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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin


1. (fruit of Coniferae); “the strobilus or conical arrangement of scales in the fruit of a Pine or Fir-tree [Abies]” (Lindley); “the fruit of the pine or fir-tree with scales forming a strobile” (Jackson); “a mass of ovule-bearing or pollen-bearing scales or bracts in trees of the pine family and in cycads arranged usu. on a somewhat elongated axis: a carpellate or staminate strobilus, esp. the carpellate strobilus of pine and related trees; any of several flower or fruit clusters suggesting a cone (as of the hop [Humulus lupulus] or certain Magnolias” (WIII): strobilus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. strobilo; see galbulus; see strobilus,-i (s.m.II).

NOTE: in L. conus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cono = Gk. kOnos, a cone, esp. of conical bodies; the cone of the cypress (Lewis & Short).

“Although Linnaeus, in the later editions of his works, has discarded the term cone, and adopted that of strobile, he has, nevertheless, retained an order of vegetables, which he calls Coniferae, or Cone-bearing.... To this order belong the Fir, the Pine, the Cypress, the Thuja, and others.” (Barton).

“The Cone.—This is a kind of spike [i.e. flowers sessile on an elongate axis], found in plants of the order Coniferae, as the Larch, Pine, and Fir. It is composed of a collection of imbricated scales or open carpels arising from the axils of bracts, and bearing two or more naked ovules at their base” (Bentley).

“The cone is sometimes regarded as the fruit or pseudocarp of a single flower, and not an inflorescence or collection of flowers as here described. Some, again, do not distinguish between a cone and a strobile, but put the two inflorescences together under the common name of cone or strobiius, which thev define as a collection of persistent woody or membranous scales or bracts, each of which bears a pistillate flower at its base” (Bentley).

“The Cone is a more or less elongated fruit, composed of a number of indurated scales, each of which bears one or more naked seeds on its inner surface. This fruit is seen in the Scotch Fir, Larch, Hemlock Spruce, and a great many other plants of the order Coniferae; which derives its name from this circumstance. All plants also of the Cycas family which possess fruit have one of a similar structure, but here the seeds are more numerous and placed on the borders of the scales. There are two views as to the nature of the indurated scales : thus, by some botanists they are regarded as carpels spread open, each representing a female flower; by others as bracts. They certainly more resemble the latter organs in appearance, as they never present any trace of style or stigma on their surface. Other botanists regard the cone as the spurious fruit or pseudocarp of a single flower, and not as a collection of fruits ... Some again make no distinction a cone and a Strobilus, q.v.” (Bentley).

“The Cone must be carefully distinguished from Cone-like fruits, such as those of the Magnolia and Liriodendron. The latter are not collective fruits at all, but they consist of the mature carpels or follicles of a single flower, placed upon an elongated thalamus.” (Bentley).

Coniferales pl. [sg. coniferalis,-e (adj.B)] “an order of chiefly evergreen gymnospermous trees and shrubs having acicular to linear or lanceolate leaves and the ovulate strobilus a woody cone or fleshy aril and comprising a variable number of families of which Taxaceae, Pinaceae, and Taxodiaceae are most generally recognized” (WIII).

conifer, “a plant of the order Coniferales” (WIII).

Gymnosperms produce two kinds of cones (strobili): the female, and the male.

Female cone, seed-cone, ovulate cone: with woody scales, produces the seed: megastrobilus,-i (s.m.II), abl.sg. megastrobilo; = an ovulate cone bearing ovuliferous scales.

NOTE: macrostrobilus is not recommended usage for female cone.

Male cone, pollen-cone: usu. smaller than the female cone, usu. herbaceous, produces the pollen: microstobilus,-i (s.m.II), abl.sg. microstrobilo; also strobilus masculinus (adj.A), abl. sg. strobilo masculino; strobilus masculus (adj.A); strobilus mas, abl.sg. strobilo mari.

Spurious fruit: fructus (s.m.IV) spurius (adj.A): “certain kinds of inflorescence which grow up with the fruit, and form one body with it, as a Pine cone” (Lindley); “Other botanists regard the cone as the spurious fruit or pseudocarp of a single flower, and not as a collection of fruits” (Bentley); see pseudocarpium,-ii (s.n.II).

2. Cone (solid figure), “a solid bounded by a circular or other closed plane base and the surface formed by line segments joining every point of the boundary of the base to a common vertex; an object, part, or structure felt to resemble a geometric cone” (WIII); a rounded pyramid; a funnel is an inverted cone; conus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cono [> Gk. kOnos (s.m.II), a cone]; see cono-; see strobilus,-i (s.m.II).

