Define Epigeal and Hypogeal

Jim McKenney
Mon, 04 Jan 2010 11:20:00 PST
Jim Shields asked about the definitions of the terms epigeal and hypogeal.
It’s funny that he should do that right now because only a week or so ago I
ran into definitions  of these terms (as applied to germinating plants)
which did not square with the usages with which I’m familiar. 

To make it more interesting, Monica provided a definition from myrmecology. 

It seems to me that the answer to questions like these is the same as the
answers to questions about grammar or taxonomy: there is no one, central,
universally accepted authority for such things. Each field of endeavor
(whether scientific or avocational) makes  and uses its own definitions.
It’s only when these fields intersect or overlap that problems arise. For
instance, to use grammar as an example, isn’t that why large organizations
(such as newspapers and universities)  which publish a lot of material have
style manuals? 

People who believe that there is always just one correct way to do things
will be left scratching their heads or sharpening their knives. People who
accept diversity will have the pleasure of discovering just how inventive
other people can be. 

I’ll be keenly following this thread to see where it takes us.   

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where the outside temperature was 20 degrees F this morning, but 43
degrees in the protected cold frame. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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