Sap: The equivalent of blood in a plant that can be found in the stems, branches and leaves.
Self Pollination: The transfer of pollen within the same flower to fertilise it.
Self Seed: Plants releasing seeds spontaneously which grow into new plants.
Semi-Ripe Cutting: A cutting from wood that is half ripened.
Sepals: These form the calyx and are the green petal like covering of the flower bud before it opens.
Set: The small onions or potatoes used for planting to produce a crop.
Sheet Mulch: Using plastic sheeting or similar to cover ground to retain moisture and suppress weeds – see mulch.
Shrub: A woody plant that doesn’t have a single trunk and whose branches originate from or near the base.
Softwood Cutting: A cutting from immature wood.
Spathe: A modified leaf or bract enclosing a flower spike.
Species: Part of the plant classification system. This is used to describe closely related plants. See also genus and family.
Spit: The depth of one spade’s blade.
Spore: The reproductive equivalent of a seed produced by ferns, fungi and mosses.
Sport: See mutation.
Stamen: The male reproductive organ of a flower where the anther may be found.
Standard: A plant, eg fuchsia, that is trained to grow a single stem for one or more feet in height before being allowed tor branch out and form leaves and flowers.
Stem Cutting: A cutting taken from any part of the stem.
Stem Tip Cutting: A cutting taken from the growing tip of a shoot.
Stigma: On the female organ, this is where the pollen is received.
Stolon: Sometimes confused with a runner, this horizontally growing stem roots at its tip, not its nodes.
Subsoil: The usually less fertile soil below the topsoil.
Succulent: Plants like cacti with fleshy leaves and stems adapted to retain water.
Sucker: A shoot coming from the roots to produce a new plant, eg lilac. On a grafted plant, it refers to a shoot coming from below the graft and so will produce a plant from the original rootstock.
Systemic: A chemical pesticide, herbicide or fungicide which works by being absorbed into all parts of the plant, pest or fungi.