stonewort

stonewort

[stohn-wurt, -wawrt]
noun
any of a plantlike group of green algae constituting the class Charophyceae, having a jointed body frequently encrusted with lime and usually attached to the bottom in fresh water.

Origin:
1575–85; stone + wort2

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World English Dictionary
stonewort (ˈstəʊnˌwɜːt)
 
n
any of various green algae of the genus Chara, which grow in brackish or fresh water and have jointed fronds encrusted with lime

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

stonewort

any of certain green algae of the class Charophyceae. Most stoneworts generally occur in fresh water. Some are calcified (Chara) and may accumulate as calcium carbonate deposits. These deposits may be so extensive that they form the major part of the calcareous marl of lakes and are sometimes a detrimental weed in fish hatcheries. Superficially resembling the structures of some higher plants, stonewort structures include rootlike rhizoids, whorls of branches at regular intervals, and an erect cylindrical axis, which may be surrounded by a sheath of small cells. In sexual reproduction each female sex organ (oogonium) contains one large, immobile egg, and each male sex organ (antheridium) produces one small, biflagellate sperm. An envelope of sterile cells surrounds the reproductive structures. No motile spores are formed.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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