Word of the Week: Verticillaster

verticillaster [ vur-tuh-si-las-ter ] noun: a mixed inflorescence consisting of two opposite dichasial cymes

Flower clusters of nearly sessile, dichasial cymes (each with two lateral flowers on opposite sides of a central terminal flower) arise from a single point in the nodes of opposite leaf axils. These verticillasters are sometimes referred to as false whorls as they give that appearance when the two flower clusters are crowded and meet each other on the stem. Verticillasters are usually found in the Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae, mint or sage family), which include many aromatic and culinary herbs, like basil, beebalm, bergamot, giant hyssop, lavender, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, salvia, and thyme.

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