Inflorescence - Peduncle

Susan Farmer sfarmer at SABRE.GOLDSWORD.COM
Mon Dec 6 14:45:58 CST 2004

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 12:41:36 -0500, Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU>


>I see nothing in your model that answers the question posed: what is a
peduncle?  If we have an inflorescence, is the peduncle part of the
inflorescence or is it part of the shoot supporting the inflorescence?  Is
there some biological reality that would allow me to refere to one shoot as
a peduncle and another as a stem (or branch, twig, etc.) and know that I am
referring to two different structures?  Agreeing on terminology is not the
same as agreeing on homology and proper comparisons of taxa require that the
comparisons be based on perceived homologies.

And to muddy the waters even further, if you have a solitary infloresence,
does that mean that the peduncle and the pedicel are the same thing?  Which
term would be preferred in that case?

Susan (who searches for the answer to what are those large, green things on
a Trillium plant called -- leaves or bracts .....)
Susan Farmer
sfarmer at
Botany Department, University of Tennessee

>"Paterson, Trevor" wrote:
>> This issue is a very old chestnut:
>> Unless people suscribe to a shared terminology (i.e. agree shared
definitions of  structures, states, measurement units etc.) they will never
be able to share  and compare data meaningfully.
>> We have a paper coming out in Taxon soon about this, and a rather more
technical/computer modelling paper available online:
>> Paterson, T., Kennedy, J.B., Pullan, M.R., Cannon, A., Armstrong, K.,
Watson, M.F., Raguenaud, C., McDonald, S.M., Russell, G.: A Universal
Character Model and Ontology of Defined Terms for Taxonomic Description.
Proc. Data Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS 2004) (ed. E. Rahm) in:
Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics 2994 (2004) pp63-78
>> Trevor Paterson PhD
>> t.paterson at <mailto:t.paterson at>
>> School of Computing
>> Napier University
>> Merchiston Campus
>> EH10 5DT
>> Scotland UK
>> tel:          +44 (0)131 455-2752
>> <>
>> >-----Original Message-----
>> >From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU]On
>> >Behalf Of Richard Jensen
>> >Sent: 06 December 2004 16:06
>> >Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Inflorescence - Peduncle
>> >
>> >
>> >Curtis Clark wrote:My general tendency is to call everything
>> >basal to the
>> >pedicels and
>> >
>> >> terminal to the first foliage-leaf-bearing node the
>> >peduncle, but it's
>> >> worth noting that the stalk of a grass spikelet, tecnically
>> >a peduncle,
>> >> is usually called a pedicel.
>> >
>> >If the stalk of the individual spikelet is a pedicel, then
>> >what is the stalk
>> >of the entire inflorescence?  And, what about grasses that have
>> >single-flowered spikelets, e.g., Zizania?  Is the stalk of the
>> >spikelet then
>> >a pedicle and the stalk of the inflorescence a peduncle?
>> >
>> >A grain of wisdom would come in handy about now.
>> >
>> >Dick
>> >
>> >Dick
>> >--
>> >Richard J. Jensen              | tel: 574-284-4674
>> >Department of Biology      | fax: 574-284-4716
>> >Saint Mary's College         | e-mail: rjensen at
>> >Notre Dame, IN 46556    |
>> >
>Richard J. Jensen              | tel: 574-284-4674
>Department of Biology      | fax: 574-284-4716
>Saint Mary's College         | e-mail: rjensen at
>Notre Dame, IN 46556    |

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