Talk:Glossary of botanical terms

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This glossary will be completed in the next few days Granitethighs (talk) 00:21, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

completedGranitethighs (talk) 04:45, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to merge[edit]

Agree with this proposal and could do it myself. Morphological terms are a subset of botanical terms so the Botanical Glossary would be the parent article.Granitethighs (talk) 01:18, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Can't arrange the topic separated with the pages in an alphabetic order...???[edit]

It's too long and wasting time to load the page--222.64.210.158 (talk) 07:18, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Click on the letters of the alphabet at the top of the page.Granitethighs 07:45, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Illustrations and pictures[edit]

Illustrations and pictures would be great. There cannot be too many. I prefer anatomical drawings of "ideal" or generalized forms over pictures. If you are an illustrator, it would be good practice to draw your favorite terms, and upload them at WP:Commons. PPdd (talk)

Botany vs. botanical[edit]

Moved from User talk:SMcCandlish#Page move: per Guettarda.

I'm not sure I agree with your move from "botanical" to "botany" terms. There's a subtle but important difference in meaning between the two, and I would much rather see this sort of a move discussed. Guettarda (talk) 14:51, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

What would this difference be in the context of this glossary, which is clearly full of botany terms? And why is it important? Using botany is in keeping with pretty much every glossary of scientific terms on the system, and with WP:AT generally (use the noun of the topic, redirect from modifications). Botanical is also ambiguous ("of plants", "derived from plants", "focused on plants", "having something to do with plants", "of the science of botany", etc. Botany has no such ambiguity. I have no bone to pick about this, just going for consistency and lack of confusability. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 15:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
"Botanical terminology" is generally used in discussions about plants - specifically, anatomical and morphological features of plants. While a list like this may or may not include chloroplast, it generally won't include thylakoid, Casparian strip, or the Calvin cycle. These are the kind of thing that would be core content in an introductory botany course, things you'd certainly see covered in a botany textbook...but they aren't normally called "botanical terms". Nor would you generally see terms related to life histories, pollination syndromes, evolution, development, seed dispersal, or anything from the world of vegetation ecology. Nor would you see purely fungal terminology, despite the fact that historically mycology and microbiology were outgrowths of botany (and are still covered in introductory botany courses and textbooks). Just take a look at the BSA's list of sections: Bryological and Lichenological, Developmental and Structural, Ecological, Economic, Genetic, Historical, Microbiological, Paleobotanical, Phycological, Physiological, Phytochemical, Pteridological, Systematic, Teaching and Tropical Biology Sections. All of these sections are able to attract substantial membership. Similarly, if you look at the January issue of the American Journal of Botany, you'll see the same structure illustrated in the papers they publish. The February issue is a special issue on next-generation sequencing, so it lacks the diversity, but still does a good job of illustrating the fact that "botany" is far, far broader than the content of this list. The list covers botanical terminology, a respectable field of knowledge. It doesn't cover "botany terminology" - if, indeed, there is such a thing. It's not a term that's familiar to me, despite the fact that I've spent more than half my life now (!!!) affiliated with "botany" or "plant biology" departments. Guettarda (talk) 18:27, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Guettarda. "Botanical terminology" (or "botanical term[s]") is a phrase that is encountered reasonably often; "botany terminology" just sounds like childspeak. It's like talking about a "science journal" instead of a "scientific journal", or "animal nomenclature" instead of "zoological nomenclature". Given that there is clear dissent, I think it would be reasonable to undo the move pending a fuller discussion, per WP:BRD. --Stemonitis (talk) 18:38, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

This is looking at it in all the wrong ways: Why is "term" in there? "Glossary of botany" does the trick fine. Circéus (talk) 18:57, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

