Reddit Reddit reviews Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary

We found 19 Reddit comments about Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary
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19 Reddit comments about Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary:

u/vitaeviridis · 25 pointsr/botany

Good job learning plant families! That's an excellent and valuable start. Next I would recommend finding a taxonomic key (flora) for your area - it's a comprehensive, organized guide to all the species. Learn to identify plants by the key, and you'll be well on your way to being a pro! If a flora is hard to come by, see what kinds of field guides you can get your hands on. Often they are cheaper, but not as comprehensive.
If you don't already grow plants, start a little garden of your own. You can learn different propagating methods (cuttings, layering, dividing rhizomes) as well as seasonal phenology. If this isn't an option, get in the habit of observing the same plant every day (ex: your favorite tree by your house or work).


Keep a journal of phenology events in your garden/routine: when did your tree leaf out in spring? When did it flower? How big were the fruits?, etc. Note how much rain/snow fell, temperature min/max, or what insects you observed. Over time, you'll see patterns develop which will be invaluable to seed collecting, planting cycles, or just damn interesting! There is so much to botany, but being able to see the changes that occur throughout the season is a critical skill. It's all the more personal when you grow your own plants, and if you're into ethnobotany I'd say being in touch (ha!) with the plants is paramount. :)


One more thought: if there are any native plant societies, consider joining. Small, local chapters usually have nominal fees, are a great way to meet other botanists, and depending on the organization you learn some really neat, detailed stuff that you might not get from a book (examples: local uses of plants, genetic diversity of alpine communities, important pollinators in your area).


Check out these resources:

u/Anthropoclast · 9 pointsr/Survival

This is a very broad topic, and difficult to encapsulate in a few lines, but I'll give it a go. I spent about eight years of my life dedicated to this pursuit. I got a degree in bio and worked as a field botanist for years. I tutored it, etc etc.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there, even within the confines of structured and scientific botany. Species aren't neat little packages that many would like to believe, there are hybrid complexes and recent, yet unstable, specialization events that lead to distinct morphologies but the ability to interbreed.

Practically, you want to discern species A from B so that you may harvest one for a particular purpose. Some groups of plants are easy to ID (e.g. Brassicaceae), and relatively safe to utilize, where others (e.g. Apiaceae) contain both extremely beneficial AND deadly toxic species.

Yet, to get to the level of comfort and mastery where you can discern a poisonous plant from a nutritional plant that differs only in the number of stamens or the position of the ovule, it takes years of dedication. Ask yourself how committed to this you are? The consequences of mis-identification can be severe.

Now, past the disclaimer.

To begin this pursuit, you must, odviously, start with the basics. That is learning plant groups. Start coarse and work your way into more fine distinctions. Begin with this text book. It is well written and gives you all of the primary info. It is well written and concise and one of the few text books you that is highly readable. Botany is laden with terminology, and this book is invaluable for that.

Next, you need a flora. Just a quick search (i live in a different biota) yields this website / information. This is a group that you can trust. If you live near, you may attend some of their field trips or lectures. This is the inner circle of botanists in your area and the ones that probably have the info you are looking into. But, most botanists are in it for intellectual masturbation, so keep the uses out of the discussion or you will be shunned (some are more accepting than others).

A couple of other books that are credible, exhaustive, and useful for your purposes are this and this. Lets face it, the indigenous cultures of this continent knew what they were doing long before we Europeanized the landscape. Also try this and this is the definitive guide for European transplants (many of which are naturalized and invasive but nonetheless useful to us).

Any questions, I'd be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

u/Austinito · 7 pointsr/botany

Taxonomy is the practice of describing, identifying, naming, and classifying life. The best way to start with plants is probably to start learning vocabulary. Plant Identification Terminology is a good book to get started. From there, learning the major plant families and the distinguishing characteristics of each family is great while keeping in mind the orders these major families are in. From there you can start focusing on genera within the families. I took a plant taxonomy course at my university and it was more or less structured in this way.

u/jwhisen · 4 pointsr/whatsthisplant

Location is really important for this question. The majority of quality books for plant ID are very region or state specific. If you are just looking for terminology and basics like that, they will be a little more universal. For that last one, I'd recommend Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary.

u/Chambellan · 3 pointsr/botany

Regardless of what you want to focus upon Plant Identification Terminology will come in handy.

u/SickSalamander · 3 pointsr/botany

The botanical definition of fleshy is "thick and pulpy; succulent." Dry is used the same way anyone uses that word (not wet, lacking water).

When a botanist says dry/fleshy they mean "dry/fleshy at the time of maturity." As in right before or right after the fruit would naturally ripen/detach/disperse. Dry fruits are often fleshy when still developing. Fleshy fruits can eventually dry out.

It can definitely be confusing. Legumes (peas, beans, etc) for example are dry fruits. They naturally stay on the plant til the pods dry out, split open, and spread the dry seeds. For eating, people love to pick whole pods off the plant when they are still developing. The seem "fleshy" and are still wet when we get them at the store. However, botanically we classify them based on their natural time of maturity which in this case is when they are dry.


Do you want a database of types of fruits or every single fruit?

A database of every single fruit would would have to include all 250,000+ angiosperms (and possibly many other lower plants and fungi depending on how liberal you are with the word fruit).

A list of types of fruit would be much easier, but dry/fleshy don't cover every possible fruit type.

Botanists would typically use a more speficic fruit type to describe a fruit. Plant Identification Terminology lists "Common Fruit Types."

The dry ones are:
achene, caryopsis, capsule, legume, loment, nut, nutlet, samara, schizocarp, silicle, silique, and utricle

The fleshy ones are:
berry, drupe, drupelet, pome, and pepo

The ones that can be either are:
accessory, aggregate, hip, multiple, and synconium

The book itself includes a key, definitions, and diagrams for each type.

u/CubicKinase · 3 pointsr/whatsthisplant

For about $20, pick up this book:
This will help with a lot of the jargon you will run into when using technical keys.

@OP If you are truly interested in plant taxonomy see about enrolling in a plant tax class at a university. You should also find out a good key for your local flora (if you let me know your area I can attempt a suggestion) and just get out and start keying. At first you will struggle and it will be painful, but as with anything, you get better with practice.

Oh, also consider getting a hand lens. I suggest something 10x or 14x.

u/lermp · 3 pointsr/botany

Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary


Mabberley's Plant-book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses

They're both nice reference books.

Last Stands and Gathering Moss are fun reads. If there's a particular type of plant you like try finding books that talk about them.

u/tehsma · 3 pointsr/botany

There is a book called "Pant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary" which does not identify any plants directly, but does teach you (and show you) how they are described. You will learn leaf shapes, flower types, different kinds of fruit and so on. Knowing these terms makes it easier to identify plants on your own, as you can describe the plant you found using the proper biological terms. It will also serve as a guide to decipher words found in technical botanical texts. I highly recommend this book!

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/botany

Let me start by saying, that most botanical references are dry and dull. I have had my nose deep in technical keys for years, and they are by no means a pleasure to read. They are for the more advanced.
To begin, you must understand the terminology and the context for these terms. Let me recommend two books that I promise will bring you a foundational understanding.

Botany for Gardeners, or any of the other Capon books. He does an excellent job at discussing adaptations and morphologies, while addressing some of the key ecological concepts necessary for understanding plants.

Next is Flowering Earth by Peattie. I'd recommend anything by this guy especially the Western Trees and Eastern Trees books. He is a bit dated, having written this stuff in the early part of the 20th century, BUT, most of his dialogue is incredibly relevant, historically informative. and very well written (his mother wrote literature).

Finally, for just getting the nuts and bolts, use : Plant Identification Terminology. Great read for the toilet.

u/MissesWhite · 2 pointsr/botany

Of course! I really appreciate everyone's replies. You never really know what you are going to be greeted with on reddit in response to questions like this. Wikipedia had been an excellent friend. ;)

I am a botany undergrad, who just recently switched over from art, graphic design, etc. So speaking of friends, this book hasn't left my side. I am working on this paper with a professor and another student. It has been a great chance to get my feet wet, and figure out researching various literature in a way I haven't had to do before.

Anyways, I really appreciate everyone's responses!

u/echinops · 2 pointsr/botany

If you want hardcore stuff, here is what I use:

u/supercow21 · 2 pointsr/botany

Botany is incredibly vocabulary heavy so one I really love is the Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary.

It has a ton of botanical terms and is really handy if you have to look something up while keying out a specimen. I didn't know grasses had vaginas before getting this book. Now I do.

u/InsufferableTemPest · 1 pointr/biology

If you are interested in Botanical Terminology (in terms of identification) I would recommend Plant Identification Terminology An Illustrated Glossary which you can get for fairly cheap off of Amazon. Any Peterson Field Guide in regards to plants would also be good as they have good descriptions and pictures. I'd say that learning to identify plants is just as important as learning about how they work. I'll edit this post later, however, to post a few plant biology
books I've read that you might be interested in.


  • Economic Botany is an interesting textbook. It deals with the more cultural aspects of botany as it describes how different cultures use plants. The first chapter is a brief primer on the basics of botany which is enough to understand the terminology, naming conventions, and inner workings of the plants mentioned. It's not an easy read but it isn't too dry either.

  • Botany is a good botany textbook. It, again, isn't an easy read while still being interesting. The only thing I would note about this book was that it was published in 1995 so it while not contain any of the newer theories that u/Shilo788 talked about. Other than that I'd say the material within it is fairly up to date and is a good introduction to botany.
u/neelhtaky · 1 pointr/botany

The link didn’t load for me. Is it this book by James Harris?