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A [BACK TO TOP]  Abortive ah-bor-tiv -- form or development is imperfect. ACAULESENT ak-aw-less-ent -- orchids that are, or appear to no true stem. ACUMINATE ak-kew-min-ayt -- describes a very sharp apex with long, straight or slightly concave sides. Accrescent ah-kress-ent -- increasing in size or length with age Acicular ah-sik-yu-lar -- needle shaped Aculeate ah-kyu-lee-ate -- prickly, sharp pointed. ACUTE ak-kewt -- ending sharply or abruptly, less than 90° Acuminate ah-kyu-mi-nate -- tapering to a slender point. ADHERENT ad-here-ent -- two dissimilar parts touching each other but not fused. ADNATE ad-nayt -- the attachment of two orchid parts either partially or completely fused. ADVENTitiOUS ad-ven-tish-us -- refers to buds and roots that appear from normal locations on the stem of a orchid. AERIAL ROOT air-ee-al root -- roots produced along the stem above ground, mainly by monopodial orchids, they usually do not enter the medium. AGGREGATE ag-greh-gayte -- forming a dense mass or grouping, clumped together, clustered Alate  ah- late -- being winged, having wig-like parts ALBINO al-bye-no -- flowers lack pigment, white flowers. ALTERNATE awl-ter-nayt -- arrangement of leaves/flowers on a stem or axis, not opposite each other. AMORPHOUS a-more-fuss -- having no regular or set form, formless. AMPHIGEAN am-fi-jee-an  -- the distribution of orchids, i.e., orchids that are found in both hemispheres ANASTOMOSING a-nass-toh-moh-zing -- interlacing or running together as the network of veins on a leaf. ANCIPITOUS an-sip-ih-tus -- having two edges and being flattened. some pseudobulbs have this characteristic, e.g. laelia rubens. ANDROECIUM an-dree-see-um – the male portion of the flower, i.e. the stamens. ANGIOSPERM an-jee-o-sperm -- the seeds are enclosed in a seed pod or fruit. Angraeciod an-grye-kiod -- orchids belonging to the Angraecum group of orchids ANNUAL an-yew-al -- orchid surviving one year/season only Anomalous ah-nom-a-lus -- having abnormal or irregular features ANTENNAE an-ten-nee -- slender, elongated appendages. ANTHER an-ther -- pertaining to the sac, portion of stamen containing pollen ANTHER CAP an-ther kap -- the covering over the pollinia of orchids. ANTHESIS an-thee-sis -- the period of time when the flower expands/opens ANTIPODAL an-tip-o-dal -- refers to orchids growing on both sides of the world ANTROSE an-tross -- the characteristic of growing upward or even forward. APETALOUS a-pet-uh-lus -- a flower without petals. APHYLLUS a-fill-us -- orchids without leaves APICAL ay-pik-al -- at the apex, used in reference to a leaf or bud at the tip of a stem. APICULATE a-pik-yew-layt -- ending in a sharp point. Apicule ah-pi-kyle -- having a sharp or abrupt projection Arachniod ah-rak-nyod -- being spider-like Arcuate ar-kyu-ate -- bow-shaped in form Articulate ar-tik-yu-late --possessing a node or joint Ascending ah-sen-ding -- growing or directed upwards ASEPALOUS a-sep-uh-lus -- a flower has no sepals. ASEXUAL ay-sek-shu-al -- sexless, a form of propagation requiring no seed but by using vegative segments ie kiekis to increase the population. Asymmetrical ah-si-met-ri-kal -- having no regular shape ATTENUATE at-ten-yew-ayt -- gradually narrowing to a point, long tapering AURICULATE aw-rik-yew-layt -- having appendages that are earlike in appearance. Auricle aw-ri-kl -- an ear-like extension Auriculate aw-rik-yu-late -- having auricles AWL-SHAPED awl-shaypt -- with a stiff point usually tapering gently from the base to the apex. AXIL ak-sil -- upper angle formed between stem, branch or leaf AXILE ak-syle -- on the axis AXILLARY ax-ill-airy -- situated on an axis AXIS ak-siss -- the main stem of a orchid B [BACK TO TOP]  BACKBULB bak-bulb -- old leafless psuedobulbs, when removed from the parent orchid and re-potted can produce a new orchid BANDED ban-ded -- flowers and leaves that have strong lines of colour, ribs, or similar markings. Barbate bar-bate -- barbed or bearded BASAL bay-sul – the flower spike comes from the base of the pseudobulb. Basifixed bas-i-fixd -- attached to the base BEAK beek -- a long pronounced point, said of the stigma projection that forms the rostellum. BEARD beerd -- an hairy area sometimes found on flowers. BIENNIAL bye-en-nee-al -- a orchid with a life cycle across two growing seasons, usually growing vegetatively the first season and flowering in the second. BIFARIOUS bye-fair-ee-us -- orchid parts arranged in two rows. Bifid bi-fid -- divided into two equal lobes BIFOLIATE bye-foh-lee-ayt -- with two leaves. BIFURCATE bye-fur-kayt -- said of stigma, styles, lip, or some hairs that are forked. BIGENERIC bye-jen-ehr-ik -- refers to hybrids made between genera. Bilobate by-low-bate -- two-lobed Bilobed by-lobed -- see Bilobate Bilocular by-lok-yu-lar -- having two cells or compartments BISEXUAL bye-sek-shu-al -- flowers having both male and female parts. BLADE blayd -- the flattened, expanded portion of the leaf. BLOTCH blotch -- said of an irregular colour spots on the flowers. BOOTS boots -- often said of the pouchlike lips as on cypripedium flowers. Brachiate

brak-ee-ate -- branches or other parts spreading at nearly right-angles.

