Introduction New terms Part 1 (A-C) Part 2 (D-H) Part 3 (I-O) Part 4 (P-R) Part 5 (S-Z) Literature

The Glossary

Part 1 (A-C)


In all drawings, the distal pole is on top, the proximal pole at the bottom, unless otherwise specified.
e = equatorial view, p = polar view; H = high level, L = low level.
The terms printed in bold are preferred.
The colors are according the scheme described in the introduction.
Click on a drawing for a full sized picture.

A-, an-  
     A prefix indicating the absence of a feature, as for example in alete.

* A-type tetrad (Moar, 1993)  
     A tetrad in which the aborted cells (1-3 in number) are clearly associated with the fertile grain(s). Example: Cyathodes juniperina (Epacridaceae).
See also: S-type tetrad, T-type tetrad.

Abporal lacuna (pl. abporal lacunae) (Wodehouse, 1928)
     A lacuna in a lophate pollen grain situated at the end of an ectoaperture that is divided by sexinous ridges into two or more lacunae. Example: Sonchus oleraceus (Compositae).
See also: lacuna, lophate.

Acalymmate (adj.) (Van Campo and Guinet, 1961)
     Describing tetrads or polyads in which the sexine/ectexine of each monad is well differentiated, but does not form a single continuous envelope around the unit. Example: Drosera (Droseraceae).
Antonym: calymmate.

* Acanthomamilla (Balme, 1988)  
     A biform sculptural element consisting of a hemispheroidal base, surmounted by a sharply contracted spine. Examples: Acinosporites, Diblolisporites.

Acetolysis (Erdtman, 1960a)  
     A widely used technique for preparing pollen and spore exines for study.

* Acolpate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)  
     Without colpi.

Acrolamella (pl. acrolamellae, adj. acrolamellate) (Li and Batten, 1986)
     A leaf-like tapering segment on the proximal pole of a megaspore. Example: Arcellites.
Comment: An acrolamella is a special form of gula, represented by leaf-like segments.
See also: gula, trifolium.

Actuopalynology (Hulshof and Manten, 1971)  
     The study of pollen grains and spores of extant plants.
Antonym: palaeopalynology.
See also: pollen analysis.

Adequate (adj.) (Reitsma, 1970)
     Synonym of spheroidal.

Aeropalynology (Erdtman, 1969)  
     The study of palynomorphs found in the atmosphere.

     A suffix for of, relating to, or characterized by. Example: tectal.

Alete (adj.) (Erdtman, 1943)  
     Describing a spore without a laesura.
See also: -lete, laesura.

Alveolate (adj.) (Van Campo, 1971)
     Describing a type of sexine/ectexine structure, in which the infratectal layer is characterised by partitions forming compartments of irregular size and shape. Example: Pinus (Pinaceae).
See also: columella, granular exine.

Amb (Erdtman, 1952)
     The outline of a pollen grain or spore seen in polar view.
Comment: The term does not necessarily coincide with the equatorial outline. The term is especially useful for the outline of spores seen in polar view, because of their heteropolar shape.

Ana- (Erdtman and Vishnu-Mittre, 1956)
     A prefix indicating the position of features, such as apertures, on the distal face. Examples: Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae), Sparganium (Typhaceae).
Antonym: cata-.
See also: zona-.

Anazonasulculate (adj.) (Walker and Doyle, 1975)
     Describing a pollen grain with a ring-like sulculus situated between the equator and the distal pole.
Antonym: catazonasulculate.

* Ancyrate (adj.) (Balme, 1988)  
     Bearing sub-cylindrical or tapering processes which divide at their distal extrimities into anchor-shaped or multifurcate tips.

Angulaperturate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)
     Describing an equatorially aperturate pollen grain with the apertures situated at the angles of the outline in polar view. Example: Corylus (Betulaceae).
Antonym: planaperturate.
Comment: The term is useful for describing the position of apertures, but should be avoided as a description of equatorial outline.
See also: sinu-aperturate, fossaperturate.

Angustimurate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)  
     With narrow muri.
Comment: Erdtman restricted the term to muri up to 1/5th of the diameter of the lumina.

Anisopolar (adj.) Erdtman, 1947)
     Synonym of heteropolar.

Anisodiametric tetrad
     General term for tetrads which members are differing in size. Example: seed-megaspore tetrads.
Antonym: isodiametric tetrad.

Annulus (pl. annuli, adj. annulate)
     An area of the exine surrounding a pore that is sharply differentiated from the remainder of the exine, either in ornamentation or thickness ((Jackson, 1928).
Comment: Although the correct Latin spelling is anulus, the form used throughout the botanical literature is annulus.
See also: aspis, costa, margo.

