Often when reading about different plants and the description used, it has you reaching for the dictionary… or googling the word.

Let us start with the word Flora

  • The word is a noun and describes plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.
  • In Latin the term means “flower”.
  • Flora was the Roman goddess of spring and flowering plants, especially wildflowers and plants not raised for food.

When discussing flora, it is used to describe the plant life found growing in a particular region or time, and usually to describe the native (indigenous) plants in the region.

Together with the term fauna (to describe animal life, including insects etc) and other forms of life such as fungi, they are collectively referred to as biota.

Whilst the noun flora can both countable or uncountable, the commonly used context in the plural form is floras. In the more specific context, the plural form becomes florae ie a collection of florae.

Glossary
  • elliptic
    ellipse / oval in outline, being widest at the centre.
  • glabrous
    in botany means lacking hairs, of a surface smooth, without pubescence (soft down on the leaves/stems) of any kind.
  • gynoecium
    the innermost whorl of a flower; consisting of (one or more) pistils. It is typically surrounded by the pollen-producing (male) reproductive organs, the stamens.
  • gynophore
    the stalk of certain flowers that supports the gynoecium, elevating it above the branching points of the other floral parts.
  • lanceolate
    about four times as long as it is broad, being broadest in the lower half tapering towards the tip.
  • oblanceolate
    similar in shape to lanceolate, but attached at the narrower end.
  • obovate
    a term to describe the shape of a leaf where the leaf has the narrower end at the base (the part of the leaf with the stem that attaches to the plant).

    narrow-obovate, as the term describes is the leaf is narrower along the length of the leaf.
  • ovate
    having an oval outline or ovoid shape, shaped like an egg.
  • operculum (plural opercula)
    used in botany refers to a cap-like structure in some flowering plants, mosses, and fungi.
  • perennial
    a perennial plant or simply referred to as a perennial, is a plant that lives more than two years. Herbaceous perennials are those that die back after flowering and reappear/grow from their rootstock. Mint, tulips, salvia, hellebore are all perennials. Some plants such as tomato vines are perennials in their native country, but are often sown again from seeds in other regions, where they do not survive the climatic changes such as the cold.
  • postanthesis, post-anthesis
    occurring after the opening of a flower.
  • prostrate
    when used in botany in reference to a plant (and also used to describe the growth pattern of a shrub), describes a plant the lies upon or just above the ground, rather than growing erect as found with branches of most trees and shrubs.

    The term can be applied to plants used as ground cover and to shrubs that can be knee high, but because of the their prostrate nature, is wider then tall.
  • prothorax
    is the foremost of the three segments in the thorax of an insect, and bears the first pair of legs.
  • stamen
    is the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower (considered the male part of the flower). Collectively the stamens form the androecium.

Ausemade Flora Glossary
Flora Glossary