  BRACT brakt -- the leaflike structure that subtends a flower, leaf or stem. Bracteate brak-tee-ate -- being bracts BRACTEIFORM brak-tee-form -- in the form of a bract. BRACTEOLE brak-tee-ohl -- said of a very small bract, often called a bractlet. BRISTLY bris-lee -- with stiff hairs. BUD buhd -- the unopened flower. BULB buhlb -- an enlarged or swollen stem, a storage organ. Bulbil bul-bil – new bulb, especially Pleiones Bulbose (bul-bows) – puffed up base with a bulb Bulbous (bul-bus) – bulb-like C [BACK TO TOP]  Calcarate kal-kah-rate – spurred Calceolate kal-see-oh-late -- slipper-like Calli kal-eye -- plural of callus CALLUS kal-lus -- hard often waxy projections found on lips of orchids, such as phalaenopsis. CALYX kay-liks -- the outermost segments of the flower; the sepals. Campanulate kah-pan-yu-late -- bell-shaped Canaliculate kan-ah-lik-yu-late -- channelled, grooved length ways. CAP kapp -- the removable cover over the pollinia, as in anther cap. Capitate kap-pi-tate -- gathered into a head or dense cluster. Capitulum ka-piyu-lum --a head of densely clustered stem-less flowers Capsule kap-sool --a dry seed-pod Carinate kah-ri-nate -keeled, having a longitudinal line ridge on the lower surface Carnose kah-nows -- fleshy, pulpy Cataphyll kat-ah-fil -- undeveloped leaf at the beginning of a new growth CAUDA kaw-da -- an elongated tail-like growth or projection. CAUDATE kaw-dayt -- flowers furnished with tail or tails Caulescent kaw-less-ent -- producing a stem above ground CAUDICLE kaw-dik-ul – little stem, the stalk of a pollinium. CAULINE kaw-line -- belonging to a stem. CELL sell -- the smallest unit of a orchid structure. CILIATE sil-ee-ayt -- fringed with small hairs CIRCUMBOREAL sir-kum-bohr-ee-al -- orchids found all around the world in the northern hemisphere. CIRRHOUS seer-rus -- a tendril CLAVATE klav-ayt -- club-shaped with the thickening increasing towards the apex. CLAVELATE klav-el-ayt -- club shaped, thickened towards the apex CLAW klaw -- long, narrowstalk-like base of petals,sepals or lips Clawed Klawd --possessing a claw Clinandrum Kli-nan-dree-um -- cup-shaped area of the column of the flower in which the anther lies. CLONE klohn -- a new orchid derived from  vegetative propagation of the original orchid Coalesce Koe-ah-less -- growing together referring to similar parts of the flower COLUMN kol-um -- the central part of the orchid flower, formed by the stamen and the pistil COMOSE koh-mose -- with hair in tufts. COMPACT kom-pakt -- short or compressed. COMPRESSED kom-pressed -- flattened, usually laterally. CONCAVE kon-kave -- hollow, dished. Congeneric

kon-je-ner-ik -- belonging to the same genus


kon-jes-ted -- crowded very closely together

  CONICAL kon-ik-al -- cone-shaped. CONNATE kon-ayt -- joined, two similar segments joined at their bases. CONNECTIVE kon-nek-tiv -- the tissue that unites the two cells of the anther. CONVEX kon-veks -- curving upward,  arched, rounded CONVOLUTE kon-vo-loot -- rolled up, edges over-lapping CORDATE kor-dayt – heart-shaped, as leaves. CORIACEOUS kor-ee-ay-shus -- describes leaves that have a thick, leathery texture. CORM korm -- a swollen stem base, usually underground. a storage organ. Costate kos-tate -- ribbed or veined Crenate kre-nate -- margins notched or scalloped Crenulate kren-yu-late -- possessing notches CREST krest -- an elevated ridge on the lip CRESTED krest-ed -- bearing a crest. CRISPATE kris-payt -- having very strong wavy margins; the ultimate form of undulation. Cristate kris-tate -- crested, comb-like Cuneate kyu-nee-ate -- wedge-shaped, triangular Cucullate kyu-kyu-late – hooded CUPPED kupt -- floral segments that are dish-shaped, cup-like, cup shaped CYLINDRICAL sil-lin-drick-al -- round and equal from top to bottom. Cymbiform

sim-bi-form -- boat-shaped

