Definition of propagule in US English:



  • A vegetative structure that can become detached from a plant and give rise to a new plant, e.g. a bud, sucker, or spore.

    • ‘This may not be an unexpected outcome given that the sediment on the floodplains may not have contained sufficient seeds or vegetative propagules of this species.’
    • ‘The trees were planted from propagules, in April 1994, in an overexploited clear-cut area.’
    • ‘Many plant species can reproduce clonally by creeping roots or stems, propagules such as bulbils and tubers, or agamous seeds.’
    • ‘Further accidental spread of vegetative propagules by conveyance on boating equipment is possible and may already be occurring.’
    • ‘The development of small vegetative propagules with bulbils within the florets (inflorescence proliferation) is also common.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin propagulum ‘small shoot’, diminutive of propago ‘shoot, runner’.