This easy-to-use glossary will help you translate and define some of the botanical, horticultural and landscaping terms used on this site.
Click on a letter to view terms & definitions.
A blossom scape that contains five or six widely spaced major branches on which buds are presented. Heavy branching often improves bud-count, thus lengthening the bloom period for a given cultivar.
A microscopic element in the cell nucleus of the daylily in which all the plant characteristics are inherited. Diploid daylilies contain 22 chromosomes in each cell; tetraploid daylilies contain 44 chromosomes in each cell.
Soil composed of many very fine particles, sticky when wet but hard when dry; water and air have a hard time moving through clay soil.
A plant that has been propagated asexually and therefore has attributes that are identical in every respect to the parent.
Daylilies do not revert to a different form, nor do they produce sports, naturally occurring variants that have distinctly new or different characteristics (a quite common event with hosta).
A daylily that has grown in one location and has divided into multiple individual fans is called a clump. Over-grown clumps that have remained undivided for four years or more typically lose vigor as the plants become over-crowded. Bloom quality in overgrown clumps is markedly reduced. Daylilies perform best when clumps are divided every three or four years.
Common Names are what most of us grew up on and can vary from region to region. What is creeping phlox in the northern part of the United States is referred to as Thrift in the south - but it is the same plant (Phlox subulata)
A complex perennial is one that is not a simple derivation from a species, but instead includes many plants in its parentage. An example of a complex perennial would be Coreopsis 'Full Moon' PP19364. That plant is the result of breeder Darrell Probst crossing 8 species of Coreopsis to come up with the new hybrids including 'Full Moon' PP19364.
Decomposed plant material that adds nutrients to the soil and improves soil composition.
Perennials purchased in garden centers are typically container-grown. Bare-root plants are planted in potting mix in plastic containers and grown to saleable size before offered for sale to the gardening public.
The letters COPF written behind a plant name stand for Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation. It is a non-governmental organization that charges voluntary royalties and passes a portion back to the hybridizer or originator.
Propagation without a license is prohibited for these plants in Canada.
An underground bulb-like portion of the stem of a plant consisting of fleshy tissues.
The letters CPBRAF or CPBR#### written behind a plant name indicates that Canadian Plant Breeders' Rights have been applied for or assigned to that plant. For example, Sedum 'Xenox' CPBR3451 has been assigned a number of 3451. This is similar to a US PPAF or patent number.
Plants protected by Candian Plant Breeders' Rights (CPBR####) or with Breeders' Rights pending (CPBRAF) may not be propagated or hybridized in Canada without a license.
The section of a plant where stem and root meet; the topmost part of a root system, from which the leaves and shoots emerge.
The junction between daylily foliage and roots. New daylily foliage emerges from the center of the crown, which is usually about one inch below the soil surface. The crown divides as new plants form. A cluster of plants with multiple crowns forms a clump.
A relatively unfamiliar term used in horticulture to refer to a cultivated variety. A cultivar is a named hybrid that is distinct from the species and is vegetatively propagated for dissemination. Individual plants of a given cultivar are clones, in that they share identical characteristics. A cultivar cannot be propagated by seed. Hybridizers pursue a goal of developing and introducing newer cultivars that are distinct improvements over earlier generations of hybrids.
Stir the soil surface to eliminate the weeds, aerate the soil, and promote water absorption.