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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Squama,-ae (s.f.I), abl.sg. squama: scale, q.v.; a thin, membranous structure “a scale-like rudimentary leaf, such as coats and guards the leaf-bud” (Lindley); “a scale of any sort, usually the homologue of a leaf” (Jackson); a scale-like leaf, as on Conifers; one of the bracts of the involucre of flowers of Asteraceae; a scale is “1. any thin scarious body, usually a degenerate leaf, sometimes of epidermal origin; 2. a trichome, if disc-like; 3. sometimes used for glume” (Jackson) [> L. squama,-ae (s.f.I), the scale of a fish, reptile, etc.; a scale-like object or fragment” (Glare)]; see scale;

NOTE: in some graminoid taxa the scales may be filiform, hence they may also be called setae; see seta,-ae (s.f.I);

- [Rhynchosporeae] setae v. squamae hypogynae filiformes planae v. 0 (B&H), the hypogynous [i.e. growing below the base of the ovary] setae or scales are filiform, flat or none [i.e. absent].

- [Scirpeae] setae v. squamae hypogynae dum adsint 6 v. pauciores, rarius oo, filiformes v. planae (B&H), hypogynous bristles or scales, when they may be present 6 or fewer, more rarely [numerous], filiform or flat.

NOTE also that ‘squama’ has been used in earlier literature to describe many structures later referred to as chaff, glume, lemma, palea, scaber (Eng.), phyllary, an element of a calyx, of an involucre, etc., small leaves or leaf-like structures, bracts, bracteoles, budscales, integuments. Before the number of names proliferated, botanists made diminutives of ‘squama’ in an attempt to be more specific, such as squamula, squamella, or even smaller, squamellula. Often the diminutive words were freely interchanged with squama to describe the same structure, hence translating ‘squama’ from a text written in Latin into English or another language should be done with care and some modern knowledge of the groups described would be helpful.

- indumento in squamas similes minores mutato, with the indumentum changed into similar, smaller scales.

- [Lipocarpha] squamae hypogynae 2, hyalinae, glumis parallelae, ovario et nuci appressae (B&H), the hypogynous [i.e. seated below the ovary] scales 2, hyaline, parallel to the glumes, appressed to the ovary and the nut.

- rhizomatis squamis glabris, with the scales of the rhizome glabrous.

- Platanaceae: Arbores cortice saepius in squamas latas quotannis deciduo (B&H), trees with the bark deciduous very often every year into broad scales.

- stipite squamarum extimarum brevi parcissime lanuginoso, interiorum glanduloso-asperulo (F. Mueller), with the stalk of the outermost scales short, very sparingly wooly, [with the stalk] of the inner [scales] glandulose-roughened.

- squamae hypogynae nullae (F. Mueller), the hypogynous scales none.

- coronae squamae membranaceae planae, simplices, tubo stamineo rarius corollae affixae (B&H), the scales of the corona membranous, flat, undivided, to the stamineal tube, more rarely to the corolla attached.

- [CALYX SCALES] squamis calycinis 8-10 mediam longitudinem tubi non attingentibus (Boissier), with the calyx scales 8-10, not reaching the middle length of the tube.

- [involucral scales][Anthemis] involucri squamis oblongo-lanceolatis acutiusculis margine membranaceis (Boissier), with the scales of the involucre oblong-lanceolate, somewhat acute, membranaceous on the margin.

- [Senecio] bracteolis arachnoideis numerosis squamis 20-24 marginatis dorso canaliculatis glabris triplo brevioribus (Boissier), with the bracteoles arachnoid [i.e. like cobwebs] numerous, with the scales 20-24, bordered, canaliculate on the back, glabrous, three times shorter.

- [Quercus; of the acorn] squamis cupulae adpressis tomentosis, nuce parva cum mucrone (Boissier), with the scale of the cupule [i.e. acorn-cup]appressed, tomentose, with the nut small, with a mucro.

- [Anthemis] involucri hirsuti squamis obtusis laceris, receptaculi convexi paleis subcarinatis mucronatis margine membranaceo-dentatis flosculos subaequantibus (Boissier), with the scales of the hirsute involucre obtuse, lacerated, with the [PALEAE] of the convex receptacle somewhat carinate [i.e. keeled] mucronate, membranaceous-dentate at the margin, almost equaling the florets.

- [Abies] strobilis ovato–cylindricis erectis, squamis bracteolaribus inclusis carpellis multo brevioribus (Boissier), with the strobilis ovate-cylindric, erect, with the bracteolar scales enclosed, with the carpels much shorter.

- [lichen] thallus niger, interdum nonnihil caesio-pruinosus, glebuloso-congestus e squamis stipitiformibus erectis, apice crenato-lobulatis, fastigiatis, confertis (Nyl), the thallus [shining] black, sometimes somewhat [lavender-] blue-bloom, densely glebulose [i.e. with rounded elevations]-congested, [composed] of stipe-shaped, erect scales, at the apex, crenate-lobulate, fastigiated [i.e. clustered and erect], crowded.

- [lichen] thallus fuscescens squamoso-imbricatus, squamis saepius adscendentibus, aggregatis, margine crenatis (Nyl.), the thallus rather brownish-black, squamose-imbricate [i.e. with overlapping scales], with the scales more often ascending, aggregated, crenate on the margin.

- [lichen] squamae thalli saepius sparsa, umbilicato-adfixae (Nyl.), the scales of the thallus more often dispersed, attached umbilicately [i.e. attached at the center].

- Sph. palustre, molle, deflexum, squamis cymbiformibus (C. Mueller), Sphagnum palustre, soft, deflexed, with the scales cymbiform [i.e. boat-shaped].

Squama fructifer,-fera,-ferum (adj.A): seminiferous scale.

Squama seminifera (adj.A): seed scale, seminiferous scale = squama fructifera (adj.B), “a seminiferous scale” (Jackson).

NOTE: B&H (Compositae): flores involucro communi (periclinio Auct. plur.) e bracteis {squamis, phyllis v. phyllariis Auct. plur.) 1-oo [infinity sign] -seriatis liberis concretisve cincti, flowers surrounded by a common involucre (the periclinium of many authors), from bracts (scales, leaves or phyllaries of many authors) 1-indeterminately-seried, free or compound [i.e. fused together].


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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