Skip to Content


« Back to Glossary Index

**Inflorescence Characteristics:**
– Inflorescences can be simple or complex.
– Different terms like peduncle, rachis, pedicel, and floret are used.
– There are unique forms of inflorescence like cauliflory and flagelliflory.
– The rachis can have different forms like single, composite, umbel, spike, or raceme.
– Inflorescences are crucial for plant reproduction and are a result of natural selection.
– The timing of flowers in an inflorescence can be determinate or indeterminate.

**Bracts in Inflorescences:**
– Bracts are modified foliage found in inflorescences.
– Bracts can be ebracteate, bracteate, leafy, or leafy-bracted.
– Bracts serve functions like attracting pollinators.
– Involucre and involucel are terms for groups of bracts.
– Bracts can be found at the node where the main stem forms.

**Terminal Flower and Growth Patterns:**
– Inflorescences grow in two schemes: monopodial and sympodial.
– Growth patterns can be indeterminate or determinate.
– Indeterminate inflorescences lack a true terminal flower.
– Determinate inflorescences form a terminal flower first.
– Indeterminate and determinate inflorescences have different maturation patterns.

**Phyllotaxis and Bract Attachment:**
– Flowers can be arranged on the stem in various patterns like alternate and opposite.
– Bracts can be adnate or attached to the main stem.
– Some plants have bracts subtending the pedicel or peduncle of single flowers.
– Various plants exhibit different metatopic placements of bracts.
– The arrangement of leaves in a bud is called Ptyxis.

**Classification of Inflorescences:**
– Inflorescences are classified based on branching patterns.
– Simple inflorescences include racemes, spikes, umbels, spadices, flower heads, catkins, and cymes.
– Compound inflorescences are composed of branched stems and can be complex.
Asteraceae, Poaceae, Ficus, and Euphorbia have unique inflorescence structures.
– Genes like LFY, AP1, and TFL play a crucial role in flower development and inflorescence architecture.

Inflorescence (Wikipedia)

An inflorescence, in a flowering plant, is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a system of branches. An inflorescence is categorized on the basis of the arrangement of flowers on a main axis (peduncle) and by the timing of its flowering (determinate and indeterminate).

Aloe hereroensis, showing inflorescence with branched peduncle
Amorphophallus titanum has the world's largest unbranched inflorescence. Photo of the plant in bloom in 2000 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Florida, US

Morphologically, an inflorescence is the modified part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed on the axis of a plant. 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.[citation needed]

One can also define an inflorescence as the reproductive portion of a plant that bears a cluster of flowers in a specific pattern.[citation needed]

« Back to Glossary Index