Word of the Day – Tuesday, October 8th



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EDEMA (ih-DEE-muh)

1. Botany: a swelling in a plant, caused by excessive moisture.
Pathology: a buildup of excess serous fluid in the interstices of cells in tissue spaces or into body cavities.
Common clues: Plant swelling; Swelling condition; Plant problem; Accumulation of fluids; Tomato blight; Botanical swelling; Watery swelling; Puffiness; Swell subject for plants
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 84310 / 86800
Identifying Late Blight on Tomato Plants

Edema on the underside of a Peperomia Leaf [Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Curtis E. Swift, Colorado State University]

Edema is a condition that results when the plant takes up more water through the roots than the leaves can give off in the form of water vapor through the stomates. The excess water accumulates in the leaf cells, causing them to enlarge and often burst. As the cells become engorged with water, swellings may appear on the upper or lower surface of the leaf. The afflicted cells often have a dark green bacterial-like water-soaked appearance surrounding these swollen cells.


Edema, formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, which are locations beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body. It is clinically shown as swelling. Generally, the amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis, and increased secretion of fluid into the interstitium or impaired removal of this fluid may cause edema.

Left and right ring fingers of the same individual. The distal phalanx of the finger on the right exhibits edema due to acute paronychia.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edema".