Anulus ((Beug, 1961)  
     Orthographical variant of annulus.

Anteturma (pl. anteturmae) ((Potonié, 1956)  
     An artificial grouping of fossil spores and pollen in the turma-system of Potonié.
Comment: Turmae are grouped under two large headings the anteturmae Sporites and Pollenites.
See also: infraturma, subturma, turma

Aperture (adj. aperturate) ((Erdtman, 1947)  
     A specialized region of the (sporoderm, that is thinner than the remainder of the sporoderm and generally differs in ornamentation and/or in structure.
Comment: Apertures are described as simple if they are present in only one wall layer, or compound if they affect more than one layer of the wall. In compound apertures the shape of apertures may differ between layers. Ectoapertures occur in the sexine/ectexine, endoapertures in the nexine/endexine, and mesoapertures are sometimes found in an intermediate position between an ecto- and endoaperture. Various types of apertures are recognised on the basis of their shape (see, colpus, laesura, porus, sulcus, ulcus), position (see, ana-, cata-, zona-, zono-) or fusion (see, syn-). In living pollen grains or spores the apertures usually function as sites of germination, they may also provide routes for transfer of water and other substances, and play a part in harmomegathy. The term is often used in conjunction with a prefix or suffix, as for example in, ectoaperture, endoaperture, inaperturate, omniaperturate, pseudoaperture, triaperturate.

Aperture membrane (Erdtman, 1952)
     The exine which forms the floor of an ectoaperture.
Comment: Depending on the type of ectoaperture these may be colpus membranes or pore membranes, usually representing the nexine. The membrane may be partially or completely covered by an operculum.

Apex (pl.apices)
     A general term for the tip of an organ (Jackson, 1928).
Comment: In fossil spores applied to the tip or corner of a trilete spore.

Apicalfeld (Beug, 1961)
     Synonym of apocolpial field.

Apiculate (adj.) (Fægri and Iversen, 1950)
     Describing the shape of a pollen grain that has slightly protruding polar caps. Example: Adonis aestivalis (Ranunculaceae).

* Apiculate elements (Smith and Butterworth, 1967)  
     Projections from the general surface. Examples: bacula, pila, verrucae, spines.

Apocolpial field (Punt et al. 1974)
     A region at the pole of a parasyncolpate pollen grain, delimited by the margins of the anastomosing colpi.
See also: apocolpium.

Apocolpium (pl. apocolpia ) (Erdtman, 1952)
     A region at the pole of a zonocolpate pollen grain delimited by lines connecting the apices of the colpi.
Synonym of polar area.
Comment: In the original definition the apocolpium was delimited by the polar limits of the mesocolpia, the more precise definition now used is derived from Iversen and Troels-Smith (1950, polar area).
See also: apoporium, mesocolpium.

Apocolpium index (Punt, 1976)
     The ratio of the distance between the apices of two ectocolpi (d) of a zonocolpate pollen grain to its equatorial diameter (D).
Synonym of polar area index.

Apolar (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)
     Describing pollen and spores without distinct polarity. Example: Plantago (Plantaginaceae).

Apoporium (pl. apoporia) (Erdtman, 1952)
     An area at the pole of a zonoporate pollen grain that is delimited by a line connecting the borders of the pores.
Comment: The term contrasts with apocolpium and is most meaningful in pollen grains with large pores.
See also: apocolpium, mesoporium.

Arcus (pl. arcus, adj. arcuate) (Erdtman, 1947)
     A locally thickened band of sexine that extends in a sweeping curve from one aperture to another. Example: Alnus (Betulaceae).

Areola (pl. areolae, adj. areolate) (Erdtman, 1947)
     A feature of ornamentation in which the sexine/ectexine is composed of circular or polygonal areas separated by grooves which form a negative reticulum. Examples: Apama (Aristolochiaceae), Phyllanthus spp. (Euphorbiaceae).

Aspidote (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)
     An orthographical variant of aspidate.
See also: aspis.

Aspis (pl. aspides, adj. aspidate) (Wodehouse, 1935)
     A prominently protruding thickening of the exine around a pore. Examples: Betula (Betulaceae), Dorstenia (Moraceae).
Comment: An aspis is a special form of annulus, represented by a thickening rather than a thinning.
See also: atrium.

Aspis channel (Engel, 1980)
     Synonym of pore canal.

     A suffix for possession of. Example: porate.

