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Parmar, C. and M.K. Kaushal. 1982. Glossary. p. 112–129. In: Wild Fruits. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi, India.

A glossary of botanical, medical, Hindi and Sanskrit terms used in the text

ABORTIFACIENT - A drug or agent inducing the expulsion of the foetus.

ACHENE - A small, bard, dry, indehiscent fruit, strictly of one free carpel.

ACTINOMORPHIC - Flowers of a regular star pattern, capable of bisection in two or more planes into similar halves.

ACUMINATE - Narrowing gradually to a point.

ACUTE - Having a sharp and rather abrupt point.

ADNAIE - Attached the whole length.

ADVENTITIOUS - Of organs and tissues developing from an abnormal position.

AESTIVATION - The manner in which the parts of a flower are folded up in a bud.

AGGREGATE FRUIT - A collection of small simple fruits derived from a flower with several free carpels, e.g. strawberry

AGUE - A kind of malarial fever accompanied with shivering.

ALTERNATE LEAVES - Placed on the opposite side of the stem on a different line.

ANAEMIA - Bloodlessness; diminution of the amount of haemoglobin in the blood, from the lowering of the quality and quantity of the red blood cells.

ANDROECIUM - A collective term for the stamens of a flower.

ANNUAL - A plant completing its life cycle from seed germination to fruiting, seed formation and death within one season.

ANODYNE - A drug that allays pain.

ANTHELMINATE - A medicine used to remove worms from the intenstine.

ANTHESIS - The opening of a flowerbud.

ANTIDOTE - A drug to counteract the effect of a poison.

ANTIPYRETIC - An agent reducing fever.

ANTIRABIC - Used against rabies (madness in animals, especially dogs, wolves, etc)

ANTISCORBUTIC - Acting against scurvies.

APOCARPOUS - When the carpels of an ovary are separate.

AREOLE - The area occupied by a group of spines or hairs on a cactus.

Ayurvedic - Relating to the school of ancient Indian medicine.

BACILLARY - Pertaining to bacillus (a rod-shaped member of the bacteria)

BASIFIXED - Attached by the base.

BERRY - A pulpy fruit with immersed seed, e.g. grape, tomato.

BILIOUS - Affected with excess of bile.

BIPAROUS CYME - A normal dichotomous inflorescence.

BIPINNATELY COMPOUND - When both primary and secondary divisions of a leaf are pinnate.

BISEXUAL - Bearing both male and female organs.

BITHECUS - Having two pollen sacs.

BRACTEATE - Having bracts.

BRONCHITIS - Inflammation of the bronchi (one of the two branches into which the windpipe divides).

BUSH - A low woody plant, with a number of branches at or near the ground level.

CADUCOUS - Tending to fall; deciduous.

CALYPTRA - Any cup-like covering of a flower or fruit as the extinguisher-shaped calyx of Eschscholizia

CALYX - The outermost part of a flower, consisting usually of green, leaf like members, known as sepals.

CAMPANULATE - Bell-shaped, as a corolla.

CANE - The mature shoot of grapevine, etc. at the time of leaf-fall.

CAPITATE - Pin-headed, as the stigma of a primrose; having a head.

CAPSULE - A dry dehiscent fruit developed from a com pound ovary.

CARDIAC - Pertaining to the heart.

CARMINATIVE - Having the power to relieve flatulence and colic.

CARPEL - The female reproductive organ of the flowering plants.

CATARRH - Old term once widely used for the inflammation of mucous membranes, particularly those of the air-passages of the nose and throat, with an exudation containing much and epithelial cells.

Chat - An assortment of fresh dessert fruits cut into pieces and sprinkled with salt and spices.

CHRONIC - Long-continued, of long duration; opposed to acute.

Chutney - A type of sauce, sour and spicy.

CLAWED - The narrowed base of petals in such plants as dianthus.

COLIC - Characteristic pain felt in the abdomen as a result of complete or partial blockage of one of the hollow tubes intestines, ureter and bill-duct.

