epicortex (noun, pl. epicortices; variant spelling: epicortexes) – a thin homogeneous polysaccharide layer on the surface of a true cortex (eucortex). An epicortex is characteristic for many species of foliose lichens in the Parmeliaceae. The term was originally introduced for any polysaccharide surface layer but later used in a more restrictive since to refer only to a layer that is characterized by minute, regular pores that can best be observed with the scanning electron microscope; compare syncortex. Kind of: cortex.