from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In phytogeography, the character presented by a type of foliage reduced in size, thickened, and hardened in response to conditions of physiological dryness.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It’s called sclerophylly, and it’s a botanical term.

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • Height and deciduousness decrease towards the south, while succulence, sclerophylly and spinescence increase; this is a pattern that closely mirrors the rainfall gradient of the area.

    Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets

  • Towards the south, the highly erratic distribution of rainfall requires that plants be able to utilize soil moisture whenever available; succulence, sclerophylly, deciduousness and spinescence are some of strategies adapted for coping with such environmental conditions.

    Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets

  • More technically, the New Phytologist of October 2003 defines some of the traits shown in a study of sclerophylly: “Of the structural properties, strength, toughness and flexural stiffness each made substantial independent contributions to the variation in sclerophylly indices, but the best individual explanators were flexural stiffness and strength.”

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • According to Mike Davis, a California writer and urban critic who likes to flirt, passionately, with catastrophe, botanical sclerophylly is “the development of small, tough, evergreen leaves…as a defense against drought.”

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • Like most transplanted species, they want a lot of care and attention to survive, even those who’ve developed sclerophylly.

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen


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