Definitions for AWNɔn
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slender bristlelike appendage found on the bracts of grasses
The bristle or beard of barley, oats, grasses, etc., or any similar bristlelike appendage; arista.
Origin: aw(u)ne, agune, agene, from Old Danish aghn (compare modern avne), from aganō 'chaff' (compare ægnan, Frisian/Dutch agen, German Ahne, Agen), from aḱanā (compare Old Latin agna 'ear of wheat', Lithuanian asnis, Czech osina, Ancient Greek ἄκαινα, ἄκανος, Sanskrit अशनि, from h₂eḱ. More at edge.
the bristle or beard of barley, oats, grasses, etc., or any similar bristlelike appendage; arista
Origin: [OE. awn, agune, from Icel. gn, pl. agnir; akin to Sw. agn, Dan. avne, Goth. ahana, OHG. agana, G. agen, ahne, chaff, Gr. 'a`chnh, AS. egla; prob. from same root as E. acute. See 3d Ear. 1.]
In botany, an awn is either a hair- or bristle-like appendage on a larger structure, or in the case of the Asteraceae, a stiff needle-like element of the pappus. Awns are characteristic of many grasses, where they extend from the lemmas of the florets. This often makes the hairy appearance of the grass synfloresce. Awns may be long or short, straight or curved, single or multiple per floret. Some genera are named after their awns, such as the three-awns. In some species, the awns can contribute significantly to photosynthesis, as in, for example barley. The awns of wild emmer wheat spikelets effectively self-cultivate by propelling themselves mechanically into soils. During a period of increased humidity during the night, the awns of the spikelet become erect and draw together, and in the process push the grain into the soil. During the daytime the humidity drops and the awns slacken back again; however, fine silica hairs on the awns act as hooks in the soil and prevent the spikelets from reversing back out again. During the course of alternating stages of daytime and nighttime humidity, the awns' pumping movements, which resemble a swimming frog kick, drill the spikelet as much as an inch into the soil.
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