- one of the individual leaves or parts of the calyx of a flower.
Origin of sepal
< New Latin sepalum (1790), irregular coinage based on Greek sképē covering and Latin petalum petal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sepals
The sepals are green and much smaller than the white petals.Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany
Douglas Houghton Campbell
The calyx is tightly closed, although the tips of the sepals are spread widely.The Apple-Tree
L. H. Bailey
Stamens 5, inserted on the sepals, with double or irregular anthers.
Calyx inferior, funnelform, with 4–5 sepals as long as the corolla.
They occur normally in the sepals of Paronychia serpyllifolia and other plants.Vegetable Teratology
Maxwell T. Masters
- any of the separate parts of the calyx of a flower
C19: from New Latin sepalum: sep-, from Greek skepē a covering + -alum, from New Latin petalum petal
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
Word Origin and History for sepals
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- One of the usually separate, green parts that surround and protect the flower bud and extend from the base of a flower after it has opened. Sepals tend to occur in the same number as the petals and to be centered over the petal divisions. In some species sepals are colored like petals, and they can even be indistinguishable from petals, as in the lilies (in what are called tepals). In some groups, such as the poppies, the sepals fall off after the flower bud opens. See more at flower.
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