capability to roll up into a ball about the size of a pea. Other common names are sow bugs, roly-polies, or potato bugs. They feed mostly on decaying vegetation; however, they will feed on young tender plants, especially those just germinating or on fruits that are usually overripe or damaged. They are encouraged to proliferate by mulching and composting.

pilose In botanical terms, long, straight, hairy; or shaggy with soft, spreading, slender hairs.

pilot hole A punched or drilled shallow hole for guiding a nail, spike, or screw; or a guide for a larger drill bit to follow.

pin Flowers with relatively long styles and short stamens. (Compare with thrum.)

pinch back or pinch off or pinching back

To use the thumb and forefinger to nip (pinch) off tips of new growth forcing side growth, delaying blooming, or making the plant produce a dense, more compact form. This is most useful with houseplants, flowers, herbaceous plants, and shrubs.

pine straw A surface mulch often sold in bales consisting of pine needles and no straw. It makes weed-free mulch that assists in preventing weeds and gives a finished appearance to planted areas.

pine tar A black substance made by distilling the wood from pines that is used to assist in waterproofing roofs.

pinna In botanical terms, a primary division or leaflet of a pinnate leaf or frond.

pinnae The leaflets of a pinnate leaf.

pinnate or pinnately compound In botanical terms, a compound leaf with the leaflets on two opposite sides of an elongated axis. They are arranged like a feather with rows on each side of a stalk, spreading outward. A pinnate leaf can have veins or leaflets arranged in this manner. (Compare with simple, bipinnate, trifoliate, palmate.)


pinnatesect A leaf divided into opposite pairs of lobes that are cut nearly to the leaf midrib.

pinnate-trifoliate A description of a leaf that has three leaflets arranged so that one is at the apex (end) and two split to either side opposite one another.

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