adapted from Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge by Ron Lance. Used by permission.
To see photographic examples of a term, click the camera next to it in the list of botanical terms.
A spur shoot is knobby, short, and very slow-growing. It usually produces flowers or clustered leaves and lies along the side of a branchlet or branch. Sometimes it may be spine-tipped, or merely have a bud at the tip.
Where a leaf falls from the twig, a leaf scar is left behind. Inside the leaf scar the vascular tissue pattern is seen, usually as dots or bundles of dots. These are bundle scars, aiding species identification during Winter.
Position of buds: Where the twig ends growth by forming a bud on the very tip, a terminal bud is present. When the growing tip withers or falls away, one of the side buds (or lateral buds) ends up being close to the twig tip and substitutes as a terminal bud for next year's growth. These are pseudo-terminal or false-terminal buds; look for the telltale branch scar or branch stub alongside it, opposite from leaf scar. This is where the twig tip has fallen.
Lateral buds can be superposed (one above the other) or collateral (side by side) on the same node. Often, one of these accessory buds is for flower production and may look different than other lateral vegetative buds.
Scaled buds have one or more bud scales (which are modified leaves) to protect embryonic leaves Inside. When 2-scaled, the scales may be valvate, or meet like two cupped hands. Imbricate scales overlap at edges.
Other twig features:
- Thorns are outgrowths of the wood of the twig.
- Spines are usually associated with nodes and are modified stipules or twig tips.
- Prickles are epidermal outgrowths, such as in roses and blackberries.
Plant Morphology Terms
- General Terms
- Palms & Palmettos glossary
- Palms & Palmettos pictorial glossary
- The Blue Ridge
- North Carolina (PDF)
- South Carolina (PDF)
- SC's Wildflower Communities
- The Southeast Mountains
From Wayne's Word, an online textbook of natural history
- Flower Terminology #1
- Flower Terminology #2
- Flower Terminology #3
- Inflorescence Terminology #1
- Inflorescence Terminology #2
- Leaf Terminology #1
- Leaf Terminology #2
From vPlants: a Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region
From Vascular Plant Systematics, by Radford, Dickison, Massey, and Bell
From the Plant Information Center at UNC, Chapel Hill
From the Australian Pea-flowered Legume Research Group
From the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation