One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A needle-shaped crystal of calcium oxalate occurring in clusters within the tissues of certain plants.
- ‘Occasionally, calcium oxalate raphide or druse crystals were observed in this tissue.’
- ‘The callus consists largely of parenchyma with raphides and is supplied by eight to ten collateral bundles.’
- ‘The raphides project into the anther locule.’
- ‘Some of the latter are idioblastic and enclose raphides, whereas others are larger and form cavities containing mucilage.’
- ‘In monocots, calcium oxalate is most often laid down and usually as bundles of needle-shaped crystals known as raphides.’
Mid 19th century: via French from Greek rhaphis, rhaphid- ‘needle’.
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