Chapter 1: Terms

These are the important terms from this chapter to be sure to know. You might also find these in later chapters.

Chapter 1 flashcards

Agriculture The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
Agronomy The science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land restoration on an extensive scale. The value per acre is lower than for a typical horticultural crop.
Asexual propagation A form of propagation that results in plants with genetics identical to those of the parent plant.
Bract A modified leaf or scale, usually small, with a flower or flower cluster in its axil.
Bulb A specialized, underground organ with a short, fleshy stem axis (basal plate) enclosed by thick, fleshy scales modified for storage.
Control (in an experiment) Used to verify or regulate a scientific experiment by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard.
Demonstration experiment A method for actively learning the body of scientific knowledge that has been previously discovered and communicated by others; specifically orchestrated for teaching and learning, not for the discovery of new information about the world around us.
Discovery experiment A method focused on uncovering new relationships and solving problems, following the scientific method, testing hypotheses and their predicted outcomes, and utilizing a careful design in order to maintain meaningfulness and credibility.
Evaluation experiment A method typically used during the development of new technologies to identify the best products for a desired purpose (e. g., which pesticides are effective against a target insect, but not harmful to non-target insects), but not used to discover new knowledge about how the world works, and thus not typically advancing our understanding of the natural world. Used to pick a winner from among a number of options.
Experimental design The process of planning an experiment to test a hypothesis.
Experimental unit The entity to which a specific treatment combination is applied.
Exploration experiment A method focused on detailed observation of organisms and habitats, used to increase our information about the natural world and to identify potential relationships that need to be tested, and essential to the building of a sound and testable hypothesis.
Floriculture Discipline of horticulture concerned with the production and marketing of plants valued for their flowers.
Forestry The science or practice of propagating, planting, managing, and caring for forests; includes harvesting.
Fruit Ripened ovary together with the seeds within the ovary.
Geophytes Plants with underground organs in which the plant stores energy or water. New growth begins underground, and the function of this growth is the storage of food, nutrients, and water during adverse environmental conditions.
Horticulture The art and science of the development, sustainable production, marketing, and use of high-value, intensively cultivated food and ornamental plants.
Hypothesis Scientific means of forming a question or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for experimentation. In science, a testable statement.
Inflorescence Complete flower structure of a plant; includes the flower, pedicle, rachis, and peduncle.
Internode Stem regions between nodes in plants.
Leaf A usually green, flattened, lateral structure attached to a stem and functioning as a principal organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in most plants.
Leaf blade Broad portion of a leaf; does not include the petiole.
Monocotyledon Seed plant that produces an embryo with a single cotyledon and parallel-veined leaves; includes grasses, lilies, palms, and orchids.
Node Stem region of a plant where one or more leaves attach; location of lateral buds.
Olericulture Discipline of horticulture concerned with the production and marketing of plants or plant parts valued for culinary use as vegetables.
Pedicel Short stalk that holds up the flower.
Peduncle Large, central stalk that attaches the rachi to the stem of the plant.
Petiole Stalk by which most leaves are attached to a stem; part of the leaf structure, not the stem.
Pomology Production and marketing of plants or plant parts valued for their culinary use as fruits, including nuts; propagated by cuttings and grafting (asexual propagation).
Rachis Stalk of a flower that is situated between the peduncle and the pedicel.
Randomization Act of randomly assigning treatments to experimental units using a random number table or computer-generated randomization to help minimize any bias that has not been recognized in advance and controlled for in other ways.
Replication Application of the same treatment to more than one experimental unit.
Rhizome Horizontal stem growing just below the soil surface.
Science Systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Scientific discovery Process of scientific inquiry; builds on what is known by testing hypotheses.
Sessile A leaf that lacks a petiole; called a sessile leaf.
Sexual propagation Form of propagation that results in plants with genetics that differ from those of the parent plants; also called seed propagation.
Stem Supporting and conducting organ, usually developed initially from the epicotyl and growing upward; consists of nodes and internodes.
Treatments Administration or application of agents to a plant to prevent disease or facilitate growth.
Tuber Swollen, underground, modified stems that store food.


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The Science of Plants by The Authors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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