COMPLETE FLOWER - A flower having all the floral parts.

COMPOUND INFLORESCENCE - Where the main axis is branched and the branches bear the flowers.

COMPRESSED - Laterally flattened.

CONSTIPATION - Infrequent or absent motions of the bowels.

CONVERGENT VENATION - Applied to veins which run from the base to the apex of the leaf in a curved manner.

CORDATE - Heart-shaped.

CORDIAL - Invigorating the heart, stimulating.

COROLLA - Usually conspicuous, often coloured part of a flower, within the calyx, consisting of a group of petals.

CORYMB - An inflorescence with lower flower-stalks longer than those above, so that all the flowers are at the same level.

CRENATE - Edged with rounded teeth that point forwards.

CRUMPLED - Wrinkled.

CUTICLE - A non-cellular waxy layer secreted by the epidermis. It protects the surface and reduces, the water loss.

CYCLIC - Having floral parts in whorls.

CYME - An inflorescence in which the terminal bud is a flower-bud, i.e. it is a sympodium and any subsequent flowers are formed in a similar way at the ends of lateral branches.

Datun - A brush made to clean teeth by chewing a small piece of a branch of a tree.

DECIDUOUS - Falling in a season, as petals fall after flowering or the leaves fall in autumn.

DECOCTION - An extract of anything got by boiling.

DEMULCENT - A medicine that allays irritation of surfaces, especially mucous membranes.

DEHISCE - To open spontaneously, when ripe.

DENTATE - Having a toothed margin.

DEPRESSED - Sunk down, as if flattened from above.

DESSERT - A final course of fruits, pudding or other sweet at the end of meals.

DIARRHOEA - A persistent purging or looseness of the bowels.

DIAPHORETIC - A drug inducing perspiration.

DIGITATE - Fingered; a compound leaf in which all the leaflets are borne on the apex of the petiole.

DILATION - Expansion into a blade, as though flattened.

DIOECIOUS - Unisexual, the male and female sexual reproductive organs on separate individuals.

DIPHTHERIA - An acute communicable disease affecting the upper respiratory passages.

DIURETIC - An agent that increases the output of urine.

DORSAL - Relating to the back or attached thereto; the surface turned away from the axis, which in the case of allay is the lower surface.

DORSIFIXED - Fixed on the back or by the back.

DOWNY - Pubescent, with fine soft hairs.

DRUPACEOUS - Like a drupe.

DRUPE - A fleshy fruit, with a thin epicarp, a fleshy mesocarp and a hard endocarp, containing a single seed. The seed and endocarp form the stone, e.g. a plum

DYSENTERY - A condition in which there is diarrhoea with passage of mucus and blood, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen.

DYSPESIA - Disturbed digestion.

DYSPEPTIC - Agents causing dyspepsia.

DYSPHORIA - Impatience and restlessness; mental anxiety; fidgets.

EBRACTEATE - Without bracts.

EMETIC - Having power to induce vomiting.

EMOLLIENT - Soothing, especially to the skin or mucous membrane.

ENDIOCARP - The inner layer of a fruit wall (pericarp).

ENTIRE MARGIN - Without teething or division, even.

EPICARP - The outer layer of a fruit wall (pericarp).

EPIGYNOUS - Said of a flower, when the receptacle encloses the carpel (s), so that the other flower parts arise above the carpel (s).

EPIPETALOUS - Borne upon the petals; placed before the petals.

EPISEPALOUS - On the sepals; standing before the sepals.

ERECT - Upright, perpendicular to the ground or its attachment.

ETAERIO - A type of compound fruit.

EXPECTORANT - Agent that promotes the ejection of material from mouth or semi-fluid matter from the

lungs and air-passages, expelled by coughing and spitting.

EXSTIPULATE - Lacking stipules.

FEBRIFUGE - A substance which mitigates or reduces fevers.

FEATHERY - Covered with long branched hairs.