NOTE: in L. conus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cono = Gk. kOnos, a cone, esp. of conical bodies; the cone of the cypress (Lewis & Short).

- styli in conum apice fissum intus concavum stigmatiferum concreti (B&H), styles grown together into a cone, separated at the apex, hollow inside, stigma-bearing.

- stamina 2-seriata, exteriora (5) fertilia basi monadelpha, interiora totidem sterilia, post anthesin in conum torum subclaudentem coalita (B&H), the stamens in 2 series, the outer (5) fertile, at the base monadelphous, the inner just as many sterile, after the period of flowering fused into a cone somewhat enclosing the torus.

- torus floris expansus nunc in conum inversum ovaria in eo semi-immersa gerentem, nunc in urceolum ovaria includentem et stigmatibus coronatum (DeCandolle), the torus of the flower expanded, sometimes into an inversed cone bearing the ovaries half-immersed in it, sometimes enclosing the ovaries into an urceolus and crowned with the stigmas.

- cono masculo oblongo-cylindraceo fere pedali, juvenili lana fusca vestito (F. Mueller), the male cone oblong-cylindric, almost a foot long, the juvenile one covered with a brown wool.

Conus,-i (s.m.II) corollae: corolla cone:

- [Cystanthe procera; Magnoliaceae] corollae cono fere triplo longiore quam latiore (F. Mueller), with the cone of the corolla almost three times longer than wide.
cone-bearing, coniferous; bearing cones (as in pines, coniferous trees); of or relating to conifers, as to their wood or timber; characterized by the predominance of coniferous trees, as in zones or belts of coniferous forests (after WIII): conifer,-fera,-ferum (adj.A), q.v.; strobilifer,-fera,-ferum (adj.A), q.v.
cone-like: strobilaceus,-a,-um (adj.A), strobiliformis,-e (adj.B), strobilinus,-a,-um (adj.A); see strobilaceus,-a,-um (adj.A).
cone-shaped, “having the figure of a true cone, as the prickles of some Roses, the root of Carrot” (Lindley); (in bryophytes) “cone-shaped; e.g., operculum of Bryum” (Magill 1990); convex, but more elevated in the center; conicus,-a,-um (adj.A), conoideus,-a,-um (adj.A), turbineus,-a,-um (adj.A), shaped like a top, cone-shaped; see conic; for a curved-cone shape see horn-shaped;

- sépala et pétala in massam conicam calyptratim a pedunculi apice (seu tubo perianthii) turbinato deciduam conferruminata(B&H), sepals and petals fused into a conical mass in the manner of a cap deciduous from the turbinate apex of the peduncle (or from the tube of the perianth).

- formae autem calyptrae tres observantur: conica s. [seu] campanulata; mitraeformis basi lobata et dimidiata (Mueller), however, three forms of the calyptra are observed: conic or campanulate; mitriform, lobed at the base, and dimidiate [i.e. split on one side].

cone- or top-shaped: turbinatus,-a,-um (adj.A), turbineus,-a,-um (adj.A), ‘cone-shaped, pointed like a cone, conical;’ see top-shaped.

conico-curtus, shortly and squatly truncate; conico-curtatus, conico-decurtatus, conico-truncatus, strongly convex (i.e. conic) but shortened, cut-away to very flat at the apex, as though cut off or away.

obconic, reverse conical, the broadest part at the apex: obconicus,-a,-um (adj.A).

slightly conic: subconicus,-a,-um (adj.A); see conoideus,-a,-um (adj.A).

turbinatus,-a,-um (adj.A): turbinate, i.e. top-shaped or obconical, broadly obovoid-obconic, like an inverted cone; “top-shaped; inversely conical” (Fernald 1950); cf. pear-shaped, pyriform, obturbinate;

NOTE: cone-shaped, as applied to the fructifications of Equisetum are referred to as ‘club-shaped:’ clavatus,-a,-um (adj.A), claviformis,-e (adj.B); see clavate.

NOTE: obconicus,-a,-um (adj.A): inversely conic, broadest at the apex. For a curved-cone shape see horn-shaped.

biconic: biconicus,-a,-um (adj.A). NOT conoidal as this has a Latin ending.

[moss] Zygodon conoideus, Bryum and Mnium concoideum

“The common Receptacle, (receptaculum commune), is of wide circumference, and contains a multitude of flowers. It is of the following kinds: Convex, (receptaculum convexum), that is somewhat elevated in the centre; conical, (receptaculum conicum), that rises in the centre into a high round point; (Willdenow); see receptacle.


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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