i would like to start by saying i found this on www.thegardenhelper.com . this is not my work, it is that of the person who posted this on the site mentionned above. I thought it is EXTREMELY INFORMATIVE and makes defining easy by using plain old english, and not technical terms!
Abaxial : the side away from the axis, such as the underside of a leaf.
Abscission : the natural falling off of plant parts such as leaves and flowers, induced by biochemical processes within the plant.
Actinomorphic : (radially symmetrical) symmetrical about multiple planes passing through the centre of the flower, eg. Drosera flowers. See also Zygomorphic.
Active trap : is a CP trap in which a movement of plant parts takes place during the trapping process.
Acuminate : narrowing suddenly to a point.
Acute : narrowing gradually to a point.
Adaxial : the side toward the axis, such as the upper side of a leaf.
Ala : literally, 'wing'; a broad blade-like expansion of the axial margin of a pitcher leaf.
Allantoid : sausage shaped
Alternate (of leaves) : growing from different heights along the stem
Ampulliform : flask-shaped, swollen below like a short flask eg. Nepenthes ampullaria.
Annual : a plant that grows from seed, germinates, produces more seeds and dies in one growing season, which is usually one year (opp. perennial).
Anther : the end portion of a stamen which bears the pollen.
Anthesis : the period in which a flower expands and/or pollination can take place.
Anthocyanin : a glucoside plant pigment (red in acidic cell sap) responsible for the colours of many plants and flowers (eg. the red pigmentation in Sarracenia, Dionaea, etc.).
Apex : the end part of a plant which is furthest from its point of attachment.
Apical bud : the bud at the tip or apex of a stem.
Areola (pl. areolae): a small pit; also used to describe the translucent 'windows' in upper pitchers of Darlingtonia and some Sarracenia ? also known as fenestration.
Ascidiform : pitcher-shaped, or with hollow tubular leaves.
Asexual : reproducing from vegetative parts.
Axil : the angle between the stem and upper surface of the leaf stalk growing from the stem.
Back-cross : a reproductive cross between a hybrid and one of its parent plants.
Basal : at the base; as in a basal rosette.
Basisolute (of bracts and bracteoles) : having the base produced downwards below the point of attachment, like a spur.
Beard : a confluence of plant hairs on the palate of a flower.
Binomial nomenclature : the modern system of biological classification whereby each living organism bears a two-word name corresponding to its genus and species.
Bog : a freshwater constantly moist or wet area dominated by mosses and herbaceous plants.
Bracts : small modified leaves without an axillary bud, found at the base of or along flower stems; and sometimes near or on the calyx ? as in Sarracenia flowers.
Bracteole : a small bract below the calyx.
Bulb : a swollen or rounded underground part, composed of a layer of fleshy scales and a bud.
Bulbous : rounded or squat shaped
Calyx : the outer group of parts of a flower consisting of the sepals.
Cambium : the living tissue just beneath the bark that gives rise to secondary xylem and phloem cells.
Campanulate : bell shaped.
Canaliculate : with a longitudinal groove or channel.
Capsule : the ripe seed case.
Carpel : in flowering plants, the ovule-bearing structure.
Cauline : inserted on the stem.
Chasmogamous : having flowers which are pollinated when open. See also Cleistogamous.
Chitin : the hard material of which the skeleton and wings of insects are composed.
Chlorophyll : the green colouring matter of plants which enables them to manufacture carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water, by using energy from sunlight.
Cilia : sometimes used to refer to the bristles of the Dionaea trap.
Circinate : rolled inwards from apex to base like a watch spring, as in the embryo leaves of many plants (eg. Drosera regia).
Clavate : club shaped.
Cleistogamous : having flowers that can self-pollinated and set seed without fully opening (eg. Utricularia subulata). See also Chasmogamous.
Clone : plants obtained by vegetative (non-sexual) propagation.
Column : the neck-like portion of the lowest part of the hood of the erect Sarracenia species.
Compost : a potting mixture usually containing two or more of the following: peat moss, coarse sand, Perlite, Vermiculite, Sphagnum moss, orchid bark.
Concave : curved inwards
Convex : curved outwards.
Cordate : heart shaped (as on playing cards).
