This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek-made name, referring to the spadix being inclosed or hidden in the spathe). Syn. Myrioblastus. Araceae. Aquatic or paludose herbs of 20-30 species in tropical Asia and the Malayan Archipelago, rarely seen in choice collections but apparently not in the trade. They have creeping and stoloniferous rhizomes, strongly ribbed oblong or linear or ovate leaves, monoecious flowers without perianth, the upper ones on the spadix staminate and the lower pistillate: spathe closed, the infloresence wholly included. The species require the treatment given tender arums. C. ciliata, Fisch., 1 ft., leaves narrow, stalked: flowers fragrant in a long tubular peduncled spathe which is fringed at the top. C. retrospiralis, Fisch., plant slender with very narrow almost grass-like leaves, and small spathe terminating in a spiral or twist. C. Griffithii, Schott, with leaves ovate or orbicular-oblong marked with fine red lines; spathe purple. B.M. 7719.
Cryptogams are flowerless plants, producing not seeds but spores. The whole vegetable kingdom was formerly thrown into two classes, the flowering plants or phanerogams and the flowerless or cryptogams. Cryptogam means "concealed nuptials," and phanerogam "visible nuptials." These names were given when it was thought that the sexual parts of the flowerless plants were very obscure or even wanting. The word is now falling into disfavor with botanists. Cryptogams are of less horticultural interest than the flowering plants, although they include the ferns, and some interesting smaller groups, as selaginellas, lyco-pods or club mosses. The word cryptogam is now mostly given up by botanists as representing a taxo-nomic group, as the name is founded on imperfect or false analogies. The plants covered by this name are now distributed in the great divisions of thallophytes, bryophytes and pteridophytes; and the phenogams or phanerogams are spoken of as spermatophytes (see the categories on p. 2, Vol. I.).