sax·​ic·​o·​lous | \ sak-ˈsi-kə-ləs How to pronounce saxicolous (audio) \

Definition of saxicolous

: inhabiting or growing among rocks saxicolous lichens

Did you know?

Saxicolous. It's not a word that exactly rolls off the tongue, but it's a useful designation for botanists. The word is from Latin, naturally. "Saxum" is Latin for rock, and "colous" (meaning "living or growing in or on") traces back to Latin -cola meaning "inhabitant." Other "colous" offspring include "arenicolous" ("living, burrowing, or growing in sand"), "cavernicolous" ("inhabiting caves"), and "nidicolous" ("living in a nest" or "sharing the nest of another kind of animal"). All of these words were coined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to describe the flora and fauna of our world.

First Known Use of saxicolous

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for saxicolous

Latin saxum rock (akin to Latin secare to cut) + English -colous — more at saw

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The first known use of saxicolous was in 1856

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Cite this Entry

“Saxicolous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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