  D [BACK TO TOP]  DECIDUOUS de-sid-yew-us -- a orchid that sheds its leaves annually and is leafless for a period of time. DECUMBENT dee-kum-bent -- a reclining stem with the tip turned upwards. DENTATE den-tayt -- applies to the tooth-like margins found on leaves and petals, usually sharp and coarse. DENTERMINATE dee-ter-min-ayt -- when the terminal flower opens first, this prevents further elongation of the flower spike. DENTICULATE den-tik-yew-layt -- minutely dentate. DIANDROUS dye-an-drus -- having two stamens. DICHOTOMOUS dye-kot-oh-mus -- continually dividing into two's, said of branches when they fork into pairs. DIMORPHOUS dye-mor-fuss -- having two forms, said of orchids with juvenile and mature foliage. DIPHYLLUS dye-fill-us -- having two leaves, bifoliate. DISC disk -- a fleshy structure found on the basal portion of the lips of the orchid DISTICHOUS dis-tik-us -- orchids whose flowers or leaves are in two on opposite sides of the stem. DIURNAL dye-urn-al -- when flowers open and are fragrant during the day. DORSAL door-sal -- pertaining to the dorsal sepal; the back, uppermost sepal. DOWNY dow-nee -- covered with hairs, usually short, soft hairs. E [BACK TO TOP]  ELLIPTIC el-lip-tik -- oval leaves in shape and equally rounded at the base and apex. ELONGATE ee-long-gayt -- a very long or drawn-out leaf or pseudobulb. EMARGINATE ee-mar-jin-ayt -- a leaf with a shallow notch at it's tip. ENDEMIC en-dem-ik -- a orchid from a given area and found nowhere else. ENSIFORM en-sih-form -- leaves that are sword-like in shaped. EPHEMERAL ee-fem-er-al -- flowers open for a short time i.e. one day. EPIDERMIS ep-ih-der-mis -- the layer of cells that forms the covering of all orchid parts. EPIPHYTE ep-ih-fite – a orchid that lives on a tree but does not draw nourishment from it. EQUITANT ek-kwi-tant -- overlapping leaves that form two ranks ERECT ee-rekt -- growing in an upright.manner EROSE ee-rohs -- a leaf tip that appears to have a torn margin or looks like an insect had chewed it EVERGREEN ev-er-green -- a orchid that retains its leaves for more than one year EXCRESCENCES eks-kress-en-sus -- wartlike growth, often watery. EYE aye -- a vegetative bud at the base of the pseudobulb or growth of sympodial orchids. F [BACK TO TOP]  FALCATE fal-kayt -- shaped like a sickle, Scythe-shaped. FAMILY fam-il-ee -- a natural unit in taxonomy wherein one or more genera are combined because of a number of similar characteristics, e.g., orchidacae. FERTILIZATION fer-tih-lih-zay-shun -- the fusion of the male FETID fet-tid -- having a very disagreeable odor. FIBROUS fye-brus -- having structures resembling fibers. FILAMENT fill-uh-ment -- the stemlike structure which supports the anther; a part of the stamen. FIMBRIATE fim-bree-ayt -- the flower being fringed FIMBRILLATE fim-bri-late -- having minute fringes. FLACCID fla-cid – soft and limp FLESHY ROOT flesh-ee root -- a large, thick, succulent root. FLEXUOSE flex-yu-ose – wavy, bending or curving gently FLORA floor-uh – orchids native to a given area or region FLORIFEROUS flo-riff-er-us -- having flowers, an orchid that flowers freely or has many flowers. FLOWER flou-er -- a stem bearing a pistil or stamens or both generally surrounded by petals or sepals or both. FOLIAGE foh-li-ij -- the leaves. FOOT fut -- a projection at the base of the column. FORKED forkd -- having two or more prongs; in orchids this means divided into two equal segments. FRECKLED freck-eld -- petals or sepals covered with small dark-coloured spots. FRINGED frinjd -- having a border or margin with an edging of fine hairs. FURCATE fur-kate -- forked FURROWED fer-rohd -- having long grooves. FUSIFORM few-sih-form -- shaped like a spindle, tapering to both ends G [BACK TO TOP]  GALLATE gal-ee-ate – helmet-shaped GAMOPETALOUS gam-oh-pet-uh-lus -- having the petals in a flower fused. GAMOSEPALOUS gam-oh-sep-uh-lus -- having the sepals in a flower fused. GENERA jen-eh-ruh -- the plural of genus. GENUS jee-nus -- a taxonomic subdivision of a family. Each genus is composed of one or more species GENICULATE jen-nik-yu-late – bent abruptly, similar to a knee. GLABROUS glay-brus -- without hairs, smooth. GLADIATE glad-ee-ate – sword-like GLAUCOUS glaw-kus -- having a whitish or bluish-grey bloom on the foliage GLOBOSE glo-bohse -- almost