Meanings of some of the technical terms used on this site



Circular clusters of spines on a cactus. Flowers bud at an areole and new stems branch from an areole.

Biological Control

- Introduction of a predatory species of insect into the greenhouse which feeds on and thus controls, the pest attacking your plants.


A flattened stem that looks like a leaf.

Contact Insecticide

- A chemical that kills pests/diseases when it touches them.


Crest-shaped or crested

Damping off

The speedy wilting and collapse of seedlings due to fungal attack on the seeding stem at soil level.


Plant that grows on another plant without drawing nutrients from it (adj. Epiphytic).


- Stretching of a plant due to lack of light

Extrafloral nectary

- A nectary which is not located (as usual) in the flower. It can be anywhere on the plant - on leaves or stems.


A sharp, pointed, modified leaf found in areoles of cacti.

Systemic Insecticide

- A chemical that is taken in by the plant and which kills the insect or fungus when it feeds on the plant


A naturally occurring or viral induced mutation, which appears as stripes or whole sections of tissue that are without chlorophyll. Variegated varieties are often prized for the attractiveness of the markings caused by the mutation.
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