noun (plural archegonia /-nēə/)Botany
The female sex organ in mosses, liverworts, ferns, and most conifers.
- Antheridia formed on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the wing, while archegonia formed on the ventral surface of the anterior cushion.
- Dispersed by wind, these small spores germinate into small, freeliving, disc-shaped gametophytes that produce either archegonia - organs in which egg cells are formed - or sperm-producing antheridia.
- Notwithstanding their general similarity, the archegonia of mosses differ externally from antheridia in having a longer neck and longer stalk.
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek arkhegonos, from arkhe- 'first' + gonos 'race'.
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