Welcome to Agronomy.
Department of Agronomy > Agronomy Extension


Adopted or taken from:

Botany, Fifth Edition. 1971. Carl L. Wilson, Walter Loomis, and Taylor A Steens. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Forages- The Science of Grassland Agriculture, Third Edition. 1976. Maurice E Heath, Darrel s. Metcalfe, and Robert F. Barnes. The Iowa State Press.

Range Grasses of Kansas. Paul D. Ohlenbusch. 1976. Kansas state University Cooperative Extension Service publication C-567. Manhattan, Kansas.

Annual Plant that completes its life cycle from seed in one (year) season.
Annual, Winter Plant species that initiates growth in the fall, lives overwinter, and dies after producing seed the following season.
Auricle Earlike lobe at the base of leaf blades of certain grass species.
Awn Bristle-like growth extending from the lemma of a floret.
Blade The expanded part of a leaf; that part above the sheath and away from the stem.
Biennial Plant that normally requires two years to reach maturity; basal leaves are produced in the first year, while floral structures develop and produce seed in the second year.
Bunchgrass Grass that propagates by seed only; thin stands appear to be in clumps.
Caryopsis Small, one seeded, dry fruit with a thin pericarp surrounding and adhering to the seed (grain) or fruit of grasses
Cilia Hair-like structures.
Collar Where leaf sheath and leaf blade join.
Cool-season grass Grass species adapted to rapid growth during the cool, moist periods of the year; usually dormant during hot weather or injured by it.
Corm Bulblike, short, fleshy, solid stem base, e.g., timothy.
Culm Jointed stem of a grass.
Dehulled seed Seed from which pods, glumes, lemma, and palea have been removed, as sometimes with lespedeza and timothy; also often ambiguously referred to as "hulled" seed.
Floret In grasses, the lemma and palea with enclosed stamens and pistil. In legumes, the individual flower, usually belonging to a cluster.
Forage Herbaceous plants or plant parts fed to domestic animals (generally, the term refers to such material as pasturage, hay, silage, dehy, and green chop in contrast to less digestible plant material known as "roughage and/or 'browse", plants of a woody nature); to graze.
Glabrous Smooth; having a surface devoid of hair or pubescence.
Glumes The lowest bracts of a grass spikelet which are empty. Usually there are two per spikelet in grasses.
Grass Botanically, any plant of the family Gramineae. Generally, in grassland agriculture, the term does not include cereals when grown or grain.
Graze Partial defoliation of forage plants by the animal; to feed animals on growing grass or herbage; to forage. See also Pasture.
Green chop Mechanically harvested forage fed to animals while it is fresh and succulent. Preferred to "soiling," "zero grazing," or "green feed."
Green manure Crop grown and plowed under to improve the soil.
Hay Entire herbage of forage plants, sometimes including seed of grasses and legumes, that is harvested and dried for animal feed.
Haylage Product resulting from ensiling forage with about 45% moisture in the absence of oxygen.
Hilum Scar on the seed 'left by the stalk that attached the seed to the placenta.
Inflorescence Flowering part of a plant.
Internode The part of a plant stem between joints or nodes.
Legume Plant member of the family Leguminosae, with the characteristic of forming nitrogen-fixing nodules on its roots, in this way making use of atmospheric nitrogen possible.
Lemma Chaffy bract or scale away from the stem and enclosing the seed (Palea on the other side).
Ligule Tongue-like, thin, and specialized tissue extending beyond the sheath and seen at the base of the leaf blade of some grass species.
Midrib The central vein of a leaf.
Multifoliolate Many leaflets per leaf, termed compounding in legumes.
Node Joint of a culm or stem.
Palea Chaffy bract opposite the lemma and facing the stem enclosing the grass seed.
Palmately compound A compound leaf with the leaflets attached at the tip of the petiole.
Panicle Inflorescence with a main stem (axis) and subdivided branches. In grasses the panicle may be compact and spikelike (timothy) or open (smooth bromegrass).
Pasture Fenced area of domesticated forages, usually improved, on which animals are grazed; to graze.
Peduncle Primary flower stalk supporting either a cluster or a solitary flower; in gasses, the stalk of an inflorescence.
Perennial A Forage plant that remains viable for 3 years or more, producing culm and leaves each year from rootstocks, corm buds, rhizomes, stolons, or branches.
Petiole Stalk. by which a legume leaf blade is attached to the stem; a leafstalk.
Petiolule Stalk- or the stem-like structure that attach the leaflet to the petiole.
pH The chemist s measure of acidity and alkalinity; pH 7 is neutral; pH above 7 represents alkalinity and below acidity. The scale is logarithmic; a solution with a pH of 4 is 100 times as acidic as one with a pH of 6 and 10 times as acidic as one with a pH of 5.
Pinnately compound A compound leaf with the leaflets arranged along the sides of a common axis.
Pubescent With hairs.
Pure live seed (PLS) Percentage of the content of a seed lot that is pure and viable; determined by multiplying the percentage of pure seed by the percentage of viable seed and dividing by 100.
Raceme Inflorescence in which the flowers or spikelets are singly supported along a common main axis.
Rachilla Small rachis; axis of a grass spikelet in grasses.
Rachis Axis of a grass spike or raceme.
Rhizome Underground stem, usually horizontal and capable of producing new shoots and roots at the nodes.
Seed--, Unhulled (in the hull) Mature seed with the pods, glumes, or lemma and palea retained.
Sheath A tubular envelope; the lower part of the grass leaf which fits around the stem (culm).
Sod Top few centimeters of soil permeated by and held together with grass roots or grass-legume roots.
Sodformer Grass that propagates by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes and/or stolons to form a sod.
Spike A grass inflorescence in which spikelets are attached directly to the rachis.
Spikelet Unit of the inflorescence in grasses, consisting of two outer glumes and one or more enclosed florets.
Stipule One of the usually small, paired leaf-like appendages at the base of a legume leaf.
Stolon Trailing or lateral stem of some forage species at or below the soil surface capable of rooting and sending up new shoots at the nodes.
Tendril A thread-like, clasping organ of climbing plants; usually a modified leaf or part of a leaf.
Tiller Branch or shoot originating from axillary buds at a basal node in grasses. (Also the last name of Purdue's new football coach.)
Umbel A type of inflorescence in which flowers diverge from the same point.
Warm-season grass A grass species that makes its major growth during the warmer part of the year. Preferred to "hot weather."



For more forage information contact Dr. Keith Johnson: johnsonk@purdue.edu

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