round. GLUTINOUS glu-tin-us -- very sticky. GROOVED groo-ved -- having furrows or ridges. GYNANDRIUM jye-nan-dri-um -- the organ containing the male and female portions of the orchid flower. GYNANDROUS jye-nan-drus -- having the stamens attached to the stigma and style in one unit. GYNOECIUM jye-nee-see-um -- the female portion of the flower. H [BACK TO TOP]  HABIT hab-it -- the form or shape of a orchid. HABITAT hab-ih-tat -- the area where a orchid grows in its native land. HAIR hair -- a collective term to describe all of the various outgrowths on orchid parts, such as pubescent, hirsute, ect. HEAD hed – having flowers in a tight cluster at the top of the flower spike. HERMAPHRODITE her-maf-roh-dyte -- the perfect flower, having both male and female organs. HIRSUTE her-soot -- orchids having coarse, stiff usually long hairs. HOODED hood-ed -- floral segments that form a hood. HORNED hornd -- having a hornlike projection, as the lip of Stanhopea. HRYBRIDIZATION hye-brid-eye-zay-shun -- the act of producing hybrids. HYALINE hy-ah-leen – transparent or transluscent HYBRID hye-brid -- a orchid that results from the crossing of two distinct species between genera. I [BACK TO TOP]  IMBRICATE im-bree-kayt -- when leaves and other orchid segments overlap in a shingle-like arrangement. IMPERFECT im-per-fekt -- an incomplete flower, lacking parts. INCISED in-sysd -- having deep margins, usually irregular cut. INDETERMINATE in-dee-ter-min-ayt -- when the lower flowers open first and the apex of the flower spike remains closed. INDIGENOUS in-dij-en-us -- an orchid native to a specific area or region. INFERIOR in-fear-ee-or -- beneath, said of ovaries wherein the floral segments are attached at the apex of the ovary. INFLEXED in-flexd – bent or turned away suddenly inwards or downwards INFLORESCENCE in-floor-ess-ents -- the stem bearing the flowers, the flowering portion of a orchid. INFUNDIBULIFORM in-fun-dib-yu-li-form – funnel or cone shaped INROLLED in-rold – floral segments where the margins are rolled in INTERNODE in-ter-nohd -- the segment of a stem between two nodes INTRORSE in-troars -- facing inwards towards the axis of the growth INVOLUTE in-vol-ute – in-rolled, with both edges rolled in towards the middle, giving a spiral appearance in cross-section J [BACK TO TOP]  JOINTED joyn-ted -- having very distinct nodes. K [BACK TO TOP]  KEEL keel -- the main dorsal vein KIEKI kay-kee -- an off-shoot, an advantageous growth L [BACK TO TOP]  LABELLUM lah-bel-lum -- a modified petal of an orchid flower, the lip. LABIATE lah-bee-ate -- lipped, furnished with a lip LACERATE lah-ser-ayt -- appearing torn, or cut irregularly along the margins. LACINIATE la-sin-ee-ate -- narrowly incised or slashed along the margins LAGENIFORM la-gen-i-form -- flagon shaped LAMELLA la-mel-ah -- a thin plate or scale LAMINA lam-i-na -- the blade or extended part of the leaf or petal LANCEOLATE lan-see-oh-layt -- in the form of a lance, being longer than broad and tapering towards the apex. LATERAL lat-err-ul -- coming from the side. LAX laks – having loose, flexible, drooping segments not dense LEAD leed -- the green, usually flat segment that grows out from a stem. LEAFLESS leef-less -- a orchid without leaves. LENTICULAR len-tik-yu-lar -- lens shaped LIGNEOUS lig-nee-us -- woody LIGULATE lig-yew-layt -- strap-shaped, as leaves. LIMB lim -- the flat, expanded portion of any segment, expanded section of the lip. LINEAR lin-ee-ayr -- leaves whose sides are parallel and are long and narrow, grasslike. LINGUIFORM lin-gwi-form -- tongue shaped LINGULATE ling-yew-layt -- tongue or strap shaped LIP lipp -- the labellum. LOBATE loe-bate -- having lobes LOBE lohb -- any division of a segment, as the lobes of a lip, normally three-lobed in orchids. LOBED lohbd -- having parts with lobes. LOBULE low-byool -- a small lobe LOCULE lok-yewl -- one of the compartments in the ovary of an orchid. LORATE lor-ayt -- strap-shaped, as leaves. LUNATE loo-nate -- crescent shaped LYRATE lye-rate -- shaped similar to a lyre M [BACK TO TOP]  