Definition of saxicolous
: inhabiting or growing among rocks saxicolous lichens
saxicolous was our Word of the Day on 02/20/2010. Hear the podcast!
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.
Origin and Etymology of saxicolous
Latin saxum rock (akin to Latin secare to cut) + English -colous — more at saw
First Known Use: 1856
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