epihymenium (noun, pl. epihymenia;ascocarp term) – the uppermost portion of a hymenium formed by the tips of the paraphyses that are often swollen, moderately branched and frequently interspersed with diffuse pigments, crystals, or granules (cf. episamma). Because of the pigmentation, inspersion and the swelling of the apical cells, the epihymenium often appears to be a distinct layer, even though it is strictly speaking only the uppermost part of the hymenium. It should thus be distinguished from any additional distinct plectenchyma that might be developed on top of the hymenium and can be referred to as epithecium. Unfortunately this distinction is not often followed and both terms, epihymenium and epithecium, have frequently been used interchangeably. This is:part of ascocarp.