• synonyms


[klahy-stog-uh-muh s]
adjective Botany.
  1. pertaining to or having pollination occurring in unopened flowers.
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Also cleis·to·gam·ic [klahy-stuh-gam-ik] /ˌklaɪ stəˈgæm ɪk/.
Compare chasmogamous.

Origin of cleistogamous

First recorded in 1880–85; cleisto- + -gamous
Related formscleis·tog·a·mous·ly, cleis·to·gam·i·cal·ly, adverbcleis·tog·a·my, nounnon·cleis·to·gam·ic, adjectivenon·cleis·tog·a·mous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cleistogamous

Historical Examples

  • The other species are all propagated by their cleistogamous flowers.

    The Making of Species

    Douglas Dewar

  • This has no scent, the capsule is roundish and hairy, and the cleistogamous flowers are abundant.

  • Some of the plants with cleistogamous flowers might afford examples of such cases.

    Darwin and Modern Science

    A.C. Seward and Others

  • His view that cleistogamous flowers are derived from originally chasmogamous flowers has been confirmed by more recent researches.

    Darwin and Modern Science

    A.C. Seward and Others

  • The cleistogamous, and not the brilliant flowers: the victory is with ugliness, and not with beauty.

cleistogamous in Science


  1. Of or relating to a flower that does not open and is self-pollinated in the bud. The fertile flowers of the violet are inconspicuous and cleistogamous, while the plant's more familiar showy flowers are usually infertile.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.