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Roots of Common Terms in Plant Biology

Roots: words and plants both have them.

(L – Latin, G – Greek)

Angiosperm

angio = case or capsule (G); sperm = seed (G) 

Antheridium

(plural antheridia): anthe = pollen or bloom (L); idium = small (G) 

Apical

apex = top (L)

Collenchyma

from kolla = glue (G); enkhuma = infusion (G)

Cyte or cyto

cell (G) "Cyto" is found at the beginning of a word, "cyte" ends a word.

Dormancy

dormire = to sleep (L) 

 Diploid

di =two (G); ploid = number of sets of chromosomes (G). 

Gametophyte

Gameto = gamete-producing, from gamete (G); phyte = plant (G). Gametes are sperm or eggs. "phyt-" can be used at the beginning of a word ("phyto…") or at the end ("sporophyte", "epiphyte") 

Gymnosperm

gymno = naked (G); sperm = seed (G) 

Lateral

side (L) 

Microstrobilus

micro= small or tiny (G); strobilos from strephein = to twist (G) 

Megaspore

mega = big (G); spore = seed (G)

Meristem

from meristos = divisible (G)

Mesophyll

meso = middle (G); phyll = leaf (G) 

Parenchyma

from parenkhuma = "something poured in beside" (G); para = beside (G); enkhuma = infusion (G) 

Phloem

phloos = bark (G); in trees, phloem is located just inside the bark and old layers of phloem cells make up bark 

Photosynthesis

photo = light (G); synthesis = putting together (G) 

Phyllotaxy

phyllo = leaf (G); taxis = arrangement (G) 

Sclerenchyma

sclero from skleros = hard (G); chyma = infusion (G) 

Sporophyll

sporo = spore-producing (G); phyll = leaf (G) In the sections that follow, you’ll encounter at least three spore-producing things: You’ll see sporophytes (plants that produce spores), sporophylls (leaves that bear spores) and sporocytes (cells that produce spores) 

Tracheophyte = tracheo

artery (G); phyte = plant (G)