Useful Terms

Useful terms


Anther

The part of the stamen containing pollen. The anther cap covers the pollen masses.

Bifoliate

Having two leaves

Bigeneric

Having two genera in the parentage of a plant

Bulbous

Having the character of a bulb

Column

The central body of the orchid flower formed by the union of the stamens and pistil

Chlorophyll

The green pigment in plants, essential for the manufacture of orchids.

Genus

A subdividision of a family , consisting of one or more species which show similar characteristics and appear to have a common ancestry.

Inflorescence

The flowering part. Flowers are borne on the inflorescence. Each inflorescence can carry just a single flower or it can be much branched and carry hundreds of flowers. Inflorescences arises from the base, side or at the tip of the stem, depending on the species.

Intergeneric

Between or among two or more genera

Internode

The part of a stem between two nodes

Keiki

A plantlet produced as an offset or offshoot from another plant ( A Hawaiian term used by orhidists)

Labellum

The lip or modified petal of an orchid flower.

Leaf

Orchid leaves can be rounded, stem-like, flat or folded or thin and large with numerous pleats. Some species do not possess leaves at all. Like other plants leaves of an orchid have stomata i.e. pores for the free exchange of carbon dioxide between the air and the interior of the plant.

Meristem

Vegetative propagation of orchids or other plants by cultivation new shoot tissue under special laboratory conditions. A plant produced by meristem is called a mericlone.

Monopodial

Growing only from the apex of the plant. Monposial orchids produce flowers at the axil ( i.e. between the stem and the leaf) .In monopdials, roots are produced at the nodes along the stem. Monopodial orchids are non-deciduous i.e. they do not generally shed their leaves naturally.

Natural hybrid

A hybrid produced by chance in the wild

Nectary

A gland or secreting organ that produce nectar.

Node

A joint on the stem

Ovary

The central female part of a flower.

Petal

One of the three inner segments of an orchid flower, which is not modified to form the lip

Pistill

The seed-bearing organ of a flower consisting of the ovary, stigma and style.

Plicate

Pleated or folded like a fan

Pollen

The fertilising grains borne by the anther

Pollination

The transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma

Pollina

The masses of pollen grains found in the anther

Psedobulb

The thickened portion of a stem , but not a true bulb.

Raceme

A simple inflorescence of stalked flowers

Roots

Based on the root system, orchids are generally divided into two: terrestrial ( ground) and epiphytic (growing on other plants) but are not parasitic because the host plant only provide support. In orchids, basal roots are produced from the lower part of the stem as in the epiphytic orchids. Orchids have basal or aerial roots.

Quadrigeneric

Pertaining to four genera

Rhizome

A root-bearing horizontal stem, which in orchids usually lies on or just beneath the ground surface.

Saccate

Pouched or bag-like

Seed

Orchids produce seeds as a result of a pollinated and fertilised flower. A seed pod can conatin thousands of tiny, dust-like seeds.

Self-pollination

The pollination of a flower by its own pollen. While in cross-pollination the pollination is from the pollen of another flower transported by various agents e.g. bees,

Scape

A flower stalk without leaves, arising directly from the ground

Sepal

One of the three outer segments of an orchid flower. The sepals are the parts that cover the flower at bud stage.

Sheath

A tubular envelope protecting the developing inflorescence

Species

A group of plants sharing one or more common characteristics which make it distinct from any other group

Spike

A flower stem

Stem

In some plants, the stem is modified to grow horizontally and is called the rhizome. From the rhizome arise swollen structures called psedobulbs.

Spur

A hollow tubular extension of the lip

Stamen

The male organ of a flower, bearing the pollen

Style

The part of of the pistil bearing the stigma

Sympodial

A form of growth in which each new shoot, arising from the rhizome of the previous growth, is a complet plant

Synonym

A surplus name, arising when a species has been given two or more names.

Terete

Circular in cross-section, cylindrical

Terminal

At the end of the axis

Trigeneric

Pertaining to three genera

Tuber

A thickened, normally underground stem.

Unifoliate

With one leaf

Unisexual

Having flowers of one sex only. Compared with bisexual orchids which have both sexes i.e. having the stamens and the pistils

Variety

A subdivision of a species; a group of plants that differ slightly from the main species type.

Vegetative propagation

The increasing of a particular orchid or other plants by division, or by meristem culture.

Velamen

The thick layer of cells covering the roots of epiphytic orchids. It act as a protective layer to the underlying living tissues.



Reference:

Dr. Chris K.H. Teo (1979)  Orchids for tropical gardens. Lim Mik Hai, KualaLumpur.

Wilma Rittershausen ( 1982) Growing your own orchids. Salamander Books Ltd., London.