In my library you can find definitions of botanical terms I used on my sites.


The normal case, namely a pollination by opened flowers, is reffered to as chasmogamy. In contrast, the term cleistogamy refers the very rare exception of a self-pollination of closed flowers.

climacteric and non-climacteric fruits

Ethen, EthylenSeveral fruits are able to ripen after being picked. These fruits are called climacteric fruits. Though a condition is a harvest after the achievement of picking ripeness. In this case the phytohormone ethylene – a gas – causes a post-ripening of the fruit to eating ripeness. In this biochemical process ethylene acts autocatalytic. It is absorbed by the fruit. Finally it initiates an increased uptake of oxygen and an increased release of carbon dioxide as well as ethylene by the fruit. Thereby nearby fruits are also activated to ripe after. Climacteric fruits are for example apples, bananas, passion fruits and tomatoes. Non climacteric fruits are for example pineapples, cherries, lychees and citrus fruits.


The term commensalism was introduced by the Belgian scientist Pierre-Josef van Beneden and derives from the Latin commensalis (sharing the same table). The term calls a one-sided advantage, but without any disadvantage for the host. The commensal subsists on a nourishment surplus of the host. This interaction is a kind of probiosis. On carnivorous plants are circa 100 commensals known.


The phenomenon of evolving similar physical features of two disctint species with different ancestry is called convergence. Similar environmental circumstances leads to similar physical features as well as an adaptation to comparable requirements.


Individuals of dioecious plants are either male or female. They only produce one type of gamete and aren't self-fertile.


Epiphytes are plants which grow upon another plants. The growth of the epiphyte has no disadvantage for the tree. Epiphytes don't show any parasitic characters. The plants are self-sustaining. Mainly you can find epiphytes in the tropics. Only 1% of the sunlight reaches the ground of a rain forest, so that the sun exposed crowns were colonized. Many epiphytes are bromeliads or orchids. But also some carnivorous plants are epiphytes.



In paleogeography the southern supercontinent is called Gondwana. Gondwana included South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Australia and Antartica. 150 million years ago Gondwana broke and its fragments drifted apart caused by the plate tectonic mechanisms. Where continental plates clashed mountains were formed, such as the collision of Europe with Africa (Alps) or Asia with India (the Himalayas).




Heterotrophy describes the necessity of an organism to get organic carbons from other organisms because it is unable to produce them independent by photosynthesis. In the plant tribe heterotrophy is a rare phenomenon, their are only a few heterotrophic plants. These plants don't have a own photosynthesis and exist as parasite. Some European orchids show a more or less complete myco-heterotrophy. The Coralroot Orchid (Corallorhiza trifida), the Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum), the Violet Limodore (Limodorum abortivum) and the Bird's-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis) get the needed nutritive substances from saprophytic living mycorrhizal fungi.


A internode is the leafless part of a stem between two nodes from which the leaves properly arise.

monotypic taxon

A monotypic taxon has only one species.


As neophytes are plants called which were new introduced into a region after the year 1492. Was the indroduction before the year 1492 the plants are called archaeophytes.


Very general the 'region around the mouth' is called as peristome in biology. In connection with carnivorous plants the fringe of toothlike appendages surrounding the pitcher entrance is called peristome. For example pitcher plants and the Albany pitcher plant have such structures.


Borderline carnivores have evolved trapping mechanisms. Caused by the lack of digestive enzymes they require a bacterial decay of their victims.


Saprophytic organisms derive their nourishment from decaying organic matter.


Many seeds have a dormancy which should avoid a germination at an awkward time. A pre-treatment of the seeds for breaking the dormancy is called stratification. Many seeds of plants from temperate zones lose their dormancy only after exposure to coldness, because the germination should take place in spring. You should store such seeds in your refrigerator for several weeks.


Turions are vegetal generated structures of water plants for hibernation. In autumn the leaves are produced more and more compact along the sprout, so that an oval and compact hibernation bud arises which declines to the ground of a water. Because water attains its maximum density at 4 °C major waters don’t freeze completely in winter, so that the turions survive at the ground of the water. In spring the turions sprout again.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

International the hardiness of plants can be learned from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. This classification derives from the US Department of Agriculture. In all 11 main zones are differentiated. The difference of temperature is between the main zones 10 °F (circa 5,56 °C). The zones 2 to 10 are additional subdivided into zone a and b.

zone from °C to °C
1 below – 45,6 °C
2a – 45,5 °C – 42,8 °C
2b – 42,7 °C – 40,0 °C
3a – 39,9 °C – 37,3 °C
3b – 37,2 °C – 34,5 °C
4a – 34,4 °C – 31,7 °C
4b – 31,6 °C – 28,9 °C
5a – 28,8 °C – 26,2 °C
5b – 26,1 °C – 23,4 °C
6a – 23,3 °C – 20,5 °C
zone from °C to °C
6b – 20,4 °C – 17,8 °C
7a – 17,7 °C – 15,0 °C
7b – 14,9 °C – 12,3 °C
8a – 12,2 °C – 9,5 °C
8b – 9,4 °C – 6,7 °C
9a – 6,6 °C – 3,9 °C
9b – 3,8 °C – 1,2 °C
10a – 1,1 °C + 1,6 °C
10b + 1,7 °C + 4,4 °C
11 + 4,5 °C above