Atectate (adj.) (Walker and Doyle, 1975)
     Describing pollen grains that have an exine with little or no internal structure. Example: Degeneria (Degeneriaceae).
Comment: The term was originally intended to describe walls of primitive angiosperms lacking columellae. Related terms include intectate, which is used for pollen grains with columellae but without a tectum, and etectate which is applied to pollen grains believed to have lost their tectum during phylogeny.
See also: etectate, intectate, tectum.

Atrium (Thomson and Pflug, 1953)
     A space within the aperture of a compound pore that has a much larger endopore than the ectopore, so that the pore canal widens towards the interior of the grain. Example: Myrica (Myricaceae).
See also: vestibulum.

Atrium (Punt, 1962)
     Synonym of fastigium.

Auricula (pl. auriculae, adj. auriculate) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     Synonym of valva.
Comment: The term is mostly used for spores with extreme valva.

Baculum (pl. bacula, adj. baculate) (Potonié, 1934)
     A cylindrical, free standing exine element more than 1µm in length and less than this in diameter. Example: Raistrickia saetosa.
See also: columella, pilum.

Bilateral (adj.)
     Describing pollen and spores having a single, principal plane of symmetry.
Comment: According to Walker and Doyle (1975) bilaterally symmetrical objects could more correctly described as anisobisymmetric, but because of the familiarity of the term bilateral it was used by them.

* Bireticulate (adj.) (bor, 1979)
     A two layered reticulum consisting of a suprareticulum supported by a microreticulate tectum. Examples: Entelea arborescens (Tiliaceae), Phyllanthus oppositifolius Euphorbiaceae, Salvia azurea (Lamiaceae).

Bisaccate (adj.) (Potonié and Kremp, 1954)
     Describing pollen with two sacci. Example: Pinus (Pinaceae).
See also: saccus, protosaccus, pseudosaccus.

     A prefix for short.
Synonym of brevi-.

     A prefix for short. Example: brevicolpate.

Breviaxe (adj. breviaxal) (Van Campo, 1966)
     Pollen grains with a polar axis that is shorter than their equatorial diameter.
Synonym of oblate (s.l.).
Antonym: longiaxe.
Comment: Thomson and Pflug (1953) recognised Brevaxones a group of mid-Cretaceous and later angiosperm pollen grains that was contrasted with Longaxones.
See also: successiform.

Breviaxy (Van Campo, 1966)  
     A phyletic series of pollen forms ranging from subspheroidal tricolpate, to tricolporate, to oblate tricolporate.
See also: successiform.

     A prefix for very short.

Bridge (Fægri and Iversen, 1950)
     A feature in which the margins of the colpi are raised in the equatorial region and connected with each other, forming a bridge over the ectocolpus and dividing it into two parts. Example: Hemandradenia (Connaraceae).
See also: demicolpus.

Brochus (pl. brochi, adj. brochate) (Erdtman, 1952)
     A brochus consists of one lumen of a reticulum and half of the width of the adjacent muri.
See also: heterobrochate, homobrochate, lumen.

Callose wall (Mangin, 1889)  
     Part of the special wall.

Calymmate (adj.) (Van Campo and Guinet, 1961)
     Describing tetrads or polyads in which the sexine/ectexine of each monad is well differentiated and forms a continuous envelope around the unit. Example: Acacia (Mimosaceae).
Antonym: acalymmate.

Camera (pl. camerae, adj. camerate) (Neves and Owens, 1966)
     A cavity formed by the separation of two wall layers in spores that lacks an infrastructure.
See also: cavus, pseudosaccus, saccus.

Canaliculate (adj.) (Potonié, 1934)
     Synonym of fossulate.

Capillus (pl. capilli, adj. capillate) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     Synonym of fimbria.

Cappa (pl. cappae) (Erdtman, 1957)
     The thick-walled proximal side of the corpus of a saccate pollen grain.

Cappula (pl. cappulae) (Erdtman, 1957)
     The thin-walled distal side of the corpus of a saccate pollen grain.
Synonym of leptoma.

Capsula (pl. capsulae, adj. capsulate) (Pocock, 1961a)
     An outer structure of a spore projecting at the equator and completely enclosing the spore body.
See also: cingulum, patina.

Caput (pl. capita, adj. capitate) (Erdtman, 1952)
     The expanded apex (head) of a columella.
See also: columella, pilum.

Cata- (Erdtman and Vishnu-Mittre, 1956)
     A prefix indicating the location of features, such as apertures, on the proximal face.
Antonym: ana-.
See also: zona-.

Catazonasulculate (adj.) (Walker and Doyle, 1975)
     Describing a pollen grain with a ring-like sulculus situated between the equator and the proximal pole.
Antonym: anazonasulculate.

Cavate (adj.)
     In spore terminology, a synonym for camerate.
See also: camera.

