One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †designating a fern in which the sori arise as a continuous mass covering the lower surface of the fertile frond, typified by, but not exclusive to, the genus Acrostichum (family Polypodiaceae); characteristic of such a fern (obsolete). Now: specifically designating or relating to sori with this pattern of distribution.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Hooker's Journal Botany. From scientific Latin Acrostichum, genus name (Linnaeus Species plantarum II. 1067; from ancient Greek ἄκρο- + στίχος row, line: see stich) + -oid.
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