Invasive Species Council of Manitoba



Achene: A small, one-seeded fruit that does not split at maturity.

Adipose Fin: A soft, fleshy fin found on the back of a fish behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin.

Algal Bloom: An algal bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system.

Alkaline:  The opposite of acidic.

Anal Fin: A fin located on the underside of a fish behind the anus.

Aquatic: Growing or living in or near water.

Auricle: A small earlike projection from the base of a leaf or petal.

Awn: A stiff, bristle-like projection, especially from grass seeds or grains.

Axil: The crotch or angle formed where a leaf joins the stem.


Barbel: A fleshy, tactile icicle-shaped projection, usually near the lips, chin or nose of a fish.

Basal: Of leaves; located at the base of a plant or stem; especially arising directly from the root or a root-like stem.

Benthic Barrier: A bottom screen or benthic barrier covers the sediment like a blanket, compressing aquatic plants while reducing or blocking light. Materials such as burlap, plastics, black Mylar with holes and woven synthetics can all be used as bottom screens.

Biennial: A plant that requires two years to complete its life-cycle, germinating and growing in its first year, then producing its flowers and fruit in its second year, after which it usually dies.

Biodiversity: The variety of plant and animal life found in an ecosystem and the variation in their genetic makeup. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of an ecosystem, with healthy ecosystems having greater variety and variation in plant and animal life than unhealthy ones.

Biomass: The mass of living biological organisms in a given area. It might be measured in grams per square metre or tonnes per square kilometre, or it might be measured as the total mass present in a system such as a lake.

Brackish: Brackish water is water that has more salinity (salt) than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water.

Bracts : A bract is a modified or specialized leaf.

Bulb: A short, modified, underground stem surrounded by usually fleshy modified leaves that contain stored food for the shoot within: an onion bulb; a tulip bulb.

Bulbous: Having a bulb : growing from or bearing bulbs.


Cambial Layer: Cambium; the growth cells between the bark and the woody part of the stem.

Capsule: A dry fruit that splits open at maturity.

Caudal: situated in or directed toward the part of the body from which the tail arises; "caudal fins".

Cluster: Large group of flowers or fruits on a plant.

Colonize: Move into a new area (as in the pilgrims colonized America). Non-native plants will also colonize new areas, particularly disturbed sites.

Compact: Closely and firmly packed together.

Concave: Curving or bulging inward, opposite of convex.

Convex: curving outward, opposite of concave.

Cultivar: A cultivated variety of a plant species or hybrid of two species that is man-made.


Deciduous: Plants that drop their leaves at the end of each growing season.

Dermatitis: An inflammatory condition of the skin, characterized by redness, pain and itching.

Dorsal Fin: A fin on the back of a fish. It helps a fish keep its balance as it moves through the water.


Ecosystem: All of the factors that allow a healthy environment to function; the complex relationships among an area's resources, habitats and residents. An ecosystem may include people, wildlife, fish, trees, water and several other living and non-living elements.

Elliptic: Oval-shaped, with the widest part in the middle and tapering toward both ends.

Emergent: A plant whose root system grows underwater, but whose shoot grows up and above the water; with the majority of the plant extending above the water surface.

Eurasia: the land mass formed by the continents of Europe and Asia.


Fauna: Animals and all living things in an ecosystem that are not plants.

Flora: Plants and things that look like plants in an ecosystem.

Floret: One of the small flowers forming the head of a plant.

Forbs: Herbaceous flowering plants that are not graminoids (grasses, sedges and rushes). The term is frequently used in vegetation ecology, especially in relation to grasslands.


Gonopodium: A modified anal fin of certain types of fish that can be used by males for reproduction.

Graminoid: Grasses, sedges and rushes.


Habitat: A specific place or natural conditions in which a plant or animal lives.

Herb: Flowering plant with no significant woody tissue above the ground (forbs and grasses).

Hybrid: The result of a cross between two different species.


Inconspicuous: Not prominent or readily noticeable.

Indigenous: Native or natural to a country or region.

Inflorescence: A cluster of flowers on one plant.

Introduced: A species or organism which arrives and establishes as a result of human activities.

Invasive: Introduced species or organism which causes damage to biodiversity, agricultural production or humanhealth.

Invertebrates: Collective term for all animals which are not vertebrates; for example insects.




Lance shaped (Lanceolate): Shaped like a spear-head, considerably longer than wide, tapering towards the tip from below the middle.

Lateral: Situated at or extending to the side; "the lateral branches of a tree".

Linear: (of a leaf shape) long and narrow.

Lobe: A rounded projection, as on a leaf or petal. The leaves of many oak species have obvious lobes

Lobed: Having deeply indented margins but with lobes not entirely separate from each other.


Margin: The outer edge of a leaf.

