Word of the Week

inflorescence

Image result for inflorescences def
Image result for inflorescences def

[ in-flaw-resuhns, -floh-, -fluh– ] 

noun

a flowering or blossoming.

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WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF INFLORESCENCE?

Inflorescence, “the arrangement of flowers on the axis, a flower cluster; a flowering or blossoming,” is a term used mostly in botany. Inflorescence comes straight from New Latin inflōrēscentia, a noun coined by the great Swedish botanist and zoologist Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné), who formalized the system of binomial nomenclature used in the biological sciences. Inflōrēscentia is a derivative of the Late Latin verb inflōrēscere “to put forth flowers, bloom.” Inflōrēscere is a compound verb formed with the preposition and prefix inin– “in, into,” but also, as here, used as in intensive prefix, and the verb flōrēscere “to begin flowering, increase in vigor.” Flōrēscere in turn is a compound of flōrēre “to be in bloom, be covered with flowers,” a derivative of the noun flōs (inflectional stem flōr-) “flower, blossom,” and the verb suffix –escere, which in Latin often has an inchoative sense, that is, it indicates the beginning of an action, as in rubescere “to become or turn red.” Inflorescence entered English in the 18th century.

HOW IS INFLORESCENCE USED?

To the amateur this opens a field of very interesting amusement: … watching every moment of the plant till it develops its beauties of inflorescence, which, if it prove of new character, is an ample compensation for the time spent upon the process.ROBERT BUIST, THE ROSE MANUAL, 1844

During fall and winter starch-grains … form the basis for that lavish expenditure of plant-force by which our orchards and woods are made glorious in the sudden inflorescence of spring.T. H. MCBRIDE, “PLANT CELLS AND THEIR CONTENTS,” POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, JULY 1882

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