Definition of hymenium in US English:


nounPlural hymenia

  • (in higher fungi) a surface consisting mainly of spore-bearing structures (asci or basidia).

    • ‘The cells in an Ascomycete hymenium tend to be longer and thinner than those in a Basidiomycete hymenium.’
    • ‘The cross-section shows the cup to be made of vegatative hyphae with the hymenium layer exposed.’
    • ‘Unlike some related, duller-coloured species, the hymenium does not turn blood-red when it is scratched.’
    • ‘Since the perithecium grows out into the medium from the hymenium after nuclear pairing, this is ascohymenial development.’
    • ‘This middle layer is subtended by the hymenium which was also devoid of epiphytic organisms.’


Early 19th century: from Greek humenion, diminutive of humēn ‘membrane’.