Cavea (pl. caveae, adj. caveate) (Skvarla and Larson, 1965)
     A cavity between two layers of the exine extending to the colpus margin where the layers meet. Example: Ambrosia (Compositae).

Caverna (pl. cavernae) (Thomson and Pflug, 1953)
     Synonym of fastigium.
Comment: Originally a distinction was made between a separation of two layers of the ectexine, which was called a praecaverna, and a separation within the endexine, a postcaverna. The term is not used to describe recent pollen grains.

Cavium (Thomson and Pflug, 1953)  
     A subpolar chamber formed at the end of three anastomosing cavernae.

Cavum (pl. cava, adj. cavate) (Fægri and Iversen, 1989)
     Synonym of cavea.

Cavus (sensu Skvarla and Turner, 1966)
     Synonym of cavea.

Centrosymmetrical (adj.) (Straka, 1964)
     Synonym of radially symmetric.

Cicatricose (adj.) (Potonié, 1934)
     Describing spores marked with scars. Example: Cicatricosisporites.

Cingulum (pl. cingula, adj. cingulate) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     A thick outer structure of a spore that projects at the equator, but does not extend over the distal or proximal face. Example: Densosporites anulatus.
See also: capsula, patina.

Circumaperturate (adj.) (Straka, 1964)
     Describing a pollen grain with equatorial apertures that are regularly arranged around a circular outline.

Circumpolar lacuna (pl. circumpolar lacunae) (Wodehouse, 1928)
     A lacuna in lophate pollen grain immediately adjacent to a polar lacuna that is not part of the apertural system.
See also: lacuna, lophate.

Clava (pl. clavae, adj. clavate) (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)
     A club-shaped element of the sexine/ectexine that is higher than 1µm, with diameter smaller than height and thicker at the apex than the base.
See also: baculum, columella, gemma, pilum.

Coaperturate (adj.) (Beug, 1961)
     Describing permanent tetrads in which the apertures of neighbouring monads join. Examples: Erica (Ericaceae), Periploca (Periplocaceae).
See also: syncolp(or)ate, Fischer's law/rule.

Colpodiporate (adj.) (Selling, 1947)
     Synonym of diploporate.

* Colpororate (adj.) (Moar, 1993)
     A compound aperture characterised by an ectoaperture, a shorter lolongate mesoaperture and a lalongate endoaperture. Example: Sonchus (Compositae).
Comment: This term descibes a compound aperture with a mesoaperture.
See Also: mesoaperture.

Colpoid (Erdtman, 1952)  
     Apertures more or less similar to colpi but less clearly defined in outline.

Colporoidate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)  
     Describing pollen grains with colpi and indistinct ora.

Colporus (pl. colpori, adj. colporate) (Erdtman, 1945a)
     A compound aperture consisting of an ectocolpus with one or more endoapertures.
Comment: The term is most commonly used in its adjectival form, colporate.

Colpus (pl. colpi, adj. colpate) (Erdtman, 1943)
     An elongated, aperture with a length/breadth ratio greater than 2.
Comment: Some authors restrict the term to an meridional aperture (and contrast this with a distal or proximal sulcus), but since shape is the defining criterion the term is equally applicable to other locations (for example, pantocolpate pollen). The precise meaning is often indicated by the use of a prefix, as for example in, ectocolpus, endocolpus, syncolpate.

Colpus equatorialis (pl. colpi equatoriales) (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)
     Synonym of endocingulum.

Colpus membrane (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)
     The aperture membrane of a colpus.

Colpus transversalis (pl. colpi transversales) (Wodehouse, 1935; Fægri and Iversen, 1950)
     Synonym of endocolpus.
See also: endoaperture.

Columella (pl. columellae, adj. columellate) (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)
     A rod-like element of the sexine/ectexine, either supporting a tectum or a caput.
Comment: The difference between a baculum and a columella in current usage is, that a baculum is always a free standing element of sculpturing, whereas a columella is part of the structure.
See also: baculum, pilum.

Columellae layer (Reitsma, 1970)  
     Synonym of infratectum.
See also: interstitium.

Commissure (Harris, 1955)
     The slit or line of dehiscence in the laesura.
See also: laesura.

Composite aperture (Erdtman, 1952)
     Synonym of compound aperture.

Compound aperture (Erdtman, 1969)
     An aperture with two or more components that are situated in more than one wall layer.

Concordant pattern (Fægri and Iversen, 1989)
     A pattern in a tectate pollen grain in which the arrangement of the columellae is the same as that of the elements upon the tectum. Example: Lilium (Liliaceae).
Antonym: discordant pattern.

