Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phyll or -phyl

In plants, photosynthesis occurs mainly within the leaves. Credit: Hanis/E+/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phyll or -phyl


The suffix (-phyll) refers to leaves or leaf structures. It is derived from the Greek phyllon for leaf.


Bacteriochlorophyll (bacterio-chloro-phyll) - pigments found in photosynthetic bacteria that absorb light energy used for photosynthesis.

Cataphyll (cata-phyll) - an underdeveloped leaf or leaf in its early developmental stage. Examples include a bud scale or seed leaf.

Chlorophyll (chloro-phyll) - green pigments found in plant chloroplasts that absorb light energy used for photosynthesis.

Cladophyll (clado-phyll) - a flattened stem of a plant that resembles and functions as a leaf.

Diphyllous (di-phyll-ous) - refers to plants possessing two leaves or sepals.

Endophyllous (endo-phyll-ous) - refers to being wrapped within a leaf or sheath.

Epiphyllous (epi-phyll-ous) - refers to a plant that grows on or is attached to the leaf of another plant.

Heterophyllous (hetero-phyll-ous) - referring to having different types of leaves on a single plant.

Hypsophyll (hypso-phyll) - any of the parts of a flower that are derived from a leaf, such as sepals and petals.

Megaphyll (mega-phyll) - a type of leaf with many large branched veins, such as those found in gymnosperms and angiosperms.

Mesophyll (meso-phyll) - middle tissue layer of a leaf that contains chlorophyll and is involved in photosynthesis.

Microphyll (micro-phyll) - a type of leaf with a single vein that does not branch out into other veins. These small leaves are found in club mosses.

Prophyll (pro-phyll) - a plant structure that resembles a leaf.

Sporophyll (sporo-phyll ) - a leaf or leaf-like structure that bears plant spores.

Xanthophyll (xantho-phyll ) - yellow pigment found in plant leaves.