A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence. 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, 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 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 Maloideae, such as hawthorns and rowans, produce their flowers in corymbs.
- Thyrse, a branched inflorescence where the main axis has indeterminate growth, and the branches have determinate growth
- Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press.
- Technically, the inflorescence unit in a grass is the spikelet, but the arrangement of spikelets may be described as a panicle.