One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Botany. A plant in which the dormant buds are below the surface of the soil or submerged under water.
2Biology. A unicellular flagellate of the phylum Cryptophyta; a cryptomonad.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). From crypto- + -phyte. In sense 1, after scientific Latin Cryptophyta, group name (H. F. Link, 1824 or earlier).
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