• synonyms


[uhm-buh l]
noun Botany.
  1. an inflorescence in which a number of flower stalks or pedicels, nearly equal in length, spread from a common center.
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Origin of umbel

1590–1600; < Latin umbella a sunshade, parasol, derivative of umbra shadow, shade; for formation see castellum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for umbel

Historical Examples of umbel

  • Here the pedicels are sometimes called the Rays of the umbel.

    The Elements of Botany

    Asa Gray

  • The bract and pedicels of the umbel all spring from the extremity of a peduncle 1½in.

  • They grew from an umbel, and the Primrose is closely related to the Cowslip.

    Wildflowers of the Farm

    Arthur Owens Cooke

  • The point at the top of the stalk from which the blossoms grow is called the "umbel."

    Wildflowers of the Farm

    Arthur Owens Cooke

  • The easiest to obtain is aurea, which grows about one foot high and has an umbel of pretty flowers, in July.

    The Book of Bulbs

    Samuel Arnott

British Dictionary definitions for umbel


  1. an inflorescence, characteristic of umbelliferous plants, in which the flowers arise from the same point in the main stem and have stalks of the same length, to give a cluster with the youngest flowers at the centre
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Derived Formsumbellate (ˈʌmbɪlɪt, -ˌleɪt), umbellar (ʌmˈbɛlə) or umbellated, adjectiveumbellately, adverb

Word Origin for umbel

C16: from Latin umbella a sunshade, from umbra shade
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 umbel

1590s, from Latin umbella "parasol," diminutive of umbra (see umbrage).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

umbel in Science


  1. A flat or rounded indeterminate inflorescence in which the individual flower stalks (called pedicels) arise from about the same point on the stem at the tip of the peduncle. The geranium, milkweed, and onion have umbels. Umbels usually show centripetal inflorescence, with the lower or outer flowers blooming first.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.