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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for labellum
Historical Examples
  • They cling to the labellum, and by depressing it open up the entrance to the flower.

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

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

    Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters
  • The ovaries in many cases were not twisted, so that the labellum was consequently uppermost.

    Across Iceland William Bisiker
  • labellum all evenly crimson with a narrow outline of white, gracefully frilled.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • 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
  • On either side the dark central line of the labellum is a pale blur.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • Moreover, when the stamens are petalodic, the form assumed is usually that of the labellum.

    Vegetable Teratology Maxwell T. Masters
  • 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
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