umbel(redirected from umbellately)
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a cluster of plants whose flower scapes are all of the same length and branch out as if from the apex of a shortened main rachis. The flowers, therefore, are located much at the same level (in cherry blossoms, primroses, and masterworts). The peripheral flowers in the umbel open first, and then the inner ones blossom. Plants frequently have compound umbels, formed by small umbels with short scapes that are located in place of flowers on long rachises that branch out from the apex of the main rachis. Such small umbels are called umbellets, and the rachises on which they sit are called rays. Compound umbels are characteristic of almost all the plants of the family Umbelliferae (carrots, dill, angelica).