Peduncle and Pedicel

Camas Penduncle and Pedicle

To see labels, point to the image.

interactive image showing a tall, slender stalk (the peduncle)

© 2004 VIAs Inc./Bob Gilman

Camas Inflorescence

To see labels, point to the image.

interactive image showing a tall, purple bloom (the inflorescence)

© 2004 VIAs Inc./Bob Gilman

Captain Lewis:

the peduncle is soletary, proceeds from the root, is columner, smooth, leafless, and rises to the height of 2 or 2-1/2 feet.

"[The pedicel] supports from 10 to forty flowers, which are each supported by a separate footstalk of 1/2 an inch in length, scattered without order on the upper portion of the peduncle."

Professor Reveal:

Unlike many modern botanists, Lewis clearly understood the difference between a peduncle (the stalk that holds the inflorescence and arises from the bulb) and a pedicel (the stalk that holds an individual flower). In describing the inflorescence, Lewis states that the "10 to forty flowers" are on a "footstalk." The term "footstalk" is equal to "pedicel" so that the individual flowers are pedicellate, or "on a pedicel."


pedicel—"The stalk of a single flower in an inflorescence."
peduncle—"The stalk of an inflorescence or of a solitary flower." The word comes from pedunculus, a diminutive of the Latin pes, ped-, meaning foot.
inflorescence—"A flower cluster of a plant, or, more correctly, the arrangement of the flowers on the axis."

Supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Governor's Lewis and Clark Trail Committee