In a pomegranate flower, Punica granatum, the petals, except for their fused bases, soon fall. The hypanthium with sepal lobes and stamens still attached develops to form the outer layer of the fruit.

Punica grantum
Young Punica granatum Tunisia 2011

In angiosperms, a hypanthium or floral cup[1][2][3] is a structure where basal portions of the calyx, the corolla, and the stamens form a cup-shaped tube. It is sometimes called a floral tube, a term that is also used for corolla tube and calyx tube. It often contains the nectaries of the plant. It is present in most flowering species, although varies in structural dimensions and appearance.[4] This differentiation between the hypanthium in particular species is useful for identification. Some geometric forms are obconic shapes as in toyon, whereas some are saucer-shaped as in Mitella caulescens.

Its presence is diagnostic of many families, including the Rosaceae, Grossulariaceae, and Fabaceae. In some cases, it can be so deep, with such a narrow top, that the flower can appear to have an inferior ovary - the ovary is below the other attached floral parts. The hypanthium is known by different common names in differing species. In the eucalypts, it is referred to as the gum nut; in roses it is called the hip.

Variations in plant species

Ovary position superior with hypanthium
Ovary superior to hypanthium
2013-04-29 16-35-13-fleur-58f
In Spiraea the hypanthium supports a nectar-producing "disk" which is ring-shaped and may have lobes as it does here. The stamens arise between the petals and the disk.
Flower morphology - longitudinal section showing achene formation and hypanthium in Rosa-01
Hypanthum in Rosa
20140226Narcissus pseudonarcissus2
Narcissus pseudonarcissus, showing from the upper bend to the tip of the flower: spathe, ovary, hypanthium, tepals, corona

In myrtles the hypanthium can either surround the ovary loosely or tightly; in some cases it can be fused to the walls of the ovary. It can vary in length. The rims around the outside of the hypanthium contain the calyx lobes or free sepals, petals and either the stamen or multiple stamen that are attached at one or two points. The flowers of the family Rosaceae, or the rose family, always have some type of hypanthium or at least a floral cup from which the sepals, petals and stamens all arise, and which is lined with nectar-producing tissue known as nectaries. The nectar is a sugary substance that attracts birds and bees to the flower, who then take the pollen from the lining of the hypanthium and transfer it to the next flower they visit, usually a neighbouring plant.[5]

The stamens borne on the hypanthium are the pollen-producing reproductive organs of the flower. The hypanthium helps in many ways with the reproduction and cross pollination pathways of most plants. It provides weather protection and a medium to sustain the lost pollen, increasing the probability of fertility and cross-pollination.[6] The retained pollen can then attach to pollinators such as birds, bees, moths, beetles, bats, butterflies and other animals. Wind can act as an instigator for fertilisation. The hypanthium is also an adaptive feature for structural support. It helps the stem fuse together with the flower, in turn strengthening the bond and overall stability and integrity.[7]


  1. ^ Foster 2014, Hypanthium.
  2. ^ Beentje, H.; Williamson, J. (2010). The Kew Plant Glossary: an Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Terms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Kew Publishing.
  3. ^ Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ Cronquist 1981.
  5. ^ Givnish 1997.
  6. ^ Clarke 2004.
  7. ^ Snow 2003.



  • Cronquist, Arthur (1981), An integrated system of classification of flowering plants, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-03880-5
  • Givnish, Thomas J (1997), Molecular evolution and adaptive radiation, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-57329-0
  • Snow, Neil Wilton (2003), Systematics of Austromyrtus, Lenwebbia, and the Australian species of Gossia (Myrtaceae), American Society of Plant Taxonomists, ISBN 978-0-912861-65-4
  • Faegri, Knut; Iversen, Johannes, 1904- (1975), Textbook of pollen analysis (3rd rev. ed.), Hafner Press, retrieved 8 November 2013CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Clarke, Andrew (2004). The AgLaw papers. Armidale, N.S.W: Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law. ISBN 9781863898737.


Foster, Tony. "Botany Word of the Day". Phytography. Retrieved 27 November 2014.

External links

  • Hypanthium images on MorphBank, a biological image database
Accessory fruit

An accessory fruit (sometimes called false fruit, spurious fruit, pseudofruit, or pseudocarp) is a fruit in which some of the flesh is derived not from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue exterior to the carpel. Examples of accessory tissue are the receptacle of the strawberry, pineapple, common fig, and mulberry, and the calyx of Gaultheria procumbens or Syzygium jambos. Pomes, such as apples and pears, are also accessory fruits, with much of the fruit flesh derived from a hypanthium. Other example could be the anthocarps specific to the family Nyctaginaceae, where most of the fruit comes from the perianth (floral whorls).

