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

Many sagos are flowering, and your plant has produced a female inflorescence. Tom Maccubbin,, "How to treat blossom-end rot," 9 June 2018 The inflorescence reaches 12 to 18 inches long, bearing colorful flowers with white lavender petals and orange sepals. Karen Dardick,, "Bromeliads create garden drama," 17 May 2018 Native to Sumatran rainforests, the endangered and unpredictable species produces the world's largest unbranched inflorescence. Houston Chronicle, "There is a new, stinky corpse flower at the Houston Museum of Natural Science," 26 Apr. 2018 The 3-inch-long inflorescence is composed of rows of golden tepals from which emerge red styles that resemble butterfly antennae. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Grevilleas for the fall garden," 27 Oct. 2017 White cycad scale is one of these that seems to sneak into the plantings to quickly cover trunks, leaves and inflorescence of the sagos to cause their decline. Tom Maccubbin,, "Moss poses no risk to azaleas, but it may fight for space," 3 June 2017 A: What appears to be a bromeliad flower is usually an inflorescence composed of many blooms. Tom Maccubbin,, "Tackle nematode problem before planting," 20 May 2017 The inflorescence, or flower head, consists of a cluster of about 15 to 20 reddish-brown (meat-colored) flowers covered with fleshy projections called papillae that are said to resemble wriggling maggots. Tom Mirenda, Smithsonian, "Meet Stinky ‘Bucky,’ the Bulbophyllum Orchid that Shutdown a Smithsonian Greenhouse," 17 Apr. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near inflorescence



in flood




in flower

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The first known use of inflorescence was in 1760

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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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of or relating to the heavens

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