– A –

  • Adnate – Refers to the base of the lip which united with the column.
  • Aerial Root – Any root produced above the growing medium.
  • Anther – The part of the stamen containing the pollen; the end of the column.
  • Articulated – Refers to the base of the lip which appears to be a protruding chin and jaw.

– B –

  • Backbulb – An old pseudobulb behind the part of a sympodial orchid that is actively growing. Although there may be no leaves the presence of undamaged “eyes” is a sign that growth is possible.
  • Bifoliate – Having two leaves.
  • Bigeneric – A hybrid between two species of different genera.
  • Bract – Modified leaves on an inflorescence.

– C –

  • Cane – An elongated psuedobulb, usually used when describing Dendrobiums or Epidendrums.
  • Caespitose – growing in small dense clumps or tufts
  • Column – The central reproductive organ of the orchid flower, formed by the union of the stamens and pistils.
  • Column Foot – The extension of the base of the column, in some orchids, to which the lip is attached.
  • Cultivar – An cultivated plant and its vegetative propagation’s; a horticultural variety or strain.

– D –

  • Digitate – Branches clustering from one point like fingers on a hand.
  • Discolor – Having two-toned leaves, such as green above and purple below.

– E –

  • Elliptic – Oval, with a short or no point.
  • Epiphyte – An epiphyte is an organism that grows upon or attaches to a living plant. Epiphytic organisms usually derive only physical support and not nutrition from their host, though they may sometimes damage the host.
  • Eye – The bud of a sympodial orchid that will eventually develop into a new psuedobulb and flower.

– F –

  • Fasciculate – Clustering habit. Offsets from the base form tight bunches.
  • Floccose – Wooly or fuzzy.

– G –

  • Genus – A natural grouping of closely related species (Pl. Genera) .
  • Glabrous – Shiny and smooth, lacking hairs.
  • Glaucous – A sea-green color, coated with a waxy powder.
  • Globose – Rounded or spherical shape.
  • Grex – All siblings of the same seed cross.

– H –

  • Habitat – Tthe natural ecological or environment area in which an organism lives.
  • Hybrid – The result of a cross between two different species or hybrids.
  • Hybrid Swarm – A cross between two species that becomes fertile and breeds true, imitating a true species.

– I –

  • Inflorescence – An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches.
  • Intergeneric Hybrid – A hybrid between members of two or more genera.

– J –

  • Jointed – Having nodes, or points of real or apparent divisions along the stem or psuedobulb.

– K –

  • Keiki – A small plant growing from one node along the flower stem or cane. The baby plant is an exact clone of the mother plant.

– L –

  • Lanceolate – Lance-shaped.
  • Lead – An immature vegetative growth on a sympodial orchid that will develop into flower-producing structure.
  • Lip – A modified petal of the orchid flower specialized to aid in pollination and different than the other petals.
  • Lithophyte – Lithophytes are a type of plant that grows in or on rocks. Lithophytes feed off moss, nutrients in rain water, litter, and even their own dead tissue.

– M –

  • Medium – The material in which an orchid is container-grown.
  • Meristems – A meristem is the tissue in all plants consisting of undifferentiated cells, and found in zones of the plant where growth can take place.
  • Monopodial – Vascular plants with monopodial growth habits grow upward from a single point. They add leaves to the apex each year and the stem grows longer accordingly.

– N –

  • Node – A joint on a stem or pseudobulb from which a leaf or growth originates.
  • NPK – Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potassium (K) – The symbols for the three primary nutrients needed by plants for growth.

– O –

  • Offset – A vegetative division or lateral shoot.

– P –

  • Physan 20™ – A broad range disinfectant, fungicide, virucide, and algaecide which effectively controls a wide variety of pathogens on hard surfaces and plants.
  • Plicate – Folded, crumpled, corrugated.
  • Pseudobulb – The pseudobulb is a storage organ derived from the part of a stem between two leaf nodes.

– R –

  • Racemose – A raceme is a type of inflorescence that is unbranched and indeterminate and bears pedicellate flowers — flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels — along the axis.
  • Rhizome – In botany, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes.
  • Rachis – The central spine of an inflorescence.
  • Reticulations – A network of veins or lines on a leaf surface.

– S –

  • Sepal – The outer segments of an Orchid flower.
  • Sheath – A modified leaf that encloses and protects an emerging inflorescence or leaf. Normally dries and sloughs off, when inflorescence or leaf matures.
  • Species – A kind of plant that is distinct from other plants.
  • Spike – An unbranched inflorescence of unstalked flowers. A term sometimes used in place of ‘inflorescence.’
  • Stolon – A branch that grows horizontally above the medium and produces roots and shoots at the nodes.
  • Surfactant – Wetting agent: a chemical agent capable of reducing the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved.
  • Sympodial – Plants with sympodial growth have a specialized lateral growth pattern in which the apical meristem is terminated. The apical meristem can either be consumed to make an inflorescence or other determinate structure, or it can be aborted. Growth is continued by a lateral meristem, which repeats the process. The result is that the stem, which may appear to be continuous, is in fact derived from multiple meristems, rather than a monopodial plant whose stems derive from one meristem only.

– T –

  • Terrestrial – Growing on the ground and supported by soil.

– U –

  • Unifoliate – Having one leaf.


Welcome to Jardim Therapy my blog about orchids and Brazil. Here you will find a few useful references, and some tip & tricks, along with posting of my own personal experience. I absolutely love orchids, and I want to help everyone interested in learning about these unique plants.

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