Fruit with fleshy seeds, such as pomegranate or mamoncillo, are not considered to be accessory fruit.

The terms false fruit, spurious fruit, and pseudocarp are older terms for accessory fruit that have been criticized as "inapt", and are not used by some botanists today.


An achene (; Greek ἀ, a, privative + χαίνειν, chainein, to gape; also sometimes called akene and occasionally achenium or achenocarp) is a type of simple dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. Achenes are monocarpellate (formed from one carpel) and indehiscent (they do not open at maturity). Achenes contain a single seed that nearly fills the pericarp, but does not adhere to it. In many species, what is called the "seed" is an achene, a fruit containing the seed. The seed-like appearance is owed to the hardening of the fruit wall (pericarp), which encloses the solitary seed so closely as to seem like a seed coat.


Alphitonia is a genus of arborescent flowering plants comprising about 20 species, constituting part of the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). They occur in tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Oceania and Polynesia. These are large trees or shrubs. In Australia, they are often called "ash trees" or "sarsaparilla trees". This is rather misleading however; among the flowering plants, Alphitonia is not closely related to the true ash trees (Fraxinus of the asterids), and barely at all to the monocot sarsaparilla vines (Smilax).

The name is derived from Greek álphiton (ἄλφιτον, "barley-meal"), from the mealy quality of their fruits' mesocarps.The lanceolate coriaceous leaves are alternate, about 12 cm long. The margins are smooth. Venation is pinnate. They have white to rusty complex hairs on the under surface. The petiole is less than a quarter the length of a blade. Stipules are present.

The small flowers form terminal or axillary clusters of small creamy blossoms during spring. The flowers are bisexual. Hypanthium is present. The flowers show 5 sepals, 5 petals and 5 stamens. The ovary is inferior. The fruits are ovoid, blackish non-fleshy capsules, with one seed per locule.

Alphitonia species are used as food plants by the larva the hepialid moth Aenetus mirabilis, which feed only on these trees. They burrow horizontally into the trunk, then vertically down.

Banana passionfruit

Banana passionfruit (Passiflora supersect. Tacsonia) also known as Curuba is a group of around 64 Passiflora species found in South America. Most species in this section are found in high elevation cloud forest habitats. Flowers have a cylindrical hypanthium.

Calothamnus quadrifidus subsp. quadrifidus

Calothamnus quadrifidus subsp. quadrifidus is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is similar to other subspecies of Calothamnus quadrifidus except that its leaves are circular in cross section and the leaves and flower cup (the hypanthium) usually have a sparse covering of long, soft hairs. (The only other subspecies with cylinder-shaped leaves is teretifolius and its leaves and hypanthium are glabrous.)

Chamaenerion angustifolium

Chamaenerion angustifolium, known in North America as fireweed, in some parts of Canada as great willowherb, and in Britain as rosebay willowherb, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the willowherb family Onagraceae. It is also known by the synonyms Chamerion angustifolium and Epilobium angustifolium. It is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests.

This species has been placed in the genus Chamaenerion (sometimes given as Chamerion) rather than Epilobium based on several morphological distinctions: spiral (rather than opposite or whorled) leaf arrangement; absence (rather than presence) of a hypanthium; subequal stamens (rather than stamens in two unequal whorls); zygomorphic (rather than actinomorphic) stamens and stigma. Under this taxonomic arrangement, Chamaenerion and Epilobium are monophyletic sister genera.Two subspecies are recognized as valid:

Chamaenerion angustifolium subsp. angustifolium

Chamaenerion angustifolium subsp. circumvagum (Mosquin) Hoch


The tribe Diocleae is one of the subdivisions of the plant family Fabaceae.

The Diocleae can be distinguished from other members of Fabaceae by

[A] combination of features involving the woody vine or shrub habit, stipellate trifoliolate leaves, nodose pseudoraceme inflorescence, flowers with a distinct hypanthium, and calyx with lanceolate lobes, the lower lobe longer than the remaining (except in the specialized resupinate flowers of Canavalia).


Gigasiphon is a genus of legume in the Fabaceae family. The genus is circumscribed is defined by "a long-tubular hypanthium, an arborescent habit, and a calyx divided into two lobes."


Gynoecium (, from Ancient Greek γυνή, gyne, meaning woman, and οἶκος, oikos, meaning house) is most commonly used as a collective term for the parts of a flower that produce ovules and ultimately develop into the fruit and seeds. The gynoecium is the innermost whorl of a flower; it consists of (one or more) pistils and is typically surrounded by the pollen-producing reproductive organs, the stamens, collectively called the androecium. The gynoecium is often referred to as the "female" portion of the flower, although rather than directly producing female gametes (i.e. egg cells), the gynoecium produces megaspores, each of which develops into a female gametophyte which then produces egg cells.

