planta-, plant-

(Latin: sole of the foot; to tread down with the sole or the flat bottom or the underside of the foot; and by extension, to level the ground for sowing seeds)

aquatic plant (s) (noun), aquatic plants (pl)
1. Flora that grows partly or wholly in water whether rooted in the mud, as a lotus, or floating without anchorage; such as, the water hyacinth: Helen's aunt has a hobby of growing aquatic plants in a large aquarium.
2. Certain kinds of greenery that have adapted to living in or on water environments: The aquatic plants along the side of the river appeared to be water hyacinths.
digitoplantar (s) (noun), digitoplantars (pl)
A reference to the toes and the undersurface of the feet: One night during a windstorm, Sidney got up on his bare feet to see what the noise was and he discovered, too late, that his digitoplantars were cut by the pieces of glass from the broken window on the floor which was caused by a tree that had been blown against side of his house.
electric power plant (s) (noun), electric power plants (pl)
Machinery that converts raw energy into useful applications; such as, light, power for machinery, etc.: The electric power plant is a hydrosteam, diesel, or nuclear generating electrical station for uses of all kinds of equipment or transportation services.

This "plant" reference is apparently linked to the action of pressing on a shovel, or some other tool, with the "sole of the foot" in order to work the soil for planting.

geographical botany, plant geography, phytogeography (s) noun), (no pl))
A major division of plant science which is concerned with all aspects of the spatial distribution of vegetation: Geographical botany, plant geography, and phytogeography all involve the study of the spatial distributions of plant life and of the environmental relationships which may influence these distributions.

Plant geography has emphasized the mapping of such regions and the interpretation of the terms of environmental (ecological) influences.

The areas of phytogeography and zoogeography do not necessarily exist together in the same place, because there are barriers and factors that affect their growth and arrangements which are often different for plants and for animals.

geothermal plant (s) (noun), geothermal plants (pl)
An industrial heat-producing manufacturer in which the prime mover is a steam turbine: Geothermal plants are driven either by vapor produced from hot water or by natural condensation that derives its energy from the hotness found in rock formations of the planet.

Like other related "plant" references, this entry is apparently linked to the action of pressing on a shovel, or some other apparatus, with the "sole of the foot" in order to work the soil for the development of plants.

medioplantar (s) (noun), medioplantars (pl)
Referring to the middle of the soles of the feet: Dr. Smith had to treat Sally's medioplantars because she accidentally ran bare-footed onto pieces of broken glass that was in her backyard while she was playing with her dog.
plant (s) (noun), plants (pl)
1. Living organisms; such as, shrubs, trees, herbs, grass, ferns, and mosses: Plants normally grow and remain in the same places where they absorb water and inorganic substances through their roots and synthesize nutrients in their leaves by photosynthesis (light as an energy source) by using the green pigment chlorophyll.
Moss growing on stones.

Plants are also different from animals by generally responding to external stimuli very slowly and the responses often take a matter of days and only occur when the stimuli are continued for long periods of time.

Plants are necessary for the continuation of life on Earth and they are an essential part of the food chain, supplying energy and oxygen for the higher, more complex forms of life.

Not all of the plants produce their nutrition by photosynthesis because some are parasites on other plants, and a few of them are carnivorous in that they specialize in capturing and digesting insects.

2. Vegetation that covers the earth and determines the appearances of the landscapes: There are divisions that are caused by the tendency of certain communities of plants to be unified in groups.

Of all of the factors that affect land plants, the most important is water, the abundance and availability of which is again influenced by the structure of the soil.

Plants store food in the form of starch; and their cell walls are made mostly of cellulose.

Plants in nature.

Although plants can't run away, some of them can defend themselves by secreting bitter substances which give off an unpleasant taste to their leaves and fruit; others defend themselves with acids and poisons, with nauseating milky fluids, that have stinging hairs, prickles, thorns, and crystal needles.

Plants in nature.
Plants in nature with blue blossoms.

Scientists have estimated that there are 400,000 species of plants, with Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru having more plant species than any other country in the world.

3. A place where industrial or manufacturing processes take place: Machinery is used in plants that make cars and other vehicles.

The meaning of this English noun plant is not known; however, it apparently developed after the classical Latin period and is linked with the action of pressing on a shovel, or some other tool, with the "sole of the foot" in order to work the soil for planting.

The Latin , "sole of the foot", is essentially from the Indo-European base meaning "to spread" which is also the ancestor of English flat and place.

