One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of the parts of the calyx of a flower, enclosing the petals and typically green and leaflike.
- ‘The cocoa flower has five free sepals, five free petals, five staminodes, five stamens and an ovary of five united carpels.’
- ‘Fruits of this species are glabrous achenes, with sepals modified into plumose bristles and are frequently wind-dispersed.’
- ‘The formation of organs in the four whorls of a typical eudicotyledonous flower, consisting of sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels, requires many genes for proper organ and tissue development.’
- ‘This, in turn was surrounded by several whorls of bracts that many homologize with petals and sepals in flowering plants.’
- ‘Roots, stems, leaves, sepals, petals, stamens, stigmas/styles, ovaries, and seeds were collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen.’
Early 19th century: from French sépale, modern Latin sepalum, from Greek skepē ‘covering’, influenced by French pétale ‘petal’.
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