Definition of mycorrhiza in US English:



  • A fungus which grows in association with the roots of a plant in a symbiotic or mildly pathogenic relationship.

    • ‘For the past two years Dave has been working on a system of growing the mycorrhizae on a host grass plant in small beds of compost.’
    • ‘These data thus support the authors' suggestion that mycorrhizae are important in enabling plant roots to exploit nutrient patches that might otherwise be out of reach.’
    • ‘A special type of beneficial root fungi, called mycorrhizae, actually grow into plant roots, feeding off plant sap but also providing water and nutrients to the plant.’
    • ‘In addition, most vascular plants could not grow without the symbiotic fungi, or mycorrhizae, that inhabit their roots and supply essential nutrients.’
    • ‘The specialized roots which the plants grow and the fungus which inhabits them are together known as mycorrhizae, or ‘fungal roots’.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from myco- ‘of fungi’ + Greek rhiza ‘root’.