Latin Lesson: Plant Habit

Understanding the Latin indicators in a plant's botanical name will help you know how it will grow.
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What's In a Name?

apodus without a foot or stalk; sessile

arborescens growing to be a tree; woody

arboreus treelike, woody

arbusculus like a small tree

caespitosus, cespitosus clump-forming

cernuus drooping, downturned

columnaris columnar

contortus twisted, contorted

decumbens decumbent; prostrate but with upright tips

dependens hanging down

dilatatus spread out, expanded

divaricatus spreading, straggling

effusus spreading, straggly

erectus erect, upright

fastigiatus fastigiate; with an upright habit

fruticosus shrubby

gracilis slender

patens spreading

ramosus branched

ramulosus twiggy

rectus upright

repens creeping

scandens climbing

sessilis stalkless

suffruticosus somewhat shrubby

tenuis thin

tenuissimus very thin

virgatus twiggy

volubilis winding