in·​flo·​res·​cence | \ ˌin-flə-ˈre-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce inflorescence (audio) \

Definition of inflorescence

1a : the mode of development and arrangement of flowers on an axis
b : a floral axis with its appendages also : a flower cluster
2 : the budding and unfolding of blossoms : flowering

Illustration of inflorescence

Illustration of inflorescence

inflorescence 1a: 1 raceme, 2 corymb, 3 umbel, 4 compound umbel, 5 capitulum, 6 spike, 7 compound spike, 8 panicle, 9 cyme

Examples of inflorescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The stalk, which can reach 20 feet tall, is topped by a giant, candelabra-like inflorescence with numerous flower clusters bearing countless small, bright yellow blooms that produce large quantities of sweet nectar at night. Janet Marinelli, Wired, 19 Feb. 2022 Phelps was thoroughly scientific about education — her botany text explains inflorescence, the classification of trillium, and the theory of metamorphoses of the organs of plants — but nature also inspired her. Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2021 Gradually, the inflorescence shatters and the plant produces new foliage. Tom Maccubbin,, 28 Aug. 2021 Male sagos produce a yellowish, upright, often several feet tall inflorescence that deteriorates and drops off the plant in a matter of months. Tom Maccubbin,, 28 Aug. 2021 Roadside weeds like wild mustard and Queen Anne’s lace, tendrils of palm inflorescence and carnivorous cobra lilies have all found a place in her work. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2020 Also, that center actually contains hundreds of smaller flowers that combine to create a cluster called an inflorescence. Claire Harmeyer, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 July 2020 This gives the whole flower head (inflorescence) a lighter and more airy feel. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 8 May 2020 What really sets off my allergies this time of year—the start of blockbuster season—is the inflorescence of cinephilia. Jason Kehe, Wired, 21 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflorescence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inflorescence

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inflorescence

New Latin inflorescentia, from Late Latin inflorescent-, inflorescens, present participle of inflorescere to begin to bloom, from Latin in- + florescere to begin to bloom — more at florescence

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Time Traveler for inflorescence

Time Traveler

The first known use of inflorescence was in 1760

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Dictionary Entries Near inflorescence

in flood



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Cite this Entry

“Inflorescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for inflorescence


in·​flo·​res·​cence | \ ˌin-flə-ˈre-sᵊns How to pronounce inflorescence (audio) \

Kids Definition of inflorescence

: the arrangement of flowers on a stalk

More from Merriam-Webster on inflorescence Encyclopedia article about inflorescence


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