No, that makes no more sense. A better form would be "botanical glossary", and I don't consider that to be an improvement, either. A decent choice for a redirect, though... --Stemonitis (talk) 21:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I also think that "botany terms" or "botany terminology" sounds like child speak. I'm sure a grammarian could explain why. I also trust Guettarda's expertise and opinion. But for those who don't, we should be looking at what Reliable Sources use when we are determining an article title. A GBooks search shows "botanical terms" used so overwhelmingly over "botany terms" that it's laughable. 85,700 vs. 294. Really.[1][2] Google Scholar gives similar results. This shouldn't even be up for discussion, based on how reliable sources phrase it. First Light (talk) 21:28, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Guettarda is a grammar and semantics expert, or a botany expert? — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 13:42, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Circéus' idea is not a bad one really, but that's not the article (or list) we have here. We could merge this with the glossary of plant morphology and call that a glossary of plant anatomy & morphology, make this a "list of lists" kind of page, and create glossaries for plant ecology and ethnobotany, and whatever other sub-fields we can come up with. Guettarda (talk) 21:31, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
We can't really compare number of hits, because they are skewed by piggyback versions of Wikipedia's own articles, but we can compare the quality of results. My search, 1 2 was similar. "Botanical" carries elite results such as The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms, Glossary of botanical terms used in the Poaceae from Harvard, Glossary of botanical terms for Compositae from Kew, and Glossary of botanical terms in French and English from Tropicos. The "botany" search though is limited to things like the Master Gardener training program, a "Glossary of Botany Terms Relevant to Pastures", and a site to help in high school biology homework. --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:49, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
We can when it's that overwhelming (at least I can, since I was too lazy to do what you did :-) ). First Light (talk) 21:52, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I have undone the move given the discussion here, but that should not prejudice the outcome of any move request that might be filed. --Stemonitis (talk) 06:38, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Note "terms" being used consistently; the authors of those pieces clearly understood that glossaries can be of something other than terms, but of any units to which can be assigned definitive values. E.g. it would be easy (in the conceptual if not workload sense) to create a "glossary of mosses", a "glossary of commercial fertilizer pH levels", etc., which would not be about terms relating to those things, but about the characteristics of things in those classes. That's why WP glossaries have long tended toward including the word "terms". As for "botany" vs. "botanical", it's really a moot point since this will need to be addressed at a much more general level in a RfC so we arrive at a naming convention for these things. The existing article titles strongly suggest a consistent pattern of using the name of the field as a noun instead of the sometimes ambiguous adjective version. (Thus it is astronomy terms - the terms relate to astronomy; there's nothing intrinsically astronomical about the sounds and characters that make them up; the stars did not speak or write them, just as plants did not grown botanical terms.) The "child speak" jab works both ways. A very large number of topics don't have an adjectival term that's directly comparable to "botanical". Trying to invent one, as in "Glossary of climby terms" instead of "Glossary of climbing terms" of course sounds silly because they're not real words, but the experiment also highlights why the adjectival versions are not preferable; they imply an assignment of judged characteristics to the terms, instead of simply grouping them in a set defined by relevance. Botany/Botanical is not the clearest case of this being problematic, of course. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 13:57, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
SMcCandlish, because this is an encyclopedia of what the sources say, and not truth, my opinion as to what the title should be according to proper grammer is irrelevant, as is yours. We have no business telling Cambridge & Harvard & Kew that they're saying it wrong, that they should instead follow the pasture guy and other non-botanists. We only document and move on. So trying trying to impose one rigid naming convention on such diverse topics as botany and astronomy in a nonsensical language like English will never work. We're not here to make the world "proper", just to document what it already is. --Tom Hulse (talk) 19:22, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
MOS has nothing to do with "telling [anyone] they're...wrong" or "mak[ing] the world 'proper'", only about setting in-house style for editorial sanity and a consistent, unconfusing reader experience. All other style considerations border on worthless, including trying to match what reliable sources in a field do in publications in that field, which are not encyclopedias. It's an utterly quixotic thing to even attempt to do, because the jargonistic style preferences of virtually every specialty conflict with the preferences of multiple other specialties, leading to site-wide chaos. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 10:46, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
How Reliable Sources treat a subject certainly takes precedence over a quixotic desire to have grammatical uniformity in all "glossary of X terms" article titles. First Light (talk) 21:09, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Classic specialist style fallacy. Reliable sources on facts about plants are not reliable sources on English language writing style for a general audience, even if plants are involved. Reliable sources on modern English language usage in general prose are mainstream style guides like Chicago Manual of Style and Hart's Rules, dictionaries, other encyclopedias, and major non-specialist publications like newspapers. Otherwise, we'd simply delete the entire WP:MOS and let's every imaginable style, grammar and spelling quirk from specialist sources run rampant. MOS adopts whatever it can from specialist style for in-specialty articles, but where specialist style and general style conflict markedly, in ways that confuse readers or cause other problems, the long history of MOS's development is that specialist style loses those battles, pretty much every time. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 10:46, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not a specialist. I'm just a gardener (amateur, in my little spare time). I've never published a paper or written a book. Like many home gardeners in my part of the world, I view the Sunset Western Garden Book as the bible for the most amateur of gardeners. It is sold at every Home Depot, Walmart, and hardware store in the west. It is probably the most popular gardening book ever sold, in the entire world. It is written for non-specialists—in fact for the person who has never put a plant in the ground before. In every place it uses the phrases, it only uses "botanical terminology" and "botanical terms". Never "botany terminology" or "botany terms." Even the person who has never put a plant in the ground before will recognize that as the correct term. First Light (talk) 15:46, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Those of you who commented above might want to keep an eye on the proposed guideline at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Glossaries. While I'm sure it is not intended as an "end-run" on this of issue, it would still have the same effect of nullifying your concerns above, and allow him make this type of move despite your objections. It is arguably a needed article, so it has a good chance of being accepted by the greater community, but the details of the Naming Conventions section could easily go unnoticed as causing these types of problems. --Tom Hulse (talk) 02:06, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I and plenty of others would see it as resolving problems (especially chaotic, unpredictable naming that makes it hard for people to find articles, code consistent templates, etc.). Wikipedia doesn't care what specialist publishers do, style-wise, in specialist works for specialists. It has no bearing on what style and naming conventions make sense in the world's most general-purpose encyclopedia with the world's most general audience. Honestly, I don't think anyone could care less what this article is called as long as plausible redirects exist, but the clear site-wide pattern is to use the noun not adjective form, which is why MOS:GLOSS calls for this (and also based on WP:AT policy calling for the same thing, I might add - articles are almost always at the base noun, e.g. Botany, with redirects from modifications, e.g. Botanical, Botanist. If editors here want a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS to do something different, have at it (though a handful of editors doesn't really make one). No need to go try to change a long-stable guideline proposal to use a new naming convention pattern that defies WP:AT and general usage (see Category:Glossaries of science – there's not one adjectival example other than botany). WP:IAR exists for a reason; call this page whatever you want. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 10:46, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

