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1. the part of a plant that consists of the flower-bearing stalks
2. the arrangement of the flowers on the stalks
3. the process of flowering; blossoming


A flower cluster segregated from any other flowers on the same plant, together with the stems and bracts (reduced leaves) associated with it. Certain plants produce inflorescences, whereas others produce only solitary flowers. See Flower



the flower-bearing part of the annual shoot of a plant. An inflorescence consists of a more or less complexly branched system of axes and flowers that develop in the bracteal axils. The classification of inflorescences is for the most part artificial; they are usually said to be simple or compound, depending on the order of the axes (one or two, two or three, or more) that bear the flowers.

Simple inflorescences include those that are botryose (raceme, corymb, spike, ament, spadix, umbel, capitulum, head) and those that are cymose (simple pleiochasium, dichasium, mono-chasium). Botryose inflorescences are marked by monopodial branching and acropetal opening of flowers; cymose inflorescences, contrastingly, are characterized by sympodial branching and basipetal opening of flowers.

Compound inflorescences are divided into homogeneous, heterogeneous, and mixed inflorescences. In homogeneous compound inflorescences the initial branching and all subsequent branching are the same type (compound raceme, compound umbel, compound spike, compound pleiochasium, compound dichasium, compound monochasium). Heterogeneous compound inflorescences consist of combinations of various types within the botryose (a panicle of spikes, a capitulum of heads) or cymose group (a pleiochasium of dichasia, a dichasium of monochasia). Mixed inflorescences are combinations of botryose and cymose inflorescences (a pleiochasium of heads, a dichasium of racemes, an umbel of monochasia).

In constructing a morphogenetic classification of inflorescences not only shape and structure are taken into account but also the paths of development, principal among which are an increase in the number of lateral shoots, the formation of special inflorescences, the underdevelopment of leaves, the conversion of middle leaves into apical ones, the loss of the apical flower, a change from basipetal to acropetal flowering, and a shortening of lateral and principal axes.

Some botanists consider the compound pleiochasium to be the most primitive inflorescence, that is, the one from which all others developed by means of simplification of branching. Others view the inflorescence as having derived from a solitary terminal flower. The evolution of inflorescences has led to an increase in the total number of flowers on a shoot, a decrease in flower size, and the uniting of flowers into compact groups (anthodia) resembling a single flower with distinct differentiation of functions among certain flowers (larkspur, fig, spurge) and adaptation to special conditions and certain agents of pollination that ensure seed formation. The transition from simple descriptions of external appearance (spikelike, pyramidal) and from the use of indefinite collective types (panicle, thyrse) to the elucidation of structural differences has had great significance in plant systematics, making it possible to judge the directions of evolution of closely related systematic groups and increasing the number of differential characters.


Kaden, N. N. “Soplodiia i sotsvetiia.” Vestnik MGU. Seriia fiziko-matematicheskikh i estestvennykh nauk, 1951, no. 6.
Botanika, 7th ed., vol. 1. Edited by L. V. Kudriashov. Moscow, 1966.
Troll, W. Die lnfloreszenzen, vols. 1–2 (part 1). Jena, 1964–69.



A flower cluster segregated from any other flowers on the same plant, together with the stems and bracts (reduced leaves) associated with it.
References in periodicals archive ?
This time, he said, mango production had reduced to 40 per cent adding that the there have been problems with inflorescence and fruit setting problems.
Five plots were designed, and an inflorescence from each of palm in each plot was chosen.
In contrasts to such pattern of fruit, Ehrlen [13] and Diggle [11] found that a large number of Leguminosae have fruit production that is higher at the base of the inflorescence.
However, Aplectrum usually has 8-15 flowers/stalk (Homoya 1993; Yatskievych 2000) but peduncles with only one flower were found in this study and the average number of flowers/ inflorescence was lower than the typical range.
Although their limited mobility would make it hard for them to locate a distant odor source, springtails near an inflorescence might be encouraged by the odor to enter the spathe.
Complicating factors considered in the experiment were size of inflorescence and pre-dispersal seed predation.
In previous research Lippman and others reasoned that the timing of flowering would be important in determining whether an inflorescence was highly branched or not.
Shape of inflorescence, thickness of peduncle, venation of leaflet, and apex of floral bract (characters 10, 12, 9, and 13) were most important for determining the component score of the first axis; shape of rachis gland and length of leaflet (characters 3 and 7) were most important for determining the second axis, whereas the most important character for determination of the third axis was symmetry of stipular spine (character 1).
Grasses are organized by the shape of the inflorescence.
Each ramet bears one multitiered inflorescence which consists of several sequentially opening flowers within a bract and several sequentially opening bracts within an inflorescence.
The inflorescence of blowout penstemon is a thyrse characterized by a series of pairs of opposite leafy bracts subtending individual cymes, called verticillasters, of two to eight flowers (Great Plains Flora Association 1986).