MACULATE mak-yu-late -- spotted, stained or blotched MARGINATE mar-ji-nate -- having a distinct border or margin MEDIUM mee-dee-um -- the material in which an orchid is grown MENTUM men-tum -- a chin-like protuberance. MESOCHIL mes-oh-kil -- part of the lip when the structure is separated into three parts MIDRIB mid-rib -- the main vein of a leaf. MONANDROUS mo-nan-drus -- having one anther/stamen. MONOCOTYLEDON mon-oh-kot-i-lee-don -- has a single seed leaf MONOPODIAL mon-oh-poh-dee-al -- an orchid that grows perpendicular to the horizon with very strong apical dominance. e.g., Phalaenopsis, Vanda MUCRO moo-krow -- a short and sharply abrupt tip MUCRONATE moo-krow-nate -- having a small, short, sharp tip at the apex of a leaf. MULTIGENERIC mul-ti-jen-er-ik -- orchid hybrids made from many genera N [BACK TO TOP]  NAKED nay-ked -- devoid of a covering, orchid seeds which lack endosperm. NECTAR nek-tar -- the sugary exudates of various glands on a orchid. NECTARY nek-tar-ee -- the gland that produces the nectar, often found at the base of a lip or the base of a spur on a lip. NEPHRIOD nef-royd -- kidney shaped NERVE nerv -- the small vein of a leaf. NETTED net-ted -- when veins form a connected network. NOCTURNAL nok-ter-nal -- flowers that open or are fragrant only at night. NODE noed -- the point on the stem or pseudobulb where the leaves or bracts are attached, a knot or joint NODOSE noe-dose -- having nodes are knotty or knobbed NUTANT noo-tant -- nodding, drooping O [BACK TO TOP]  OBCORDATE ahb-kor-dayt -- having heart-shaped lobes at the apex of the leaf. OBLANCEOLATE ahb-lan-see-oh-layt -- lance-shaped in reverse, i.e., widest at the apex. OBLONG ahb-long -- with parts that are longer than they are wide. OBOVATE ahb-oh-vayt -- egg-shaped, narrowest at the base. OBTUSE ahb-toos -- blunt, rounded at the tip. OFFSET awf-set -- a lateral shoot ORBICULAR or-bik-yew-lar -- round in shape. ORCHIDACEAE or-kid-day-see-ee -- the latin name for the orchid family. ORCHIDIST or-kid-ist -- a person who is very interested in orchids and their culture. ORCHIDOLOGY or-kih-dol-oh-jee -- the study of orchids. OVAL oh-val -- having parts like a thickened ellipse. OVATE oh-vayt -- egg-shaped in outline. OVOID oh-void -- egg-shaped as a solid form. OVULE oh-vuhl -- a small protuberance in the ovary, capable of forming a seed when fertilized. P [BACK TO TOP]  PALMATE pal-mate -- lobed, or divided in a palm, hand-like manner. PANDURATE pan-doo-rate -- fiddle shaped PANICLE pan-ih-kul -- having a branched inflorescence, lower branches being longer PANICULATE pa-nik-yu-late -- arranged in a panicle maneer PAPILAE pa-pill-ee -- small pimple-like projections on a segment PARASITE par-ra-site -- a orchid that derives its sustenance from another living plant. PARIETAL pa-rye-eh-tal -- a form of placentation found in orchids where ovules are borne on the walls or on protrusions of the wall of the ovary. PARTITE par-tite -- divided at the base PATENT pa-tent -- spreading, opening widely  PECTINATE pek-ni-tate --shaped like a comb PEDICEL ped-ih-sel -- the stem of a single flower on an inflorescence. PEDUNCLE pee-dung-kol -- the stem of a cluster of flowers, of the stem of a solitary flower where the inflorescence is reduced to a single flower. PELUCID pe-loo-sid --transparent, clear PELORIC pe-loe-rik -- abnormal formation of the flower PELATE pe-late -- shaped like a shield PENDULOUS pen-doo-lus -- inclined and hanging downwards PERENNIAL per-enn-ee-al -- a orchid with a life cycle that continues for years. actually any orchid that lives more than two years. PERFECT per-fekt -- a flower not being mis-shaped and having both male and female organs. PERFOLIATE per-foo-lee-ate -- having a leaf surrounding the stem PERIANTH per-ee-anth -- floral envelope, a collective term for the two outer whorls of floral segments PETAL pet-al -- the inner whorl of the perianth; the segments, of which there are usually three with one highly modified; the lip. PETALOID pet-uh-loyd -- having the appearance of a petal. PETIOLE pet-ee-ohl -- the stalk of a leaf. PILOSE pye-lohs -- shaggy, having a covering of long soft hairs. PISTIL pis-til -- the female organ of the flower which produces the seed; a stigma, style, and ovary. PISTILLATE pis-ti-late -- bearing a pistil PLACENTATION pla-sen-tay-shun -- the arrangement of the ovules in an ovary. PLAITED pla-ted -- folded length ways, a closed fan PLEATED pleet-ed -- folded as a fan PLEUROTHALLID ploo-row-thah-lid -- pertaining the the Pleurothallidinae group PLICATE plye-kayt -- folded leavesin a fan shape PLUMOSE ploo-mose -- feathery, feather-like bearing hairs on each side POD pod -- a rather general term for a dry, dehiscent fruit. POLLINATION pol-lih-nay-shun -- the act of the transfer of the pollinia  from the stamen to the pistil POLLINIA pol-lin-ee-uh -- the compact packets of pollen found in orchid flowers. PROCUMBENT pro-kum-bent -- lying flat, a stem growing horizontally on the surface of the ground. PROLIFERATION pro-lif-fer-ay-shun -- bearing offsets. PROSTRATE pros-trate -- being flat on the ground. PSEUDOBULB soo-doh-buhlb -- a bulb-like stem, above ground thickened portion of the lateral branch of sympodial orchids. PSEUDOBULBOUS soo-doh-buhl-bous -- with pseudobulbs. PUBESCENS pew-bess-enz -- covered with short, soft hairs, soft and downy PUBESCENT pew-bess-sent -- a general term referring to hairs on orchids. PYRIFORM pye-rih-form -- pseudobulbs that are shaped like pears. Q [BACK TO TOP]  QUADRANGLAR kwod-ran-gyu-lar -- having four sides QUADRATE kwod-rate -- squared QUADRIGENERIC kwod-ri-je-ner-ik --pertaining to four genera with reference to hybrids R [BACK TO TOP]  RACEME ray-seem -- a cluster of flowers on short stalks. RACEMOSE ray-see-mose -- growing in the form of a raceme RACHIS ray-kiss -- the main axis of a spike of an inflorescence, branch of a panicle RADICLE rad-ee-kul -- pertaining to the root or base RAMIFICATION ram-ee-fi-kay-shun -- the style or mode of the branching of an orchid RAMOSE rah-mose -- branched RANKS ranks -- refers to the arrangement of flowers or leaves in vertical rows, having two ranks means two vertical rows of leaves. RECEPTACLE ree-sep-ta-kul -- the enlarged apex of a stem upon which some of the floral segments are attached. RECURVED ree-kurvd -- bending backwards. REED-TYPE reed-type -- sympodial orchids with long lateral branches containing many leaves and of uniform thickness REFLEXED  re-flexd -- bent or turned backwards RENIFORM ren-ee-form -- kidney-shaped REPAND re-pand -- gently undulating, wavy RESUPINATE ree-soo-pin-ayt -- upside down, inverted in position RETICULATE re-tik-yu-late -- forming a network of veins on a leaf RETUSE ree-toos -- rounded at the end with a shallow notch. RETRORSE re-trorse -- turned backwards downwards REVOLUTE rev-oh-lewt -- the leaf having its margins rolled back. RHIZOME rye-zohm -- a horizontal stem, either on or just below the ground, which has roots and erect lateral branches. RIB rib - primary vein of a leaf RIDGED rid-jd -- having raised lines in pseudobulbs. ROOT root -- a leafless segment of a orchid, usually underground. ROSETTE roh-zet -- the leaves all radiate out from a central axis and form a circle, a basal cluster ROSTELLUM ros-tell-um -- a little beak; the sharp apex of the stigma that separates the pollinia from the stigmatic surface; a gland. ROSTRATE ros-trate -- having a beak ROSULATE ros-zoo-late -- growing in a rosette ROTATE ro-tate -- wheel shaped ROTUND ro-tund -- nearly circular , inclining to be oblong RUFFLED ruff-uld -- having a very wavy margin. RUGOSE roo-gose -- roughened by wrinkles RUGLOSE roo-gyu-lose -- finely wrinkled RUPICULOSE roo-pi-koe-lus -- growing on or near rocks or stones S [BACK TO TOP]  SACCATE sak-kayt -- shaped like a sack, bag-like SAGITTATE sa-ji-tate -- shaped like a arrow head SAPROPHYTE sap-roh-fite -- a orchid which lives on dead organic matter SARCANTHAD sar-kan-thad -- a member of the sub-tribe sarcanthinae SAXICALOUS sax-i-koe-lus -- growing near rocky places, on rocks SCABROUS skab-rus -- rough or gritty to the touch SCAPE