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Gardening Terms Glossary
"A" Gardening Terms
Here are some of the common and not so common terms you will hear or read about when dealing with gardening.
A-horizon: The uppermost soil layer, the zone of leaching.
abiotic: Things that are not and never have been alive.
abscission zone: The region at the base of a leaf or fruit, in which cells die, permitting the organ to fall cleanly away from the stem without causing damage.
accent plant: A plant placed in contrast to its surroundings to call special attention to it.
accessory bud: A bud adjacent to the axillary bud.
acclimation: The adjustment of a plant to a climate zone that its not native to.
acid soil: Soil is considered to be acidic when the pH is measured to be lower than 7. The lower the number, the higher the level of acid in the soil.
acre Surface area consisting of 43,560 square feet. 640 acres equals 1 square mile.
adventitious: Refers to an organ that forms in an unusual place, primarily roots that form on leaves, nodes or cuttings than on another root.
adventitious bud: A bud produced in an unusual place on the plant.
adventitious root: A root arising from a stem or leaf.
aerating soil: Loosening the soil to allow better air circulation, accomplished by mechanical methods.
aerial bulb: A small bulb produced above ground in some plants. Tiger lilies get these.
air-layering: A propogation method by which a stem is made to root by slicing into it and wrapping the cut in moist moss and securing it with plastic wrap.
alkaline soil: When the pH level is measured to be higher than 7, the soil is considered to be alkaline.
allee: A narrow passage way between high fences or tall closely set plants.
alternate: Arrangement of leaves one per node, on either side of a stem.
amendment: Any material, such as compost, lime, or manure that is worked into the soil to improve its condition.
angiosperm: Informal term for flowering plants, their seeds develop within fruit.
annual plant: A plant that completes its life cycle from germination to death in one growing season. This is one of the gardening terms that you will want to remember.
anther: The part of a stamen that produces pollen. Usually borne on a filament, it's the male part of a flower.
anthracnose: A fungus disease creating dead areas on leaves, stems, or fruit.
anti-desicant: A substance which retards the loss of plant moisture.
apical bud: A bud located at the tip of a stem or branch.
apical dominance: A condition where the terminal or apical bud inhibits the development of lateral buds on a shoot.
aquatic plants: Plants which grow in, live in, or live on the water.
arboretum: A garden with a large collection of trees and shrubs cultivated for scientific or educational purposes.
arborist: One who is practiced in tree surgery. Also with prevention, control and cures of diseases and insects of trees.
aril: A fleshy seed coating.
artificial selection: The process of purposefully altering the gene pool of a species by selective breeding.
auricle: A small earlike lobe.
asexual: Flowers that lack pistils, ovuals, pollen or stamens thus don't produce fruit.
asexual reproduction: Plant reproduction done by cutting, grafting, or layering.
auxin: A hormone that controls plant growth. Used by many plant growers.
axil: The angular space between a plant stem and the base of the leaf growing out of the stem.
axillary bud: A bud found in the axil of a leaf, just above the attachment point of a leaf. It may be either a flower or leaf bud.
This list is by no means a complete collection of horticultural techniques and terms.
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