Corm : a short, erect, swollen underground stem surrounded by dry leaf bases and lasting for one year only, each years corm arising from the last. See also tuber.
Corolla : the collective name for the petals of one flower.
Corymb : an inflorescence in which the branches and flower stalks are of different lengths which become increasingly shorter up the stem, so that the flowers are all held on the same level.
Cotyledon leaves : the leaves present in seeds and the first to appear following germination; seldom resemble the mature leaves of the plant.
Crenate : margin cut into blunt or rounded teeth.
Crescentic : crescent shaped.
Crocks : pieces of broken terra cotta pot sometimes placed at the bottom of a plant pot, covering the drainage hole(s), to improve drainage.
Cultivar (abbrev. cv.) : a plant variety obtained in cultivation.
Cuneate : wedge shaped; a term applied to leaves.
Cuspidate : ending in a sharp, stiff point.
Cuticle : a waxy, waterproof material forming the external layer of the epidermal cells.
Cyme : a branched inflorescence which keeps branching.
Cymose : having flowers arranged in a cyme.
Decumbent : lying on the ground but with the apex or tip pointing upwards; decumbent and prostrate are mostly used interchangeably.
Decurrent : where the base of a leaf extends down the stem in two wings.
Dentate (of a margin) : toothed, having sharp teeth.
Dichotomous : repeatedly dividing into two branches.
Diffusion : the passage of molecules of a substance in solution from a liquid where they are in high concentration to one where they are in low concentration.
Dilated : broadened, expanded, widened.
Dioecious : having male and female flowers on separate plants (eg. Nepenthes).
Door : in Utricularia, the veil of tissue that closes a trap opening.
Dormancy : the time when a plant is not in active growth
Dropper : a shoot which, in some seedling Drosera plants, is sent down into the compost from near the base of the stem, the growing tip then forming a tuber at a suitable depth (eg. Drosera whittakeri).
Ecosystem : an interacting community of organisms and their physical environment that is self-sustaining.
Ellipsoidal : a solid shape with an elliptic figure.
Elliptic : oval shaped, and somewhat narrower towards the ends.
Emarginate : notched at the end.
Endemic : a plant native to a specific region that is not found elsewhere in natural conditions.
Endogamous : self-pollinating.
Endosperm : nutrients enclosed in the seed to sustain early growth of the embryo plant.
Ensiform : leaves that are sword-shaped and are not hollow.
Entire (of a margin) : without teeth or lobes.
Enzymes : substances produced by and found in living cells; also found in digestive juices of carnivorous plants, each one having power to break down specific substances.
Epidermis : living cells which form the thin surface layer, usually one cell thick, on leaves and young shoots.
Epinastic : growing faster on one side of the leaf or stem than the other ? the means by which many active traps move.
Epiphyte (adj. epiphytic) : a plant which grows on another plant but is not a parasite; using the host plant purely for physical or environmental support.
Erose (of a margin) : irregularly toothed or apparently gnawed.
Falcate : curved like a sickle.
Family : a closely related group of genera. A family may have only one genus (eg. Cephalotaceae), but classification is at the same level as other families with two or more genera.
Fenestration : depigmented window-like areas of plant tissue ? also known as areola.
Fibrous root system : when all the roots arise from the same area and are about the same thickness and length.
Filament : thread-like; the stalk of a stamen.
Filiform : leaves whose shape are thread-like.
Fimbriate : feathery, or very finely divided.
Flabellate : fan shaped.
Flexuose : zig-zagged.
Flypaper trap : a carnivorous plant trap in which the victim is ensnared by sticky mucilaginous secretions.
Form (abbrev. f.) : a plant displaying an inherited characteristic differing from the typical species or variety, but not sufficiently stable or marked to justify the rank of variety.
Gamete : a sex cell; contains half of the chromosome number of the organism; two gametes combine to form a diploid cell.
Gemma (pl. gemmae) : a small body or modified leaf produced by the parent plant by non-sexual means which, when detached, may form another clone of the original plant.
Genus (pl. genera) : a group of closely related species; the generic name is given as the first of the two names of each species.
Gibbous : swollen or distended on one side.
Glabrous : having no hair.
Gland : a structure of one or many cells which secretes a substance.
