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ALPINE Plants that originate in mountain areas. Many of them are suitable for cultivation in rock gardens or unheated alpine houses. Rare species and collector plants are often grown in pots in gritty soil.
ANNUAL Annuals are plants that germinate, flower and produce seed in one season.
AQUATIC Plants that grow submerged in water or in a wetland or bog environment.
ARCHITECTURAL Usually large plants used in landscape design.
AROMATIC Plants with a pronounced aroma or scent. Widely used medicinally, in homeopathy or culinary seasoning herbs.
BACKLIGHT/BACKLIT Pictures illuminated from behind.
BAJA Short for Baja California in Mexico.
BARK Mostly closeup pictures of tree bark or trees and shrubs with special bark.
BEDDING/BEDS Often annual or tender perennial plants grown for summer display.
BIENNIAL Short-lived plants that need two seasons. Often growing foliage in the first year and flowering and setting seed in the second year.
BOGS Plants growing in wetlands and other moist conditions.
BONSAI Mostly shrubs or trees suitable for growing as miniatures in shallow containers.
BORDERS A strip of garden ground planted with perennial and annual ornamentals and shrubs.
BRACTS Species with ornamental, often flowerlike or leaflike parts.
BRISTLY Plants with bristles or thorns. Also see prickly and spiny.
BUTTERFLY Flowering plants that are attractive to butterflies. Good for butterfly gardens.
CARPETING Spreading plants that can be used as ground cover.
CAUCASUS An area between Europe and Asia bordering to Russia, Turkey and Iran. It's mostly mountaneus with over 6000 native plant species, many of them endemic to the area.
CHAPARRAL A shrubland environment in California and Mexico with Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild winters.
CHARTREUSE A yellowish green colour.
CHIHUAHUAN DESERT A large, mostly elevated deser area in Northern Mexico extending to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in the US. Extremely hot summer temperatures with little rainfall.
CIRCUMPOLAR Polar regions circling around North Pole in North America, Asia and Europe.
CLIMBER Plants growing upwards on walls, tree trunks or other supports with twining stems or tendrils.
CLUSTER A number of flowers grouped together.
COASTAL Plants native or adapted to coastal habitats near oceans, some salt tolerant. Some species used to harsh coastal conditions can succesfully be used in erosion control.
COASTAL SCRUBLAND Shrubby, drought-tolerant vegetation areas, especially along the Pacific Coast in California.
COASTAL DESERTS Coastal deserts generally are found on the western edges of continents near the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
COLLARETTE Type of dahlias with single flowers. The disc flowers are surrounded by a collar of petaloids that are shorter and often of different colour than the actual ray flowers.
COLUMNAR Trees and cacti with a narrow, upright shape.
CONSERVATORY Traditionally large glasshouses used for growing and exhibiting tender plants or protecting them from cold weather. Modern small conservatories are often attached to a house.
CORM Thick, bulblike underground stem base serving as food storage and reproductive structure. Typical of crocus and gladiolus.
COTTAGE GARDENS Traditional English garden style with informal plantings of ornamental flowers and sometimes edible plants.
COUMARIN Sweet aromatic component in many plants. Typically the smell of new mown hay.
CREEPER Low-growing plants for ground cover.
CULTIVATED LAND Wild plants favouring arable land that is currently used or has been used earlier for agricultural crops and no longer in the natural state.
DAMP PLACES See bogs, swamps.
DECIDUOUS Trees, shrubs and perennials shedding or losing foliage at the end of the growing season.
DISTURBED SOIL Land materially changed by human activity or sometimes by erosion. Waste places, roadsides, beaches, along railway tracks.
DOUBLE Having the petals in a flower considerably increased naturally or as the result of selection and hybridization.
DRIED FLOWER Plant material suitable for drying and use as dried decorations.
DROOPING Flowers hanging or bending downward.
DROUGHT TOLERANT Plants adapted to dry conditions, also known as xerophytes. Landscaping with drought tolerant plants is called xeriscaping.
DRY SLOPES Mostly mountain habitats.
DWARF Natural or man-made low-growing, compact forms.
EDGING Low-growing plants used to edge beds and borders in garden and landscape design.
EDIBLE Parts of the plant used for human food. Normally roots, leaves or fruit. Flowers used for food decoration.
ENDEMIC Plant species confined to one locality or region only.
EPIPHYTIC Plants growing on other plants, e.g. certain orchids.
EROSION CONTROL Plants used to control the wearing away of soil and rocks by weather elements.
EVERGREEN Plants having green leaves throughout the year.
FALL COLOUR Plants with foliage turning red, orange or yellow in the fall.
FLORISTS Flowers and other plant material commonly used in bouquets and the flower trade.
FORCING Techniques used to accelerate normal flowering process. E.g. bulbs forced to flower for Christmas or Easter in pots and containers.
FRINGED Flowers with decorative fringes edging the top of petals. One of the tulip classifications.
GARRIGUE Mediterranean scrubland with limestone soil, dry summer conditions and a typical plant community of shrubs and aromatic plants.
GLAUCOUS Gray or bluish foliage.
GROUND COVER Low-growing, spreading plants suitable for covering ground in gardens and rockeries.
