Glossary for Arches Flower Guide

Jump to: A-C | D-F | G-L | M-Q | R-Z


A – C

Achene – a small dry, hard, 1-seeded, 1-loculed indehiscent fruit

Annual – a plant completing its life cycle in one year from seed germination, production of flowers and seeds and dying

Anther – the part of the stamen that is pollen-bearing

Apical – located at the tip

Axil – the upper side of the angle between a leaf and stem

Axillary – located in or around the axil

Banner petal – the upper petal of the corolla of Fabaceae (Pea family)

Biennial – a plant that lives for two growing seasons and normally does not produce flowers during the first year

Bipinnatifid – pinnately cleft twice

Bisexual – a flower having both carpels (female) and stamens (male); perfect

Bract – a reduced leaf below a flower cluster

Bulb – an underground leaf bud with thickened scales

C2 – Taxa for which the information now in the possession of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that proposing to list them as endangered or threatened species is possibly appropriate, but for which substantial data on biological vulnerability and threat(s) are not currently known or on file to support the immediate preparation of rules.

C3 – Taxa that are no longer being considered for listing as threatened or endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Calyx – the sepals of the flower (outer whorl of the flowering parts)

Carpel – a simple pistil or one of the modified leaves forming a compound pistil

Catkin – an inflorescence characterized by typically unisexual, bracteate flowers without petals hanging down in a cluster

Cauline – attached on the stem

Centimeter – 0.393700787 inches

Cleft – split nearly to the midpoint

Colorado Plateau – an elevated, mildly folded and faulted physiographic province in the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The province covers an area of approximately 130,000 square miles (337,000 km²) within western Colorado, southeastern Utah, northwestern New Mexico, and northern Arizona. This area is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries, the Green River, San Juan River and Little Colorado River.

Compound leaf – a leaf with two to many leaflets, each of which may look like a complete leaf, but which lacks buds

Corolla – the petals of a flower, the set of flower parts interior to the sepals and surrounding the stamens

Corm – a short, bulblike, underground vertical stem with dry papery scale leaves

Corymb – a flat-topped or rounded flower cluster composed of many small flowers with the outer flowers blooming first and having longer stalks; each flower has a stalk of varying length

Cotyledon – the leaf or leaves of the embryo of a seed

Cyathia – plural of cyanthium; involucre of fused bracts forming a cup enclosing unisexual flowers, most 5 lobed and bearing 1 to 4 glands around the margin, each gland often with a white or colored petaloid appendage 2

Cyathium – the tiny, reduced flower of Euphorbiaceae (Euphorbia family); often a single pistil with a few male flowers each having one stamen.

Cyme – a flat-topped or rounded flower cluster composed of many small flowers with the central flowers opening first

Back to Top


D – F

Decimeter – 3.937008 inches

Desert shrub community – characterized by plants such as blackbrush, saltbush, sagebrush, or greasewood

Dicot – flowering plants which typically have two cotyledons, net venation, and flower parts in 4’s, 5’s or multiples thereof

Dioecious – producing male and female flowers on separate plants

Discoid – having disk flowers

Disk – in Asteraceae (Sunflower family), the central part of the head composed of tubular, perfect (functionally staminate) flowers of the head surrounding the base of the ovary; separate from the ray flowers

Endemic – restricted to a geographic region, topographic unit or a specified soil situation

Entire – a leaf that is undivided; the margin is continuous and is not toothed or lobed

Feet – 12 inches or 30.48 centimeters

Follicle – a dry fruit with a single carpel, which at maturity splits along the ventral (front or belly side) suture only

Forb – an herbaceous (little or no woody material) plant that is not a grass

Fornices – a set of small scales or appendages in the throat of the corolla, as in Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Funnelform – gradually widening upwards; shaped like a funnel

Back to Top


G – L

Gymnosperm – a vascular plant that bears cones

Herb – a plant without a persistent woody stem above the ground; the stems die back to the ground at the end of the growing season

Hypanthium - a cup-shaped structure on which the calyx, corolla, and often the stamens are inserted

