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Term Definition

Making new plants from old by cutting the rhizome of a sympodial orchid into pieces containing pseudobulbs and rhizome or by cutting off the top half of a stem of a vinelike orchid.


adventitious bud

Meristem originating from a single cell or group of cells not part of preexisting meristem.


adventitious propagation

The use of tissue culture to produce whole plants from adventitious buds. Can lead to high levels of somaclonal variation, unlike micropropagation.


aerial root

Any root produced above the growing medium, from either the stem or the base of the plant.



White form of a flower.



A tribe or group of related genera. Among orchids many of these genera can crossbreed with other genera.



Award of Merit. Awarded to orchid species or hybrids scoring 80 to 89 points inclusive on a 100-point scale.



The part of the stamen containing the pollen; the end of the column.


anther cap

In orchids, a cap of tissue that covers the clusters of pollen.



Acronym / abbreviation for American Orchid Society


axillary bud

Preexisting meristem within the axil of a leaf that is normally inactive in growth.



An old pseudobulb behind the part of a sympodial orchid that is actively growing. Although there may be no leaves the presence of undamaged "eyes" is a sign that growth is possible.



Having two leaves.


Binomial nomenclature

Binomial nomenclature (also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature) is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages.



A leaf-like organ (actually, a modified leaf) that serves to protect a flower, bud, or shoot.



Common term for a flower before it begins enlarging, although it is also applied to a tiny new growth or leaf.



An elongated psuedobulb, usually used when describing Dendrobiums.



The seedpod of an orchid, often containing thousands, even millions, of seeds.



Certificate of Botanical Recognition. An AOS award given only once to an orchid species when it is first displayed in bloom,



Certificate of Cultural Merit. An AOS award presented to the grower of a well


Central growing point

On a monopodial orchid, this is where the upright vegetative growth will begin.



Certificate of Horticultural Merit. An AOS award given to a species of outstanding interest to growers.



Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The multinational agreement that lists which plant and animal species are considered endangered and the rules by which their trade is governed.



Term used to describe a flower that self



All the various vegetative manifestations (divisions, meristern propagations, and so forth) of a single orchid plant grown originally from a single seed; designated by single quotes around its name.



The fused sexual organ of an orchid flower, found atop the lip.


Community pot

Many tiny seedlings planted together in a single container before they are individually repotted.


Compot Common

Term meaning "community pot."


Cool temperature

For orchids, a minimum winter nighttime temperature of 45'F, with daytime temperatures 15



Small pieces of broken earthenware or flower pots, placed in the bottom of a pot when repotting to aid in drainage.



The progeny that result from transferring pollen from one plant to the flower of another; the act itself.



The central part of the rosette of leaves in a monopodial orchid such as Pbalaenopsis, from which new growth arises upward.



In orchids, a specific plant grown from a single seed; designated by single quotes around its name.



The term used to describe the loss of leaves or other growths upon maturity or at the end of a growing season, with regrowth after a dormant rest.



Having a normal number of two sets of chromosomes; also known as 2N.



A rest period during which no vegetative growth occurs, often following a growth period and/or the loss of leaves or other growths; may require cooler temperatures and less water.


Dorsal sepal

In orchids, the uppermost "petal" of a flower.



Term used to describe any plant that grows above the ground and attaches to something else for support; nutrients are not taken from the supporting host but are derived instead from rain, air, and available debris.




In orchids, having all the leaves arranged flat in one plane; specifically refers to a type of Oncidium.



The bud of a sympodial orchid that will eventually develop into a new lead.



(First Class Certificate) The highest flower-quality award, awarded to orchid species or hybrids scoring 90 points or more on a 100-point scale.



A clear container used for the laboratory germination of orchid seeds or for growing other laboratory micropropagated orchid seedlings.



Term used to describe a plant that flowers freely.


Flower spike

A common term for any of the various types of the more properly termed flower inflorescence, whether bearing a solitary bloom atop a single stalk or in racemes or panicles of many flowers.


foliar spray

Many minor nutrients and trace elements beneficial to growth are best absorbed through the stomata of an orchids leaves when mixed with water and sprayed on the plant.



A measure of light useful in determining intensity of light for growing orchids; the illumination produced by a candle at a distance of one foot.



(plural form of genus) A group of orchids that are classified together because of similar traits and an assumed common ancestry; there are some 860 naturally occurring orchid genera and an additional 550 manmade intergeneric ones.



(pl. genera) A group of orchids that are classified together because of similar traits and an assumed common ancestry; there are some 860 naturally occurring orchid genera and an additional 550 manmade intergeneric ones.



Term used to refer to the group of progeny of a specific cross.



Any new shoots that emerge, whether they be pseudobulb, rhizome, leaf, stem, inflorescence, or root.