In referencing MOS:GLOSS you said "No need to go try to change a long-stable guideline proposal". You really said that?? MOS:GLOSS is irrelevant, as that is not an accepted guideline; it is merely your personal opinion written by you. It is no different than a personal sandbox page. At WP:AT the preference for nouns is only for titles not covered by the five principles, one of which says that "titles usually convey what the subject is actually called in English." Another principle is consistency, which is your goal, but since you can't follow both principles here the guideline says "It may be necessary to favor one or more of the principles behind these goals over the others. This is done by consensus". This is not WP:LOCALCONSENSUS as you claim, this is a solid WP policy. Additionally, in labeling us "specialists" with your link at Specialist style fallacy (another irrelevant opinion piece written by you, not a WP guideline), you are twisting the real intent of WP:AT, where specialists & specialized is used to contrast to common names, not to proper grammar as you propose. We are arguing for the common name usage in all of English, not just specialized to one one field. Your article title is not a common name in any respect. Your claim of no adjectival examples at Category:Glossaries of science is rather similar to a fib, since at least two of them have been changed this week away from their adjectival titles, Glossary of geological terms and Glossary of botanical terms, in this same mad rush by you and Allen to standardize glossary titles without consensus or discussion. Both of these terms highlight why it would be impractical to force a rigid glossary naming convention in this respect. --Tom Hulse (talk) 20:04, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:MOSGLOSS has been formally proposed by SMcCandlish for inclusion in Wikipedia as an accepted guideline at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Proposing MOS:GLOSS as an actual guideline. You can comment on it there. --Tom Hulse (talk) 21:22, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


[Outdent from all] Wow, way to blow things out of proportion, folks. There's so many weird things in those responses I'm going to have to respond with a numbered list just to keep track of it:

