Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-phyte Also -phyta and -phytic.

A plant or plant-like organism.

[Greek phuton, a plant, from phuein, come into being.]

Words in -phyte divide into two classes. Some describe the way plants live; for example, epiphytes (Greek epi, upon) grow on other plants. Others refer to specific groups of plants; for example, bryophytes (Greek bruon, moss) are members of a group that comprises the mosses and liverworts.

Members of the latter set are often linked to systematic names for groups that end in -phyta (from the Greek plural form phuta, plants). Two instances are Chlorophyta (Greek khlōros, green), a division of lower plants that comprises the green algae, and Pteridophyta (Greek pteris, pterid-, fern), a division of flowerless green plants that comprises the ferns and their relatives.

A less obvious member of the set is neophyte, a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief; this is literally a person ‘newly planted’ (Greek neos, new), whose figurative sense derives from St. Paul's use of it for a new convert.

Terms ending in -phyte have associated adjectives in -phytic: epiphytic, saprophytic, xerophytic.

Examples of words in -phyte
Word origins are from Greek unless otherwise stated.

bryophyte a division of small flowerless green plants which comprises the mosses and liverworts bruon, moss
charophyte a division of lower plants that includes the stoneworts Latin Chara, a plant of uncertain identity
dermatophyte a pathogenic fungus that grows on skin, mucous membranes, hair, nails, feathers, and other body surfaces, causing ringworm and related diseases derma, dermat-, skin, hide
endophyte a plant, especially a fungus, which lives inside another plant endon, within
epiphyte a plant that grows on another plant, especially one that is not parasitic epi, upon
gametophyte the gamete-producing phase of a plant with alternating generations English gamete
geophyte a plant propagated by means of underground buds , earth
halophyte a plant adapted to growing in saline conditions, as in a salt marsh hals, halo-, salt
hydrophyte a plant which grows only in or on water hudōr, water
macrophyte a plant, especially an aquatic plant, large enough to be seen by the naked eye makros, long, large
osteophyte a bony outgrowth associated with the degeneration of cartilage at joints osteon, bone
saprophyte a plant, fungus, or micro-organism that lives on dead or decaying organic matter sapros, putrid
sporophyte the asexual phase of plants with alternating generations spora, spore
xerophyte a plant which needs very little water xēros, dry

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