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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Corm: cormus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cormo, nom. pl. cormi, acc.pl. cormos, dat. & abl. pl. cormis: [> NL, cormus,-i (s.m.II), a bulbous type of root; also > Gk. kormos, lit. 'a [tree] trunk];' see caudex,-icis (s.m.III), abl. sg. caudice, “the axis of a plant, consisting of stem and root” (Lindley);

1. [> NL. cormus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cormo] “a fleshy underground stem, having the appearance of a bulb, from which it is distinguished by not being scaly” (Lindley); “([Gk.] kormos, a trunk), a bulb-like fleshy stem or base of stem, a “solid” bulb” (Jackson); "for the solid bulb-like stembase of monocotyledons, the older authors, e.g. Ker-Gawler, used bulbo-tuber" (Stearn); [a NeoLatin word] “a rounded thick modified underground stem base bearing membranous or scaly leaves and buds and acting as a vegetative reproductive structure in certain monocotyledonous plants (as gladiolus and crocus) – distinguished from bulb; compare tuber” (WIII) [> Gk. kormos (s.m.II) the “trunk of a tree (with the boughs lopped off)” (Liddell & Scott);

Corm: the dilated base of the stem in monocotyledonous plants which intervenes between the roots and the first buds, and forms the reproductive portion of the stem of such plants, when they are not caulescent. It consists of cellular tissue traversed by bundles of vessels and parenchyma. It has been described as a much shortened rhizome consisting of a few undeveloped internodes. It differs from a bulb in being solid, and from a tuber in its oval figure. Examples: the so-called “root” of the Arum or that of the Crocus (Lindley).

- cormus magnus sub-globosus 5 cm. crassus, tunicis brunneis membranaceis, corm large almost globose 5 cm. thick, with tunics brown membranous. (Stearn).

Bulbodium,-ii (s.n.II), abl. sg. bulbodio: “(obsol.) the solid bulb of old botanists. A corm (Lindley).

Bulbotuber,-eris (s.n.III), acc.sg. bulbotuber, abl. sing. bulbotubere, nom. & acc. pl. bulbotubera, dat. & abl. pl. bulbotuberibus: corm.

Bulbus solidus “a corm, q.v.” (Lindley) = bulbodium,-ii (s.n.II), abl. sg. bulbodio: “(obsol.) the solid bulb of old botanists” (Lindley); cf. Solid [bulb],(radix solida ), when the bulb consists of a firm substance throughout; as Colchicum autumnale.

Gemmaecorm, gemmicorm, “J. Smith’s term for a bud-corm, applied to herbaceous plants with a root-crown which increases by side-buds” (Jackson): gemmicormus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. gemmicormo.

Tunica,-ae (s.f.I): the tunic, the membranous coat of a bulb or corm.

2. corm: “a solid, short, more or less globular stem exhibiting some secondary growth, in pteridopytes found only in the Isoëtaceae,” defined under “rhizomes and other stems” (Lellinger); cf. cormophyllaceus,-a,-um (adj.A) [> Gk. phyllon, a leaf + L. -aceus,-a,-um (adj.A)], cormophyllaceous, “used by E. Newman for those Ferns whose fronds are attached to the caudex” (Jackson).

NOTE: cormifer,-fera,-ferum (adj.A), cormiger,-gera,-gerum; referring to a thickened stalk, rootstock or stem: Sedum cormiferum.

3. [Willdenow]:

“The ascending stem, (Caudex adscendens) is the prolongation of the plant above the soil, or above the substance which serves for its production. In respect of this organ, plants exhibit a very great diversity ; and the greater number of descriptive marks are taken from its various forms. The fol lowing divisions of it have been made—The Stock (Cormus), the Inflorescence, (Inflorescentia), the leaves, (Folia), the Frond, (Frons), the Props, (Fulcra), the Flowers, (Flores), the Fruit, (Fructus), and the Base, (Basis).

The Stock (Cormus) is that part of the plant which serves for the support of the whole, and bears the inflorescence, the leaves, the frond, the props, the flowers and fruit. From it are evolved in most cases all these parts ; but amid the vast diversities which prevail in the vegetable kingdom, it will not be surprising that this part should put on very various appearances. Accordingly, the following twelve kinds have been distinguished : viz. the Stem (Caudex), the Trunk (Truncus), the Stalk (Caulis), the Straw (Culmus), the Scape (Scapus), the Stipe (Stipes), the Shoot (Surculus), the Sarment (Sarmentum), the Sucker (Stolo), the leafstalk (Petiolus), the flower-stalk (Pedunculus), and the bristle (Seta).”

