Definition of sclerotium in US English:


nounPlural sclerotia

  • The hard dark resting body of certain fungi, consisting of a mass of hyphal threads, capable of remaining dormant for long periods.

    • ‘In addition, many fungi are able to parasitize spores, sclerotia, or hyphae of other fungi, resulting in biocontrol.’
    • ‘The Chinese sometimes include zhu ling (they use the sclerotium rather than the fruiting body) as an ingredient in herbal tonic formulas.’
    • ‘It survives in soil as sclerotia or resting mycelium and is quite happy on many hosts, which allows it to survive for many years in the absence of soybeans.’
    • ‘The fungus ‘also produces sclerotia that can be the same size and shape as the seed.’’
    • ‘Whenever soil is highly contaminated with sclerotia, growers must rotate to a crop like wheat, which is prone to scab, instead of to other Sclerotinia-susceptible broadleaf crops, such as soybeans, dry beans, or canola.’


Mid 19th century: modern Latin (former genus name), from Greek sklēros ‘hard’.