Definition of phytolith in US English:



  • 1A minute mineral particle formed inside a plant.

    • ‘It is also known that plants contain biogenic forms of silica, known as phytoliths, that produce a silicon peak on EDXA.’
    • ‘Grazers, for example, must deal with abundant abrasive phytoliths and grit from feeding close to the ground, and accordingly develop strategies to deal with tooth abrasion.’
    • ‘The main products of Si accumulation are the phytoliths, or silica bodies, which infill the cell walls and lumina of certain cells in plant tissues.’
    1. 1.1 A fossilized particle of plant tissue.
      • ‘Wild rice phytoliths were recovered in charred food residues on a Brainerd ware vessel from Ogema - Geshik in Itasca County, northern Minnesota.’
      • ‘We may be able to find some micro archaeological evidence such as, there may be some plant residue that we could find associated with these fires - something equivalent to phytoliths.’
      • ‘The name given to a particular phytolith type should be formed by a maximum of up to three descriptors.’
      • ‘Abundant and well-preserved phytoliths from the soils within the carinated bowls indicate that they may have contained grass inflorescences and/or corn cob chaff at the time they were placed in the graves.’
      • ‘New studies lend credence to this interpretation by suggesting that the abundance of grass phytoliths in sediment pushes the spread of grasslands back 10 Myr before the increase in taxa with hypsodont teeth.’