skayp -- a leafless flower stalk, often arising from the ground, no foliage leaves but flowers. SCAPOSE skayp-ohs -- having flowers on a scape. SECUND se-kund -- unilateral, bourne on one side only. SEED seed -- a matured ovule capable of producing a new orchid. SEED POD seed pod -- the mature ovary containing the mature ovules SEEDLING seed-ling -- any orchid formed from a seed which has not yet attained flowering size. SEGMENT seg-ment -- pertains to the parts of the flower, such as petals, sepals, etc. SELF-FERTILIZATION self-fer-tih-lih-zay-shun -- the fertilization secured by pollen from the same flower SELF-POLLENATION self-pol-en-nay-shun -- transferral of pollen from the stamen  to pistil of the same flower SEMI-EPIPHYTE sem-ee-e-i-fite -- not truly epiphyte, partly epiphytic SEMITERETE sem-ee-ter-reet -- the leaves of hybrids formed by crossing strapped-leaved orchids with terete-leaved orchids as in vanda. SEPAL see-pul -- one of the modified leaves forming the pouter and lower series of the floral envelope or flower SEPULINE see-pu-line -- pertaining to the sepal SEPTATE sep-tate -- divided into partitions SERRATE ser-rate -- saw toothed SERRULATE ser-yu-late -- minutely serrate SESSILE sess-il -- stalkless, without a stem SHEATH sheeth -- any leaflike structure in orchids that envelops the developing buds and emerging pseudobulbs. SHOOT shoot -- the new growth of a orchid, usually a portion of the stem with its attached leaves. SIMPLE sim-pul -- a non-branched flower spike SINUATE sin-yu-ate -- wavy margins SINUS sye-nus -- a depression between two lobes of a lip, leaf, or flower SMOOTH sm-ooth -- a surface free of all blemishes; not hairy, not rough SOLITARY sol-ih-tay-ree -- only one flower per inflorescence. SPATHEACEOUS spa-thay-shus -- furnished with a sheath, sheath-like SPATHE spayth -- a bract of leaf that subtends or encompasses an inflorescence. SPATHULATE spath-yew-layt -- shaped like a spoon. SPECIES spee-sheez -- a number of orchids that are non-hybrids SPICATE spy-kate -- in the form of a spike SPIKE spyke -- an inflorescence with flowers that are without stems. SPIRAL spy-ral -- when leaves are arranged on the stem so as to form a spiral. SPOTTED spot-ted -- having irregular areas of colour on sepals, petals, or leaves. SPRAY spray -- a general term used to describe all types of inflorescences. SPUR sper -- the tubular extension on the flower usually containing a nectar STALK stawk -- see stem STAMEN stay-men -- the male portion of the flower STAMINODE stam-in-ohd -- a pollenless or sterile stamen. STELLATE stel-ate -- star-like STEM stehm -- a main axis which bears leaves and eventually flowers STEMLIKE stehm-like -- appearing like a stem. STIGMA stig-muh -- the apex of the pistil, STIPE sty-pe -- a slender stalk-like base STRAP LEAF strap-leef -- leaves that are long and narrow STRIPED strypd -- having lines of color on sepals, petals, or leaves. STRIATE stry-ate -- having longitudinal lines, ridges or grooves STRIOLATE stry-oh-late -- faintly striped STYLAR CANAL syt-lar kan-al -- a canal leading to the ovary through which the pollen tubes pass. SUB sub -- meaning almost, as subcordate, almost heart-shaped. SUBCORDATE sub-kor-date -- almost heart-shaped SUBCORIACEOUS sub-koe-ree-ay-shus -- approaching a leathery texture SUBERECT sub-ee-erkt -- nearly upright SUBGENUS sub-jee-nus -- sub-divided groups within the genus. SUBSESSILE sub-ses-ile -- almost stemless SUBSTANCE sub-stans -- refers to the texture of the flower and relates to thickness of the floral segments and its longevity. SUBSTRATUM sub-strah-tum -- the material in which the orchid grows SUBTERATE sub-ter-ate -- somewhat terate SUBULATE sub-yu-late -- awl-shaped SUCCULENT suk-yew-lent -- leaves, stems that tend to be are very soft, fleshy, and moist. SULCATE sull-kayt -- grooved, deeply furrowed SWOLLEN swol-len -- said of orchid parts that are larger than other similar parts. SYMPODIAL sim-poh-dee-al -- a orchid whose main stem grows horizontally and that has determinate lateral branches. flower