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(Biology) an organism, esp an alga or moss, that grows on snow or ice
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkraɪ əˌfaɪt)

1. any plant that grows on ice or snow, as certain algae, mosses, fungi, and bacteria.
2. any low-growing plant of the genus Cryophytum, certain species of which form extensive mats along coastal lands.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Xu, "Regulation of the plasma membrane during exposure to low temperatures in suspension-cultured cells from a cryophyte (Chorispora bungeana)" Protoplasma, vol.
Comparatively, caespitose and arborescent species present bigger stomata due to a better access to water resources: caespitose Blechnum species are small cryophytes that live in wetlands o peatlands, usually at high latitudes, while arborescent species appear typically in swamps and paramos near to or directly on humid to flooded soils.