Definition - What does Calyx mean?

A calyx is an important part of a flower that is essential to protecting the flower during its development. The calyx of a flower is made up of individual structures that look like leaves, each of which is known as a sepal. These sepals form the outer cover of the flower’s bud as it begins to form before it blooms. After the flower has bloomed, the calyx will usually appear as several small leaves growing from the stem at the flower’s base.

A calyx may also be known as a calyce.

MaximumYield explains Calyx

The calyx is the very first thing to develop when a flower starts to form. After the calyx has developed, it creates a protective exterior for the flower, and the budding petals will begin to form inside of it. For better protection, the calyx’s sepals are often formed in a pattern that alternates with the petals of the flower. While it is still forming, though, the sepals create a tight enclosure that will not open until the petals and the other parts of the flower are fully formed.

At the point that the flower is fully formed and ready to bloom, the sepals will begin to open and peel back away from the petals. In most cases, the sepals are much smaller than the petals of the flower, and they will not continue to grow or use the plant’s nutrients or water after the flower has bloomed.

Depending on the plant, the calyx may dry up and harden as the flower ages, or they may continue to look green and healthy. For example, a rose’s calyx is made up of small sepals that will hang away from the flower as it blooms. On the other hand, a strawberry blossom’s calyx will continue to have leafy green sepals even after the flower has died and the strawberry has formed and ripened.

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