Inflorescence - Peduncle

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Dec 6 07:42:58 CST 2004

on 2004-12-06 05:29 Thomas G. Lammers wrote:
> I'm sort of curious why it matters.

Until it's first encountered in a key or description. All of botanical
terminology is "convention", but that doesn't absolve it from being

IMO a key element left out of many definitions of both "peduncle" and
"inflorescence" is the relative location of the uppermost foliage leaves
(as contrasted to bracts). An example: with leaves removed, both
Eschscholzia glyptosperma and Eschscholzia parishii are both cymes, but
in the case of the former, the terminal branches are long and the basal
branches are short, bearing foliage leaves instead of bracts, so that
the inflorescence type is ordinarily referred to as "solitary". What
passes for a peduncle in E. parishii is a vegetative branch in E.

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.

Curtis Clark        
Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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