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stonewort

[stohn-wurt, -wawrt] /ˈstoʊnˌwɜrt, -ˌwɔrt/
noun
1.
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
1575-1585
1575-85; stone + wort2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for stone wort

stonewort

/ˈstəʊnˌwɜːt/
noun
1.
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for stone wort

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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