One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The outer part of a flower, consisting of the calyx (sepals) and corolla (petals).
- ‘Members of Atripliceae are characterized by flowers that are usually unisexual, with a perianth present in staminate flowers, and with pistillate flowers lacking a perianth but having accrescent bracteoles in fruit.’
- ‘Importantly, organs of the two outermost whorls of lily flower are very similar, generating a perianth of tepals, instead of sepals and petals.’
- ‘Thus, the perianth of male flowers is often larger than that of female flowers.’
- ‘Its flower color is golden-yellow, while the small perianth petals are greenish-yellow.’
- ‘Pistillate flowers have the same perianth but the number of parts is more variable; staminodes are well developed with or without a rudimentary anther.’
Early 18th century: from French périanthe, from modern Latin perianthium, from Greek peri ‘around’ + anthos ‘flower’.
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