FILAMENT - The stalk of an another, the thread-like stem.

FLATULANCE - The presence of gas in the stomach and intestinal tract.

FLESHY - Thick and soft, but not necessarily juicy; succulent.

FORKED Divided into two or more distinct branches which diverge as they elongate.

GAMOPETALOUS - Said of a flower with fused, or partially fused petals.

GAMOSEPALOUS - Said of a flower with fused, or partially fused sepals.

GARGLE - To rinse the back of the throat without swallowing.

GLABROUS - Smooth, without pubescence.

GLOBOSE - Nearly spherical.

GLOBULAR - Spheroidal

GONORRHOEA - A venereal disease, usually spread by sexual intercourse with an infected person.

GREGARIOUS - Growing in company, associated but not matted.

GYNOECIUM - The female portion as a whole (of flower).

Halwa - A kind or sweet dish like porridge.

HERB - A plant with no persistent stem above ground.

HERBACEOUS - With a texture, colour and properties of a herb.

HERMAPHRODITE - The stamens and pistils in the same flower.

HYPANTHODIUM - The deeply hollowed receptacle of the fig.

HYPOGYNOUS - Said of a flower in which the other parts arise below the gynoecium.

IMBRICATE - Overlapping as the tiles on a roof.

INFLAMMATION - The reaction of tissues to injury characterized by local heat, swelling, redness and pain.

INFERIOR - Below some other organ;. said of an ovary where the receptacle encloses it, so that the other floral parts arise above the ovary.

INFLORESCENCE - A flowering shoot, bearing more than one flower.

INTERNODE - The space or portion of stem between two successive nodes; adjective 'internodal'.

JAUNDICE - A disease characterized by the yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membrane and secretions as a result of the deposition in them of the pigment bilirubin.

Kapha - Phlegm, rheum.

KERNEL - The seed inside the stony endocarp of a drupe.

Kheer - A dish made of rice, milk and sugar boiled together.

LANCEOLATE - Flattened, two or three times as long as broad, widest in the middle and tapering towards a pointed apex.

LAXATIVE - An agent that relieves constipation; a mild purgative.

LEAFLET - The blade or separate, division of a com pound leaf.

LEATHERY - Tough, coriaceous.

LEUCODERMA - A condition of the defective pigmentation of the skin, especially a congenital absence of pigment in patches or bands.

LINEAR - Narrow, several times longer than wide.

LOBED - Divided in rounded divisions.

LONGITUDINAL - In the direction of length.

MESOCARP - The middle layer of the pericarp.

MILDEW - A general term for a superficial growth of a fungus. A plant disease caused by a powdery or a downy mildew.

MONOCARPELLARY - Composed of one carpel only.

MUCILAGINOUS - Slimy; sticky, when wet; composed of mucilage (a vegetable gelatin belonging to the amyl group of carbohydrates).

MUCUS - The viscous liquid secreted by mucous glands.

NAUSEA - A sensation of discomfort in the region of stomach, usually associated with an urge to vomit.

OBLONG - Much longer than broad, with nearly parallel sides.

OBOVATE - Having the general shape of the longitudinal section of an egg; not exceeding twice as long as broad, and with the greatest width slightly above the middle, hence attached at the narrow end.

OBTUSE - Blunt or rounded at the end.


OPHTHALMIA - Inflammation of the eye, especially one in which the conjunctiva is involved.

OPPOSITE - (1) Said of leaves inserted in pairs at each node, with one on each side of the stem; (2) said of stamens which lie next to the middle of a petal.

ORBICULAR - Flat, with a circular or almost circular outline.

OVARY - The hollow basal region of a carpel, containing one or more ovules.

OVATE - Shaped like a longitudinal section of a hen's egg, the broader end basal.

OVOID - Solid, like an egg in form, and attached by the broader end.

OVULES - The organ in the ovary, which after fertilization and subsequent development, becomes a seed.

