cryptogam(redirected from Cryptogams)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Cryptogams: Cryptograms, phanerogams
cryptogam,in botany, term used to denote a plant that produces spores, as in algaealgae
[plural of Lat. alga=seaweed], a large and diverse group of primarily aquatic plantlike organisms. These organisms were previously classified as a primitive subkingdom of the plant kingdom, the thallophytes (plants that lack true roots, stems, leaves, and flowers).
..... Click the link for more information. , fungiFungi
, kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).
..... Click the link for more information. , mossesmoss,
any species of the class Bryopsida, in which the liverworts are sometimes included. Mosses and liverworts together comprise the division Bryophyta, the first green land plants to develop in the process of evolution.
..... Click the link for more information. , and fernsfern,
any plant of the division Polypodiophyta. Fern species, numbering several thousand, are found throughout the world but are especially abundant in tropical rain forests. The ferns and their relatives (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. , but not seeds. The term cryptogam, from the Greek kryptos, meaning "hidden," and gamos, meaning "marriage," was coined by 19th-century botanists because the means of sexual reproduction in these plants was not then apparent. In contrast, in the seed plants the reproductive organs are easily seen; the seed plants have accordingly been termed phanerogams, from the Greek phaneros, meaning "visible."
An old term for nonflowering plants.
(in former plant classification schemes) any organism that does not produce seeds, including algae, fungi, mosses, and ferns