Azalea Glossary

[also see GardenWeb glossary ]


Some specialized terms used to describe azaleas are defined in this azalea glossary, along with many standard botanical and horticultural terms.

 Glossary of Terms
acuminate (leaf tip) – concave sides tapering to a protracted acute point
acute (leaf tip) – straight or slightly convex sides tapering to a point
Akamuji (satsuki pattern) – solid red
alternate – arranged singly at different heights and on different sides of a stem
anther – the pollen-bearing part of the stamen, at top of the filament
Arare (satsuki pattern) – many large specks scattered all over the petals, biggest of the particle color patterns
arching (plant shape) – upright for a distance, then spreading outward and somewhat downward
attenuate (leaf base) – wedge-shaped, concave sides tapering to the point of attachment
azaleodendron – cross between an azalea and a rhododendron

bell (flower shape) – round base, parallel sides, flared edges
blotch (color pattern) – a different color at the base of the top petal, sometimes extending to the upper side petals, commonly in the form of small dots which are different than the background color

calyx – the outer whorl of floral envelopes, composed of sepals
chroma (color terminology) – saturation, from grayed to pure (vivid)
contorted (leaf edge) – irregularly twisted
cordate (leaf base) – heart-shaped, with a depression at the point of attachment
cuneate (leaf base) – wedge-shaped, straight sides tapering to the point of attachment

Date (satsuki pattern) – white crowded with a mixture of deep and light different width stripes, some extending from the edge of the petals to the base while others do not
deciduous – shedding all or almost all leaves each year
dense (plant habit) – with branches and leaves crowded together
Diasho (satsuki pattern) – mixture of thick stripes and thin stripes
double (flower type) – with all stamens appearing as petals
double h/h (flower type) – with all stamens and sepals appearing as petals
downcurved (leaf edge) – with the edges curled downwards

eglandular – without glands (hairs end in points)
elliptic (leaf shape) – oblong, widest at or near the middle and with narrower ends
evergreen – with leaves that remain green and/or functional for more than one year

filament – threadlike organ that bears the anther in a stamen
flat (flower shape) – petals with little or no curvature other than at the base
Fukiage (satsuki pattern) – fine sprays and streaks of color in a feathery pattern from the center of the petal toward the edge
Fukkake (satsuki pattern) – a fine spray of many specks originating at the edges, tending toward the center of the petal
Fukurin (satsuki pattern) – white border
funnel (flower shape) – tube gradually widening upward

glandular – with glands (glandular hairs appear as slender mushrooms, glandular bud scale margins appear as sharks teeth)

h/hsee hose-in-hose
Hakeme (satsuki pattern) – many fine parallel stripes
Hanzome (satsuki pattern) – half one color, half another
Harusame (satsuki pattern) – many dots and very small lines all over the petals, dots bigger than Mijin and Fukkake.
hose-in-hose (flower type) – with all sepals appearing as petals, usually rotated from the normal (inner) petals

inflorescence – the arrangement of flowers on the plant
irregular (plant shape) – not straight, uniform or symmetrical

Janome (satsuki pattern) – Fukurin with Sokojiro, that is, a white border and a white throat
Jiai (satsuki pattern) – pale base color with darker variation color

Kanoko (satsuki pattern) – a spotted pattern similar to the markings of a spotted deer skin, with marks bigger than Mijin
Koshibori (satsuki pattern) – minor variation

lanceolate (leaf shape) – lance-shaped, several times longer than broad, widest below the middle toward the base, tapering with convex sides up to the tip
leggy (plant habit) – with long, sometimes leafless, stems between branches
linear (leaf, petal shape) – long and narrow, sides parallel or nearly so
Mijin (satsuki pattern) – clouds of countless extremely small particles of color all over the petals

moderate – medium, average
mounding (plant shape) – horizontal branching
musky (scented) – unpleasant animal odor

normal (petal arrangement) – petals fused at the base, not overlapping

oblanceolate (leaf shape) – lance-shaped, several times longer than broad, widest above the middle toward the tip, tapering with convex sides up to the tip
oblong (leaf shape) – longer than wide, with parallel sides, or nearly so, for most of the length
oblique (leaf base) – slanting, with unequal sides
obovate (leaf shape) – egg-shaped, rounded at both ends and widest above the middle, toward the tip
obtuse (leaf tip, base) – blunt, rounded
open (plant habit) – normally spaced branching, between leggy and dense
orbicular (leaf shape) – round, or nearly so
Oshibori (satsuki pattern) – major variation
Otamafu (satsuki pattern) – a lighter smudge of color in the center of the petals, larger than Shirotamafu
ovate (leaf shape) – egg-shaped, rounded at both ends and widest below the middle, toward the base

petiole – the stalk connecting the stem to a flower or leaf
pointed (petal shape) – tips of petals taper to points
profuse (flowered) – completely covered with blooms
prostrate (plant shape) – lying flat on the ground, or nearly so
recurved (flower shape) – petals curved backward toward the base

Sarashi (satsuki pattern) – many fine parallel stripes interspersed with a few thicker stripes
saucer (flower shape) – petals flat with a slight upward curve
self (flower color) – a single solid color
self (propagation) – a plant crossed back onto itself
semi-double h/h (flower type) – with some stamens appearing as petals
Shibori sokojiro (satsuki pattern) – part variation and part white throat
Shiro (satsuki pattern) – white pattern on the base color of red or purple
Shiromuji (satsuki pattern) – solid white
Shirotamafu (satsuki pattern) – a lighter smudge of color in the center of the petals
single (flower type) – five or more petals usually fused at the base, with a calyx of five or more sepals usually fused at the base, and five or more stamens and one pistil
Sokijiro (satsuki pattern) – white throat
sparse (flowered) – not many flowers
spider (flower type) – petals are not fused to form a tube, but are rather separate, narrow and strap-like
spreading (plant shape) – much wider than high, primarily horizontal branching
stigma – the tip of the pistil, which receives the pollen
style – the stem of the pistil, extending from the ovary to the stigma

Tate (satsuki pattern) – clear stripe that starts at the edge of the petal and goes to the base
Tobiiri (satsuki pattern) – irregular placing of lines smaller than those of Koshibori
truss – the arrangement of the flowers on the stem
Tsumabeni (satsuki pattern) – red or purple petal tips
Tsumajiro (satsuki pattern) – white petal tips
tubular (flower shape) – narrow tube with parallel sides, or nearly so, with an outward flare of petals at the end
twisted (leaf edge) – contorted, as by winding or twisting

upcurved (leaf edge) – with the edges curled upward
upright (plant shape) – major branches and overall appearance straight

value – color lightness, from black to white

wavy (leaf edge) – surface goes up and down rather than being flat
weeping (plant shape) – upright for a distance, then extending outward and downward
whorl – a circle of three or more leaves at one node