Study and Identification of Different Types of Inflorescence


The term inflorescence refers to the formation and arrangement of flowers on the axis. This axis is known as the stalk where flowers grow in order to form a cluster that leads to the shape of the inflorescence. The prime characteristic of this flower refers to the way they are arranged on the peduncle. The major significance of inflorescence is that they help in the process of cross-pollination. All the flowers going through this process looks attractive to bring the insects that aid in the process of cross-pollination.

Figure 1: Inflorescence in Dill

Classification of Inflorescence

The term inflorescence is classified into three major variants - they include racemose inflorescence, cyme and a special type of inflorescence. All of these types are divided into various sub-parts to help understanding each of them at a distinct level. In the first part of the inflorescence, racemose types are divided into four distinct parts.

  • Simple racemose is a part that has pedicellate bisexual flowers that have a distinct arrangement. They are arranged in the form of acropetal succession on a peduncle that is elongated. The second type under racemose inflorescence is known as spike which mirrors the traits of simple racemose with a single difference. The difference is that the flowers are mainly sessile by nature.

  • The compound spadix is another type where male and female flowers that are unisexual in nature are kept in acropetal succession. This is the type of flower that is sessile in nature just like the variant spike.

  • The final variant that falls under the classification of racemose type is known as the capitulum. In this variant, the inflorescence stays flat to form a receptacle on the flower.

  • On the other hand, there are ligulate ray florets and other types that look like tubular discs. They help to develop the flower in a centripetal manner to aid its survival.

Figure 2: Different types of Inflorescence

There are two more classes of inflorescence that includes further sub-categories in them. The second to fall in order of class is the cyme type of inflorescence where the first classification is known as solitary cyme. The peduncle comes to the end of this flower, especially in the case of cyme. The special type has a variation where the inflorescence is protected by an involucre that is made of five bracts. On the contrary, they have their gland full of nectar attached to this type. They are known as cyathium where the long pedicle brings out the ovary of the female plant.

Difference between Cymose and Racemose

The difference between cymose and racemose lies in its definition, the way it is arranged, the way it is bloomed and many other factors.

Racemose InflorescenceCymose Inflorescence
The flowers grow in a lateral manner and the main axis deals with the continuous growth of the stalk which happens to be the main axis.The main axis of the flowers does not grow apart from the petals that grow on a terminal basis.
The arrangement of this flower is centripetal by nature.The arrangement of these flowers looks centrifugal by nature.
The flowers present are in the form of acropetal succession.The cymose of this flower comes in the form of basipetal succession.
The first flower under the type of racemose is formed at the base of the peduncle.The formation of the flower is at the tip of the peduncle when the subject of classification is cymose.

Table 1: Difference between Racemose and Cymose Inflorescence

Tools Required for the Experiment

The tools that are required to carry out the experiment are some inflorescence plants. They can be any plant that are present in the local area where the experiment is being conducted. The person who wants to undertake this experiment needs a lens that can be held by hand. There needs to be a significant amount of clean water and a large breaker. The beaker is an apparatus that works as a container to hold the water inside for proper experiments.

Procedure of the Experiment

The process of this experiment starts after placing a flower in the beaker. The person who is conducting this experiment must understand the feature to follow the result that comes at the end. The next step must come to sort out the features of cymose and racemose from the flowers and to list them on the table. After they are listed, the next step is to identify all of them by giving a justification. The second last step is to sketch the labels to help the other identify them. This sketching indicates the level of arrangement that starts only to determine the arrangement of the youngest to the oldest flowers.


In this tutorial, the learners can understand the different types of inflorescence found in the plant. They can take the aid of a large diagram that demonstrates the presence of racemose compounds inside the architecture of Mungbean plants. The readers of the tutorial have access to a few questions that are asked frequently.


Q1. What are the types of inflorescence that are found in the plant?

Ans. There are three types of inflorescence that are found in a plant. They are known as racemose, cymose and a special type of variant.

Q2. What is the difference between racemose and cymose inflorescence?

Ans. There is a difference that lies in the form of arrangement in a plant. The flowers are formed in a centripetal pattern of arrangement for a racemose plant. It is centrifugal for cymose plants only.

Q3. What is the meaning of inflorescence?

Ans. This is known as a cluster of flowers found in the branches of a plant.

Updated on: 24-Apr-2023


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