Find the word definition

Crossword clues for inflorescence

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Inflorescence \In`flo*res"cence\, n. [L. inflorescens, p. pr. of inflorescere to begin to blossom; pref. in- in + florescere to begin to blossom: cf. F. inflorescence. See Florescent.]

  1. A flowering; the putting forth and unfolding of blossoms.

  2. (Bot.)

    1. The mode of flowering, or the general arrangement and disposition of the flowers with reference to the axis, and to each other.

    2. An axis on which all the buds are flower buds.

      Inflorescence affords an excellent characteristic mark in distinguishing the species of plants.

      Centrifugal inflorescence, determinate inflorescence.

      Centripetal inflorescence, indeterminate inflorescence. See under Determinate, and Indeterminate.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1760, from Modern Latin inflorescentia, from Late Latin inflorescentem (nominative inflorescens) "flowering," present participle of Latin inflorescere "to come to flower," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + florescere "to begin to bloom" (see flourish).


n. 1 (context botany English) flower cluster. 2 A beginning to flower.

  1. n. the time and process of budding and unfolding of blossoms [syn: blossoming, flowering, florescence, anthesis, efflorescence]

  2. the flowering part of a plant or arrangement of flowers on a stalk


An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Morphologically, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified. The modifications can involve the length and the nature of the internodes and the phyllotaxis, as well as variations in the proportions, compressions, swellings, adnations, connations and reduction of main and secondary axes. Inflorescence can also be defined as the reproductive portion of a plant that bears a cluster of flowers in a specific pattern.

The stem holding the whole inflorescence is called a peduncle and the major axis (incorrectly referred to as the main stem) holding the flowers or more branches within the inflorescence is called the rachis. The stalk of each single flower is called a pedicel. A flower that is not part of an inflorescence is called a solitary flower and its stalk is also referred to as a peduncle. Any flower in an inflorescence may be referred to as a floret, especially when the individual flowers are particularly small and borne in a tight cluster, such as in a pseudanthium. The fruiting stage of an inflorescence is known as an infructescence.

Inflorescences may be simple (single) or complex ( panicle). The rachis may be one of several types, including Single, Composite, Umbel, Spike or Raceme.

Usage examples of "inflorescence".

The hapless fly is impaled with an inch or two of the flowering spike of blady grass to which a portion of the white inflorescence adheres, and is released.

In this country it cannot so easily be cultivated in the open as the common Lavender, to which it has a very close similarity, but from which it can be distinguished by the inflorescence, which is more compressed, by the bracts in the axils of which the flowers are placed being much narrower and by the leaves which are broader and spatula shaped.

Between them sprouted tiny inflorescences, pale green like the phosphorescence on rotting corpses.