Oblate: a globose shape but flattened at the poles eg apple.
Obovate: egg-shaped with the broadest part near the apex.
Operculum: a deciduous cap on a flower bud.
Ovate: egg-shaped, about 1.5 times as long as broad, with the wider part at the basal end.
Ovule: In seed plants, the structure that contains the embryo sac and develops into the seed after fertilization of the egg contained within it.
Panicle: A compound raceme; an inflorescence in which the lateral branches arising from the peduncle produce flower-bearing branches instead of single flowers.
Palmate: radiately arranged, ribbed or lobed, as in the fingers of a hand.
Paripinnate: having a pair of leaflets at the apex.
Parthenocarpy: production of fruit without viable seeds, as in bananas and some grapes; may be induced artificially.
Pedicel: the secondary stalks of a compound inflorescence bearing individual flowers.
Peduncle: main flower stalk of a compound inflorescence, supporting either a cluster of flowers or the only flower of a single-flowered inflorescence.
Peltate: having the stalk of a leaf attached to the lower surface of the blade somewhere within the margin rather than on the margin.
Perennial: a plant that lives for more than 2 years.
Perfect flowers: having both functional stamens and pistils.
Perianth: calyx and corolla collectively, or the calyx alone if the corolla is absent.
Pericarp: the walls of a ripe ovule or fruit; its layers may be fused into one, or separated or divisible into epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp.