A-Z of Botany: Involucre


Today the involucre. It may be an unfamiliar word but everyone has seen an involucre. Defined as a ring or whorl or bracts immediately below the flowers, it is usually a ring of bracts (leaf-like structures that are often showy). The important thing is that the bracts are in a ring and immediately below the flowers. So the bracts that surround the  the tiny flowers of a poinsettia are bracts, and do perform the function of attracting pollinators, but they do not form an involucre (although the euphorbia family is one that frequently has involucres and the greenish yellow bracts around many euphorbias ARE involucres). The commonest involucres are in the Apiaceae, the carrot family, where leafy bracts are found where the flowers originate at the base of the unbel. Usually green and not that decorative, the inflorescences of astrantias (above) are a colourful exception.


The ‘flowers’ of the daisy family (Asteraceae) have leafy bracts at the base, enclosing the flowers in bud, forming an involucre and in xerochrysum (above) they are coloured and papery.



, , , ,

One Comment on “A-Z of Botany: Involucre”

  1. derrickjknight
    October 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    Thanks for another new word

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: