What are the most common crystal habits?

Now I am going to tell you about in what shapes the crystals form, which is called their habit.  The names of the habits are, Acicular, Bladed, Dendritic, Equant, Prismatic, Striated, and Tabular.  You may have never have herd about these, but don’t worry I am going to tell you what they all mean.  Let’s start with the first one Acicular, which forms in a needlelike pattern (e.g.  natrolite).  another one is Bladed,which is broad and flat elongated like a knife blade (e.g. gypsum).  Next is Dendritic, which means crystallizing in a tree “tree-like” or branching pattern (e.g. copper).  The next one is Equant, which means, having roughly the same diameter in every direction (e.g. garnet); an equivalent terms equidimensional.  The fifth one is Prismatic, elongated in one direction (e.g. tourmaline).  The next is Striated having very shallow, parallel grooves or depressions on one or more crystal faces (e.g. pyrite).  And our last one is Tabular, which means, thick or thin flat plates (e.g. wulfenite).  These are the mineral habits.

acicular   bladeddendritic   equant

prismatic 5    striated

tabular

Pictures by Risa Eschen and Leah Eschen

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