Globose : sphere shaped.
Gnamma : a chemically weathered pit on a sheet rock surface.
Hermaphrodite : said of a plant having organs of both sexes.
Heterophyllous : said of a plant having dissimilar leaves.
Heterosis : is hybrid vigour. Refer page.
Hibernaculum (pl. hibernacula) : a winter resting bud formed when the main plant dies back, and from which the plant regenerates in suitable conditions. It is often rootless.
Hirsute : covered with fairly coarse and stiff long erect, or ascending hairs eg. Nepenthes hirsuta.
Hood : the lid-like appendage hanging over or above the opening of many pitcher leaves.
Hybrid : the off-spring resulting from a cross between two species or previously established hybrids.
Hypha, hyphal thread (pl. hyphae) : one filament of the vegetable body of a fungus.
Indumentum : a covering formed by hairs.
Inferior : said of the ovary when the sepals, petals and stamens appear to spring from the top of it.
Inflorescence : the flowering branch or flowering part of the plant above the stem leaves; includes branches, bracts and flowers.
Infundibuliform : funnel shaped, esp. relating to Nepenthes pitchers
Internode : the part of the stem between two adjacent nodes.
Interspecific cross : a hybrid between two species, sometimes called an interspecies.
Intraspecific cross : a hybrid between (most usually) two subspecies of the one species; probably given the rank of cultivar within the species.
Juvenile leaves : the leaves that form after the cotyledons appear; usually not resembling the mature leaves.
Lacinia (pl. laciniae) : fringed.
Lageniform : flasked shaped.
Lamina : the flat widened portion of a leaf or petal.
Lanceolate : shaped like a lance, narrowing to a point (eg. leaves of Drosera adelae).
Larva (pl. larvae) : immature insects in the 'worm' or 'grub' stage. The stage of gross feeding and development, between the egg and pupa stages.
Lenticulate : resembling a double convex lens.
Limb : the main part of a leaf after the petiole.
Linear leaf : one which is narrow with near-parallel sides.
Lobe : a division of a leaf, petal, sepal, or stipule.
Marl bog : a bog in which the 'soil' is alkaline marl with calcium carbonate.
Marsh : a tract of wet land, usually with fresh, salt, or brackish water to some depth, dominated by taller grasses and reeds.
Midrib : the main vein of a leaf running centrally and longitudinally through the blade.
Monotypic : only one species in a genus.
Morphology : the form and structure of an organism.
Mucilage : glue-like organic compounds of vegetable origin and complex structure; most usually found as the droplets on the ends of the tentacles of Drosera and similar genera plants.
Mucilaginous : containing or pertaining to mucilage.
Mutant : an organism in which the characteristics have been changed by alteration of its hereditary material.
Mycelium : the mass of fine threads or hyphae which forms the vegetable body of fungus and which seeks and absorbs nutriment.
Mycorrhiza : a mutually beneficial association between the root cells of a plant and the mycelium of a fungus-often called a mycorrhizal association.
Node : the region on a stem where leaves or branches arise.
Oblanceolate : inversely lanceolate, that is with the narrower end towards the point of attachment.
Obovate : somewhat oval; a term applied to a leaf or petal which is attached at the narrow end so that the distil end appears broader.
Obovoid : having a solid shape, obovate in outline.
Obpyriform : pear shaped, with the wider end towards the point of attachment.
Obturbinate : a solid shape, top-shaped with the narrower end towards the apex.
Obtuse : blunt, terminating gradually in a rounded end.
Orbicular : circular.
Ovalis : a solid with an oval figure.
Ovary : the container in which seeds are formed.
Ovate : egg shaped in outline, with the broader end towards the point of attachment.
Ovoid : a solid with an ovate figure.
Ovule : the part of the ovary that will develop into a seed after fertilisation.
Palate : a projection or platform-like structure on the lower lip of a sympetalous corolla.
Pandurate : cello shaped.
Panicle : a branched raceme.
Papillose : bearing minute pimple-like projections.
Parasite : an organism which lives in or on another, obtaining nourishment from it without being of service to its host.
Passive trap : a carnivorous plant trap in which no plant movement occurs as an integral part of the trapping process.