NOTE: cf. stirps (also stirpes, stirpis) (s.f.III), gen. sg. stirpis, the stock or stem of a tree, tree trunk, the trunk with the root, the trunk; of plants, a plant, stalk, root, a twig; the stem.

NOTE: L. stirps = Gk. cormos, in the sense of lineage or descendents:

Hence: cormogenia,-ae (s.f.I): cormogeny, “the history of the development of races or other aggregates of individuals, as communities and families. Rare.

cormophylia,-ae (s.f.I): cormophyly Tribal history of races, communities, or other aggregates of individual living organisms Rare. [> Gk. phylon (s.n.II) (with one ‘ell’ is “a race, tribe, class of men; a race of people, a nation.

NOTE: cf.: stipes,-itis (s.m.III), acc. sg. stipitem, abl.sg. stipite, nom. & acc. pl. stipites, gen. pl. stipitum, dat. & abl.pl. stipitibus [> L. stipes,-itis s.m.III): a log, stock, post, trunk of a tree; stake; a tree; a tree branch (Lewis & Short); = corm-, cormo-: in Gk. comp. trunk, stem [> Gk. kormos (s.m.II), the trunk of a tree (with the boughs lopped off) (Liddell & Scott)];

NOTE: cf. ‘stock:’ “the stump of a tree; a log or block of wood; a supporting frame, framework or structure; the main stem of a plant: the trunk; a living plant or portion ofa plant (as a root) designed or prepared for union with a scion in grafting” (After WIII).

4. corm, used as ‘stem’ by C. Mueller:

Arthrocormus,-i (s.m.II): [a moss] nomen a verbis graecis arthron, articulus, et kormos, caulis, ob caulem prolifero-ramosum derivatum (C. Mueller), the name derived from the Greek words arthron, ‘articulus,’ and kormos, ‘caulis,’ due to the stem proliferating-branched [the genus related to Syrrhopodon, a genus known for its propagula borne on the costa surface or at the leaf tips].

- [moss] Arthrocormus Schimperi; caulis adscendenti-innovando-ramosus; rami fragilissimi flexuoso-erecti fastigiati (C. Mueller); the stem ascending-innovating-branched; the branches very gragile, flexuous-erect, fastigiate [i.e. branches erect and near together].

NOTE: kaulos (s.m.II) in Greek is the stem of a plant (not a tree) (Liddell & Scott) = L. caulis.
corm-, cormo-:

in L. comp. the word ‘corm’ as used for a rooting structure, the ‘solid, bulb-like stem base’ is a NeoLatin word, hence compounds, such as diminutives, used Latin prefixes and suffixes:

- cormel = NL cormus + L. -ellus,-a,-um (adj.A): cormellus,-i (s.m.II), abl. sg. cormello.

in Gk. comp. (tree)trunk, stem. Words for ‘stem’ or ‘trunk’ derive from the Greek kormos, hence compounds derive from Greek, not Latin, hence the diminutive is -idius,-a,-um (adj.A) [> Gk. kormos (s.m.II), the trunk of a tree (with the boughs lopped off) (Liddell & Scott); = L. stipes,-itis (s.m.III), the trunk of a tree; = stirps, gen.sg. stirpis (s.f.III), q.v., the stock or stem of a tree or other plant, together with the roots; see -stiped.

NOTE: the Greek definition of “stem or trunk with the limbs lopped off” but with the roots attached, the ‘stem or trunk’ refers to the use of such axes in grafting, as in ‘rootstock,’a plant onto which another variety is grafted.

Arthrocormus [a moss; see corm (3) above.

Cormonema (Rhamneae [H&B]}.

Cormogamae (pl.f.I), gen. pl. Cormogamarum: (> gamos, Gk. marriage) “Ardisson’s division for Characeae and Muscineae” (Jackson).

Cormophyta (pl.n.II), gen. pl. Cormophytorum: “in older classifications: a division comprising all plants that have a stem and root” (WIII).


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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