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archaeophyte definition


Define the meaning of the English word archaeophyte below. Archaeophyte is a noun. Also define these 14 related words and terms: botany, plant, introduce, area, human, arrive, naturally, present, introduction, naturalized, prehistoric, time, neophyte, and archaeophyta.

See also: archæophyte


Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are archaeophytes in the United Kingdom, having been introduced from continental Europe during the Iron Age (800 B.C.E. – 100 C.E. in Great Britain).


From archaeo- (ancient; early) +‎ -phyte (a plant that grows in a specified habitat). Archaeo- is derived from Ancient Greek ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos, ancient, primeval), from ᾰ̓ρχή (arkhḗ, beginning, origin) (from ἄρχω (árkhō, to begin; to command, rule) + -ῐος (-ios, suffix forming adjectives); while -phyte is from Ancient Greek φῠτόν (phutón, plant; tree), from φῠ́ω (phúō, to arise, grow, spring up) + -ον (-on, suffix forming nouns).



archaeophyte (plural archaeophytes)

  1. (botany) A plant which was introduced to an area by humans (or arrived naturally, but from an area in which it was present as a human introduction) and became naturalized before 1500 C.E. (but especially in prehistoric times).
    Antonym: neophyte
    Holonym: archaeophyta
    • 1906 April, T[homas] W[illiam] Woodhead, “Classification of Alien Plants according to Origin”, in Thomas Sheppard and Thomas William Woodhead, editors, The Naturalist: A Monthly Illustrated Journal of Natural History for the North of England, number 369 (number 591 overall), London; Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire: A. Brown & Sons, [], OCLC 1118216312, pages 126–127:
      [page 126] Archæophytes (Rikli), plants which have occurred constantly with us since pre-historic times, originally, however, growing wild nowhere in the country, field and garden weeds, [] [page 127] Further, the flora of the cultivated areas consists of a very heterogeneous element, e.g., the field weed flora is composed of at least two groups, the true Archæophytes [] and the spontaneous Apophytes []
    • 1913 March, “Swedish Lapland: Simmons, H. G. ‘Die Flora und Vegetation von Kiruna im schwedischen Lappland.’ Engler’s Bot. Jahrb., 48, 1912, pp. 1–86, 6 plates.”, in The Journal of Ecology, volume I, number 1, London: Cambridge University Press, DOI:10.2307/2255473, ISSN 0022-0477, JSTOR 2255473, OCLC 980501829, page 65:
      Anthropochorous plants are divided into (a) those introduced unintentionally, including ephemerophytes (casuals), epoikophytes (colonists, aliens) and archaeophytes (naturalised plants), and (b) those introduced intentionally, including ergasiphytes (foreign cultivated plants) and ergasiphygophytes (escapes from cultivation).
    • 1931, C[arl] H[ansen] Ostenfeld, The Distribution within Denmark of the Higher Plants: Results of the Topographic-botanical Investigation: 1: A Brief Historical Survey of the Investigation (Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabs Selskabs Skrifter, Naturvidenskabelig og Mathematisk Afdeling [Publications of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Department of Natural Science and Mathematics]; vol. 9, number 3(1)), Copenhagen: Andr[eas] Fred[erik] Høst & Søn, [], OCLC 475185860:
      It may be doubtful whether the three species first mentioned should more properly be regarded as archæophytes, since they also occur outside the actually cultivated soil; []
    • 1934, Meddelelser om Grønland [Monographs on Greenland], volume 92, Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzels Forlag, ISSN 0025-6676, OCLC 1131115194, page 18:
      N. Eur. an archæophyte, following the cereals, Færoes one place, but here noticed with an interval of 30 years.
    • 1990, J. Osbornová, “Abandoned Fields in the Region”, in J. Osbornová, M. Kovářová, J. Lepš, and J, Prach, editors, Succession in Abandoned Fields: Studies in Central Bohemia, Czechoslovakia (Geobotany; 15), Dordrecht; Boston, Mass.: Kluwer Academic Publishers, DOI:10.1007/978-94-009-2444-4, →ISBN, page 19, column 1:
      Carduus acanthoides [] In Central Bohemia an archeophyte growing in a variety of ruderal habitats (dumps, railroads, construction areas, waste places), in pastures, and abandoned fields.
    • 1999, H[erbert] Sukopp; U[we] Starfinger, “Disturbance in Urban Ecosystems”, in Lawrence R. Walker, editor, Ecosystems of Disturbed Ground (Ecosystems of the World; 16), Amsterdam; Lausanne: Elsevier, →ISBN, page 405, column 1:
      [A]rcheophytes are adapted to habitat types created early in history, including pastures, fields, and their edges; many of the neophytes, on the other hand, occur predominantly in ruderal, industrial, and urban habitats. [] [T]he proportion of neophytes is much higher in the flora of Berlin than in adjacent non-urban areas, but no difference was found for archeophytes.
