Gardening Terms CGardening terms starting with the letter C.
A collection of common and not so common garden terms that you may run across as you start your adventures in gardening. The lists are not meant to be a complete gathering of phrases but include enough terms to give you a better understanding.
C Gardening TermsC-horizon: The deepest layer of soil, composed of parental rocks and rock fragments.
caliper: The diameter of a tree trunk measured at approximately 4 1/2 feet up from the ground. Also knows as DBH (diameter breast height)
callus: Tissue that develops over a wound on a plant.
calyx: The outer part of a flower usually small and green like on a rose.
cambium layer: Actively dividing cells between the bark and inner wood on trees and shrubs. Injury to this layer can seriously damage the tree.
capsule: Dry fruit that splits open to release its seeds.
catkin: A cluster of flowers that lack petals typically seen on willow, oak, and birch trees.
catwalk: A path that runs behind a border to allow access to plants without having to step into the plantings. Not a commonly used gardening term, but the idea of the path at the back of your gardens is important.
chlorophyll: The green pigment in plants that absorb energy from light and turn it into sugars from the water and carbon dioxide taken in.
chloroplast: Green cells in leaves and other parts of a plant which contain the chlorophyll.
chlorosis: When chlorophyll doesn't produce in the plant, typically caused by a lack of iron or magnesium and sometimes from a disease.
cloche: A covering put over plants to protect them from winter frost damage.
cold frame:An unheated enclosed box that sits outside to acclimate plants grown indoors or in greenhouse to the climate outdoors (hardening off process)
collected plant:A plant gathered from the wild, not grown in a nursery.
common name: A plant name typically not the botanical or scientific name of a plant that is use by the general public. A common name can be used for different plants, depending on what area of the world you live.
complete flower: A flower having sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels.
composite flower: A flower head composed of many small flowers, like on a lilac.
compost: A mixture of soil and decomposing matter that is used for mulch, soil admendments or fertilizer.
compound leaf: A leaf made of two or more leaflets.
cone: A compact collection of reproductive structures on a short axis.
conifer: A plant that produces its seed in a cone. Not all conifers are evergreen (larch and bald cypress are conifers but are not evergreen)
contact herbicide: A weed killer that works only through direct contact with plant tissue, applying it on the ground does no good, it has to be applied onto the actively growing plant you want to kill.
container grown stock: Plant material that is grown in a container rather than directly in the ground.
cordon: An ornamental or fruit tree that is trained into a single main stem with no side branching.
corm: Bulb like portion of the stem of a plant consisting of fleshy tissues not in layers like true bulbs. see pictures of corms and true bulbs.
corolla: The petals of a flower.
cotyledon: The first leaves or leaf of a seed that emerge as it germinates, in some plants this occurs above ground in others they stay below the ground.
cross-pollination: The pollination of a flower by pollen from a completely different plant.
cultivar: Also known as cultivated variety, they are plants that are new or hybrid plants created by human manipulation of the species. A "variety" happens through natural processes a cultivar or cultivated variety is created. This is one of the important gardening terms you should learn. Varieties and native plants tend to have a higher survival rate than cultivars for beginning gardeners.
cutting-back: Trimming of damaged roots and stems before transplanting or when reducing the size of a plant by removing branches.
crown: The upper branches of a tree.
On every stem, on every leaf ... and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphid, or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener -J.C. Raulston.
A green thumb is nothing more than hard work and the desire to make things grow.
Albert E. Tuttle