an elastic filament that scatters the ripe spores, found in certain plants, as in the capsule of a liverwort
ModL < Gr elatēr, driver < elaunein: see elastic
See elater in American Heritage Dictionary 4
An elaterid beetle.
Botany A tiny elongated structure that forces the dispersal of spores by the absorption of moisture. It is either a band attached to the spore, as in horsetails, or a filament occurring among the spores, as in liverworts.