—Compiled from information located in
Encarta World English Dictionary; St. Martin's Press;
New York; 1999; page 1379.
4. Something that is put in a place to trick or to confuse people in order to incriminate or to compromise them: Karl and Mona insisted that the bag of illegal drugs which was found under their seats on the bus was a plant.
5. A person who has been placed in a group as a spy or an informer by another organization: Helena's cousin became a plant in an opposing political organization and, as such, she was able to record a video of a statement made by the candidate which was used against him in a political debate.
6. Etymology: from Old English plante, "young tree or shrub, herb newly planted"; from Latin planta, "sprout, shoot, cutting"; perhaps originally from plantare, "to drive in with the feet, to push into the ground with the feet"; from planta, "sole of the foot".
plant (verb), plants; planted; planting
1. To put seeds, bulbs, etc. in the earth so they can develop into fully developed herbage: Every spring, the family plants the small hard elements produced by the plant itself which can then grow into a new plant for edible food.
2. To place seeds or undeveloped foliage in the soil to produce crops: Farmers around the world are planting various kinds of food products so the rest of the world can be nourished and live better.
3. To establish an idea, etc. in a person's mind: The politician was planting seeds of doubt about his political opposition during a speech that was being broadcast on the radio.
4. To hide an explosive that is set to go off later: Fortunately, the police were able to arrest the terrorist before he could set off the bomb that he had planted in a car that was parked in the city.
5. To secretly place or conceal something among people's possessions in order to suggest that they are guilty of a crime: Greg planted some stolen goods in Shanna's unlocked car while she was returning a grocery cart so he could get some money as a bribe from her to keep him from telling the police.
6. To send someone to join a group or an organization to act as a spy or an informer: Mary found out that James, one of her coworkers, was an agent who had been planted in her administrator's office staff by a rival company.
plant cellulose (s) (noun), plant celluloses (pl)
A complex carbohydrate that forms the tough carbon latticework of cell walls in most vegetation and is important in the manufacture of numerous products; such as, paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and even explosives: Plant cellulose is indigestible to animals and serves as the plants' armor against predatory pests.

Research in biofuels is striving to refine plant cellulose in the form of corn husks instead of corn kernels, bagasse (dry dusty pulp that remains after juice is extracted from sugar cane) instead of cane sugar, and agricultural and industrial wastes of all kinds; such as, wood chips, the remains of paper mills, and fallen tree leaves.

Many creatures, including termites and cattle, use gut microbes to break down plant cellulose in their digestive systems where microbes do it by secreting enzymes called cellulases.

plant fiber (s) (noun), plant fibers (pl)
Any part of textiles that is produced by or derived from flora: Examples of plant fibers include cotton, flax, and hemp.
plant louse (s) (noun), plant lice (pl)
Any of various small, soft-bodied insects of the family Aphididae which have mouth parts especially adapted for piercing and feeding by pulling the sap from vegetation: Aphids are plant lice which suck the sap from the stems and leaves of various plants and they develop wings and migrate to other places; especially, when there are too many of them in the area.

As small as they are, plant lice are big pests of many fruit trees and vegetable crops.

plant pathology (s) (noun), plant pathologies (pl)
A particular area in botanical science that is concerned with the diseases of verdure: Plant pathology involves research about microbes and the environmental factors that can cause diseases in plants, the factors and processes involved in the development of diseases, and the methods of preventing and controlling plant diseases.

"The challenge to plant pathology is just beginning to take on a worldwide significance as the race intensifies to produce more, and more wholesome, food while still safeguarding our environment."

—"Plant Pathology" by George N. Agrios; Professor and Chairman,
Department of Plant Pathology; The University of Florida;
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology;
Academic Press; San Diego; 1992; page 1665.
plant physiology (s) (noun), plant physiologies (pl)
That branch of botanical sciences that strives to understand how the vegetable life lives and functions: The primary objective of plant physiology is to explain the life processes of plants with a limited number of comprehensive principles that exist in chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

In agreement with the major characteristics of organisms plant physiology is usually divided into:

  • The nutrition and metabolism of plants that deals with the uptake, transformations, and release of materials, and also their movements within and between the cells and organs of the plant.
  • The environment of plants which strives to understand the various responses of plants to the environment.
  • The part of the environment that deals with the effects of and adaptations to adverse conditions is called stress physiology.
—Compiled and based on information as seen in
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience;
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; 2002.
planta pedis (s) (noun), plantae pedis (pl)
The bottom of the foot, most of which is in contact with the ground when standing: Plantae pedis are covered with hairless, usually non pigmented skin that is especially thickened and which has skin ridges over the weight-bearing areas.
plantalgia (s) (noun), plantalgias (pl)
A painful condition of the undersurface of the feet: Wearing shoes to the party that were much too tight caused plantalgias for Jill and Susan.

Related "foot, feet" units: melo-; ped-; podo-; -pus.