Shoots are new plant growth, they can include stems, flowering stems with flower buds, and leaves. The new growth from seed germination that grows upward is a shoot where leaves will develop. In the spring, perennial plant shoots are the new growth that grows from the ground in herbaceous plants or the new stem and/or flower growth that grows on woody plants.
In everyday speech, shoots are often confused with stems. Stems, which are a critical component of shoots, provide an axis for buds, fruits, and leaves.
Shoots are often eaten by animals because the fibres in the new growth have not yet completed secondary cell wall development; this makes shoots softer and easier to chew and digest. As shoots grow and age, the cells develop completed cell walls that have a hard and tough structure. Some plants (e.g. bracken) produce toxins that make their shoots inedible or less palatable.
Germination is the process by which plants, fungi and bacteria emerge from seeds and spores, and begin growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the growth of hyphae from fungal spores, is also germination. In a more general sense, germination can imply anything expanding into greater being from a small existence or germ, a method that is commonly used by many seed germination projects.
Many of the terms used in Wikipedia glossaries (often most) are already defined and explained within Wikipedia itself. However, lists like the following indicate where new articles need to be written and are also useful for looking up and comparing large numbers of terms together. Terms relating to Plant morphology are included here as well as at Glossary of plant morphology.