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Cluster of flowers on one or a series of branches, which together make a large showy blossom. Categories depend on the arrangement of flowers on an elongated main axis (peduncle) or on sub-branches from the main axis, and on the timing and position of flowering. In determinate inflorescences, the youngest flowers are at the bottom or outside (e.g., onion flowers). In indeterminate inflorescences, the youngest flowers are at the top or in the center (e.g., snapdragon, lily of the valley, and Astilbe flowers). Other indeterminate inflorescences are the dangling male and female catkins of oak trees, the spike of barley, and the flat head (capitulum) of the dandelion.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on inflorescence, visit Britannica.com.