Catherine StewartGardenDrum Quiz #3 – Big botanical words

I love BIG BOTANICAL WORDS. Whenever I come across a new and interesting word in my gardening research, I write it down. I’ve tried hard to work them into everyday conversations without much success – as it turns out, opportunities to use ‘totipotency’ arise quite infrequently, although I’m sure ‘helical perversion’ has distinct possibilities.

So I figured a word quiz was the next most useful employment for them.

How many do you know? (Click each word to turn over its meaning)

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the ability of a plant to regenerate from a single cell
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2 layers form at the base of the leaf petiole (stalk); one is weak, & as the other expands, the leaf is shed in autumn/fall
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fleshy structures attached to seeds that are high in lipids or proteins which are ant-attracting
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the tissue inside a plant stem that carries sugars around the plant
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as a twining tendril lengthens & coils in on itself it will at some point reverse (often also seen in old telephone cords)
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the requirement of many plants for a winter chilling to initiate flowering
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seed dispersal by ants
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where a plant moves or grows in response to touch, like a tendril
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a plant that arises from the graft point between the rootstock and scion that combines both parent plants
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the plant has unisexual flowers that have both male and female parts
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a type of plant propagation using a part that's in a particular growth cycle, like a juvenile leaf
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seeds that cannot be dried - that have to stay moist and fleshy to be viable, like citrus

Good luck! And, if you’re the imaginative type, why not add a comment below if you have an interesting alternative meaning.

THANKS TO JENNIFER STACKHOUSE for these great alternative meanings!

Abscission zone – the brown strip around the edge of the lawn or fence line where someone’s been busy with the glyphosate.
Graft chimeras – blue passionfruit that infiltrates your edible passionfruit vine from below the graft
Recalcitrant seeds – seed packets that hide themselves until after you’ve brought more ’cause you couldn’t find the ones you planted last week
Monoecious – one house, two gardeners, no harmony


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Catherine Stewart

About Catherine Stewart

Award-winning garden journalist, blogger and photographer; writer for garden magazines and co-author of 'Waterwise Gardening'; landscape designer turned landscape design judge and critic; compulsive networker and lover of generally putting fingers in lots of pies. Particularly mud pies. Creator, curator and editor of GardenDrum. Sydney, NSW.

One thought on “GardenDrum Quiz #3 – Big botanical words

  1. Dianne Crawford on said:

    that was fun! and great info, thanks

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