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[el-uh-ter] /ˈɛl ə tər/

Botany. an elastic filament serving to disperse spores.
Zoology. .
Obsolete. .
an elaterid beetle
(botany) a spirally thickened filament, occurring in liverwort capsules and horsetails, thought to aid dispersal of spores
A tiny elongated structure that helps disperse plant spores by coiling and uncoiling in response to changes in humidity. The elaters of horsetails are bands attached to the spore wall, while those of liverworts are sterile cells occurring among the spores.


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  • Elaterid

    [ih-lat-er-id] /ɪˈlæt ər ɪd/ noun 1. any beetle of the family Elateridae, comprising the click beetles. adjective 2. belonging or pertaining to the family Elateridae. /ɪˈlætərɪd/ noun 1. any of the beetles constituting the widely distributed family Elateridae (click beetles). The group includes the wireworms and certain fireflies adjective 2. of, relating to, or belonging […]

  • Elaterin

    /ɪˈlætərɪn/ noun 1. a white crystalline substance found in elaterium, used as a purgative

  • Elaterite

    [ih-lat-uh-rahyt] /ɪˈlæt əˌraɪt/ noun 1. an elastic, rubbery, brownish natural asphalt. /ɪˈlætəˌraɪt/ noun 1. a dark brown naturally occurring bitumen resembling rubber

  • Elaterium

    /ˌɛləˈtɪərɪəm/ noun 1. a greenish sediment prepared from the juice of the squirting cucumber, used as a purgative

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