The term gynoecium is also used by botanists to refer to a cluster of archegonia and any associated modified leaves or stems present on a gametophyte shoot in mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. The corresponding terms for the male parts of those plants are clusters of antheridia within the androecium.

Flowers that bear a gynoecium but no stamens are called pistillate or carpellate. Flowers lacking a gynoecium are called staminate.

The gynoecium is often referred to as female because it gives rise to female (egg-producing) gametophytes; however, strictly speaking sporophytes do not have a sex, only gametophytes do.Gynoecium development and arrangement is important in systematic research and identification of angiosperms, but can be the most challenging of the floral parts to interpret.

Lithophragma trifoliatum

Lithophragma trifoliatum is a variety of flowering plant in the saxifrage family known from the western slope of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada in California. It is sometimes considered its own species based on the pink, fragrant flowers, the shape of the hypanthium, and other characters. Others consider it to be a sterile variety of L. parviflorum that likely now persists by vegetative reproduction.


In botany, an obconic is an inverted cone shape. The term is most frequently applied to certain fruit or hypanthium structures with the apical end attached to the stem; however, less frequently the usage may apply to the pistil structure. In the case of fungi the designation is often made to the ascospore. The use of obconic in botany dates to at least as early as the nineteenth century; however, some modern usage applies to an entire plant form, such as the shape of a whole shrub. More broadly, in geometry or design, the term can be assigned in an abstract manner to shapes in the natural or man-made world which show an inverted cone design.

Pomaderris ferruginea

Pomaderris ferruginea is a species of shrubs and small trees from eastern and southern Australia. A common plant in forest, regularly along streams, particularly south of Stroud, New South Wales. A shrub up to 4 metres tall, it features rusty stems and hairs on the under side of the leaf. Though the upper surface of the leaf is hairless but not glossy. Leaves 6 to 10 cm long, lanceolate in shape. Cream or white flowers form in panicles at the end of branches, from September to October. The fruiting capsule and hypanthium have long silky hairs.

Prunus eburnea

Prunus eburnea is a species of wild almond native to Iran. It is a dense shrub 0.2 to 1.2 m tall with gray bark. It is morphologically similar to Prunus lycioides, P. spinosissima, P. erioclada and P. brahuica. It can be distinguished from the similar species by having a pubescent hypanthium. A genetic and morphological analysis shows that it is a good species, with its closest relative being Prunus erioclada. The cross of Prunus scoparia and Prunus eburnea produces Prunus × iranshahrii.


A sepal ( or ) is a part of the flower of angiosperms (flowering plants). Usually green, sepals typically function as protection for the flower in bud, and often as support for the petals when in bloom. The term sepalum was coined by Noël Martin Joseph de Necker in 1790, and derived from the Greek σκέπη (skepē), a covering.Collectively the sepals are called the calyx (plural calyces), the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. The word calyx was adopted from the Latin calyx, not to be confused with calix, a cup or goblet. Calyx derived from the Greek κάλυξ (kalyx), a bud, a calyx, a husk or wrapping, (cf Sanskrit kalika, a bud) while calix derived from the Greek κύλιξ (kylix), a cup or goblet, and the words have been used interchangeably in botanical Latin.After flowering, most plants have no more use for the calyx which withers or becomes vestigial. Some plants retain a thorny calyx, either dried or live, as protection for the fruit or seeds. Examples include species of Acaena, some of the Solanaceae (for example the Tomatillo, Physalis philadelphica), and the water caltrop, Trapa natans. In some species the calyx not only persists after flowering, but instead of withering, begins to grow until it forms a bladder-like enclosure around the fruit. This is an effective protection against some kinds of birds and insects, for example in Hibiscus trionum and the Cape gooseberry. In other species, the calyx grows into an accessory fruit.

Morphologically, both sepals and petals are modified leaves. The calyx (the sepals) and the corolla (the petals) are the outer sterile whorls of the flower, which together form what is known as the perianth.The term tepal is usually applied when the parts of the perianth are difficult to distinguish, e.g. the petals and sepals share the same color, or the petals are absent and the sepals are colorful. When the undifferentiated tepals resemble petals, they are referred to as "petaloid", as in petaloid monocots, orders of monocots with brightly coloured tepals. Since they include Liliales, an alternative name is lilioid monocots. Examples of plants in which the term tepal is appropriate include genera such as Aloe and Tulipa. In contrast, genera such as Rosa and Phaseolus have well-distinguished sepals and petals.The number of sepals in a flower is its merosity. Flower merosity is indicative of a plant's classification. The merosity of a eudicot flower is typically four or five. The merosity of a monocot or palaeodicot flower is three, or a multiple of three.

