Flower Terms

Inflorescence Types

Inflorescence refers to the flowering part of a plant, and especially the mode of its arrangement.

A pedicel is a tiny stalk; the support of a single flower.

A peduncle is the primary flower stalk which supports either a cluster of flowers or a solitary flower.

Spike

A spike is an elongated flower cluster in which the flowers grow along a central stem (peduncle). The individual flowers have no pedicels (individual short stems).

Elephant Head inflorescence appears as a spike.

Raceme

A raceme is an elongated flower cluster in which the flowers grow along a central stem (peduncle) on pedicels (individual short stems).

Tansy mustard inflorescence appears in raceme.

Corymb

A corymb is raceme cluster in which pedicels are of unequal length; thus bringing the flowers to the same level.

For example, Mountain Spiraea, grows with a slightly rounded cluster of flowers.

Panicle

A panicle is an open or dense cluster in which the secondary branches are branched again.

The Corn Lily, inflorescence appears in a dense panicle.

The flowers of Jessica's Stickseed, grow in an open panicle.

Umbel

An inflorescence in which the peduncles or pedicels of a cluster spring from the same point.

Umbel comes from the Latin word for umbrella.

Ranger's Buttons, have umbels. Members of the carrot family usually have umbels.