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Diagram of a panicle

A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence.[1] Some authors distinguish it from a compound spike inflorescence, by requiring that the flowers (and fruit) be pedicellate (having a single stem per flower). The branches of a panicle are often racemes. A panicle may have determinate or indeterminate growth.

This type of inflorescence is largely characteristic of grasses such as oat and crabgrass,[a] as well as other plants such as pistachio and mamoncillo. Botanists use the term paniculate in two ways: "having a true panicle inflorescence"[b] as well as "having an inflorescence with the form but not necessarily the structure of a panicle".

CorymbEdit

A corymb may have a paniculate branching structure, with the lower flowers having longer pedicels than the upper, thus giving a flattish top superficially resembling an umbel. Many species in the subfamily Amygdaloideae, such as hawthorns and rowans, produce their flowers in corymbs.

Latin namesEdit

Paniculatus (masculine), paniculata (feminine) and paniculatum (neuter) are genders of a Latin adjective meaning “paniculate”. These terms are often used in the specific epithets of binomial names (mostly plants), indicating that the flowers are borne in panicles. By far the most common gender is the feminine paniculata, because most Latin plant names are feminine. The term is occasionally used for other organisms.

See alsoEdit

  • Thyrse, a branched inflorescence where the main axis has indeterminate growth, and the branches have determinate growth

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Technically, the inflorescence unit in a grass is the spikelet, but the arrangement of spikelets may be described as a panicle.
  2. ^ "In the form of a panicle"[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0521790802. A much-branched inflorescence. (softcover ISBN 978-0521794015).