Membrane: A thin, pliable layer of tissue covering surfaces or separating or connecting regions, structures, or organs of an animal or a plant.

Membranaceous: Thin and rather soft or pliable, as the leaves of the rose, peach tree, and aspen poplar. (same as "membranous")

Midrib: The central vein of a leaf.

Monoculture: Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity.  In other words, one species takes over and other species are choked out.


Native: indigenous or occurring naturally in a given geographic locale (not introduced by humans).

Naturalized: A plant or species known to have originated from outside a particular region or habitat but that currently exists in the wild a self-perpetuating population because of human action.

Noxious: Harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant.


Oblong: Longer than wide having parallel sides

Opposite: Leaves situated directly across the stem from each other.

Ornamental: Any plant grown for its beauty or decoration, rather than usefulness.

Ovate: Egg-shaped


Panicle: A pyramid shaped, loosely branched flower cluster; a panicle is a type of inflorescence.

Pappus: Tuft of hairs or bristles; often on the 'seeds' (achenes) of plants in the Asteraceae family.

Pathogen: Any microbe, such as virus or bacteria, which may cause disease.

Pelvic Ancillary Process:  A slender scale-like process or tab of tissue that develops at the base of the pelvic fins of many salmon family and other bony fishes.

Pelvic Fin: Paired fins located about halfway down the length of a fish along the abdomen.

Perennial: A plant that continues to live and grow from year to year.

Petals: Uppermost, leaf-like structures of a flower that are usually brightly coloured; collectively the petals form the corolla.

Petiole: The slender stem that supports the blade of a leaf.

Pinnate: A compound leaf with more than 3 leaflets arranged in opposite pairs along the leaf stalk.

Prolific: Reproduce offspring in abundance and at a rapid rate.



Raceme: An unbranched flower cluster, consisting of a single central stem along which individual flowers grow on small stalks at intervals.

Resin: Any of numerous clear to translucent yellow or brown, solid or semisolid, gel-like substances of plant origin.

Riparian: A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a stream. Plant communities along the river margins are called riparian vegetation

Rhizome: A characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots. Rhizomes may also be referred to as creeping rootstalks, or rootstocks.

Rhombic: Resembling a rhombus

Rhombus: A flat shape which has four sides that are all of equal length.

Root Grafting: Adjacent roots of the same or different woody plants can become attached.

Rosettes: A circular arrangement of leaves, with all the leaves at a single height.

Rotavating: A rotavator is a machine used in gardens to churn up and dig over the ground without laborious manual work with spades or forks. It is always gas / diesel powered.  (Also know as Rototilling)


Sedge: Grasslike or rushlike plant growing in wet places having solid stems, narrow grasslike leaves and spikelets of inconspicuous flowers.

Seed Contaminant: Seed contamination is the mixing of seeds used for agriculture with other seeds which are not desirable or soil (which may carry seeds). An example would be mixing corn seed with weed seed. These contaminant seeds can be either common weeds or other crop seeds.

Sepals: Modified leaves that surround the base of a flower to protect the developing seed or fruit, often green.

Serrated: Having a toothed or notched edge.

Spike: A cluster of flowers or fruits with a narrow, fingerlike shape. The individual flowers or fruits either do not have separate stalks, or very short ones.

Spikelet: A spikelet is a secondary spike found in grasses; it is a cluster of two or more flowers in the inflorescence

Stamen: The male reproductive organ on the flower. Usually many thin stalks with a bulb at the end.

Stolon: A stem that creeps along the ground, the tips taking root and forming a new plant.

Submersed: Pertaining to a plant or plant structure growing entirely underwater.

Substrate: The mineral and/or organic material that forms the bed of the stream.

Succulent: A plant that has fleshy stems or leaves capable of retaining large amounts of moisture.

Supraterminal: Mouth position in which the back end of the mouth (when closed) is slightly above the tip of the snout.


Taproot: The main anchoring root of a plant that descends vertically. It also describes the long root formed by vegetables such as carrots and parsnips.

Tendrils: A modified leaf structure that occurs on climbing plants such as vines.

Tubers: A fleshy, thickened underground stem of a plant, usually containing stored starch, as for example a potato.

Turion: Detached, overwintering, usually fleshy, bud produced by certain water plants.


Umbrel: A type of inflorescence in which all of the individual flowers arise from the same point.


Vegetative fragmentation: When an plant is split into fragments and each of these fragments develop into mature, fully grown individuals that are a clone of the original organism.

Vegetative reproduction: Asexual plant reproduction where plants are formed not from seeds, but from specialized structures of the root, stem or leaf.


Whorls: Is the circular arrangement of three or more flowers, parts of a flower, leaves, or shoots arising from a stem of aplant.





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