Wild Flowers Provence

Identify wild flowers, trees, shrubs, orchids and other plants in Provence, France.

Environ 2800 photos de près de 700 plantes sauvages.  Comment le voir en français.
Around 2800 photos of nearly 700 wild plants: guide.

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Wild plants / Glossary

Leaf shapes

For the Wild Flowers Provence site we have used just 24 terms for leaf shapes, and have drawn an icon for each leaf shape to help identification. In reality there are of course a huge range of leaf shapes, and every variant in between, not just 24. The wide range means there are inevitably some differences in the use of terminology in different publications.

On the index page you can touch or hover on the 24 leaf shape icons to see the botanical term used to describe that leaf shape.

Within the plant descriptions on the individual plant pages, the leaf description starts with the botanical term with a dotted underline. Touch or hover over the word to see the icon and explanation.

Other terms

Other botanical terms used on the site are explained below. Enter a term below in Search to find examples of plants with this feature.

(A fuller glossary of botanical terms is provided by Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_botanical_terms)

achene – a cluster of seeds not opening to release seed

anther – upper fertile part of the stamen containing the pollen

awn – a bristle-like projection as found in grasses

bracts – small leaf-like structure immediately below the flower

bulb – underground storage organ composed of layers of fleshy leaves e.g. Tulip

bulbils – small aerial bulb-like organ, breaking off to form a new plant  e.g. Allium oleraceum

calyx – collective name for sepals

convex – outward curve

corm – a swollen underground organ formed from the stem base e.g. Crocus

corolla – collective name for petals

corymb – a compound inflorescence with the lower branches longer than the upper

crenelated – leaf margin with small rounded teeth

cyathia – a flower cluster as in Euphorbias e.g. Euphorbia characias

deciduous – with leaf fall in autumn

disk floret – the central compacted florets, disc-like, as in members of the Daisy family

filament – stalk of a stamen

follicle – dried compartments of ovary, solitary or clustered

fronds – leaves of a fern

gland – a small structure secreting oil or other liquid

inflorescence – a group or cluster of flowers at the end of a stalk

labellum – distinctive lower petal or lip of a flower, the landing platform for visiting insects e.g. Orchids

latex – milky fluid in plant stems

leaf axil – point from which buds and shoots develop

ligule – a thin outgrowth at the junction of leaf and leafstalk e.g. Grasses

node – positions on the stem where the leaves arise

ovary – female productive organ

panicle – a branched inflorescence with individual stalked flowers

pappus – tufts of hairs forming the seed head

pedicel – stalk of a flower

pistil – ovary, style and stigma of the female flower

raceme – spike-like flowering stem with individual stalked flowers

rhizome – a horizontal underground stem e.g. Iris

sepal – part of the outer ring of the flower, below the petals

sessile – leaf with no stalk

sori – cluster of spore-producing structures e.g. Ferns

spadix – a finger-like column of minute flowers e.g. Arum italicum

spathe – a large sheath-like bract enclosing the flower cluster e.g. Arum italicum

spikelet – flowering part of a grass

spur – a tubular extension from the base of the corolla, containing nectar;  e.g. Delphinium fissum

stamens – filament and anther of male flower

standard – upright rear petal e.g. Pea family

stigma – upper part of the female flower trapping the pollen

stipule – a small, leaf-like organ at the base of the leaf stalk

stolon – a creeping stem above or below ground

style – stalk that connects the stigma to the ovary

tepals – term used when petals and sepals are undifferentiated e.g. Bulbs

tuber – enlarged underground structure for storage of nutrients e.g. Orchids

umbel – umbrella-like, flat-topped cluster of flowers