Pedicel : a stalk which is the last branch of an inflorescence, bearing the flower or fruit.
Peduncle : the major flower stalk which bears a cluster of flowers, or a flower stalk which bears a single flower.
Peltate : a leaf or other flattened structure in which the stalk is attached to the undersurface.
Pendulous : hanging down.
Perennial : a plant which normally lives for more than two seasons, as compared with an annual plant which flowers, sets seed and dies in a single season.
Perianth : the calyx and corolla of a flower or tepals.
Peristome : in Nepenthes, a plate inserted on the rim of the mouth in most species; it is down-curved on both sides, and thus semicylindrical in cross-section, and ribbed, the ribs being usually sharply toothed on the inner margin.
Petal : the leaf-like structure inside the sepals that is often coloured.
Petiole : the leaf stalk.
Petiolate : of leaves where the leaf-base narrows into a stalk before joining the stem.
pH : a logarithmic index for the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution; a reading below pH 7.0 indicates acidity, and one above pH 7.0 indicates alkalinity.
Phloem : the softer vessels (other than xylem) which carry food made in the leaf to the rest of the plant. See also xylem.
Photoperiod : the length of the daylight period.
Photosynthesis : is the synthesis by plants of carbohydrates and more complex substances from carbon dioxide and water, using the energy from light through the agency of chlorophyll.
Phyllode (pl. phyllodia) : leaf-like structures-in Sarracenia plants these are predominantly widened petioles.
Pistil : the female part of a flower comprising the ovary, style and stigma.
Pitchers : the leaves of Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus and Heliamphora. Typical leaves are ascidiform; that is, tubular or hollow. Ensiform leaves tend to be sword-shaped and are not ascidiform.
Pitfall trap : a carnivorous plant trap into which the prey falls and cannot exit.
Pollen grains : the male gametophytes that give rise to sex cells; they are produced in the anther of a flower.
Polymorphism : the condition in which plants of the same species (subspecific classification) have much variation in form.
Prostrate : lying flat on the ground.
Protozoa (sing. protozoan) : single-celled microscopic animals found in great numbers in both salt and fresh water, and in damp compost.
Pubescent : covered with hairs, eg. Sarracenia alata f. pubescens.
Pupa (pl. pupae) : the passive stage following the insect larvae stage, during which it undergoes metamorphosis and transforms into an adult insect.
Pyriform : pear-shaped, with the narrower end towards the point of attachment.
Raceme : an inflorescence consisting of a single main stem along which the flowers are borne on pedicels.
Reflexed : turned backwards abruptly.
Retentive glands : long-stalked secretory organs which have the ability to move towards and enfold the prey.
Retuse : with a rounded, shallowly notched end.
Revolute : that which is rolled inwards.
Rhizoid : a root-like structure with the appearance and function of a root.
Rhizome : an underground root-like stem bearing scale-leaves and at least one bud.
Rhombie : of a lamina when quadrilateral.
Rosette : a circular cluster of leaves.
Rostrate : provided with a long beak.
Saccate : forming or having the shape of a sac or pouch.
Saprophyte : an organism which obtains its food from dead organic materials.
Scadent : climbing.
Scale : small sap-sucking insects, having a green or brown chitinous shell to protect them from insect predators and contact insecticides; may be removed by hand, suffocated using white oil spray, or poisoned using a systemic insecticide spray.
Scape : a leafless flowering stem extending from a rosette of leaves or root itself to the flower or inflorescence.
Scapose : a plant whose flowers are borne on scapes.
Sepal : one of the leaf-like or petal-like members which make up the calyx of the flower.
Serrate : saw-edged, with the teeth pointing forwards.
Sessile : attached without a stalk or petiole.
Spatulate : spoon-shaped, wide at the top, narrowing toward the base.
Spathulate : an alternate spelling of spatulate.
Species (pl. species) : a group of mutually fertile and closely allied plants displaying differences from other related plants.
Spike : an elongated inflorescence where all the flowers are arranged as in a raceme, but where all flowers are sessile.
Stamen : part of the flower which produces pollen, usually consisting of a filament which bears the anther.
Stigma : the end of the style to which pollen must be transferred in order to germinate and bring about fertilisation.
