Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A leaflike bract that encloses or subtends a flower cluster or spadix, as in the jack-in-the-pulpit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, a peculiar often large and colored bract, or pair of bracts, which subtend or envelop a spadix, as in palms and arums.
  • noun In zoology, some spatulate or spoon-shaped part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A special involucre formed of one leaf and inclosing a spadix, as in aroid plants and palms. See the Note under bract, and Illust. of spadix.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany A large bract that envelops or subtends a whole inflorescence, typically a spadix.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a conspicuous bract surrounding or subtending a spadix or other inflorescence

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin spatha, broadsword, from Greek spathē, broad blade.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin spatha, from Ancient Greek σπάθη (spathê) "blade".

Examples

  • An enveloping leaf (bract), called the spathe, which is often brilliantly colored, surrounds the florets, or fruits, that are disposed upon a spadix.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 460, October 25, 1884

  • -- Remarkably handsome plants with fine foliage and curious inflorescence more or less enclosed in a hooded spathe, which is generally richly coloured and marked.

    Gardening for the Million

  • a bloom, that evolves inside a tube like leaf, that is called 'spathe'; with the begining of bloom, the bloom comes out of the spathe, and the flowers open. each flower has six petals that surround a round petal, an addition which is called "tiara" a sort of crown like feature. the color of this tiara is either white or yellow. the flower has 6

    ReadABlog.com New Blogs and RSS Feeds

  • The blame lies with the plant's appearance – it has speckled leaves and its flowers are well-hidden, but their spathe (the special leaf that protects the flowers of an arum) and spadix (the spike on which the flowers are arranged), are said to resemble male and female genitalia.

    The power of spring flowers

  • Flowers: Its flowers bloom in a spadix surrounded by a yellow-green spathe.

    Caladium, candleabra cactus and canna lily: ornamental plants and flowers of tropical Mexico

  • Flowers: Its flowers bloom in a spadix surrounded by a yellow-green spathe.

    Caladium, candleabra cactus and canna lily: ornamental plants and flowers of tropical Mexico

  • I gave a prayer of thanks to Growan, for the sweetrush root belonged to the Crone, the shoot and leaves to the Maid, and the fat spathe and yellow flower to Wortweal, and all parts of it were useful.

    Wildfire

  • I gave a prayer of thanks to Growan, for the sweetrush root belonged to the Crone, the shoot and leaves to the Maid, and the fat spathe and yellow flower to Wortweal, and all parts of it were useful.

    Wildfire

  • I gave a prayer of thanks to Growan, for the sweetrush root belonged to the Crone, the shoot and leaves to the Maid, and the fat spathe and yellow flower to Wortweal, and all parts of it were useful.

    Wildfire

  • Now water is collected from the three hundred and sixty veins and, in the form of red blood, entereth the left testicle, where it is decocted, by the heat of temperament inherent in the son of Adam, into a thick, white liquid, whose odour is as that of the palm-spathe.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

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