from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Having floral parts attached to or near the summit of the ovary, as in the flower of the apple, cucumber, or daffodil.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Having an inferior ovary that is completely buried within the receptacle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Adnate to the surface of the ovary, so as to be apparently inserted upon the top of it; -- said of stamens, petals, sepals, and also of the disk.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In botany, growing upon the top of the ovary, or seeming to do so, as the corolla and stamens of the cranberry.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Advance has been along two lines, markedly in relation to insect-pollination, one of which has culminated in the hypogynous epipetalous bicarpellate forms with dorsiventral often large and loosely arranged flowers such as occur in Scrophulariaceae, and the other in the epigynous bicarpellate small-flowered families of which the Compositae represent the most elaborate type.
The seven series of Monocotyledons represent a sequence beginning with the most complicated epigynous orders, such as Orchideae and
Schnizlein  observed hermaphrodite flowers in the beech, _Fagus sylvatica_, the ovaries being smaller than usual, and the stamens epigynous.
When the plants in which these occurrences happen most frequently are compared together, it may be seen that partial or entire suppression of the floral envelopes, calyx, and corolla, is far more commonly met with in the polypetalous and hypogynous groups than in the gamopetalous or epigynous series.
In _Umbelliferæ_ the epigynous condition is changed for the perigynous, &c.
Varieties differ from their species clearly in one point, and this is either a distinct loss, or the assumption of a character, which may be met with in other species and genera. _laevifolia_ is distinguished by the loss of the crinkling of the leaves, _brevistylis_ by the partial loss of the epigynous qualities of the flowers, and _nanella_ is a dwarf.
Ovary inferior, held in the concavity of the receptacle, one-celled, with 1 seed, crowned by an epigynous disc, above which rises a simple style with dilated stigma.
A still further advance is made by the contraction of the axis, so as to leave the central part forming the ovary quite below the flower, which is then termed epigynous.
A theory of variation should deal alike with the origin of specific distinctions and with those vaster differences which characterise the larger groups, and he thinks it should answer such questions as -- How an axis comes to be arrested to form a flower? how the various forms of inflorescence were evolved? how did perigynous or epigynous flowers arise from hypogynous flowers? and many others equally fundamental.
The plants with hypogynous flowers should, as a rule, have less seed and more vigorous and abundant foliage than those at the other extreme with epigynous flowers.