Inflorescence - Peduncle

Gouda, drs. E.J. (Eric) E.J.Gouda at BIO.UU.NL
Tue Dec 7 12:50:04 CST 2004

It is a matter of persception and terms are used differently (and often wrongly) in different plant groups 
Practically I would prefer (vote) to include the peduncle as being a part of the inflorescence, because in the case of a stemless plant having an extended inflorescence on a long peduncle (often the case in Bromeliaceae), would not make the plant caulescent (if it is considdered part of the normal plant, you must call the plant caulescent).
In Bromeliaceae the stalk of a inflorescence is mostly wrongly called a scape (mostly definded as a leafless peduncle arising from ground level [as already mentioned]). A scape would consist of only one extended internode, but a peduncle can have many (can be bracteate).
The peduncle is mosty defined as a stalk of a flower or inflorescence, but I would prefer to use pedicel in the first case to have different terms for different parts in the inflorescence.
In the inflorescence you could speak of a (main) peduncle of the inflorescence, but also of a secondary peduncle in case of branches, or replace this by stipe
Bracts are reduced leaves subtending flowers or in the inflorescence. So in the case of Trillium, I would not like to call the 3 leaves beyond the flowers bracts, because there are no other leaf like structures on that plant. Even if correct, it would be very confusing for most people.

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