  1. Have a cup of WP:TEA. Anyone whose blood pressure is raising about this non-issue needs to take a walk. I've already conceded that I don't (and probably hardly anyone but the handful of editors already in the discussion does) care what this article is called. No one is telling you to change it. You've already moved it back and no one's reverting you. WP:DONTPANIC. WP:NOONECARES.
  2. WP:COMMONNAME was really the only argument anyone had to make. All this increasingly personalized and hostile invective, like calling me a liar, was and remains entirely unnecessary.
  3. Anyone's welcome to believe/wish/propose that what reliable sources prefer with regards to style and naming trumps general usage and encyclopedic considerations, but that won't change the fact that in practice it doesn't. Heck, WP:COMMONNAME and WP:MOS pointedly eschew specialist practices all the time. Doing what most people expect instead of what specialists in this narrow field or that are used to is one of the principal reasons that naming policy and that style guide exist; it keeps WP from turning into Geekipedia. It's a mistake to confuse the reliance on reliable sources for facts about a topic, in which case specialist sources are often the most reliable, with reliance on them for style and naming, in which case they are secondary to more generalized reliable sources on English usage.
  4. WP:AT is actually very, very specific about this: "The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists...Th[e] practice of using specialized names is often controversial, and should not be adopted unless it produces clear benefits..." That doesn't really have any effect on the now-dead debate about the name of this article, just the general principle.
  5. Citing what one popular source does is anecdotal, and orthogonal to the issue of how WP should name articles anyway. (And who says the Sunset book is the "gardening bible"? What about The A–Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants at 1094 pages on my bookshelf, sagging under the combined weight of it and the 1020-page Botanica: The Illustrated A–Z of Over 10,000 Garden Plants and How to Cultivate Them. Oh, I'm sorry, did anyone think I didn't know anything about plants and botany?  :-) Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm "anti-gardener" or "botany-hostile"; reasonable people can disagree, and knowing that a convention exists in one type of publication does not equate to supporting a blanket requirement for it in all other kinds of publication. People focusing on the work of a particular wikiproject need to remember that just because someone hasn't joined your little club doesn't mean they are clueless about the topic. Assumptions of non-project-member ignorance are a very, very poor idea.
  6. Being a gardener expecting that WP will do what gardening books do in every way, any time WP happens to talk about plants, is precisely what WP:SSF addresses (it doesn't say "professional academic specialists", and applies even to stuff like Tolkien fans getting too fanwanky and in-universe about Lord of the Rings stuff, or skateboarders writing too much in skater jargon).
  7. MOS:GLOSS wouldn't "nullify" any concern raised by anyone here. It doesn't say anything at all that contradicts this article's current name. Specifically, it says: "For a glossary list article that consists of a simple lead and a glossary, the form Glossary of subject terms is preferred, with redirects to it from [misc. plausible alternatives here]". It doesn't specify "subject in noun form"; that idea comes from WP:AT policy, so take your complaints there. The vindictive "oppose" !vote at WT:MOS should be retracted.
  8. MOS:GLOSS is not irrelevant. Various glossary articles already have been following it to the letter for a long time. The fact that it doesn't say {{Guideline}} yet doesn't make it the logic in it worthless. It's not even entirely mine (The Transhumanist has worked on it a lot, too, from WikiProject Glossaries.) That I incidentally happen to be the primary author of it makes neither its reasoning nor my arguments magically weaker.
  9. I never claimed anything in WP:AT is a local consensus; that's a straw man.
  10. I never claimed WP:SSF was anything but an opinion piece (and again, it's not entirely mine; I just randomly happen to have been its initial drafter), so ranting at me as if I suggested it was a guideline is way off the map. The fact that its an opinion piece doesn't make the logic in it invalid. If that were the case, every {{essay}} on the system should be thrown away.
  11. I never claimed that WP:SFF and WP:AT use "specialized" in the same way. They are different documents written for different purposes by different people (mostly), and I'm unaware of any policy or convention that says a word like "specialized" can only ever have one single meaning in many hundreds of "Wikipedia:" namespace pages. Then again, the more I re-read AT (see the direct quotes from it above) the more I think their wording is 100% compatible after all.
  12. Other than undoing Alan Liefting's mass rename to remove " terms" from every glossary name, often resulting in grossly misleading article titles, I have paid nearly zero attention to what he's doing, which is thousands upon thousands of semi-automated edits of all sorts all over the place, that I doubt anyone could keep track of (most of them that I skimmed even looked productive). If I missed the fact that a whopping two comparable articles had similar names, then mea culpa, I made a mistake. That doesn't make me a liar. It also doesn't do anything to invalidate my broader point (probably moot, per COMMONNAME, with regard to this particular page, but valid as a more general observation of a de facto standard), that the vast majority of glossary articles do in fact naturally follow the "subject in noun form" convention (because it both follows WP:AT better and is less ambiguous). That doesn't mean anyone is on the warpath to rename this article, so WP:CHILL.

