- a downy, bristly, or other tuftlike appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle.
Origin of pappus
1695–1705; < New Latin < Greek páppos down, literally, grandfather (taken as greybeard, white hairs, down)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pappus
Further, the hairs which constitute the pappus may be simple or feathered.
Calyx absent or represented by a whorl of silky hairs (pappus).
The pappus in this genus is very short, and it is scaly rather than feathery.Botany for Ladies
Pappus pilosus, denticulato scaber, pluriserialis, radiolis exterioribus brevioribus.
Name from , to be deficient, alluding to the absence of pappus.
- a ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding the fruit in composite plants, such as the thistle; aids dispersal of the fruits by the wind
C18: via New Latin, from Greek pappos grandfather, old man, old man's beard, hence: pappus, down
- A structure made of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs that is attached to the seeds (called cypselae) of plants of the composite family and that aids in dispersal by the wind. The downy part of a dandelion or thistle seed is a pappus. The pappus is derived from a modified calyx.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.