The development and form of the sepals vary considerably among flowering plants. They may be free (polysepalous) or fused together (gamosepalous). Often, the sepals are much reduced, appearing somewhat awn-like, or as scales, teeth, or ridges. Most often such structures protrude until the fruit is mature and falls off.

Examples of flowers with much reduced perianths are found among the grasses.

In some flowers, the sepals are fused towards the base, forming a calyx tube (as in the Lythraceae family, and Fabaceae). In other flowers (e.g., Rosaceae, Myrtaceae) a hypanthium includes the bases of sepals, petals, and the attachment points of the stamens.

Stylidium subg. Andersonia

Andersonia is a subgenus of Stylidium that is characterized by a linear hypanthium, recurved mature capsule walls, an erect and persistent septum, and many seeds. This subgenus occurs in areas of tropical northern Australia and into Southeast Asia and was named in honour of William Anderson, the surgeon and naturalist who sailed with James Cook.

Stylidium subg. Centridium

Stylidium subg. Centridium is a subgenus of Stylidium that is characterized by a globose hypanthium, a stipitate brush-like stigma, and gynostemium mobility not produced by a sensitive hinged torosus but by the movement of a cunabulum. All species with the possible and doubtful exception of S. weeliwolli are annuals. This subgenus appears to be most closely related to the genus Levenhookia, which suggests an ancestral relationship. Centridium was first published by John Lindley in the 1839 publication, A Sketch of the Vegetation of the Swan River Colony. Lindley created this subgenus to distinguish species which did not fit into either of the two other subgenera that had existed at the time. He initially placed Stylidium calcaratum, the newly described Stylidium androsaceum, and Stylidium stipitatum into subgenus Centridium. His description of S. androsaceum turned out to be synonymous with S. calcaratum and S. stipitatum is a synonym of Levenhookia stipitata.

Stylidium turbinatum

Stylidium turbinatum is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the genus Stylidium (family Stylidiaceae). S. turbinatum is endemic to Australia and is found in the northern part of Western Australia in the Kimberley region and near Darwin in the Northern Territory. This species is an erect annual herb that stands 6–15 cm tall. A 2–5 cm long stem bearing scattered leaves terminate in a tuft of 1–2 cm long upper leaves. Several scapes appear from these terminal tufts. The inflorescence is a raceme, which produces pink flowers whose petals are vertically paired. The hypanthium of this species is turbinate and is one of the distinguishing characteristics used to identify it. The sepals form ribs around the hypanthium, giving it a turbine-like appearance. Seeds of S. turbinatum are pale orange and around 0.2 mm long.S. turbinatum was first formally described by Allen Lowrie and Kevin F. Kenneally in 1997, with most specimens having been collected and examined in the mid-1990s with one early specimen from 1990. S. turbinatum grows in sandy soils at the margins of creeks and floodways and is closely associated with wet season herb fields.

Verticordia subg. Chrysoma

Verticordia subg. Chrysoma is a botanical name for a grouping of similar plant species in the genus Verticordia.

This subgenus contains seven sections, classifying twenty one species, of Alex George's infrageneric arrangement. A number of similar anatomical features differentiate the contained species from the two other subgenera.

The name of this subgenus was first given by Schauer in 1840, likely derived from the Greek chryso- for golden, for the yellow flowered species. The revision of the genus by George devised a new section with this name - Verticordia sect. Chrysoma (Schauer) A.S.George - nominating Verticordia acerosa as the type species.

The leaves are often found to differ at the flowering branch and the base of the plant. They are long and thin, and flattened or needle-like. Small green structures in other Verticordia, found at the edge of the hypanthium, are absent in this taxon. The flowers become red or orange, in some of the contained taxa, but are otherwise yellow.

Verticordia subg. Chrysoma

Section Chrysoma

Section Jugata

Section Unguiculata

Section Sigalantha

Section Chrysorhoe

Section Cooloomia

Section Synandra

Verticordia subg. Eperephes

Verticordia subg. Eperephes is a botanical name for a grouping of similar plant species in the genus Verticordia. This subgenus contains six sections, classifying forty four species, of Alex George's infrageneric arrangement. The subgeneric name is derived from the Greek word eperephes, in reference to over-hanging parts at the hypanthium which differentiate the contained species from the other two subgenera.

Verticordia subg. Eperephes

Section Integripetala

Section Tropica

3 species, the type species for this section is Verticordia cunninghamii. These are outliers that extend the range of the genus to the Northern Territory

Section Jamiesoniana

containing a single species; Verticordia jamiesonii

Section Verticordella

containing 18 species

Section Corynatoca

containing a single species; Verticordia ovalifolia

Section Pennuligera

the lectotype chosen for this section is Verticordia grandis

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