Types of inflorescence

The organs of sexual reproduction in the flowering plant division are flowers, and variation in their arrangement can be identified and named:

• spike is an individual, unstalked series of flowers on a single flower stalk, e.g. Verbascum;

Types Inflorescence
  • raceme consists of individual stalked flowers, the stalks all the same length again spaced out on a single undivided main flower stalk, e.g. foxglove (see Figure 7.3), hyacinth, lupin, wallflower;
  • compound racemes have a number of simple racemes arranged in sequence on the flower stalk, e.g. grasses;
  • corymb is similar to a raceme except that the flower stalks, although spaced out along the main stalk, are of different lengths so that the flowers are all at the same level, e.g. Achillea (see Figure 7.3). A very common sight in hedgerows;
  • umbel has stalked flowers reaching the same height with the stalks seeming to start at the same point on the main stem, e.g. hogweed (see Figure 7.3);
  • capitulum or composite flower forms a disc carrying flower parts radiating out from the centre, as if compressed from above, e.g. Inula (see Figure 7.3), daisy, chrysanthemum.

The number and arrangement of flower parts are the most important features for classification and are a primary feature in plant identification (see Chapter 4, p67).

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    What is inflorescence in horticulture?
    2 years ago

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