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Glossary

annual - a plant which lives for one year.
backfire - a fire burning into the wind.
biennial - a plant that lives for two years.
biome - a community of living organisms of a single major ecological region.
debearding - the process of removing awns or "beards" from grass seeds.
dormancy - a period of inactivity in plants or plant seeds usually associated with winter.
epoch - a period of time characterized by certain notable events.
fauna - the animals of a particular site or region.
flammable - easily burned or ignited.
flora - the plants of a certain site or region.
forb - broad-leaved plant.
fungicide - a chemical or pesticide used to control fungi.
genetic - referring to heredity or variation within plants and animals.
germination - to sprout or begin to grow.
glaciation - the moving, grinding action of glaciers.
headfire - a fire burning with the wind.
herbicide carry-over - the persistence of herbicides in soil, perhaps resulting in damage the following year.
hybridize - to "mix" two different plant or animal species, producing genetically different offspring.
inoculant - in this instance, nitrogen fixing bacteria.
inoculation - the process of placing nitrogen fixing bacteria on legume seeds.
Kankakee Torrent - a tremendous flood resulting from the melting of glaciers near the present site of Kankakee about 12,000 years ago.
legume - a member of the bean family.
moraine - a mass of earth, sand, and rocks left by a glacier.
mulch - peat, leaves, straw, or other material used to prevent frost heaving or the freezing of plants.
nitrogen fixation - the process of producing nitrogen in the roots of legumes by certain bacteria.
nonselective herbicide - a pesticide that controls both grasses and broadleaf plants.
nonpersistent herbicide - an herbicide that has a very short or relatively short soil life.
perennial - a woody or herbaceous plant which lives for more than two years.
persistent herbicide - an herbicide that remains in the soil for a long time, i.e., up to a year or more.
phenology - the study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering in plants.
pinnate - a term used to describe the feather-like arrangement of leaflets or veins.
propagation - in plants, the production of more plants through seeds or vegetative division.
savanna - a grassland characterized by scattered trees without canopy closure.
scarification - the process of scratching or weakening seeds having thick coats.
seasonal aspect - phenology, or the study of seasonal phenomena in plants such as flowering.
selective herbicide - a chemical or pesticide that controls either grasses or broadleaf plants.
stratification - the process of subjecting seeds to cold temperatures.
viability - in plants, the ability of seeds to germinate.
Xerothermic period - a period of unusually hot and dry weather which occurred after the last glaciation about 9,000 years ago.


Revis Prairie| Sand Prairie| Matanzas Prairie| About Other Prairies in Illinois| Part I: Prairie Establishment| Part II: Prairie Plants In Landscape Design| Literature Cited| Back to Table of Contents