• WordNet 3.6
    • n Cryptogamia in former classification systems: one of two major plant divisions, including all plants that do not bear seeds: ferns, mosses, algae, fungi
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Cryptogamia (Bot) The series or division of flowerless plants, or those never having true stamens and pistils, but propagated by spores of various kinds.☞ The subdivisions have been variously arranged. The following arrangement recognizes four classes: I. Pteridophyta, or Vascular Acrogens. These include Ferns Equiseta or Scouring rushes, Lycopodiaceæ or Club mosses, Selaginelleæ, and several other smaller orders. Here belonged also the extinct coal plants called Lepidodendron Sigillaria, and Calamites. II. Bryophita, or Cellular Acrogens . These include Musci, or Mosses, Hepaticæ, or Scale mosses and Liverworts, and possibly Characeæ, the Stoneworts. III. Algæ , which are divided into Florideæ, the Red Seaweeds, and the orders Dictyoteæ Oösporeæ Zoösporeæ Conjugatæ Diatomaceæ, and Cryptophyceæ. IV. Fungi . The molds, mildews, mushrooms, puffballs, etc., which are variously grouped into several subclasses and many orders. The Lichenes or Lichens are now considered to be of a mixed nature, each plant partly a Fungus and partly an Alga.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • cryptogamia In botany, in the Linnean system of classification, the second great series and final class, which included all plants in which there were no stamens and pistils, and therefore no proper flowers: thus distinguished from the first series, Phænogamia. The name remains in general use, and the group is further characterized by the absence of a seed containing an embryo. The organs and methods of reproduction vary greatly, in some cases being closely analogous to those of phænogamous plants, while in the lowest no sexual character whatever is distinguishable. As improvements in the microscope have made possible a more thorough study of the Cryptogamia, their classification has been gradually modified and perfected, but it still remains to some extent unsettled, especially in regard to the lower groups. A division into higher and lower cryptogams is often made, corresponding to the aëtheogamous and amphigamous classes of De Candolle's arrangement, otherwise known as acrogens and thallogens. The first group are either vascular (including the Filices, Equisetaceæ, and their allies, also called Pteridophyta) or cellular (including the Hepaticæ, and Musci, unitedly called Bryophyta). The lower cryptogams are wholly cellular, and are variously subdivided, the usual division being into Algæ, Lichenes, and Fungi. By recent authorities the Lichenes are merged with the Fungi. The number of known species is very large. In Great Britain the Fungi alone are nearly twice as numerous as the phanogams. It is probable that in less explored regions many species are yet undiscovered.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cryptogamia krip-to-gā′mi-a the class of flowerless plants, or those which have their fructification concealed
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. krypto`s hidden, secret + ga`mos marriage
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kryptos, concealed, and gamos, marriage.


In literature:

The Origin of the different classes of the Higher Cryptogamia.
"Darwin and Modern Science" by A.C. Seward and Others
Cryptogamia, applied to the division of non-flowering plants.
"The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise" by M. E. Hard
"The Elements of Botany" by Asa Gray
I became passionately devoted to botany, and took especial interest in the study of cryptogamia.
"Famous Men of Science" by Sarah K. Bolton
As an author on the Cryptogamia he was in the first rank.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 2" by Various