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Additions to Orchid Glossary

I have put together this glossary from various sources; which includes the books mentioned below, internet, and research papers. The glossary has terms related to growth habits, growth types, habitats etc.

Aerial: Exposed to the air, like the aerial roots or the orchids.
Ageotropic: Growing in the direction opposite to gravity.
Allopatric: Orchids growing in different regions.
Ascending: Climbing upwards.
Autotrophic: Orchids having chlorophyll (green pigment) and capable of making their own food from inorganic subatances.
Caespitose: Forming tufts or clumps; usually used for epiphytes.
Deciduous: Plants which shed their leaves after an active growing season.
Endemic: Confined to one particular region.
Epigeal: Growing on or close the soil surface.
Epilithic: Orchids growing on rock surfaces.
Epiphyte/epiphytic: A plant which usually grows above ground, on trees, wires, poles etc. and are not parasitic. Nutrients are derived from from rain, air and available debris.
Evergreen: Orchids which do not shed their leaves and are green throughout the year.
Geophyte: Terrestrial orchids which are capable of surviving in arid conditions.
Gregarious: Orchids growing is groups.
Habit: Life form of an orchid; its physical appearance.
Habitat: Environment in which an orchid grows.
Hemiparasitic: Having partially autotrophic as well as parasitic mode of nutrition.
Herbaceous: Orchids whose above ground shoots survive for only one season.
Heterotrophic: Orchids which do not have chlorophyll (the green pigment), so are unable to synthesis their food and depend on either decaying organic material or on some kind of symbiotic relationship.
Holomycotrophic: Deriving nutrition from symbiotic fungus.
Indigenous: Belonging to a particular region.
Lithophye/lithophytictic: Orchids which grow on rocks.
Littoral: Growing near the coastal regions.
Monocot: A group of plants which have a single cotyledon in the seeds; Orchidaceae belong to this group.
Monopodial: having a single main axis which grows continuously, from which leaves and flowers arise
Monotypic: a genus made up of single species.
Mycoheterotrophic: Leafless orchids which live in associations with fungi and derive nutrition from the fungi.
Mycorrhiza: A fungi which exists in symbiotic relation within the orchid roots.
Myrmecophyte: Orchid having association with colony of ants.
Pendulous: Drooping.
Phorophyte: Trees or plants which act as host for epiphytic orchids
Procumbent: Trailing over the ground without rooting.
Rupicolous: Orchid growing among rocks.
Saprophyte/saprophytic: Leafless plant which derives its nutrition from dead organic matter.
Saxicolous: Found growing on/among rocks.
Scandent: Having a climbing habit.
Semiterrestrial: Orchid being able to grow as a terrestrial as well as an epiphyte.
Symbiont: One of the individual involved in the symbiotic relationship.
Symbiosis: Mutually beneficial relationship between two different types of organisms.
Sympodial: when the main stem has limited growth and gets branched a number of times.
Synanthous: Producing pseudobulbs, leaves and apical inflorescence together.
Temperate: Moderate climate without having extreme temperatures.
Terrestrial: Orchids growing on ground.
Tropical: found in tropics; having hot weather.
Xerophyte/xerophytic: Plants found growing in arid or dry conditions.

Main Sources

1. H. J Chowdhery. Orchid flora of Arunachal Pradesh.
2. Dressler, Robert L. Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family
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Content copyright © 2015 by Anu Dubey Dharmani. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Anu Dubey Dharmani. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Anu Dubey Dharmani for details.


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