Glossary of terms

Abscissionnatural shedding of dispersal units or other plant parts.
Adventitious rootsarise from places other than the root system such as the lower stem.
Auricleappendages at the leaf-blade/sheath junction of some grasses. Auricles are usually in pairs but only one may be present and this is termed a sheath lobe.
Awnan elongated bristle-like appendage attached to the apex, back or base of the glume, lemma or palea.
Basalborne at or near the base.
Bracta leaf-like, husk-like structure associated with grass flower or inflorescence.
Caryopsisthe indehiscent fruit of most grasses with a single seed, the testa (seed coat) of which is fused with the pericarp (outer wall).
Culmgrass stem.
Diasporethe sexual dispersal unit including non-floral parts (if any).
Ecotypea subdivision of a species with distinct characteristics adapted to local or regional conditions.
Floretthe flowering part of a grass (includes the lemma and palea); the term is also used if some parts are absent and can refer to a lemma only.
Familya group of related genera.
Flowerthe structure for sexual reproduction in the angiosperms, normally consisting of perianth, stamens and carpels.
Genotypeall the genes of an organism that allow expression of genetic potential. However, the genotype may not always be expressed in the physical appearance (phenotype).
Genus (plural genera)a group of related species believed to be related and distinct from other such groups of species.
Glumesthe empty bracts at the base of a grass spikelet; usually two glumes are present.
Hygroscopicresponds (twists or opens) to moisture changes.
Inflorescencea group of flowers borne on a stem.
Lemmathe outer bracts at the base of a grass spikelet; usually two glumes are present.
Ligulea membrane or hairs found on the inner (adaxial) surface of the leaf-blade/sheath junction.
Paleathe upper 'husk' of a grass floret enclosing the flower.
Paniclea compound or branched raceme.
Racemean unbranched inflorescence with the spikelets attached to the axis by pedicels (small stalks).
Rhizomean underground stem usually growing horizontally.
Speciesa group of grasses with similar form and/or reproductive mechanisms; the basic unit of biological classification.
Spikean inflorescence with spikelets attached to the axis with no stalks. In grasses, lateral branches may be termed spikes.
Spikeletconsists of one or more florets and is the basic unit of the inflorescence in grasses.
Tilleraerial shoot usually lateral and basal and more or less erect.

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