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Note: Definitions are paraphrased by Valerie Coskrey and Sam Stamport and were included to enhance your reading of the Discovery Garden webpages. To be safe, if you need a definition for an academic purpose, use a published textbook or dictionary.

- Beautiful and pleasing in appearance.

Axial -
This term can refer to the position of a flower on the stem of the plant. Axial means on the stem. The opposite is terminal where the flower is at the top or tip of the stem.

Axial bud - A bud on the stem that arises at the junction of a leaf or flower.

- An embryonic shoot that will form leaves, a stem, or flower.

Butterfly garden - A garden co
ntaining plants that attract butterflies.

Cultivar - Cultivated variety. A plant type within a species that has been bred by plant breeders for desirable characteristics such as color, size of bloom, fruit size, and resistance to insects and diseases. Examples include corn, rice, wheat, petunia, coleus, crape myrtle.

- The practice of pruning old flowers from plants before they set seeds or the plant develops the fruit. This will often cause the plant to produce more flowers.  A frequently used technique is to pinch off the old flower. 

- A plant that loses its leaves during the winter. Examples: Maple, Elm, Wisteria.

Drought-tolerant - A plant that will tolerate the lack of water. The plant will be under stress until water is supplied. Sometimes the stress causes the plant to flower and/or fruit. Most drought-tolerant plants need some amount of water. If they do not receive a sufficient amount of water some will die.

Environmentally-friendly - Planned, designed, or considered to be an addition to the environment that causes very little harm or distraction from the environment.

Evergreen - A plant that keeps its leaves year-round. Examples: Live Oak, Cedar, Texas Mountain Laurel.

Environment - The biological, physical and chemical entities of an area. Includes energies and weather.

Green - Considered to be environmentally sustainable. Considered to be a contributor to environmental sustainability.

Interaction - Changes in entities that result from the change in one or more entities. Back and forth responses of entities to each other.

Lateral bud - A new, embryonic, plant growth on the side of a stem or branch.

Local - Near-by geographically; refers to the community, region, zone or other defined geographic location in which one is located.

Mulch - Chopped plant pieces used to cover the ground around a plant so that it can protect the plant from excessive warming or cooling, conserve water by inhibiting evaporation, and feed the plant as it slowly rots into natural fertilizer.

Native - According to Wikipedia a native plant is a term used to describe plants endemic or indigenous to a given area in geologic time. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area.

Organic - Refers to the use of natural gardening techniques and fertilizers as opposed to heavy machinery, chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

Pest-resistant - A trait in a plant to be unattractive to local pests, usually insect pests; includes the ability to quickly recover from an infestation of pests.

Pollinator - An organism that moves pollen from an anther to a stigma so the ova can be fertilized, a process that results in seeds.

Pollinator garden - A garden designed to attract, nurture and protect pollinators, especially the insect types.

Prune - to cut and trim branches of a plant to foster better, more attractive, healthier, or other desired growth of the plant; includes the removal of infested or diseased parts.

Variety - This term is often mistakenly used to refer to a cultivar. A variety is a plant that occurs naturally in nature. Examples include Live Oak and native grasses.

Scientific name - A unique name for a plant. When searching for information on the web for a given plant it is best to use the scientific name since common names are often ambiguous with more than one plant species referred to by a single common name. A single plant may also have more than one common name.

Scientific names for plants were created by Carl Linnaeus. They are composed of two parts that are always underlined or italicized. The first is the genus (Lagerstroemia). The genus is always capitalized. The second part is the specific epithet (indica). The second part is never capitalized.

Sustainability - Having the property of nurturing and maintaining the environment and the interactions within it in; a policy governing man's interactions and use of the natural environments in ways that do the least amount of harm, restore damaged parts, and nurture positive changes using environmental needs as the criteria for deciding what is positive.

Terminal bud - A bud at the end or tip of a branch, stem, or root of a plant.

Trimming - Very light pruning to maintain a plant's shape and cut out deformed parts.

Variety - This term is often mistakenly used to refer to a cultivar. A variety is a plant that occurs naturally in nature. Examples include Live Oak and native grasses.

Xeriscaping - Gardening and landscaping with plants that require little water. All the plants in the Discovery Garden are suitable for xeriscapes.

City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 •
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