Plant Science Terms - V

Vacuole - membrane-bound cavity within a cell, often containing a watery liquid or secretion

Vaporization - evaporation of the active ingredient in a pesticide during or after application

Variegated - leaves with green and white striped patches, or marks of different colors or patterns instead of the typical all-green look. They are usually but not always random, alternating on the foliage

Variety - plant growing within a species that is different in some particular characteristic from other members of that species. When grown from seed, a variety will maintain all of its particular characteristics. Also called a botanical variety

Vascular bundle - strand of food and water-conducting tissue that contains xylem and phloem

Vascular discoloration - darkening of the plant’s conductive tissue. Visible after cutting along or into the stem

Vascular pathogen - disease-causing organism that invades primarily the conductive tissues (xylem or phloem) of the plant

Vascular system - internal structure of the stem that transports water, minerals, and sugars throughout the plant

Vascular tissue - water, nutrient, and photosynthate-conducting tissue

Vector - living organism that is able to transmit or spread a pathogen

Vegetable - edible portion of an herbaceous garden plant

Vegetative bud - type of bud that develops into shoots

Vegetative propagation - increase of plants by asexual means using vegetative parts. Normally results in a population of identical individuals. Can occur by either natural means (e.g., bulblets, cormels, offsets, plantlets, or runners) or artificial means (e.g. cuttings, division, budding, grafting, or layering)

Vein - strand of xylem and phloem in a leaf blade

Venation - pattern of veins in leaves; for insects it is the arrangement of veins in wings

Vermicomposting - composting with worms. Although there are over 6,000 species of worm, only seven have been found suitable for bin composting. One in particular, Eisenia fetida (common name: red wiggler), is the most widely used

Vernation - arrangement of new leaves within an older leaf sheath (e.g., on a grass plant)

Vertical mower - known as a dethacher or power rake, a machine used to remove thatch from grass by cutting it vertically

Vertical spacing - vertical space between branches on a tree

Vertical Shoot Position (VSP) trellis - vine shoots are trained upward in a vertical, narrow curtain with the fruiting zone below

Vestigial - of an organ or part of the body, degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution

Viability - seed’s ability to germinate

Viable - capable of development; seeds must be alive in order to germinate

Virulent - capable of causing severe disease

Virus - infectious agent composed of DNA or RNA, too small to see with a compound micro-scope; multiplies only in living cells


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