adapted from Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge by Ron Lance. Used by permission.
To see photographic examples of a term, click the camera next to it in the list of botanical terms.
The texture and appearance of bark is characteristic for many species, but the essence of its recognition is best acquired by visual experience and not by written description.
Three general types of bark texture can be summarized for most of our woody plants:
smooth, papery, and rough.
- Fluted — sinewy or wavy profile (as in hornbeam).
- Striated — striped or lined (as in striped maple).
- Mottled — particolored. Can be slightly scaly with thin, close scales (as in sycamore).
- Lenticellate — marked by numerous raised lenticels (as in spicebush). Lenticels may be horizontally elongated (as in cherry).
- Exfoliating bark — Shedding in thin layers; usually applied to small-diameter stems (as in honeysuckle).
Thick or hardened, roughened surface.
- Warty — raised excrescences, with intermediate areas smooth (as in hackberry).
- Scaly — flat-topped, brittle plates which are free or curling on edges. Of three general patterns:
- Furrowed — surface wrinkled or broken by furrows and thickened ridges or plates.
- Plates — flat-topped ridges, shortened or broken horizontally, as in shortleaf pine.
- Blocky — thick, squarish plates as in persimmon.
- Ridged — elongated ridges and furrows:
Plant Morphology Terms
- General Terms
- Palms & Palmettos glossary
- Palms & Palmettos pictorial glossary
- The Blue Ridge
- North Carolina (PDF)
- South Carolina (PDF)
- SC's Wildflower Communities
- The Southeast Mountains
From Wayne's Word, an online textbook of natural history
- Flower Terminology #1
- Flower Terminology #2
- Flower Terminology #3
- Inflorescence Terminology #1
- Inflorescence Terminology #2
- Leaf Terminology #1
- Leaf Terminology #2
From vPlants: a Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region
From Vascular Plant Systematics, by Radford, Dickison, Massey, and Bell
From the Plant Information Center at UNC, Chapel Hill
From the Australian Pea-flowered Legume Research Group
From the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation