Definition of spathe in English:



  • A large sheathing bract enclosing the flower cluster of certain plants, especially the spadix of arums and palms.

    • ‘Always bitterly exuberant, you see life as a pink spathe swathing a yellow spadix.’
    • ‘It will take a few years to flower but the long yellow spathes that appear in spring before the leaves develop are well worth the wait.’
    • ‘The flower head consists of a spathe and spadix.’
    • ‘At the correct stage of maturity, Narcissi have slightly bowed buds and visible color, and flowers are emerging from the spathes.’
    • ‘Four of the five bracts that enclose and protect the plant's spathe and spadix now have fallen.’


Late 18th century: via Latin from Greek spathē broad blade.