PALLIATIVE - A drug relieving or soothing the symptoms of a disease without curing it.

PALMATE - Having several (5-7) lobes, segments, etc, spreading from the same point, like the fingers of the hand.

PANICLE - A loose flower cluster, as a branched raceme or corymb.

PECTORAL - Useful in treating the diseases of the respiratory tract.

PEDICELLATE - Having a stalk.

PENTAMEROUS - With parts in fives, as a corolla of five petals.

PERENNIAL - A plant which lasts several years, not perishing after once flowering and fruiting.

PERIANTH - The floral envelope; it includes the calyx and corolla or any of them.

PERICARP - The body of a fruit developed from the ovary wall, and enclosing the seeds.

PERIGYNOUS - Said of a flower in which the receptacle is developed into a flange or concave structure,

on which the sepals, petals, and stamens are borne. The receptacle remains distinct from the carpels.

PERSISTENT - Remaining attached till the part which bears it becomes fully mature, as the leaves of evergreens.

PETALS - One of the parts forming the corolla of a flower, usually brightly coloured and conspicuous.

PETIOLE - The stalk of a leaf.

Phalahar - A diet which consists of fruit only.

PHYLLOCLADE - A flattened branch assuming the form and function of a leaf.

PHYLLOTAXY - The mode in which the leaves are arranged with regard to the axis.

PILES - An enlarged and varicose condition of the veins of the lower portion of the rectum and the tissues about the anus.

PINNATE - A compound leaf, having leaflets arranged in two ranks on opposite sides of the rachis.

PISTILLATE - Said of a flower having pistils only; a female flower.

Pitta - Pertaining to the bilious humour.

PLACENTATION - The arrangement of the placentas in a syncarpous ovary.

POLYANDROUS - Having a large and indefinite number of stamens.

POLYPETALOUS - With many distinct sepals.

POME - A false fruit, the greater part of which is developed from receptacle of the flower and not from the ovary e.g. the apple.

POULTICE - A soft, moist preparation which retains heat and is applied to a part of the body in order to warm it up and to keep it from drying up.

PROSTRATE - Said of a stein which lies on the ground for all or most of its length.

PUBESCENT - Covered with fine soft hair.

PURGATIVE - An agent inducing free evacuation of the bowels.

PYRIFORM - Pear-shaped.

RACEME - A definite inflorescence, with the main axis bearing stalked flowers, which are borne in acropetal succession.

RACHIS - The main axis of an inflorescence or a compound leaf.

RECEPTACLE - The more or less enlarged end of the flower stalk bearing the flower parts

REFRIGERANT - A medicine or agent with cooling properties or for lowering the body temperature.

REGULAR - Uniform or symmetrical in shape or structure.

REMITTANT - An agent causing temporary abatement or cessation of symptoms.

RETICULATE - Having a surface marked by a network of fine upstanding ridges.

RIND - The outer layers of the bark of a tree.

ROSACEOUS - (1) Arranged like the five petals of a normal rose; (2) belonging to the order of which Rosa is a genus.

RUNNER - A prostrate shoot which roots at the end and from there gives rise to a new plant.

SCABIES - An itch or mange, caused by mites, especially when marked by the formation of exudative crusts.

SCALE - Any thin scarious body usually a degenerate leaf, sometimes of epidermal origin.

SCALDING - Burning pain in urination.

SCORBUTIC - Causing scurvy.

SCURVY - A nutritional disorder caused by the deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by extreme weakness, spongy gums, a tendency to develop hemorrhages under the skin.

SEGMENT - One of the divisions into which a plant organ, e.g. a leaf, may be cleft.

SEPAL - One of the parts (lobes), forming the calyx of a flower, usually green.

SEPALOID - Resembling a sepal.

SEPTUM - Any kind of partition, whether a true dissepiment or not.

SERRATED - Said of a toothed margin, when the teeth are pointed and project forwards.

Sharbat - Syrup, beverage, soft drink.

