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Re: [aroid-l] what does inflorescence mean?

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] what does inflorescence mean?
  • From: MossyTrail@cs.com
  • Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 23:25:05 -0400

"Petra Schmidt" <petra@plantdelights.com> wrote:

>Hi there...Time to buy a good book on botanical terms and my favorite is:  A
>Dictionary of Botany by R. John Little and C. Eugene Jones - they define
>inflorescence as:
>"the arrangement of flowers on a floral axis; a floral cluster"
>
That is the best explanation of the several.  Say you have a foxglove.  That long spike with all the flowers on it is the inflorescence.  With Agave, I would say that big, tree-like structure is the inflorescence, because an Agave not in flower does not have it.

It can get confusing with asters; that is, is each head an inflorescence, or is the whole cluster of heads the inflorescence?

Incidentally, isn't it intriguing that the three examples we discussed for largest flower/inflorescence (A. titanum, Rafflesia, Talipot Palm) all live in the same part of the world?

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large





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