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[luh-bel-uh m] /ləˈbɛl əm/
noun, plural labella
[luh-bel-uh] /ləˈbɛl ə/ (Show IPA).
the petal of an orchid that differs more or less markedly from the other petals, often forming the most conspicuous part; the lip.
Origin of labellum
1820-30; < Latin, diminutive of labrum lip; for formation see castellum
Related forms
labelloid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for labellum
Historical Examples
  • This leads me to conclude that the labellum is always a compound organ.

  • Is it not curious the way the labellum sits on the top of the column?

  • Petals and sepals are white, and there is a white patch on the labellum.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • Duchartre describes an instance wherein one of the outer sepals of Cattleya Forbesii was adherent to the labellum.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters
  • The blossom is normal as to the proper perianth, except that the labellum is unusually papillose, bearded almost to the base.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters
  • In Orchidaceæ entire absence of the labellum, frequently without any other perceptible change, is of common occurrence.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters
  • Accordingly the first impression would be that the labellum is here transformed into a sterile stamen.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters
  • In a similar way the petals and labellum of Odontoglossum Uro-Skinneri have been found reduced to filamentous processes.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters
  • On either side the dark central line of the labellum is a pale blur.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • The tube is not large, but it, and also the labellum, could not be darker if still to be classed as crimson.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
British Dictionary definitions for labellum


noun (pl) -la (-lə)
the part of the corolla of certain plants, esp orchids, that forms a distinct, often lobed, lip
a lobe at the tip of the proboscis of a fly
Derived Forms
labelloid, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, diminutive of Latin labrum lip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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