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Glossary of Botanical Terms

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U  V W X Y Z

 Click on a letter to see definitions of all words beginning with that letter.

Vagans - wandering.

Valida - strong, healthy, well developed.

Valve - a segment into which a dry fruit dehisces.

Variegated - with patches or stripes of different colours, often yellow or reddish. Hence variegata - of a plant exhibiting variegation.

Variety - a naturally occurring subdivision of a species representing individuals with distinct but minor variations in their characteristics. The taxonomic rank between subspecies and form.

Vascular - of tissues containing vessels for conveying fluids and minerals.

Vascular bundle - a compact group of conducting bundles composed of xylem and phloem and surrounding tissues, occurring in stem, leaf and flower. In Cactaceae a clear ring of vascular tissue is on a cross section cut across the stem. This woody material also has a structural function and forms the supporting skeletons of many cacti.

Vegetative - growth of leaves and stems as opposed to flowers. A method of non-sexual reproduction by means of offsets, cuttings.

Vein - a strand of vascular tissue in a flat organ such as a leaf.

Venation - the arrangement of veins within a structure.

Ventricose - distended or inflated.

Vermiculate - worm-shaped.

Verrucose - of a surface covered with warty protrusions.

Versicolor - variable in colour.

Verticillate - arranged in whorls.

Vesicle - a hollow structure or cavity which may be macroscopic like a bladder or microscopic as in a sub-cellular organelle.

Vessel - (trachea) - an efficient fluid conducting structure in most angiosperm xylem, which has evolved from the primitive tracheids found in gymnosperms and ferns by loss of the end walls of the cells so that each vessel runs for several cell-lengths, reinforced by rings and spirals of cellulose fibrils thickened with lignin.

Vestigial - reduced to a rudimentary structure.

Villous - with long soft hairs.

Vine - a plant with a weak trailing stem which relies on other plants or structures for vertical support.

Violacea - violet coloured.

Viperina - snake-like.

Virgate - slender, twiggy or wand like.
Hence: Virgatus (-a, -um).

Virid (-is, -i) - green.

Viridiflorus (-a) - with green flowers.

Viridescens - becoming green.

Viridifolius - with green leaves.

Viridifuscus - green-brown.

Viridissimus - very green.

Viridulus - somewhat green.

Virus - a simple parasitic micro-organism consisting of little more than a package of genetic material (DNA or RNA) in a protein or lipid envelope, capable of invading the host's cells and replicating only by harnessing their biochemical machinery. Some viruses carry several genes for synthesis of virus-specific proteins. Others (e.g. potato spindle tuber virus) consist of a circle of DNA which is too small to carry any structural genes.

Viscaria - sticky.

Viscid (-a, -m) - covered with a sticky secretion.

Vittata - with lengthwise stripes.

Viviparous - germinating or spouting from a seed, bulbil or bud while still attached to the parent plant.

Vulpinus - fox-like.