FYN Glossary of Terms

Bedding plants - herbaceous annual or perennial plants that are used in flower or vegetable gardens.

Berm - a raised earthen area.

Best Management Practices - methods that have been determined to be the most effective, practical means of preventing or reducing pollution.

Bioretention - Filtering stormwater runoff through a terrestrial aerobic (upland) plant/soil/microbe complex to remove pollutants through a variety of physical, chemical, and biological processes.

Bud - an undeveloped or compressed stem.

Certified Arborist - an arborist who has passed an exam and receives, on a regular basis, continuing education administered by the International Society of Arboriculture or another certifying agency.

Chelate - a complex organic molecule that surrounds certain trace elements, such as iron, and keeps them dissolved in a solution.

Chrysalis - the pupa (last stage before adult) of a butterfly.

Composting - the process of converting plant and animal waste into useful soil additives.

Deciduous - a plant that sheds all of its leaves at one time each year.

Disease - an interaction between an organism and its environment that results in an abnormal condition; can be biotic or abiotic.

Drip irrigation - A method of microirrigation wherein water is applied to the soil surface as drops or small streams through emitters. Discharge rates are generally less than 8 L/h (2 gal/hr) for single-outlet emitters and 12 L/hr (3 gal/hr) per meter for line-source emitters.

Drought tolerant - describers plants that require less water because they are adapted to regions with frequent drought or to soils with low water-holding capacity.

Emitter - This terms refers primarily to devices used in microirrigation systems.

Establishment - acclimating a new plant to the environmental conditions of the planting site.

Evapotranspiration - A collective term that includes water discharged to the atmosphere as a result of evaporation from the soil and surface-water bodies and as a result of plant transpiration.

Evergreen - a plant that retains at least some of it leaves year-round.

Exotic Plants - Plants that have been brought into the state from elsewhere in the world.

Florida-friendly - Describes practices, materials, or actions that help to preserve Floridas natural resources and protect the environment.

Florida-friendly landscape - A landscape that incorporates the BMPs and philosophies promoted by programs such as Florida Yards and Neighborhoods and Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices. (Florida state statute)

Genus - a group of similar organisms representing a category within a family; a genus consists of one or more species.

Girdle - to constrict or destroy the bark in a ring around the trunk or branch of a plant, cutting off flow of nutrients and water through the bark; ultimately the plant dies.

Green building - Green building is the practice of:
1. increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials, and
2. reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal the complete building life cycle.

Green development - An environmental approach that integrates the following elements: environmental responsiveness, which benefits the surrounding environment; resource efficiency, which involves using resources in the construction and development and operations of buildings and/or communities in ways that are not wasteful; and sensitivity to culture and community, which is to foster a sense of community in design, construction, and operations (Rocky Mountain Institute).

Groundcover - Low growing plants, other than turfgrass, used to cover the soil and form a continuous, low mass of foliage.

Hardscape - Areas such as patios, decks, driveways, paths and sidewalks that do not require irrigation.

Herbicide - a chemical that kills plants or inhibits their growth; typically intended for weed control.

Hydrozone - A distinct grouping of plants with similar water needs and climatic needs.

Inflitration rate - The rate of water entry into the soil expressed as a depth of water per unit of time (inches per hour).

Impervious - resistant to penetration by fluids, such as rain or irrigation water, or by roots.

Insecticide - a pesticide that kills insects and other arthropods.

Integrated Pest Management - a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks.

Leaching - the downward movement of water (and any particles dissolved in it, such as nutrients or pollutans) through soil.

Littoral zone - the area between high and low tide in coastal waters, or the shoreline of a freshwater lake.

Low-flow point applicators - Irrigation applicators with output less than 60 gallons per hour (gph).

Low Impact Development (LID) - An approach to land development that uses various land planning and design practices and technologies to simultaneously conserve and protect natural resource systems and reduce infrastructure costs. LID still allows land to be developed, but in a cost effective manner that helps mitigate potential environmental impacts (US HUD 2003).

