One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flower cluster in which stalks of nearly equal length spring from a common centre and form a flat or curved surface, characteristic of the parsley family.
- ‘It is traditionally classified alongside Bupleurum, differentiated by its white flowers, sessile umbels, and conspicuous calyx teeth, and the lack of bracteoles and of a carpophore (mericarps do not separate).’
- ‘During field harvest, each plant was separated into leaves (blade + petiole), roots, stems, and umbels (pedicels + rays + flowers/fruits).’
- ‘Ginseng plants with three or more leaves, or rarely two leaves, produce an umbel of small white flowers between late May and July.’
- ‘Plants produce one or more stems bearing umbels of 10-25 greenishwhite flowers (Shannon and Wyatt 1986a).’
- ‘To minimize competition for resources between developing fruits, treatments were performed on separate umbels, regardless of how many extra flowers per umbel were produced.’
- ‘Unlike other Liliales, these vines produce their flowers in spherical clusters called umbels, as in the picture of Bomarea at the top of this page.’
Late 16th century: from obsolete French umbelle or Latin umbella ‘sunshade’, diminutive of umbra (see umbra).
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