spikes are terminal or axillary SYNSEPAL sin-see-pul -- of the sub-tribe Cypripedilinae T [BACK TO TOP]  TAXON tak-son -- a taxonomic term applying to a genus or species. TAXONOMY tak-sohn-oh-mee -- the science of orchid classification. TERETE teh-reet -- leaves that are round in cross section, pencil shaped TERMINAL ter-mih-nal -- the end, the uppermost flower or the apex of the stem. TERRESTRIAL ter-res-tree-al -- orchids that grow in soil or similar medium on the ground TESSALATION tess-sel-lay-shun -- the chequered patterns found on some orchid flowers TESSELATE tess-sel-ayt -- orchid parts that are chequered or evenly netted TETRAGONAL teh-trag-oh-nal -- four sided. THROAT throwt -- the basal, usually almost tubular portion of the lip of an orchid flower. TOMENTOSE tow-men-tohs -- having a very dense covering of hairs, almost woolly. TOOTH tooth -- a sharp pointed marginal projection TORTUOUS tor-tyu-us -- twisted, irregular bending TRIANDROUS try-an-drus -- having three stamens TRIBE ribe -- a group of closely related genera, natural division within a genus TRILOBED try-lohbd -- having three lobes. TRIGENERIC try-je-ner-ik -- having three genera TRUNCATE trun-kayt -- when the leaf appears to have been cut off at the apex and the apex appears flat/square TUBER tew-ber -- a thickened stem, usually underground. TUBERCLE tew-ber-kul -- small tubers, that may not be underground, has small tubers on leaves or petals. TUBEROUS too-ber-ous -- tuber like, having tubers TUBULAR tew-bew-lar -- having a round cylindrical shape. TUNICATE tew-nih-kayt -- with concentric or sheathing layers of tissue. TURBINATE ter-bin-ate -- inversely conical. TWISTED twist-ed -- having parts that are spriraling or corkscrew-like. U [BACK TO TOP]  UMBEL um-bell -- flat topped in which the flowers appear to arise at one point. UMBELLATE um-bel-ate -- pertaining to the umbel UNDULATE un-dew-layt -- with an up-and-down wavy margin on a leaf or petal UNGUICULATE un-gwik-yew-layt -- clawed down out at the base, often drawn into a thin stalk UNGUICULE un-gwik-yewl -- a claw UNILATERAL yu-ni-lat-er-al -- one-sided UNIFOLIATE yew-nih-foh-lee-ayt -- having only one leaf. URCEOLATE ur-see-oh-late -- urn-shaped UNTRICULATE un-trik-yu-late -- bladder like, inflated V [BACK TO TOP]  VARIETY va-rye-eh-tee -- a orchid within a species that has a minor, distinct characteristic VEGETATIVE vej-eh-tay-tive -- propagation using asexual methods of reproduction such as by cutting and division VEIN vayn -- the vascular tissue in the leaf that transports water, nutrients, and carbohydrates throughout the leaf VELUTINOUS vel-loo-tin-us -- having a covering of erect, somewhat firm hairs. VENOSE ve-nose -- veined, full of veins VENTRAL ven-trul -- the front, opposite of dorsal; the inner segments of a flower. VENTRICOSE ventri-kose -- swollen on one side VERRUCOSE ver-yu-kose -- covered with wart like protrusions VERTICEL ver-ti-sel -- a whorl VESICLE ves-i-kul -- a bldder or bladder like cavity VILLOUS vil-us -- with soft straight hairs, shaggy VIRGATE veer-gate -- rod-like, long, slender ands straight VISCID viss-id -- very sticky. VITTATE vi-tate -- srtiped lengthwise W [BACK TO TOP]  WHORL wurl -- three or more leaves or flowers in a circle around the axis WINGED wingd --  a thin expansion from a surface, at an angle to a surface X [BACK TO TOP]  XEROPHYTE zer-oh-fite -- an orchid adapted to live on a  limited supply of moisture XEROPHYTIC zer-oh-fit-ik -- relating to xerophyte Z [BACK TO TOP]  ZONATE zo-nate -- banded or zoned in particular areas ZEROPHYTE zir-roh-fite -- orchids native to arid areas.


zye-go-mor-fik -- an irregular flower capable of being divided into symmetrical  halves only in the longitudinal plane.



ORCHID GLOSSARY - compiled by Mr. S. Pask - last updated on 06/01/13







Many terms related to orchids and orchid culture are not widely used between orchid growers. Here are some pages to try to bring the two closer together. You may be able to recognise why they are named as they are (due to their characteristics).