HALF HARDY ANNUAL Annual or tender perennial plants used for for summer display in bedding, borders or containers. They require indoor growing and can't be planted outside before the last spring frosts.
HANGING BASKETS Mostly trailing plants suitable for display in hanging containers.
HARDY ANNUAL Plants that can be sown directly in the spring.
HEDGES Plants grown in a row forming a fence or boundary.
HEIRLOOM Old garden plants and cultivars, often passed generation to generation.
HERBAL Plants with culinary or medicinal use.
HOUSE PLANT Ornamental plants grown indoors in pots or containers.
HUMMINGBIRD Small New World birds with brilliant plumage feeding on flower nectar.
HYBRID Plants produced by crossing species or varieties. This can happen naturally or by cross breeding to obtain desired flower or other properties.
INVASIVE Plants that have a tendency to spread widely in non-native environment to become agricultural weeds or displace native species.
LACECAP Type of hydrangea that has flat flower heads with fertile florets in the centre surrounded by larger sterile florets.
LANDSCAPING Art and design of landscapes and plants suitable for visual effect.
MASS PLANTING Plants suitable for filling large beds or areas.
MAT FORMING Spreading or creeping plants that form a dense ground cover.
MEADOWS Grassland in natural state or used as pasture. Wildflowers and grasses suitable for a meadow garden.
MEDITERRANEAN The climate zone around the Mediterranean basin with hot and dry summers and mild winters. It has typical Mediterranean vegetation. Similar climates exist in California, central Chile, Australia and South Africa.
MOPHEAD Type of hydrangea with showy, ball-shaped flowers.
NATURALIZED Non-native or native plants that can become established and spread naturally.
NON-RECURRENT Roses that flower only once in a season.
OLD Traditional plant species and varieties known in cultivation since 100's of years.
PANTROPICAL Found in tropical zones around the world.
PASTURE Grassland with typical vegetation used for grazing animals.
PATIO Outdoor area adjoining a residence. Ornamental plants suitable for growing in containers for patio decoration.
PERENNIAL Herbaceous plants living for several years.
PERFUMERY Plants used in production of perfumes or scents.
PERPETUAL Roses flowering throughout the growing season.
POISONOUS Plants that are harmful to man and domestic animals.
POND A pool of still water, often artifically created for garden decoration. Plants suitable for growing in moist soil around ponds.
POT A container used for growing ornamental plants.
PRAIRIES Predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America.
PRICKLY Plants covered with prickles, spines or thorns.
PSYCHOACTIVE Plants containing substances with effect on mental processes or behaviour.
RACEME Inflorescence with flowers borne on short stalks up a central stem, as in lily of valley.
RARE Wildflowers uncommon or endangered in their native habitat.
RECURRENT Roses flowering repeatedly during the growing season.
RHIZOMATOUS Plants growing from a rootlike underground stem.
ROADSIDES Open clearings along roads, often beneficial for spreading of plants.
ROCK GARDEN Ornamental planting in which rocks have been placed to make favorable conditions for mainly plants of mountaneous areas.
ROCKY SLOPES Stony, well-draining, mostly mountain areas.
SAGEBRUSH Plant habitat of arid regions of western North America.
SAVANNA A flat grassland of tropical or subtropical regions, typical of tropical Africa.
SCENTED Plants and flowers with a distinctive odor.
SCREEN A protective or ornamental planting shielding an area.
SCRUBLAND Plant community dominated by shrubby vegetation.
SELF SEED Plants and flowers that spread by seed and naturalize in the garden. Often annuals.
SEMIDOUBLE Having the outermost stamens converted into petals.
SHADE Plants that can tolerate or even require partial or full shade.
SHRUBLAND See scrubland.
SILVERY Plants with gray foliage.
SPINY Plants covered with spines, thorns or spikes.
SPREADING Plants with procumbent, trailing stems. Often used as ground cover.
SUCCULENT Having thick, fleshy, water-storing leaves or stems.
SUMMER DORMANT Cool season plants that grow and bloom in cool seasons to avoid summer heat and drought.
SWAMP Seasonally flooded land. See marsh and bog.
TERRESTRIAL Terrestrial orchids are orchids that grow in the ground in soil.
THICKET Dense growth of shrubs and brush.
THORNY Plants covered with thorns or spines.
THREATENED Plants that are endangered in their natural habitat.
TRAILING Plants with procumbent growth. Used as ground cover and in containers and hanging baskets.
TRELLIS A structure of open latticework, especially used as a support for vines and other creeping plants.
UTILITY Useful plants for industry or crafts.
VARIEGATED Having streaks, marks, or patches of a different color in the foliage or sometimes flowers.
WEED Undesired plants spreading on cultivated ground or gardens.
WETLANDS Marsh, swamp or other moist lowland area.
WILDFLOWER A flowering plant that grows in a natural, uncultivated state. Here mostly used in connection with European and North American species.
WOODLAND Land that is mostly covered with trees and shrubs.
WOOLLY Stems and foliage covered with soft whitish hairs.
XERISCAPE Landscaping that employs drought-resistant plants in an effort to conserve resources, especially water.

 
 

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