Main definitions of pappus in US English:

: pappus1Pappus2

pappus1

noun

Botany
  • The tuft of hairs on each seed of thistles, dandelions, and similar plants, which assists dispersal by the wind.

    • ‘The pauciflorous capitulum consists of outer female florets with short ligules, inner hermaphrodite florets without a pappus, and five outer involucral bracts, up to 2 cm long, possessing long-stalked glandular hairs.’
    • ‘Coode and Richardson pointed out a relationship between Centranthus and Valeriana because both genera share a plumose pappus.’
    • ‘The achenes are terete, narrowed at the base, 5 x 0 • 7 mm, ribbed and black, with a basal tuft of hairs and a pappus consisting of five ovate, petal-like scales.’
    • ‘The achenes produced by each capitulum are similar, possess a pappus of bristles that causes them to move upwind and a well-developed elaisome (oil-containing appendage).’
    clump, bunch, knot, cluster, tussock, tuffet
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 18th century: via Latin from Greek pappos.

Pronunciation

pappus

/ˈpæpəs//ˈpapəs/

Main definitions of pappus in US English:

: pappus1Pappus2

Pappus2

proper noun

  • (fl.c.AD 300–350), Greek mathematician; known as Pappus of Alexandria. His Collection of six books (another two are missing) is the principal source of knowledge of the mathematics of his predecessors.

Pronunciation

Pappus

/ˈpæpəs//ˈpapəs/