Glossary

Some of the characteristics used to identify your plant specimen may be unfamiliar to you. Please familiarize yourself with the glossary information below to assist in your search.

Flower Color
Select the color that most closely resembles the color of your plant specimen.  If you specimen has more than one color, first search by the predominant colors.  For these reasons, try searching by other color possibilities if your search does not yield any species  that match your specimen. 
Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly milkweed
Plant Form
Herb:  a plant lacking a persistent woody stem Shrub: a woody plant with several main stems rising from the base

 

Graminoid: a herbaceous moncotyledon that might be described as "grass-like". Graminoids include plants of the family Poaceae or true grasses, Cyperaceae or sedges, and Juncacea or rushes.

 

                     
  Tree:  a woody plant with a main and usually solitary trunk with lateral branches     Vine:  a herbaceous or woody plant that climbs by twining or tendrils or that creeps along a surface        
 
Leaf Type
  Simple:  made of a single part, unbranched  
  Compound:  made of two or more similar and united parts, or divided into two or more similar parts or leaflets  
     
 
         
Simple
Alternate
  Simple
Alternate
  Simple
Opposite
  Simple
Opposite
  Simple
Whorled
 
         
Compound
Alternate
  Compound
Opposite
  Compound
Alternate
  Compound
Opposite
  Double
Compound

Alternate
  Double
Compound

Opposite
 
     
  Leaf Arrangement  
  Alternate:  a single leaf at a node  
  Opposite:  two leaves at a single node  
  Whorled:  three or more leaves at a single node  
     
 
       
Alternate
Simple
  Alternate
Simple
  Alternate
Compound
  Alternate
Compound
  Alternate
Double
Compound
       
Opposite
Simple
  Opposite
Simple
  Opposite
Compound
  Opposite
Compound
  Opposite
Double

Compound
               
Whorled                
 
     
  Monocots and Dicots  
  Flowering plants or Angiosperms are the largest and most diverse group of plants. Angiosperms are divided into Monocots and Dicots. Monocots have one seed leaf and Dicots have 2 seed leaves.  
  Monocots: Can be determined by:  
  Flower parts (sepals, petals, stamens) usually in multiples of 3's.  
         
     
  Major leaf veins usually in parallel arrangement.  
                   
     
  Dicots: Can be determined by:  
  Flower parts usually in multiples of 4's or 5's.  
          
     
  Major leaf veins usually in netted or reticulated arrangement.  
              

2006 John R. Gwaltney. All rights reserved.