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 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 Red-flowered ones with tall butterfly-attracting inflorescences can linger into winter and might be enjoyed a while longer if staked. Tom Maccubbin,, 23 Nov. 2019 Or, leave all the green to lightly yellowing fronds, which would be even healthier for your palms. A: Feel free to remove the flower stalk, known as an inflorescence, from your bromeliads at any time. Tom Maccubbin,, 21 Sep. 2019 Many sagos are flowering, and your plant has produced a female inflorescence. Tom Maccubbin,, 9 June 2018 The inflorescence reaches 12 to 18 inches long, bearing colorful flowers with white lavender petals and orange sepals. Karen Dardick,, 17 May 2018

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Inflorescence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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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