SHRUB - A woody plant, in which the side shoots are well developed, so that there is no trunk. They are less than thirty feet high.

SLENDER - Long and thin.

SOLITARY - Single, only one from the same place.

SORE - Painful, tender.

SPADIX - A spike of flowers with a fleshy axis, enclosed in a spathe.

SPATHE - A large bract, often coloured. or membranous, enclosing a spadix.

SPIKE - An indeterminate inflorescence with sessile flowers on a common elongated axis.

SPINOUS - Having spines.

SPLEEN - One of the abdominal viscera, located immediately below the diaphragm on the left side.

SPUR - A short branch on which flowers and fruits are borne.

SPUTUM - Material discharged from the surfaces of air passages, throat or mouth and removed chiefly by spitting.

STAMINATE - Having stamens only.

STOLON - A horizontally growing stem that bears adventitious roots at the nodes, and scale leaves.

STOMACHIC - One of a class of substances which may stimulate the secretory activity of the stomach.

STIGMA - That part of the pistil or style which receives the pollen.

STYLE - The usually attenuated part of a pistil or carpel between the ovary and the stigma.

SUCCULENT - Juicy, soft and thick.

SUCKER - (1) A shoot arising below ground; (2) a new shoot on an old stem.

SUPERIOR - Growing or placed above.

SYCONUS - A multiple hollow fruit, consisting mainly of the much enlarged receptacle of the inflorescence, e.g. fig.

SYNCARPOUS - Composed of two or more united carpels.

SYPHILIS - A venereal disease contracted through sexual intercourse.

TENDRILS - A stem, leaf or part of a leaf modified as a branched or unbranched filamentous structure, used by many climbers for attachment to a support by twining or by adhesive terminal discs.

THALAMUS - The receptacle of the flower.

TOMENTOSE - Covered with a felt or cottony hairs; downy.

TOPWORKING - Changing the top of a grown-up tree by grafting.

TRAGACANTH - A gummy exudation from a tree; almost white ribbons or powder; swells with 50 parts of water to make a stiff opalescent mucilage.

Tridosha - The three humours of the body, viz. phlegm, bile and wind.

TRIFOLIATE - Said of a compound leaf with three leaflets.

Triphala - The dried fruits of Emblica officinalis Gaertn., Terminalia bellirca Roxb. and Terminalia ehebula Retz. in equal parts.

TRUNK - The upright massive main stem of a tree.

TUBER - A swollen underground stem or root, containing stored food.

TUBEROUS ROOT - A root producing tubers.

TUFTED - Having many short crowded branches, all arising at about the same level.

TUMOUR - Any swelling; it may be benign, malignant or inflammatory.

TWIG - A small shoot or branch of a tree.

ULCER - A chronic defect in an epithelical surface, exposing the tissues below the skin or the mucous membrane.

UMBEL - An inflorescence, properly indeterminate, in which a cluster of pedicels springs from the same point, like the ribs of an umbrella.


UNILOCULAR - Consisting of one compartment.

UNISEXUAL - Of one sex; stamens or pistils only, or their representatives.

VALVATE - When the part of a flower-bud meet exactly without overlapping.

Vata - One of the humours of the body (in the form of wind).

VENATION - The arrangement of the veins in a leaf.

VENTRAL - (1) Anterior or in front; (2) uppermost: (3) nearest to the axis.

VERMICIDE - An agent that destroys worms.

VERSATILE - Turning freely on its support, as many anthers on their filaments.

VERIICILLATE - Arranged in whorls.

VETERINARY - Pertaining to the practice of medicine with animals, especially domesticated animals.

WHOOPING COUGH - A type of cough mostly afflicting children, with peculiar paroxysms of coughing, ending in a loud whooping inspiration.

XEROPHNTE A - plant which can live where the water-supply is scanty or there is a physiological drought

XEROPHYTIC - Adjective of xerophyte.

ZYGOMORHIC - Used of flowers which are divisible into equal halves in one plane only.