Herbal Terminology: Plant Parts

Posted by Iya Ifayomi Fasola - Initiated Practitioner on 23rd Jan 2021

While we may not use this, it's a great resource to have in case you need it.

Aetheroleum: Refers to the essential or volatile oil as a distinct aromatic product obtained from the plant.

Balsamum: Refers to a solution of resin and volatile oil usually produced by special cells in some plants.

Bulbus: Refers to the bulb or an underground bud (specialized stem structure) of a plant, from which both a shoot and roots may extend.

Cortex: Refers to the bark of the plant. Bark can be collected from the root, stem, or branches.

Flos: Refers to the flowers of the plant usually consisting of a single flower or the entire inflorescences (e.g., head, umbel, panicle, spike, etc.).

Folium: Refers to the leaves of the plant. Usually the middle leaves of plants are collected.

Fructus: Refers to the fruit (the ripened ovary of the flower-bearing seeds) or berry of the plant. In pharmacognosy, fructus is not always synonymous with the botanical definition.

Herba: Refers to the aerial parts or the aboveground parts of plants which may include the flower, leaf, and the stem of the plant, and occasionally fruits too.

Lignum: Refers to the wood or the secondary thickening of the stem. This may or may not include the bark.

Oleum: Refers to the fixed oil preparation pressed or squeezed from the plant material.

Pericarpium: Refers to the peel or rind of the fruit.

Pyroleum: Refers to the tar from dry distilled plant material.

Radix: Refers to the root of a plant, though radix is sometimes synonymous with rhizome

Resina: Refers to the resin that is secreted by the plant or by distillation of the balsamum.

Rhizoma: Refers to the rhizome or a creeping horizontal stem, generally bearing roots on its underside.

Semen: Refers to the seed of a plant, usually removed from the fruit, and may or may not contain the seed coat.