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Roots of Common Terms in Plant Evolution and Diversity

Roots: Plants and Words Both Have Them

(L = Latin, G = Greek, F = French, Ge = German, U = Unknown Origin)

Angiosperm

angio = vessel, as in seed vessel, taken from angeion (G); sperm = seed (G)

Bryophyte

bryo = moss, taken from bruon (G); phyte = plant from phuton (G)

Cotyledon

kotuledon = cup-shaped cavity (G)

Cuticle

cutis = skin (L)

Deciduous

decidere = to fall down or off (L)

(Eu)dicot

di = two; cot is short for cotyledon (G)

Endosperm

endo = within (G); sperma = seed (G)

Ephedrine

ephedra, also a plant genus = horsetail (because Ephedra plants look like
horse tails)

Equisetum

equis from equus = horse (L); setum from saeta = bristle (L)

Frond

frons = leaf (L)

Gametophyte

gameto from gameîn = to marry (G); phuton = plant (G)

Germinate

germinare = to sprout (L)

Gymnosperm

gumnos = naked (G); sperma = seed (G)

Herbaceous

herbaceus = grassy (L)

Monocot

mono = one; cot = cotyledon

Ovary

ovum = egg (L)

Phloem

phloos = bark (G)

Rhizoid

rhiza = root (G)

Rhizome

rhiza = root (G)

Sphagnum

sphagnos = a type of moss (G)

Spore

spora = sowing or seed (G)

Sporophyte

spora = seed (G); phuton = plant (G)

Strobilus

strobilos (G), from strephein = to twist (G)

Thallus

thallos = green shoot (G)

Vascular

vas = vessel (L)

Xylem

xulon = wood (G)

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