One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Growing on or close to the ground.Compare with hypogeal
- ‘The germination of seeds is epigeal.’
- ‘Following germination, initial growth of both the root and hypocotyl of epigeal seedlings is downwards, arguably as an adaptation to maintain contact with soil moisture in the surface layers of the soil which dry rapidly.’
- 1.1 (of seed germination) with one or more seed leaves appearing above the ground.
Mid 19th century: from Greek epigeios (from epi ‘upon’ + gē ‘earth’) + -al.
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