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Crystal habits and aggregates

- Describes the external or the general

shape of a crystal

I. Minerals in isolated or distinct crystals

 Acicular – slender and needlelike  Prismatic – pencil-like elongated
crystals; can produce fan-shaped crystals; e.g. tourmaline
aggregates; e.g. gypsum, rutile

 Capillary or Filiform – threadlike or

hairlike crystals; e.g. millerite
 Hopper – partially formed crystal;
more rapid growth on the outer
edge; e.g. bismuth

 Bladed – elongated and flattened;

e.g. kyanite
II. Groups of distinct crystals
 Dendritic – branching growth  Drusy – surface covered with small
forming plant-like pattern; e.g. crystals; e.g. quartz

III. Parallel or radiating groups of individual

 Columnar – column like, stout
 Reticulated – latticelike group of prisms; e.g. selenite
slender crystals; e.g. cerussite

 Divergent or radiated – crystal grows  Fibrous – fine fiber-like crystals; e.g.

outward from central point; e.g. chrysotile
 Stellated – outward growth from  Mammillary – rounded breastlike
common point, forming starlike or masses; e.g. malachite
circular group; e.g. pyrophyllite

 Colloform – spherical forms with no

regard to size; e.g. hematite
 Globular – bubbly, rounded masses;
e.g. gyrolite

IV. Mineral associated with the idea of sheets

 Foliated – sheet like or layered
structure; separable into plates; e.g.
 Botryoidal – resembles grape
bunches; e.g. hematite

 Micaceous – flaky crystals; split into

 Reniform – round-kidney shaped
very thin, flexible sheets; e.g.
masses; e.g. pyrolusite
 Lamellar or tabular – layered, VI. General Terminology
overlapping masses like sheets of  Stalactitic – formed as stalactites or
paper; e.g. molybdenite stalagmites; downwards or upwards
in a cavity; e.g. malachite

 Plumose – fine, featherlike scales;

e.g. pyrolusite
 Pisolitic – rounded in the size of a
pea; e.g. bauxite

V. Composed of grains
 Granular – composed of many
rounded or equant anhedral
crystals; e.g. olivine
 Oolitic – rounded with size less than
4mm; e.g. hematite
 Banded – narrow bands of different  Geode – rounded mass on the inside
colors; e.g. rhodochrosite walls of a cavity with several bands;
e.g. celestite

 Massive – no distinctive habit or

feature; e.g. serpentine

 Amygdaloidal – like embedded

almonds; e.g. heulandite