|—n , pl -nia|
|a female sex organ, occurring in mosses, spore-bearing vascular plants, and gymnosperms, that produces a single egg cell in its swollen base|
|[C19: from New Latin, from Greek arkhegonos original parent, from arkhe- chief, first + gonos seed, race]|
|archegonium (är'kĭ-gō'nē-əm) Pronunciation Key
The egg-producing organ occurring in bryophytes (such as mosses and liverworts), ferns, and most gymnosperms. The archegonium is a multicellular, often flask-shaped structure that contains a single egg. Compare antheridium.
the female reproductive organ in ferns and mosses. An archegonium also occurs in some gymnosperms, e.g., cycads and conifers. A flask-shaped structure, it consists of a neck, with one or more layers of cells, and a swollen base-the venter-which contains the egg. Neck-canal cells, located above the egg, disappear as the archegonium matures, thus producing a passage for entry of the sperm. The sperm are produced in the corresponding male reproductive organ, the antheridium.
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