Sepal

Definition - What does Sepal mean?

In plant biology, a sepal is the outer part of the angiosperms. A group of sepals enclose a developing bud and are mostly green in color. A sepal typically functions as protection for the flower while it is budding and often supports the petals when in bloom.

Sepals are collectively referred to as a calyx, the plural of which is calyces. Once the flower has fully bloomed, it usually has no more use for the sepals, so the sepals either wither away or degenerate.


MaximumYield explains Sepal

Attached directly to the top of the stem of the flowering plant, sepals often come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some sepals are long and thin, while others are short and thick. While some sepals are individualized, other sepals are fused together to make a cup formation around the petals of a flower.

Together, the sepals and petals make up the perianth, also known as the floral envelope. The petals usually have distinctive and showy colors that are meant to attract bees for cross pollination. Meanwhile, the sepals are usually just green in color and often resemble reduced leaves.

Sometimes sepals and petals are indistinguishable, for example in lilies and tulips. When it is difficult to differentiate between the two, they are sometimes referred to as tepals.

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