Types of Flower Blooms

Plant anatomy is the study of how plants function and appear on the inside. Plant morphology is the study of how they arrange themselves on the outside. Morphology has several ways of describing the arrangement of flower blooms. In the world of biology, these arrangements are called "inflorescenes." Inflorescences describe the varied ways that flowers are arranged on the stem.

Solitary Flowers

Solitary flowers have just one flower per stem. An example of a solitary, or single, flower is a rose.

Spike

The flowers on a spike blossom are attached directly to the main stem of the plant, without an individual stalk for each flower. The flowers are typically small and delicate. An example of a spike-arranged flower is the meadow foxtail.

Raceme

A raceme is a long stalk with individual flower stems of equal length protruding from the entire stalk. Black cohosh has raceme-type flowers.

Spadix

A spadix is similar to a spike, but the flowers are arranged in dense clusters around the stalk. The flowers do not have individual stems. Anthurium is an example of a flower with a spadix arrangement.

Panicle

Panicle flowers have raceme-like branches. Each branch has another raceme of flowers. The flowers have individual stalks, causing panicle flowers to look very dense. Panicle flowers can be observed on the lilac bush.

Capitulum

Capitulum flowers do not possess individual stalks. They are arranged on a terminal head. The individual flowers of a capitulum are called "florets", and are minuscule in size. The delicate flowers of Sahadevi, or Vernonia cinerea, are classified as capitulum flowers.

Umbel

When you hear the world "umbel," think of the word "umbrella." The head of the flower has various stalks shooting from the same point. The stalks are all similar in length. The head of the flower is rounded, much like an umbrella. Japanese Aralia produces umbel flowers.

Compound Umbel

Compound umbel flowers are similar to umbel flowers. The main difference is that each stalk produces a secondary umbel of flowers. These plants may appear very large and dense. Laserwort, or Laserpitium latifolium, produces compound umbel flowers.

Corymb

The flowers of a corymb-arranged plant are the same level. The flowers of the common hawthorne tree are an example of corymb arrangement.

Cyme

Cyme plants have a large group of flowers. Each flower stalk produces another, causing cyme flowers to resemble links on a chain. The arrangement of the individual stalks varies. Red campion is a type of cyme flower.

Verticillaster

Verticillaster plants grow with a swirl of flowers around the central stalk. Deadnettle is one example of a verticillaster plant.

Keywords: inflorescence, flower blooms, flower blossoms, plant morphology, types of flower blooms, flower anatomy

About this Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello is an eclectic writer from Ohio. Tumbarello has ghostwritten for a number of years, and has just started to publish her own work. She is an avid animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society and is currently pursuing her associate's degree in veterinary technology.