From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: hila

(botany) The scar on a seed or a spore at the site where it was attached to its stalk during plant development

(botany) The nucleus of a starch grain

(anatomy) The part of an organ where structures (such as blood vessels, nerves, ducts, etc.) emerge from an organ or a gland; porta


In botany, hilum pertains to the mark or scar seen on a plant seed or fungal spore from where it was attached to the stalk during development. The hilum on seeds is produced by the separation from its funicle or placenta. In spores, the hilum is formed by its detachment from the spore-bearing structure.

In anatomy, hilum refers to the part of an organ or gland where structures such as blood vessels, nerves, ducts, etc. enter or emerge from an anatomic part.

Word origin: Latin hilum (a trifle; a spot on a seed)


  • hilus (anatomy)
  • porta (anatomy)

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