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Key to the Trees and Shrubs of Black Mtn, Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura based on Vegetative Characters

Laurence G. Adams




* = known, or believed, not to be native to the Canberra area.

± = more-or-less (qualitative); approximately (quantitative).

< = less than.

> = greater than, more than.

acicular = needle-shaped.

acuminate = tapering to a slender point, the included angle <40°

acute = tapering to a point, the included angle 40–90°

adventitious roots = roots with abnormal origin; e.g. from nodes of stem.

aff. = affinis: having affinity with, but distinct from, the named taxon; usually applied to a taxon believed to be undescribed; (see cf.).

alternate = developed singly around an axis, and at different levels; e.g. leaves on a stem.

angular = possessing angles; e.g. the cross-section of stems of some species.

apex (plural apices) = the top; hence: apical.

appressed = bent from the base so as to more or less lie along the surface.

aristate = bearing a stiff but hardly spiny bristle; e.g. some leaf apices.

aromatic foliage = foliage that is scented, usually as a result of being glandular, resinous or oil-dotted.

axil = the angle formed by a leaf or bract and the stem; hence: axillary.

bipinnate = twice pinnate.

biserrate = serrate (q.v.) but with each tooth itself serrulate.

broad- = prefix to leaf-shape: reduces length:breadth ratio, up to 40% from median value.

cf. = confer: compare with; used in cases of uncertainty of identity of a taxon; (see aff.).

ciliate = with fringe of hairs; e.g. leaf margins of some species.

clustered = general term applied to parts that are contiguous but not integral.

compound leaf = leaf that is divided to the rachis into discrete segments; (see simple leaf; pinna).

cordate = heart-shaped, usually in reference to the base of a leaf blade.

corymb = a raceme (q.v.) in which all flowers ascend to a common level; hence: corymbose.

crenate margin = divided regularly into small rounded lobes or teeth.

deciduous = falling off, usually seasonally; e.g. leaves, bark, etc.

decorticate = deciduous outer bark shed in strips or large flakes, usually seasonally.

dentate = margin divided regularly into obtuse teeth.

digitate = branching in 5 parts from a central axis, like the fingers of the hand.

discolorous = of different colours; e.g. the upper and lower surfaces of leaves in many species.

distal = remote or away from the point of attachment; (see proximal).

dorsal = pertaining to the back; e.g., the underside of a leaf; (see ventral).

elliptic = ellipse-shaped, the widest point equidistant from both ends, the length:breadth ratio 2:1–3:2.

emarginated = notched at the apex.

entire = margin unbroken by lobes or teeth.

erect = at right-angles to surface or axis.

exserted = projected beyond adjacent parts.

falcate = sickle-shaped, i.e. curved; e.g. leaves in some Eucalyptus and Acacia species.

fasciculate = arranged in bundles.

flaccid = limp.

foliar = of, or pertaining to, leaves.

foliolate = bearing pinnae or leaflets.

glabrescent = becoming glabrous.

glabrous = hairless; e.g. some leaf or stem surfaces.

glandular = bearing glands. Various types may secrete oil, nectar, gum, etc.

glaucous = surfaces bearing a fine, powdery, bluish grey bloom.

herb = plant not producing a woody stem or dry bark; hence: herbaceous.

hispid = covered with short, stiff hairs.

hoary = with a grey, frosty appearance.

included = not projected beyond adjacent parts; e.g. the valves in a capsule of Eucalyptus

incurved = moderately curved upward, i.e. through 180 deg; e.g. leaf margins of some species; (see recurved).

inflorescence = group of flowers borne on a single, branched or unbranched stem.

involute = abruptly rolled upward, i.e. through 180–360 deg; e.g. leaf margins of some species (see revolute).

juvenile leaves = first-formed leaves, often different in size, shape and arrangement to the adult leaves.

lamina = the blade of a leaf. lanate woolly.

lanceolate = lance-shaped, i.e. with the widest point in the proximal half, the length:breadth ratio 6:1 or more.

lateral = pertaining to the side, relative to an axis; e.g. branches from main stem.

leaflet = general term applied to any (usually the smallest) foliar unit of a compound leaf; (see pinna, pinnule).

linear = long and narrow, with more or less straight sides, the length:breadth ratio 12:1 or more.

maculate = spotted or blotched; e.g. the variegated smooth bark of some eucalypts.

margin = edge or border; e.g. of any foliar structure.

mucronate = with a mucro, i.e. with a short, stiff point, often an extension of the mid-vein.

narrow- = prefix to leaf-shape: increases length:breadth ratio, up to 30% from median value.

oblanceolate = same shape as lanceolate, but with the widest point in the distal half.

oblong = longer than wide, with more or less straight sides, the length:breadth ratio 2:1–3:2.

obovate = same shape as ovate, but with the widest point in the distal half.

