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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Epiphragm, “a membrane drawn over the mouth of the spore-case in Urn-mosses, and closing it up” (Lindley): epiphragma,-atis (s.n.III), abl. sg. epiphragmate, nom. & acc. pl. epiphragmata [> Gk. epi, upon + phragma, ‘a fence’ (Jackson); see -phragm]; see membrane, tympanum,-i (s.n.II);

1. a membrane which closes the opening or aperture of the theca(capsule)in certain Mosses; (in mosses) “a circular membrane developed by the expanded tip of the columella, attached to the tips of the peristome teeth and partially closing the mouth of the capsule after dehiscence, as in the Polytrichaceae or Funaria; “a circular membrane positioned horizontally over the capsule mouth of some mosses, attached to the tips of the peristome teeth and partially closing the mouth of the deoperculate capsule; e.g. Polytrichum and Funaria” (Magill 1990);

2. in fungi) a delicate membrane closing the cup-like sporophore in Nidularia” (Jackson); (in fungi) “an upper wall or division, cleaving the cuplike carpophores, as in the Nidulariaceae; the thin membrane covering the mouth of the peridium when young” (S&D).

3. (in invertebrate zoology) a membranous or calcareous partition that covers the aperture of certain hibernating land snails.

- (moss), peristomium nullum, clausum epiphragmate (crasso depresso) cujus discus circularis a limbo (latiori) persistente secedens (C. Mueller), peristome none, closed by an epiphragm (thick, depressed) the circular disc of which separating from a persistent wider border.

- [fungus] primo epiphragmate clausum, dein apertum, at first [i.e. while young] closed by a membrane, afterwards open.

- [Atrichum; moss] columella apice in epiphragma tympaniforme dilatata, stoma claudens (C. Muell), the columella dilated at the tip into a tympaniform epiphragm, shutting the mouth [i.e. orifice].

- [Syrrhopodon; moss] thecae orificium interdum epiphragmate clausum (C. Muell.), the orifice of the theca sometimes closed with an epiphragm.

- [Polytrichum nanum] EPIPHRAGMA membranula tenerrima albicans constituit, dentium apicibus adglutinatum (Hedw.), the epiphragm constitutes a very delicate little membrane, whitish, adhering together at the apices of the teeth.

- [moss] epiphragma horum apicibus prehensum (Hedw.), the epiphragm of these [sc. teeth] grasped with their apices.

- [Polytrichum undulatum; moss] EPIPHRAGMA membranula tenuis plicatilis imperforata, apici dentium adglutinata constituit (Hedw.), the epiphragm constitutes a thin, foldable, unperforated little membrane, attached at the apex of the teeth.

- [moss] apice sunt vel liberi, ut in tota fere hac familià, vel cohaerentes, in Koelreutera hygrometrica, vel membrana tenuissimà super orificium, quod exacte claudit pròténsa, quamque recentiores epiphragma dixerunt agglutinate et apprehensi, ut in Polytrichis omnibus. Hanc membranam magni nominis Botanici pro peristomate interno peculiaris structurae habent, nec immerito, si, vt videtur, a thecae membrana interiori originem ducat. Caeterum nomen nihil ad rem facit (Brid.), at the apex they [i.e. the teeth] are either free, as in nearly this whole family, or cohering [i.e. being connected or in contact] in Koelreutera [i.e. Funaria] hygrometrica, or with an extremely delicate membrane over the orifice, which, stretched out, it completely closes, and which more recent [i.e. modern] authors have called an epiphragm, [the teeth] having been agglutinated [i.e. brought together] and attached, as in all the Polytrichum species. Botanists of great reputation take this membrane of a special structure for the inner peristome, not without cause, if, as it seems, it could derive its origin from the interior membrane of the theca. Otherwise, the name doesn nothing to the matter (i.e. is inconsequential, irrelevant].

Willdenow(p.137) in mosses:

The case, (theca), is the fruit of the frondose Musci. It is a dry fruit that opens in the middle with a lid, and is furnished with particular parts. (p. 137:) The Epiphragm, (epiphragma,-atis (s.n.III)), is a thin membrane, which stretches over the mouth of the theca; it is found only in the genus Polytrichum.


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 2010-2017

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