Spur (botany)

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Flowers of Utricularia sandersonii, displaying large floral spurs.
Gymnadenia conopsea Flowers with Nectar-filled Spur

A spur in botany is a spike, usually part of a flower.

In certain plants, part of a sepal or petal develops into an elongated hollow spike extending behind the flower, containing nectar which is sucked by long-tongued animals (insects, birds or bats). Plants with such structures include Delphinium, Aquilegia, Piperia, and some orchids, such as Gymnadenia. Spurs may be useful in species identification – for example Yadon's piperia cannot be easily distinguished from other Piperia save for the unusually short length of its spur.[1]

In tropical pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, the spur is a small appendage at the base of the pitcher lid.[2]


  1. ^ Morgan & Ackerman, Lindleyana 5:205–211 (1990)
  2. ^ Clarke, C.M. 1997. Nepenthes of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.

See also[edit]