Douglas Jensen doug.jensen at
Tue Nov 23 15:14:06 EST 1999

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when they were named, people didn't know
whether the structures that bear Equisetum sporangia were truly branch
systems, leaves, or some novel structure.  Using the suffix "-phore,"
from a classical root meaning "to bear," gives no implication regarding
its origin.  Thus, it is appropriately wishy-washy.

I suppose that we could just as easily use the same term for sporophylls
or even anthers and ovules.  Thankfully, we don't.


James W. Perry wrote:

> Because they are branch systems, not leaves.
> At 05:54 AM 11/22/99 -0800, Cleya M Williams wrote:
> >Why are the fertile appendages on the Equisetum called
> >sporangiophores instead of sporophylls?
> >
> >
> >
> >         Cleya
> James. W. Perry, CEO/Campus Dean
> Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
> University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley
> 1478 Midway Road
> Menasha, Wisconsin 54952-1297
> Office: 920.832.2610
> FAX: 920.832.2674
> jperry at

Douglas P. Jensen
Assistant Professor of Biology
Converse College
580 East Main Street
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302
fax: (864)596-9201

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