Stipule : one of the two leaf-like appendages which are often present at the base of the petiole.
Stolon : in Darlingtonia, Utricularia, and some Drosera species, this refers to the underground stems of terrestrial and epiphytic species.
Stoloniferous : produces stolons.
Stratification : in horticulture, the process whereby seeds are exposed to a period of damp cold before they will germinate.
Style : the part of the pistil between the ovary and stigma.
Subglobose : not quite sphere-shaped.
Suborbicular : not quite a true circle.
Subspecies (abbrev. ssp.) : a plant that may be very similar to a species, but different in some subtle yet significant way. If it is not so different as to be a different species, it may be defined as being a different subspecies (eg. Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa).
Subulate : awl-shaped, linear, very narrow, tapering ro a fine point from a broad base.
Superior : said of the ovary when it is placed above the level of the sepals, petals and stamens in the structure of the flowers (opp. inferior).
Symbiosis : an internal link between two organisms which is to their mutual advantage.
Sympetalous : flowers having petals which are partly to completely fused.
Synonym : a different name, usually redundant, for the same species.
Tendril : a filament of varying dimensions special to climbing plants and having the ability to wind around a support.
Tentacles : stalked glands which produce mucilage and other secretions, and which hold trapped prey.
Tepal : used for flower parts where there is no distinction between the petals and the sepals.
Terete : solid, cylindrical in cross-reference.
Terrestrial : growing in the ground ? as opposed to aquatic or epiphytic.
Testa : the seed coat or outer covering of a seed.
Threshold : in Utricularia, the thickened surface against which the edge of the door rests.
Tomentose : covered in tomentum.
Tomentum : matted woolly threads on the surface of leaves and stems.
Trapdoor trap : a carnivorous plant trap in which an appendage closes over an opening and incarcerates the plant's prey.
Trichome : general term for an outgrowth from an epidermis, a hair or scale branched or unbranched, secretory, absorbing or non-functional.
Trichotomous : dividing into three approximately equal branches.
Tridentate : forked into three points.
Trigger hairs : spike-like structures which must be stimulated in order to induce the trapping action in Aldrovanda, Dionaea and Utricularia.
Trullate : shaped rather like a bricklayer's trowel
Truncate : cut off squarely at the tip.
Tubaeform : trumpet-shaped.
Tuber : a swollen underground stem, or occasionally a root, used to store food material.
Turbinate : top-shaped.
Turion : the hibernaculum or winter resting bud containing food, formed by many water plants including some of the aquatic Utricularia species.
Ubiquitous : having a wide geographical spread around the world; seen everywhere.
Umbel : an inflorescence in which all the pedicels arise at the top of the peduncle, are more or less equal in length, and hold the flowers at about the same level.
Umbraculiform : (umbrella-shaped) as in the Sarracenia flower.
Utricle : an organ in the shape of a wineskin capable of capturing prey, particularly in all Utricularia species.
Variety (abbrev. var.) : a large number of individuals which differ from others in that species, and breed true from seed.
Vegetative : concerning the growth of leaves as opposed to flowers; concerning non-sexual reproduction by means of cuttings, gemmae, grafting, etc.
Vegetative apomixis : a form of asexual reproduction in which plantlets bud from flower parts, including sepals, petals, stamens, and pistil.
Velum : in Utricularia a thin membrane which helps to seal the door by filling the chink below the lower edge of the door and the threshold.
Venation : the veins of an organ as a whole, or their arrangement.
Ventricose : having unequal swelling (eg. Nepenthes ventricosa pitchers).
Vernation : the manner in which the leaf is packed in the bud.
Viviparous : germinating from seed while still attached to the parent plant.
Wallum : health vegetation on sandy soil, low in nutrients.
Whorl : a group in which identical organs (eg. leaves) are arranged around the stem in a circle.
Xylem : tubes or vessels conducting water and minerals from roots to leaves. See also phloem.
Zone : a distinct region esp. the interior of a pitfall trap, exhibiting characteristics differing from neighbouring zones.
Zygomorphic : flowers symmetrical about one plane only eg. Utricularia flowers. See also Actinomorphic.
(if this causes any problems, say copyright or something or other, feel free to remove this post, and pm me)