Mature tree - a tree that has reached at least 75 percent of its final height and spread.

Microclimate - The climate of a specific area in the landscape that has substantially differing sun exposure, temperature or wind than surrounding areas or the area as a whole.

Microirrigation (low volume) - The frequent application of small quantities of water as drops, tiny streams, or miniature spray through emitters or applicators placed along a water delivery line. Microirrigation encompasses a number of methods or concepts such as bubbler, drip, trickle, mist or spray.

Moisture sensing device or soil moisture sensor - A device to indicate soil moisture in the root zone for the purpose of controlling an irrigation system based on the actual needs of the plant.

Mulch - a material on the soil surface to conserve soil moisture, influence soil temperature and control weeds.

Native plants - Any plant species with a geographic distribution indigenous to all or part, of the State of Florida according to the best scientific and historical documentation. (See Wunderlin, R.P. 1998. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.)

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution - NPS pollution cannot be pinpointed to a single source. Over time, pollutants from our everyday activities accumulate on the land. Examples of NPS pollutants include gasoline, fertilizer, pesticides and even soil. NPS pollution is a problem when rainfall or heavy irrigation carries sediments and dissolved chemicals to waterways in stormwater runoff and by leaching or percolating through soil.

Pervious paving materials - A porous asphaltic, concrete or other surface and a high-void aggregate base that allows for rapid infiltration and temporary storage of rain on, or runoff delivered to, paved surfaces.

Pesticide - a chemical or other substance used to prevent, destroy or repel pests.

Pesticide Resistance - after repeated applications of a certain pesticide, some pests may adapt to the chemical and are not harmed by it - those individuals that survive then breed and pass the resistance genes to their offspring.

Photosynthesis - the process that turns light energy into chemical energy in green plants.

Phytotoxicity - degree to which a chemical is toxic to (injures) plants; plant sensitivity to a particular chemical, application rate and environmental conditions influence degree of damage that may result from chemical treatment.

Point source pollution - water pollution that results from water discharges into receiving waters from easily identifiable points; common point sources of pollution are discharges from factories and municipal sewage treatment plants.

Pop-up sprays - Spray heads that pop up with water pressure and provide a continuous spray pattern throughout a given arc of operation. Rain sensor device A low voltage electrical or mechanical component placed in the circuitry of an automatic irrigation system that is designed to turn off a sprinkler controller when precipitation has reached a pre-set quantity.

Runoff - the portion of rain or irrigation water on an area that is discharged through stream channels; the water that is lost without entering the soil is called surface runoff.

Slow-release fertilizer - a fertilizer that releases its nutrients gradually, over a period of time.

Soil pH - the degree of acidity or alkalinity of soil.

Soil Texture - the relative proportions of sand, silt and clay in a soil; clay is the smallest particle size, and clay soils tend to hold water and nutrients well and rain poorly; conversely, soils containing a large proportion of sand, the largest particle size, tend to drain well and do not hold water and nutrients well.

Species - a group of plants, animal or other organisms that resemble each other and interbreed freely.

Spot-treatment - application of a pesticide to the problem plant or area, rather than a blanket application or 'wall-to-wall' coverage.

Stormwater runoff - water that runs off impervious or water-saturated surfaces, transporting sediments and dissolved chemcials into nearby waters.

Sustainability and Sustainable development - Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. (Brundtland Commission 1987)

Thatch - a layer of dead and living plant matter that accumulates between soil and turf, often blocking water and nutrient movement into soil.

Weed - a plant out of place; weeds are troublesome because they compete with desirable plants for water, minerals and light; sometimes weeds can harbor insect pests or diseases.

Wilting - the drooping of plant parts, especially leaves, generally because of a lack of water.

Xeric uplands - very dry, well-drained, high areas of sand with plants adapted to dry contitions; xeric uplands are home to many threatened and endangered species.