    • 2009, P. Pyšek; D. M. Richardson, “Invasive Plants”, in Sven Erik Jørgensen, editor, Applications in Ecological Engineering, Amsterdam; Boston, Mass.: Elsevier, →ISBN, page 291, column 3:
      The separation between natives and archeophytes relies on a combination of paleobotanical, archeological, ecological, and historical evidence (archeophytes and neophytes are absent from the fossil record in the last glacial period, the late glacial, and the early post-glacial). Archeophytes are often known from archeological evidence to have been present in prehistoric times.
    • 2009, T[homas] C[hristopher] Smout, “History, Nature and Culture in British Nature Conservation”, in Exploring Environmental History: Selected Essays, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, →ISBN, page 213:
      Archaeophytes, or aliens that arrived through man's cultural activity and applied for a residency permit more than 500 years ago, can be accepted but are apologised for. Neophytes, aliens that have had an assisted passage since 1500, are beyond the pale, and never protected. Nevertheless, some of these may be of both cultural value and international conservation concern, like Lady Amherst's pheasant in Bedfordshire, just as much as those threatened archaeophyte weeds.
    • 2010, Clive Stace, “Introduction”, in New Flora of the British Isles, 3rd edition, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page xxiv:
      Many taxa that are rare as natives are much commoner than aliens; only the native (or archaeophyte) distribution is considered for present purposes.
    • 2013, Norbert Müller; Maria Ignatieva; Charles H. Nilon; Peter Werner; Wayne C. Zipperer, “Patterns and Trends in Urban Biodiversity and Landscape Design”, in Thomas Elmqvist [et al.], editors, Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities: A Global Assessment [], Dordrecht; Heidelberg: Springer, DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-7088-1, →ISBN, pages 130–131:
      Of the 1,459 total number of species inventoried, 13.6% were archaeophytes (introduced before 1500), 15.4% neophytes (introduced after 1500), and 71.0% native species.
    • 2015, Clive A[nthony] Stace; Michael J[ohn] Crawley, Alien Plants (Collins New Naturalist Library; 129), London: William Collins, →ISBN:
      In the past, species now considered to be archaeophytes have been variously treated as native or alien, but in the twentieth century in Britain they were most often considered as mainly native, e.g. by Clapham et al. (1952), Dandy (1958).
    • 2016, Matthias Meyer, “Invasive Species, Indigenous vs. Alien Dendroflora”, in Andreas Roloff, editor, Urban Tree Management for the Sustainable Development of Green Cities, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, section 14.2.1 (“Indigenous” vs. “Alien”), page 187:
      Archaeophytes were introduced before modern times – that is, before the year of 1492 (≈1500 AD), when Christopher Columbus reached the coasts of the American continent. Archaeophyte tree or shrub species were introduced, for instance, by the Romans or the ancient Greeks from Central Asia or Persia.
    • 2017 November, Irene Martín-Forés, “Exotic Plant Species in the Mediterranean Biome: A Reflection of Cultural and Historic Relationships”, in Borna Fuerst-Bjeliš, editor, Mediterranean Identities: Environment, Society, Culture, Rijeka, Croatia: InTech, DOI:10.5772/66587, →ISBN, page 180:
      As a consequence of the human displacements which occurred in Southern Europe from the East to the West, archeophytes (i.e. the exotic species that were introduced before 1500) were established in Western European territories such as the Iberian peninsula.
    • 2018, Alexander Fehér, “Case Studies”, in Vegetation History and Cultural Landscapes: Case Studies from South-west Slovakia (Springer Geography), Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-60267-7, →ISBN, ISSN 2194-315X, section 3.5 (Historical Reconstruction of Expansion of Alien Plants in the Nitra River Basin), page 248:
      Habitats affected (or degraded) and fragmented by man's activity were, beginning with the Neolithic, often invaded by apophytes and archeophytes and over the past 500 years also by neophytes.
    • Botany definition
      The scientific study of plants, a branch of biology. Typically those disciplines that involve the whole plant. (1 of 4 botany definitions)
    • Plant definition
      An organism that is not an animal, especially an organism capable of photosynthesis. Typically a small or herbaceous organism of this kind, rather than a tree. (1 of 15 plant definitions)
    • Naturalized definition
      simple past tense and past participle of naturalize

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