Inch – 2.54 centimeters

Incised – deeply and sharply cut; intermediate between toothed and lobed

Indehiscent – not splitting open at maturity

Inflorescence – the arrangement of flowers on the axis; the flower cluster of a plant

Involucres – a set of bracts beneath an inflorescence, as in the heads of Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Keel (petals) – the two lower partly united petals of the corolla of many flowers in Fabaceae (Pea family)

Loculed – a seed cavity (compartment) in an ovary or fruit

Back to Top



Margin – leaf edge

Meter – 3.280839895 feet

Millimeter - 0.039370079 inches

Monocot – flowering plants which have a single cotyledon, parallel venation, and flower parts in 3’s or multiples thereof

Monoecious – having staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers on the same plant, but not perfect ones

Node – the place on the stem where the leaf is (or has been) attached

Non-native – not originally from that location; introduced

Ovate – with the outline of an egg in longitudinal section, with the larger end toward the base

Ovule – the structure in the ovary that becomes the seed after fertilization

Palmately – lobed or veined with the branches arising from a common point, like the fingers of a hand

Panicle – a compound inflorescence containing many small flowers with individual stalks

Pappus – modified sepals in Asteraceae (Sunflower family), consisting of hairs, scales, and/or bristles

Peduncle – the stalk of a flower or flower cluster

Perennial – a plant that lives more than two years

Perfect – a flower with both stamens and pistils

Perianth – all of the sepals and the petals collectively

Petaloid – resembling a petal, as in brightly-colored sepals

Pinnate – a compound leaf with leaflets arranged on both sides of a common axis

Pinnatifid – a leaf pinnately cleft into narrow lobes which do not reach the midrib

Pistil – the ovule-bearing structure of the flower, ordinarily differentiated into a stigma, style and ovary

Pistillate – a female flower with one or more pistils, but no stamens

Polygamous – bearing unisexual and bisexual flowers on the same plant

Back to Top



Raceme – an elongate inflorescence of flowers on which individual flowers each bloom on small stalks from a common, larger, central stalk

Rays – in Asteraceae (Sunflower family), the outer flowers of a head; separate from the disk flowers

Rhizome – an underground horizontal stem or rootstock with scales, leaves, and buds at the nodes

Rib – one of the main longitudinal veins of a leaf or other organ

Riparian – growing along stream banks

Saline – salty

Salverform – a corolla with a slender tube that abruptly expands into a flat limb

Samara – a dry, winged fruit (usually one-seeded) that does not split open at maturity

Schizocarp – a dry fruit that splits into two or more one-seeded closed segments at maturity

Sedimentary rocks – rocks formed by the deposition or accumulation of pieces of weathered rocks that later were buried and cemented, or glued, together.

Seleniferous – bearing selenium

Sepal – a segment of a calyx; a member of the outermost set of floral leaves; typically green, but sometimes brightly colored

Sepaloid – sepal-like, as in some petals

Shrub – a woody plant smaller than a tree that has several to many stems

Silique – an elongate many-seeded capsule of Brassicaceae (Mustard family) with two valves splitting from the bottom and leaving an internal partition between them

Simple leaf – a leaf with a single blade; not compound, but can be deeply cleft

Stamen – The male organ of a flower that bears pollen, consisting of an anther and usually a filament Staminate – a male flower with one or more stamens, but no pistil

Stigma – the part of the pistil which is receptive to pollen

Style – the portion of the pistil between the ovary and the stigma

Subshrub – a very small shrub or low woody perennial, generally less than 15 centimeters (6 inches) high with a woody base only. Its bushy structure consists of non-woody stems. Substrates – a surface on which a plant grows or is attached

Terminal – farthest from the point of attachment

Tree – a perennial woody plant that usually has a single main trunk or stem

Type specimen – the specimen on which the name of a plant is based

Umbel – a flat or rounded flower cluster in which the flower stalks are approximately of equal length and arise from a common point

Unisexual – male flower (staminate) or female flower (pistillate), but not both

Utricle – a small, bladdery, one-seeded fruit that usually does not split open at maturity

Wings (petals) – lateral petals of the corolla of many flowers in Fabaceae (Pea family)

Back to Top

Last updated: December 11, 2017

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


435 719-2299

Contact Us