Plant Glossary of



Plant Glossary S

Samara: A winged, one∼seeded and one∼celled dry fruit. An example of a double samara would be the winged, connected two seeds of Maple. Sap: Plant fluid contained in the cells and the vascular bundle

Scale: (1) In lilies, a section of bulb that is capable of developing into a fully formed bulb and subsequent plant (2) An insect pest

Scape: A leafless flower stalk growing from the root crown

Scarification: The process of nicking or scratching the seed coat so that water can more easily penetrate it

Scion: The plant that is used as the topgrowth in a grafted plant marriage

Secondary Product: A product of plant metabolism that is not primarily related to growth and reproduction, such as medicinals, flavorings, dyes, pesticides, perfumes, etc

Seed Development: Following pollination and fertilization, two major developmental steps occur in the life cycle of flowering plants which do not occur in the mosses or ferns. One is the development of the seed and the other is the development of the fruit. The seed development consists of a conversion of the integument of the ovule into a resistant seed coat, the development of the endosperm, and the development of the embryo. The developing embryo grows, absorbs endosperm, and stores those nutrients in "seed leaves" called cotyledons. All these events take place within the original ovary. The development of a typical dicot seed includes the following stages :
  • Proembryo stage. During development, the zygote divides to form a mass of cells called the embryo. Initially the embryo consists of a basal cell, suspensor, and a two-celled proembryo. The suspensor is the column of cells that pushes the embryo into the endosperm.
  • Globular stage. Cell division of the proembryo soon leads to the globular stage that is radially symmetrical and has little internal cellular organization.
  • Heart-shaped stage. Division of the globular stage produces bilateral symetry and two cotyledons forming the heart-shaped embryo. The enlarging cotyledons stire digested food from the endosperm.
  • Torpedo stage. The cotyledons elongate.
  • Mature embryo. The mature embryo has large bent cotyledons. The endosperm is depleted and food is stored in the cotyledons.

Self-Fertile: Refers to a plant that produces viable seeds when fertilized with its own pollen

Self-Incompatible: A flower or plant that is unable to pollinate itself

Self-Sterile: Refers to a plant that needs pollen from another individual of the species (but not a clone) to produce viable seeds

Semiripe Cutting: A cutting from wood that has begun to mature

Senescence: Aging

Serotinum: Latin term meaning 'late flowering

Softwood Cutting: A cutting taken from a stem that is in its rapid first growth

Somatic: Vegetative, no∼sexual. All plant cells other than reproductive cells are somatic

Somatic Embryogenesis: The formation of embryos from somatic cells

Spore: a reproductive unit, generally of a fern or moss, from which a new plant can develop

Sport: A plant or plant part that has undergone a mutation. Natural or induced genetic change, often evident as a flower or shoot of a different color from the parent plant.

Stages Of Culture: Stage I, Establishment. Stage II, Multiplication. Stage III, Rooting. Stage IV, Acclimatization

Sterile Technique: The protocol for asceptically transferring cultures. Also called asceptic technique

Stigma: The part of a flower that leads to the ovary. The stigma usually has a somewhat sticky top and a a hollow tube within its structure that allows pollen to travel downwards to the ovary

Stipule: Leaflike or bractlike structure borne, usually in pairs, at the point where a petiole arises from a stem

Stratification: The process of cooling or freezing seeds in order to break dormancy.Some seeds require alternate stratification, or alternate warming and cooling

Stock Plant: A plant from which other plants are started, a source plant for explants

Stock Solution: A concentrated solution of media chemicals from which portions are used to make media

Stomate: (plural, stomata) A small opening in the epidermis of leaves and stems through which gases and water may pass and enter. Anything in the parts per million contained in that water pass through too, like micronutrients.

Style: The style is the long, hollow tube that leads to the ovary in a flower. At the tip of the style is the stigma. (See definition of stigma above)

Sucker: A shoot that grows from the crown or roots of a parent plant

Surfactant: A wetting agent that reduces surface tension, thus allowing solutions to better penetrate and clean plants or laboratory surfaces, etc. Also helps in adhesion of chemicals used to fight pests, etc

Suspension Culture: See Cell Suspension Culture

Symbiosis: The living together of two dissimilar organisms, usually to a mutual advantage

Sympodia: Form of growth in which the terminal bud dies or ends in an inflorescence, and growth continues from the lateral buds

Systemic: Within an organism (system) internal, as a pathogen or systemic weed killer

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