Botanical Glossaries

A botanical glossary can be a useful tool. The botanical terms used to describe plants can be confusing. Taking the time to learn them is worthwhile if you are working with plants, reading about plants, or teaching others about plants. A single descriptive botanical term can replace a phrase or even a couple of sentences that otherwise would be needed to describe a plant feature.

Learning botanical terms is easier than it seems at first. Many plant names and terms …

Vernicia fordii, Tung Oil Tree

Invasive Species: Vernicia fordii, Tung Oil Tree

Tung oil tree is an invasive deciduous tree that grows up to 66 ft (20 m) tall and has milky white sap. The leaves are simple, 6 to 10 in. (15.2 to 25.4 cm) long, and alternate. They are heart-shaped or have three pointed lobes. The petioles are long, and there is a distinctive red gland at the base of each leaf. The showy flowers have five white petals with red veins …

What Are Invasive Species, and Why Should We Be Concerned About Them?

An invasive species is a nonnative species (in any reproductive stage, including seed, egg, spore, or other propagule) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health. These species grow and reproduce rapidly, causing major disturbance to the areas in which they are present.

Yellow Starthistle
Steve Dewey, Utah State University,


The majority of nonnative species, including most of our sources of food and fiber, are not harmful, and many are highly beneficial. …