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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Caruncle, “a wart or protuberance round or near the hilum of a seed” (Lindley); a little piece of flesh; a small, fleshy growth; a naked fleshy outgrowth; an outgrowth of a seed developed by proliferation of integumentary tissue adjacent to the micropyle (WIII); “an excrescence or appendage at or about the hilum of a seed” (Fernald 1950): caruncula,-ae (s.f.I), abl. sg. caruncula, nom.pl. carunculae, acc.pl. carunculas, dat. & abl.pl. carunculis [dim. of L. caro,-onis (s.f.III), abl. sg. carone: flesh]; the strophiole may, according to some authors be a synonym of caruncle; see strophiole; see aril, arillode;

- semina caruncula appendicibus lateralibus armatis praedita, seeds provided with caruncle armed with two lateral appendages.

- seminibus ovatis turgidis carúncula crassa ter quaterve longioribus (F. Mueller), with the seeds ovate, turgid, three or four times longer than the thick caruncle.

- seminibus oblongo-ovatis, carúncula nulla (F. Mueller),with the seeds oblong-ovate, with the caruncle none.

- seminibus carúncula carnosa suffultis (F. Mueller), with the seeds supported by a fleshy caruncle.

- bacca ovato-pyramidata, calyce reflexo stipata, carnosa, acute 5-7-gona, angulis basi in carunculas dilatatis (B&H), with the berry ovate- pyramid-shaped, with the calyx reflexed, stalked, fleshy, acutely 5-7-angled, with the angles at the base dilated into a caruncle.

- semina placentis lateralibus adfixa, horizontalia, nitida nigra, arillo seu carunculo basi instructa. (DeCandolle), the seeds attached to a lateral placenta, horizontal, shining black, provided with an aril or caruncle at the base.

- seminibus atro-rubentibus hasi umbonatis, caruncula alba. (DeCandolle), with the seeds [dull] black-reddish, umbonate at the base, with a white caruncle.

- funiculus dilatatus in carunculam spongiosam bilobam (DeCandolle), the funiculus dilated [i.e. expanded] into a two-lobed, spongy caruncle.

- seminis integumentum 3-plex; exterius (Epidermis Gaertn. DC.) membranaceum tenuissimum adhaerens, versus hilum plus minus in carunculam (Arillum incompletum Gaertn.) incrassatus (DeCandolle), the integument [i.e. covering] of the seed is 3-fold; the outer (the epidermis, Gaertn. DC.) membranaceous, very thin, adherent, toward the hilum thickened more or less into a caruncle (the incomplete Aril Gaertn.). TO DO ARIL, EPIDERMIS ETC. to distr.

Aril, an outgrowth of the stalk of the ovule, sometimes resembling a third integument; “1. an expansion of the funicle, arising from the placenta, and enveloping the seed; mace is the aril of the nutmeg” (Jackson); “an appendage growing at or about the hilum of a seed” (Fernald 1950).

Calyptra,-ae (s.f.I), “Tournefort’s word for caruncle” (Jackson).

(As part of the structure of the seed:) Caruncules or Strophioles.—These are small irregular protuberances which are found on various parts of the testa [seedcoat]. They are always developed, like the arillus and arillode, subsequent to fertilisation, and are accordingly not found in the ovule. In the Milkwort they are situated at the base or hilum of the seed; in the Asarabacca and Violet on the side, in a line with the raphe; while in the Spurge they are placed at the micropyle. Some writers consider these caruncules as forms of the aril, of which they then distinguish four varieties, namely:

1. The true arillus, as in Nymphaea [arillus genuinus];

2. The arillode or micropylar arillus, as in Euonymus [arillodium,-ii (s.n.II); arillus micropylicus (adj.A) [arillus micropylaeus or micropylinus],

3. The raphian arillus, as in Asarum [arillus raphaeus or raphinus]; and

4. The chalazal arillus, [arillus chalazaeus or chalazinus], as in Epilobium, where the tuft of hairs at one end of the seed is regarded as an aril. Other writers again partially adopt these views, and define the caruncules as little protuberances growing from the raphe, and therefore originating independently of the funiculus or micropyle; hence the caruncules of Milkwort and Spurge would be regarded as true [arillus genuinus] or false [arillus spurius] arils according to their respective origins, and the appendages of Asarabacca and Violet would be true caruncules. Other botanists again, instead of using the two terms strophioles and caruncules as synonymous with each other, apply the former term only when the processes proceed from the hilum,and the latter to those coming from the micropyle. Altogether,there is a great difference of opinion among botanists, as to the application of the terms caruncules and strophioles ; but in this country [i.e. Great Britain] they are more commonly understood in the sense in which we have first defined them (Bentley p338-339).


A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2018

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