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The anthela of spikelets may be simple, compound, decompound and supra-decompound depending on the branching order with expanded epipodium (either first, second, third, or fourth and above, respectively).
Because of his wife's entry, Balthazar has failed to decompound nitrogen, but, in the logic offered by the text, Balthazar's failure is not a result of the fact that nitrogen is an element already, undecompoundable through the processes of physical chemistry.
To decompound, in that case, really would be to create, as we will see below when a diamond is created by the decompounding of a carbon and sulfur compound.