obtuse = blunt, i.e. tapering to a point, the included angle >90°

opposite = developed in pairs, one of each pair on either side of an axis; e.g. leaves or leaflets.

orbicular = approximately circular in outline.

ovary = structure that develops into the fruit after fertilization.

ovate = egg-shaped, i.e. with widest point in the proximal half, the length:breadth ratio 2:1–3:2.

palmate = radiating from a central point; e.g. leaflets or leaf veins.

panicle = a compound (multi-branched) inflorescence in which all flowers are stalked; hence: paniculate.

parallel = linear (not necessarily straight) structures equidistant from one another; e.g. leaf veins in some species.

parasitic = the situation of one organism living on, and deriving nutrition from, another live organism.

pedicel = the stalk of a single flower; hence: pedicellate.

peduncle = the stalk of an inflorescence (which may be reduced to a single flower).

penniveined = with veins diverging from the midrib of a leaf, analogous to the plume of a feather.

persistent bark = bark that is retained indefinitely, not seasonally shed.

petiole = stalk of a leaf; hence: petiolate.

phyllode = a flattened leaf petiole, lacking a true lamina but looking like, and functioning as, a leaf.

pinna (pl. pinnae) = the primary subdivision of a pinnately- compound leaf; (may be again divided; see pinnule, leaflet).

pinnate leaf = compound leaf with pinnae arranged in opposite pairs, with or without a single terminal leaflet.

pinnule = the smallest (lowest-rank) foliar unit of a divided pinna (q.v.).

p.p. = pro parte: in part, partly

prickle = spine produced by sub-epidermal tissue of a stem, but lacking vascular tissue.

proximal = towards the point of attachment; (see distal).

puberulent = very finely pubescent.

pubescent = downy: possessing short, soft hairs.

pungent = with a sharp, hard point; (does not refer to odour).

pyramidal = more or less pyramid-shaped, i.e. triangular in outline.

raceme = elongate inflorescence of stalked flowers on a common rachis and opening progressively upwards; hence: racemose.

rachis = the main axis of any organ; e.g. inflorescence or leaf.

radiate = spreading from a more or less common centre.

recurved = moderately curved downward, i.e. through 180°; e.g. leaf margins in some species.

reticulate = forming a network; e.g. leaf veinlets.

revolute = abruptly rolled downward, i.e. through 180–360°, e.g. leaf margins in some species; (see involute).

rostrate = beaked, i.e. with a substantial, stiff point.

scabrid = rough to the touch, usually as a result of presence of stiff or tuberculate hairs.

scandent = climbing or trailing.

secund = with parts all directed to one side only; e.g. flowers along the stems in some species.

sericeous = silky-hairy, the hairs appressed.

serrate = saw-toothed: margin divided regularly into small, acute, usually distally-pointing teeth.

serrulate = finely serrate.

sessile = stalkless, i.e. without a petiole or pedicel.

shrub = woody plant <8 m high, with permanent branching from, or close to, the base.

simple leaf = leaf undivided, or variously toothed or lobed but not divided into discrete leaflets; (see compound leaf)

s.l. = sensu lato: in the broad sense; often used in cases of persistent difficulty in defining constituent taxa.

spathulate = spoon-shaped; usually with a more or less rounded apex.

spike = elongate inflorescence of sessile flowers on a common rachis and opening progressively upwards.

spine = any hard, pointed structure; e.g. thorn, prickle, etc.

stellate = star-shaped; e.g., referring to branched hairs.

stigma = receptive surface at the apex of the style for germination of pollen grains.

stipule = small appendage, usually herbaceous or rarely spiny, present in pairs at the base of leaves of some dicotyledonous plants

style = stalk of a stigma, usually borne at apex of ovary.

sub- = (prefix): almost.

subulate = awl-shaped: narrow and tapering to a fine point.

taxon (pl. taxa) = any unit of classification; e.g. genus, species etc.

terete = more or less cylindrical in cross-section; e.g. the stems of many species.

ternate = arranged in threes; e.g. lobes or leaflets in some species.

terrestrial = on, or growing in, the earth.

tesselate bark = bark closely fissured into discrete, more or less rectangular or square segments.

thorn = a reduced, spiny branch.

tomentose = possessing short, matted hairs.

tree = woody plant >8 m high with at least a short trunk lacking permanent branches.

tripinnate = thrice pinnate.

tuberculate = warty; with small, surface nodules or swellings, often associated with glands or the bases of hairs.

umbel = several pedicellate flowers emanating simultaneously from the apex of a peduncle; hence: umbellate.

vascular bundle = primary conducting tissue.

vein = vascular bundle of leaf.

ventral = pertaining to the front; e.g. the upper surface of a leaf; (see dorsal).

villous = possessing long, soft hairs.

viscid = with a coating of any sticky substance.

whorled = several similar structures in opposition around an axis; e.g. the stem leaves of some species.


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