"Glaucous" (from the Latin "glaucous", meaning "bluish-grey or green", from the Greek "glaukos") is a botanical term (adjective) used to describe the pale grey or bluish-green appearance of the surfaces of some plants.

The term "glaucous" is also used botanically to mean "covered with a grayish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating or bloom that is easily rubbed off" (e.g. glaucous leaves).


The epicuticular wax coating on mature plum fruit gives them a glaucous appearance. Another familiar example is found in the common grape genus ("Vitis vinifera"). Some cacti have a glaucous coating on their stem(s). Glaucous coatings are hydrophobic, prevent wetting by rain, and hinder climbing of leaves, stem or fruit by insects. On fruits, glaucous coatings may function as a deterrent to climbing and feeding by small insects in favor of increased seed dispersal offered by larger animals such as mammals and birds.



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  • Glaucous — Glau cous (gl[add] k[u^]s), a. [L. glaucus, Gr. glayko s.] 1. Of a sea green color; of a dull green passing into grayish blue. Lindley. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) Covered with a fine bloom or fine white powder easily rubbed off, as that on a blue… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • glaucous — (adj.) bluish green, gray, 1670s, from L. glaucus bluish green, of uncertain origin; used in Homer of the sea as gleaming, silvery (apparently without a color connotation); used by later writers with a sense of bluish green, gray, of olive leaves …   Etymology dictionary

  • glaucous — [glô′kəs] adj. [L glaucus < Gr glaukos: see GLAUCO ] 1. bluish green or yellowish green 2. Bot. covered with a greenish bloom that can be rubbed off, as grapes, plums, cabbage leaves, etc …   English World dictionary

  • glaucous — Synonyms and related words: Quaker colored, acier, aestival, alabaster, alabastrine, albescent, ashen, ashy, beryl green, berylline, blue green, bluish green, canescent, chartreuse, chloranemic, chlorine, chlorotic, cinereous, cinerous, citrine,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • glaucous — adjective technical a glaucous leaf or plant has a fine white powdery surface …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • glaucous — adjective Etymology: Latin glaucus, from Greek glaukos gleaming, gray Date: 1671 1. a. of a pale yellow green color b. of a light bluish gray or bluish white color 2. having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • glaucous — adj. [L. glaucus, bluish green] Sea green or pale bluish green in color …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • glaucous — glaucously, adv. /glaw keuhs/, adj. 1. light bluish green or greenish blue. 2. Bot. covered with a whitish bloom, as a plum. [1665 75; < L glaucus silvery, gray, bluish green < Gk glaukós. See GLAUCO , OUS] * * * …   Universalium

  • glaucous — adjective /ˈɡlɔː.kəs,ˈɡlɑ.kəs,ˈɡlɔ.kəs/ a) Of a pale green colour with a bluish grey tinge, especially when covered with a powdery residue. b) Covered with a bloom or a pale powdery covering, regardless of colour. See Also: glaucoma, glauconite …   Wiktionary

  • glaucous — sea green; greyish blue Colour Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

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