AskDefine | Define spadix

Dictionary Definition

spadix n : the fleshy axis of a spike often surrounded by a spathe [also: spadices (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary





  • /ˈspeɪdɪks/


  1. In the context of "botany": A fleshy spike (inflorescence) with reduced flowers, usually enclosed by a spathe.

See also

Extensive Definition

In botany, a spadix (pl. spadices) is a type of spike: an inflorescence with small flowers crowded on a thickened, fleshy axis. The term is applied to certain monocotyledons, especially members of the Family Araceae called arums or aroids. In these flower heads there is typically also a spathe (from Ancient Greek spathe "broad blade") present: a large, usually showy and solitary, bract that either subtends (lies just below) or partially encloses the spadix. The "flower" of the anthurium is a typical spadix with a large colorful spathe.
In monoecious aroids (possessing separate male and female flowers, but with both flowers present on one plant), the spadix is usually organized with female flowers towards the bottom and male flowers towards the top. In aroids with perfect flowers the stigma is no longer receptive when the pollen is released, thus preventing self-fertilization. There are also some dioecious species.
spadix in Czech: Palice (květenství)
spadix in German: Kolben (Botanik)
spadix in Spanish: Espádice
spadix in Esperanto: Spadiko
spadix in French: Spadice
spadix in Italian: Spadice
spadix in Dutch: Bloeikolf
spadix in Portuguese: Espádice
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