What is Epigeous and Hypogeous?

In terms of fungi, Epigeous means that the fruiting body fruits above the ground, think traditional mushrooms with mushrooms that grow above the ground.

The Prefix ‘Epi-‘ means ‘above’ and the suffix ‘geous’ relates to ‘geo’ meaning ‘earth’. So ‘Epi-geos’ is ‘Above the earth’.

Hypogeous means that the fruiting body fruits below the ground, this is mainly applicable to most Truffles that fruit below the ground.

The Prefix ‘Hypo-‘ means ‘under’, so ‘Hypo-geos’ is ‘under the earth’. Similar to the word ‘sub-terran’ which translates directly to ‘below the earth’.

To Recap,

This was some useful insight that I gained from Marcus Padilla Brown during his talk about Truffles at South West Funga Fest. I was able to use my background in etymology and linguistics to also add more etymological explanation to the above words. Hopefully this helps.

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