Unless someone summons me back here with a talkback, I have nothing further to say (and may still not even if you do; I grow weary of circular argumentation from biology project, and I say that as a member of biology projects). Congratulations on making a pointless, lava-spewing volcano out of a molehill. I'm so sorry I dared touch an article a handful of botany and gardening editors so clearly are entitled to control. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 09:06, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry I said your incorrect point was "similar to a fib". It seemed you were trying to slip one past us, and I see now you didn't intend to purposely do that; I apologize.
Don't you hate it when that guy makes a huge megapost with a ton of points then says he's leaving, lol? ;) I don't see anyone getting worked up here, other than perhaps you. Having a cup of WP:TEA is good advice. :) The most relevant of the (many) issues above is the meaning of "specialist" at WP:AT (you misunderstood before, I meant that WP:SSF was irrelevant since you penned it, not that I necessarily had any problem with its use of "specialist"). It is here that you are missing the intent/context of "specialist" from WP:AT. In context, it is advocating common names over specialist names, it is not advocating consistent conventions over specialist names. This is very important: we are advocating a common name, not a specialist name. While we did include some specific notable examples, we also looked at the whole range of all usage of "Glossary of botanical terms"; the evidence was overwhelming for a common name. But wouldn't it be great if WP:AT directly addressed this issue of a common name vs. a proposed convention? Wait, it does! Here is the context:
"Explicit conventions
Wikipedia has many naming conventions relating to specific subject domains (as listed in the box at the top of this page). Sometimes these recommend the use of titles that are not strictly the common name (as in the case of the conventions for flora and medicine). This practice of using specialized names is often controversial, and should not be adopted unless it produces clear benefits outweighing the use of common names"
Can you see from the context who is the specialist in our discussion? Per WP:AT it's you! :) The only specialist here is the glossary specialist that wants to rigidly impose non-common article names over the top of the way they are commonly said by common people.
Regarding your claim of entitled to control, I know you have done a lot of editing on MOS & guidelines, but perhaps a look in the mirror is in order when we start referring to our own sandbox pages as a "long-stable guideline proposal", and insinuating they are nearly de-facto policy as above and as here and here. No one else has edited the naming section of your proposed guideline, no one has discussed it or even commented on it... it's all you. While I disagree with your other points, I'll let you have the last word on them. --Tom Hulse (talk) 12:23, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Coming to this late, and thoroughly astonished. "Botanical terms": adjective noun. "Botany terms" noun noun. English is at one end of the continuum in Indo-European languages allowing nouns to modify other nouns. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it, as long as it doesn't create ambiguity (and it certainly doesn't here), but I can't imagine (even after skimming the discussions above) why anyone would ever think it was better, especially when it goes against common usage.

Every time I start to think that SMcCandlish has useful ideas about stylistic issues, he comes up with something to dissuade me. If using adjectives to modify nouns is a specialist style, I think we're all doomed. Why not just change it to "plant biology terms" so everyone will be unhappy?--Curtis Clark (talk) 15:27, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I was at a loss for words about this issue. Curtis has said everything I might have considered saying. Nadiatalent (talk) 15:54, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Glossary templates[edit]

Hallo. I reformatted this page to use {{term}} and {{defn}} templates. Their main benefits are structured markup (the content is semantically laden now, and a computer will be able to parse them as glossary entries), and they add anchor links (so every entry can now be linked, without adding any code. Just a # , eg Glossary of botanical terms#acicular). The drawbacks are increased page size, and increased editmode complexity. Hopefully you agree that the pros outweigh the cons!

The next level beyond this, for a large and full-featured page such as this, would be to create your own template similar to {{cuegloss}} (as used in Glossary of cue sports terms) to clarify when a bluelink is a within-the-page link, vs a link to another article. If you want that, it's up to you! (I haven't used them yet, but might be able to advise/assist).

HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 11:59, 6 August 2012 (UTC)


Acaulescent Welwitschia[edit]

Nice! I was actually wondering whether to mention Welwitschia as an example. Thanks! JonRichfield (talk) 14:32, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I was a bit unsure because the top surface where the reproductive structures emerge is clearly the top of the stem, but did a web search and found the two words often together, so I think it is a good example. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:47, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

A photo, for each term, would be very helpful to anyone using this article.[edit]

A photo, for each term, would be very helpful to anyone using this article. FloraWilde (talk) 20:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Definitions needed[edit]

Pseudo-umbel, pseudo-umbellated --Michael Goodyear (talk) 22:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

It seems to be the same as an umbelliform cyme, i.e., a determinate version of an umbel. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:28, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Definition conflict[edit]

the given definitions for induplicate and reduplicate and the associated illustration are the reverse of those given in the Kew Plant Glossary. Which is correct? Plantsurfer (talk) 11:41, 19 March 2015 (UTC)