* Conjunctate (adj.) (Skvarla and Larson, 1965)
     With bacula or columellae wich are branched proximally into two or more parts.

Contact area (Potonié, 1934)
     Area on the proximal face of a spore interpreted as having been formed in contact with the other members of the tetrad. Example: Retusotriletes pythovii.

Conus (pl. coni) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     Cone-shaped elements on the surface of spores in which the height is less than two times the basal diameter and the apex is pointed, blunt or rounded. Example: Lophotriletes mosaicus.
Comment: The term is only used in spore terminology and is more or less synonymous with spine.

Copropalynology (Erdtman, 1969)  
     The study of palynomorphs in coprolites or excrement.

Corona (pl. coronae, adj. coronate) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     An equatorial or subequatorial extension of a spore, resembling a cingulum, but divided into fringe-like elements (fimbria). Example: Reinschospora speciosa.

Corpus (pl. corpi) (Erdtman, 1957)
     The body of a saccate pollen grain or camerate spore.

Corrugate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1947)
     Synonym of rugulate.

Costa (pl. costae, adj. costate) (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)
     A thickening of the nexine/endexine bordering an endoaperture, or following the outline of an ectoaperture.
Comment: The following forms are used: costa ectocolpi, costa ectopori, costa endocinguli, costa endocolpi, costa endopori.

Costa equatorialis (pl. costae equatoriales) (Iversen and Troels-Smith, 1950)  
     Synonym of costa endocinguli.

     A prefix for thick.

Crassitude (Grebe, 1971)  
     Synonym of a thickening.

Crescentic (adj.) (Fægri and Iversen, 1989)
     Describing a pollen grain in (polar view with a very thick exine in the medium of the intercolpium, gradually thinning towards the colpi. Example: Valerianella (Valerianaceae>.

Crista (pl. cristae, adj. cristate) (Potonié and Kremp, 1955)
     A crest-like ornamentation element, taller than it is wide, characterized by a narrowly curved base and a sharp upper edge. Example: Cristatisporites

Cross tetrad (Erdtman, 1945b)
     Synonym of decussate tetrad.

Croton pattern (Erdtman, 1952)
     A characteristic type of ornamentation comprising rings of five or six (sometimes more) raised, often triangular, sexine elements arranged around a circular area, usually formed by capitate columellae (pila). Example: Croton, Jatropha (Euphorbiaceae), Callitriche antartica (Callitrichaceae), Pimelea arenaria (Thymelaceae).

Crustate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)  
     Describing an aperture membrane that is thickly covered with coarse granules.

Cryptoaperture (adj. cryptoaperturate) (Thanikaimoni, 1980)
     An endoaperture which is not apparent in surface view, because there is no ectoaperture.
Comment: Examples of such apertures have been described in Phaleria (Thymelaeaceae) (Erdtman, 1952), Tetracera (Dilleniaceae) (Kubitzki and Baretta-Kuipers, 1969) and Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) (Meewis and Punt, 1980).

* Cryptopolar (Gupta and Udar, 1986)
     Describing a spore in which the distal and proximal faces have dissimmilar sculpturing and lacks tetrad mark. Example: Calobryum dentatum, Haplomitrium hookeri.

Cryptospore (Richardson et al., 1984; Strother, 1991)
     Non-marine alete sporomorph with well differentiated contact areas but without (haptotypic) features such as laesurae.

Cuneus (pl. cunei) (Batten and Christopher, 1981)
     A structure formed by the termination of the inner wall layer at the endogerminal which gives rise to a shallow V-shaped atrium that points towards the centre of the grain. Example: Pseudotrudopollis.
Comment: This term is used in descriptions of the fossil Normapolles group.
See also: incidence.

Cuniculus (pl. cuniculi) (Sullivan, 1964)
     A space between the margin of the spore body and the inner face of the equatorially expanded spore wall, located at the equator.
See also: camera.

* Cupulate (Gupta and Udar, 1986)
     Synonym of foveolate.

Curvatura (pl. curvaturae) (Potonié, 1934)
     A line in trilete spores, extending from the extremities of the ends of the radii of the laesura and thus delimiting the contact areas. Examples: Laevigatisporites glabratus, Divisisporites divisus.
Comment: Curvaturae perfectae are continuous around the proximal face whereas curvaturae imperfectae are present as forked extensions that do not join.

Curvimurate (adj.) (Erdtman, 1952)  
     Describing pollen grains with curved muri.


Updated 16 April 1999
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Introduction New terms Part 1 (A-C) Part 2 (D-H) Part 3 (I-O) Part 4 (P-R) Part 5 (S-Z) Literature

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