Our ‘A’ to ‘Z’ of Gardening Terms

Terms that begin with “L”

larvaThe immature form of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis. Different from the adult in form. Also called a caterpillar.
latent budA bud that does not break during the season after it is formed. Usually found on the lower portion of a shoot, it does not expand under normal growth stimuli, but will break if the growth above it is damaged or pruned away.
lateralA branch attached to and subordinate to another branch or trunk.
lateral budA bud on the side, rather than the tip, of a stem.
lateral meristemA region where cells divide, located along the length of a stem or root.
latexA thick, white, fluid secretion of many plant species.
laticiferA cell producing latex.
layeringA method of stimulating adventitious roots to form on a stem. There are two primary methods of layering. In ground layering, a low-growing branch is bent to the ground and covered with soil. In air layering, moist rooting medium is wrapped around a node on an aboveground stem.
leachingMovement of water and soluble nutrients down through the soil profile.
leaderA developing stem or trunk that is longer and more vigorous than laterals. See central leader.
leafAn outgrowth of a stem, usually the principal organ of photosynthesis.
leaf primordiumAn immature leaf, located at a stem tip.
leaf rosetteA group of leaves radiating from a short stem.
leaf scarA visible, thickened crescent or line on a stem where a leaf was attached.
leaf tendrilA modified leaf or leaf part used as a grasping organ.
leafletA single division of a compound leaf.
lenticelA small opening on the surface of fruits, stems, and roots that allows exchange of gases between internal tissues and the atmosphere.
lepidopteraAn insect family made up of species having four wings covered with minute scales. Members undergo complete metamorphosis through the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Includes butterflies and moths.
ligninA tough, durable plant substance deposited in cell walls, especially in wood.
limeA rock powder consisting primarily of calcium carbonate. Used to raise soil pH (decrease acidity).
loamA soil with roughly equal influence from sand, silt, and clay particles.
lodgeTo fall over, usually due to rain or wind. Corn and tall grasses are examples of plants susceptible to lodging.
long-day plantA plant requiring more than 12 hours of continuous daylight to stimulate a change in growth, e.g., a shift from the vegetative to reproductive phase. See short-day plant, day-neutral plant.