noun (plural velamina /-ˈlamənə/)Botany
An outer layer of empty cells in the aerial roots of epiphytic orchids and aroids.
- Over watering turns the velamen brown and mushy and the roots lose their ability to absorb water.
- When water is in short supply, the dry velamen restricts water loss from the roots.
- The role of the velamen is to absorb moisture from the ambient atmosphere, and, may be, to protect from cold or heat.
Late 19th century: from Latin, from velare 'to cover'.
For editors and proofreaders
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.