Glossary of Terms 


The enlarged pollen bearing structure at the tip of a filament in a flower. The filament and the anther make up the male part of the flower, known as the stamen, which surrounds the complimentary female part of the flower, known as the pistil.


the structure from which spines originate in cacti, arising from an axillary bud at a node in the stem--i.e., in Mammillarias, at the end of the tubercle. In Opuntia, glocchids also emanate from the areoles.


the angle between a stem and a leaf; in Mammillaria, the "pit" between adjacent tubercles and the stem.


a short, stiff hair. In comparison, a glochid has a retrorse (backward pointing) barb at the end.


the whole enchilada. A member of the family cactaceae, the classification level above genus.


multiple stems growing upward from the base; in cacti, multiple heads growing from the same base. Also spelled "cespitose", a corruption of the Latin.


the outer, basal "cup" from which the sepals and inner flower parts arise; essentially, a modified leaf.


bell shaped, referring to the whole flower. In comparison, funnelform refers to a linearly tapered flower.


spines that grow outward from the areole; may be erect, porrect, or deflexed.


hairy, specifically with long, soft hairs.


pointing or arcing downward, usually referring to central spines. Opposite of recurved.


standing erect, pointing upward, referring to the central spines.


the stalk-like structure that terminates in the anther, or pollen sac bearing structure in the male part of the flower, or stamen.


funnel shaped, referring to the whole flower. In comparison, campanulate refers to a rounded, bell shaped flower.


more or less spherical in shape.


a fine hair or bristle having a barb at the tip, as those arising from the areoles of the genus Opuntia.


arcing inward and upward, in the normal sense, toward the meristem; referring to the central spines.


the growing point of the plant, at the tip of the stem (body) of the cactus or a branch of the cactus.


to grow a branch (another "head") from an existing head of the plant.


the enlarged portion of the pistil, at the base of the style, in which ovules from into seeds inside a fertilized fruit.


the female part of the flower, consisting of the stigma, style, and ovary. The pistil surrounds the male part of the flower, known as the stamen. Ovules in the pistil later become the seeds of the fruit.


beak-like; pointing straight out or away from the plant. See picture of Mammillaria sonorensis var. gentryi for a porrect central


hairy, specifically with fine, short hairs


spines that grows radially from the areole, lying parallel or nearly parallel to the surface of the cactus. Usually, radials are finer and more flexible than centrals.


arcing downward or backward, away from the stem; in cacti usually referring to the central spines.


the outermost series of flower parts, forming the calyx, and recapitulating the petals; usually, sepals have darker color than the petals.


Hard, pointed needles emanating from buds in the areole structure in cacti; in cacti, derived from leaves or parts of leaves.


referring to the alignment of tubercles in rows that wind around the stem of the Mammillaria. The number of spiral rows of tubercles normally follow the mathematical Fibonacci Sequence, and is usually constant within a given species of Mammillaria. The number of rows counted clockwise and counterclockwise are Fibonacci pairs, e.g.: 5/8, 8/13, 13/21, etc., depending upon the species.


the male part of the flower, comprised of the filament and anther.


the pollen receptor structure at the terminus of the style, in the center of the flower. The female part of the flower consists of the stigma, style, and ovary.

Stigma lobes

in cacti, referring to the lobes that form more than one stigma on a single style.


The hollow stalk which holds the stigma above the ovary; part of the female part of the flower.


needles with the form of centrals, but grow nearer to a 45 angle with the plant body.


having a long, tapered cylindrical shape, circular in cross section; referring to the tubercles.


hairy in a thick fuzzy, or wooly manner.


a projection from the plant body, terminating in the areole;.


hooked, referring to spines.


long soft, entangled hairs; in cacti, a mass of entangled hairs resembling sheep wool.

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