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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spathe \Spathe\, n. [L. spatha, Gr. ?: cf. F. spathe. See Spade for digging.] (Bot.) A special involucre formed of one leaf and inclosing a spadix, as in aroid plants and palms. See the Note under Bract, and Illust. of Spadix.

Note: The name is also given to the several-leaved involucre of the iris and other similar plants.


n. (context botany English) A large bract that envelops or subtends a whole inflorescence, typically a spadix.


n. a conspicuous bract surrounding or subtending a spadix or other inflorescence

Usage examples of "spathe".

That was because the lily, with its fleshy spadix standing erect from among its vulvate spathe of petals, always seemed to me a mockery of what my own sexual organs look like.

Each plant was like a large jack-in-the-pulpit or love-in-a-mist or fever-tree flower, in that each thick stemmed bloom was canopied and bowered by great dark green leaves of the sort botanists called spathes and bracts.

Stepping back a pace, and with a small gasp like the cooing of a dove, the object of their attention held out a reproachful hand, soft and white as the poisonous spathe of the arum lily.