What are inflorescences?

The flowers are wonderful. Whatever color or colors they are, appearing alone or in groups, with larger or smaller petals… they all have something special. But do you know what inflorescences are?

We are used to seeing plants that produce more or less separated flowers. However, there are others that produce them in a different way, more striking if possible. Discover them .


  • 1 What are inflorescences?
    • 1.1 Uniflorous inflorescences
    • 1.2 Multifloral inflorescence
  • 2 Types of inflorescences

What are inflorescences?

An inflorescence is a set of flowers that sprout from the same stem . In some plants, such as the magnolia or the tulip, a single flower sprouts, which is why it is said to have a unifloral inflorescence. In the event that it consists of more than one, as in the gladiolus or wheat, they are said to have multi-flowering inflorescences.

unifloral inflorescences

Magnolia stellata in bloom

They can be terminal , that is, after the flower wilts, the floral stem dies, or axillary , which means that the inflorescence arises from a branch that will continue to grow after flowering. Both may or may not consist of a peduncle (the stem that joins each flower with the floral stem) and the bracts (leaves that protect the flower).

pluriflorous inflorescence

Indonesian rice plant

They are the easiest to distinguish. Several flowers emerge from each stem , which can be very small, as is the case with the rice plant, or somewhat larger, such as those of the bulbous Amaryllis. They may also consist of peduncle and bracts.

Types of inflorescences

Depending on its distribution and how branched the stem is, we distinguish different types:

As we see in the image, there are nine types of main inflorescences. Now, there are two types that are said to be special, because they do not follow any specific pattern for the branching of the floral axis. They are the following:

  • Syconus : the floral axis is fleshy and enveloping; the flowers are unisexual and occur in equal numbers. Example: Ficus.
  • Ciato : the shaft is fleshy; the flowers are unisexual, with male flowers and a single female flower in the center. Example: it is typical of the Euphorbia.

Did you know what inflorescences were?

What are inflorescences?

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