from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A modified calyx, composed of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs, in plants of the composite family, such as the dandelion and the thistle.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The markedly reduced sepals of an Asteraceae floret that take the form of trichomes or scale attached to the ovary or seed.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The hairy or feathery appendage of the achenes of thistles, dandelions, and most other plants of the order Compositæ; also, the scales, awns, or bristles which represent the calyx in other plants of the same order.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Down, as that on the seeds of some plants.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. calyx composed of scales or bristles or featherlike hairs in plants of the Compositae such as thistles and dandelions
_C_, a single flower, × 2. _o_, the ovary. _p_, the "pappus" (calyx lobes). _an. _ the united anthers.
The sepals (here called the "pappus") (_p_) have the form of fine hairs.
Dandelion has what is called a "pappus" attached to its seed, rather similar to the feathery tail of the Traveller's Joy.
With so little pappus to intercede between steel and flesh, the snarling blades bit time and again.
For instance, Cody and Overton (1996) found that species in the Asteraceae on islands tended to have reduced dispersal capabilities (i.e., larger seed mass and smaller pappus) relative to the same species on the mainland .
Goldfinch often lines her nest with the soft pappus of the
Each plant is named "Senecio" because of the grey woolly pappus of its seeds, which resemble the silvered hair of old age.
Owing to long years of particular evolutionary sagacity in developing winged seeds to be wafted from the silky pappus of its ripe flowerheads over wide areas of land,  the Dandelion exhibits its handsome golden flowers in every field and on every ground plot throughout the whole of our country.
These are compact little bundles, at first of a dull yellow colour, until presently the florets fall off and leave the white woolly pappus of the seeds collected together, somewhat resembling the hoary hairs of age.
-- Stem globose, 3 in. to 5 in. high, thickly clothed with long, narrow, pointed tubercles, the bases of which are set in white wool, whilst the apices are crowned with tiny stars of white silky spines; more like the pappus of a Composite than the spines usually found on Cactuses.