In botany, a whorl is an arrangement of sepals, petals, leaves, stipules or branches that radiate from a single point and surround or wrap around the stem. A whorl consists of at least three elements; a pair of opposite leaves is not called a whorl.
- the calyx, a whorl of sepals at the base, above which are
- the corolla, a whorl of petals,
- the androecium, a whorl of stamens (each comprising a filament and an anther), and
- the gynoecium, a whorl of the female parts of a flower: the stigma, style and ovary.
A flower lacking any of these floral structures is said to be incomplete or imperfect. For leaves to grow in whorls is fairly unusual except in plant species with very short internodes. It does however occur in some trees such as Brabejum stellatifolium and other Proteaceae, such as some Banksia species. In examples such as those illustrated, crowded internodes within the whorls alternate with long internodes between the whorls.
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