Panicle

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Litchi chinensis flowers form a panicle.
White-fruited Rowan (Sorbus glabrescens) corymb: the branched structures holding the fruit.

A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence.[1] Some authors distinguish it from a compound spike, by requiring that the flowers (and fruit) be pedicellate. 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,[2] as well as other plants such as pistachio and mamoncillo. Botanists use the term paniculate in two ways: "having a true panicle inflorescence" as well as "having an inflorescence with the form but not necessarily the structure of a panicle".

A corymb is similar to a panicle with the same branching structure, but with the lower flowers having longer stems, thus giving a flattish top superficially resembling an umbel. Many species in the Maloideae, such as hawthorns and rowans, produce their flowers in corymbs.

See also[edit]

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

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ Technically, the inflorescence unit in a grass is the spikelet, but the arrangement of spikelets may be described as a panicle.