An inflorescence is a flowering stem. The term is most used for a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem. It is a very common arrangement, which keeps the flowers together. An inflorescence is the reproductive portion of a plant; each plant bears its flowers in a specific pattern.
Sometimes it is just a close bunch of flowers (e.g. Antirrhinum) on a spike. Sometimes the inflorescence is so tight it looks like one single flower. What you see as a single daisy is actually made of several hundred tiny flowers packed together. This kind of inflorescence is called a pseudanthium ("false flower").
Advantages[change | change source]
- There may be dozens or even hundreds of flowers in an inflorescence, with many seeds or fruits for each flowering.
- Increased pollination is an important bonus. Massing flowers together makes them move visible to pollinating insects and birds.
- Seed or fruit dispersal
- Dispersal by wind or animals is improved by having the flowers at the top end of a stem.
References[change | change source]
- Stevens P. F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny website. 2006 and updated. 
- Wilhelm Troll: Die Infloreszenzen; Erster Band. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1964
- Wilhelm Troll: Die Infloreszenzen; Zweiter Band, Erster Teil. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1969