- a bract or pair of bracts, often large and colored, subtending or enclosing a spadix or flower cluster.
Origin of spathe
1775–85; < Latin spatha < Greek spáthē blade, sword, stem; cf. spade2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spathe
The spathe which contains the flowers is also put to many uses.The Forest Exiles
On examining the tub I have spoken of, we found that it was formed from the spathe of the palm.On the Banks of the Amazon
Operations begin when the spathe is still enclosed by its sheath.Castes and Tribes of Southern India
This organ, rolled up in a coil or spiral, is named the spathe.Everyday Objects
W. H. Davenport Adams
In Richardia æthiopica one or more leaves become occasionally as white as the spathe is usually.Vegetable Teratology
Maxwell T. Masters
- a large bract, often coloured, that surrounds the inflorescence of aroid plants and palms
C18: from Latin spatha, from Greek spathē a blade
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
- A large, leaflike, often showy bract that encloses a flower cluster or spadix, as in the jack-in-the-pulpit or calla lily.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.