The Plant Taxonomy Classes, listed elsewhere on this site, have proven popular. Part of learning about plants and botany includes the technical terms used to describe plant characteristics. Although many of the field guides listed on the Williamson County Bookshelf page and the NPSOT Bookstore (on this site and the main NPSOT site, respectively) have useful glossaries in them, Instead of scanning copyrighted glossaries into PDF files and possibly violating the Fair Use guidelines of United States copyright law, we adopted the policy of providing links to these off site materials.

Please note that some of these links lead to downloadable PDF files which reside on the respective resources. If any of these links become invalid, or are moved from their current location, please advise through the Contact Us form elsewhere on this site so  we can investigate the issue.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center online horticultural glossary is an illustrated glossary. Click on the term to view the illustration of that term (typically, line drawing image files). This interface is still in progress; not all terms have images associated with them at the time this page is being published (July 2015).



This web site was created as a resource for a variety of botany and related subject courses.

Copyright 1998, by the authors. All rights reserved. Vascular Plant Systematics (Radford, A. E., W. C. Dickison, J. R. Massey, C. R. Bell. 1976. Harper and Row, New York.) was written and edited in the mid 1970s by several botany professors at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

System Characteristics outline provides a list of the sections and pages so you can go directly to the item of interest.

The New York Botanical Garden’s Glossary for Vascular Plants by S. A. Mori and N. Smith

The purpose of this botanical glossary is to provide definitions of the terminology used in the descriptions and keys of web sites at The New York Botanical Garden. This site uses photographs with labels pointing to the salient features.and glossary terms.

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants database

This site has it all – from individual plant characteristics to lists of all the plants found in any state. It includes both native and exotic, or introduced plants, and has maps to show the distribution of plants at the state and county level. Here’s a partial screenshot of the home page.

Note that on the right hand sidebar under the I Want to… heading, you can generate a list of ALL the plants in your state, as well as other common or important tasks that you might want to do but wouldn’t know where to find on the website without some help.

The Kew Botanical Gardens glossary. 

This glossary from Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom is provided as a downloadable PDF file which you can print out or view on your device.

A few odds and ends:

Botany 125 course online materials:

In addition to an online glossary with audio files for pronunciation, this site provides their lab manual, photos of the content in the lab manual, , and much much more.

The Virtual Field Herbarium

Here we find an image database and information on plant characteristics,but perhaps even more interesting, the site provides guidance on creating your own field guide. site – plant anatomy flash card deck 

This is a flash card quiz create and save site, which will eliminate the advertisements if you pay the additional $15 annual fee.