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A Grammatical Dictionary of Botanical Latin

Spathe, “a large bract rolling over an inflorescence and guarding it while young” (Lindley); a large bract or pair of bracts subtending and often enclosing a flower cluster or inflorescence, which is usually a spadix; “a large bract inclosing an inflorescence” (Fernald 1950); “a large sheathing bract usually either the prophyll or peduncular bract in palms: spatha,-ae (s.f.I), abl.sg. spatha, nom. pl. spathae, acc. pl. spathas, dat. & abl. pl. spathis [> L. spatha,-ae (s.f.I), 'a broad, flat, wooden instrument for stiring any liquid, a spatula; a broad, two-edged sword without a point; a spathe of a palm-tree (Pliny)' {Lewis & Short); > Gk. spathE (s.f.I), “a flat blade used by weavers in the upright loom (instead of the comb (kteis) used in the horizontal), for striking the threads of the woof home, so as to make the web close” (Liddell & Scott)]; see sword;

- spatha universalis, partialisque (Swartz), the general [i.e. primary/principal] spathe and the partial [i.e. secondary].

- spathae pauciores (4-6), alternae, distichae, remotiusculae, divaricatae, 2-pollicares, basi vaginantes lanceolatae, acutae, coloratae, sanguineae, multiflorae (Swartz), spathes fewer (4-6), alternate, distichous [i.e. in two rows or ranks], somewhat distant, divaricate, 2 inches, sheathing at the base, lanceolate, acute, colored, blood-red, many-flowered.

- spathae floribus subjectae, latae, carinatae, 3-nerviae (Swartz), spathes placed under the flowers, wide, keeled, 3-nerved.

- spathae minutae in spadice & sub floribus (Swartz), spathes minute, within the spadix and under the flowers.

- spatha monophylla unicuique flori, vaginans, lanceolata, glabra, cinerea; florem includens (Swartz), spathe monophyllous [i.e. with one leaf] for each one of the flowers, sheathing, lanceolate, glabrous, ash-colored, enclosing the flower.

- spatha communis ovata, acuminata, compressa, dehiscens, pedúnculos deflexos, floribus nutantibus, pallide virentibus emittens (Swartz), common [i.e. primary/principle] spathe ovate, acuminate, compressed, dehiscing, putting forth deflexed peduncles, with the flowers nodding, pale greenish.

- spatha erecta ovata viridis longitudinaliter albo-vittata marcescens, inferne convoluta, superne aperta, spathe erect ovate green longitudinally white-banded withering without falling, below with margins overlapping, above open.

- spathae duae, inferiore membranacea decidua inermi, superiore lignosa persistenti aculeata, spathes 2, with the lower one membranous deciduous unarmed, the upper one woody persistent prickly (Stearn).

- spadicibus terminalibus solitariis dense cylindraceis, pedunculis basi squamatis supra medium spatha cucullata lanceolata patente praeditis spathae spadicique aequilongis v. longioribus, floribus sexlobis hexandris (F. Mueller), with the spadices terminal, solitary, densely cylindrical, with the peduncles at the base scaly; above the middle provided with a cucullate, lanceolate spreading spathe, equal in length to the spathe and spadix or longer, with flowers with six lobes, six-stamened.

- spatha stipitem longissimum pedunculifórmem spadicis vaginans, lamina incompleta v. 0. Spadix sursum florens (B&H), the spathe sheathing the very long, peduncle-like stipe of the spadix, with the blade incomplete or none. The spadix flowering upwards [i.e. from below].

- flores in spadice tenuissimo apice fauci spathae accreto monoici, feminei et masculi longe distantes (B&H), the flowers monoicous, with the throat of the spathe united at the apex into a very delicate [thin] spadix], the female and masculine ones far distant [from one another].

- spadix spatha brevior, totus inclusus, sessilis, basi femineus, superne hermaphroditus, appendice erecta clavata, spadix than the spathe shorter, all included, sessile, at the base female, above hermaphrodite, with appendage erect club-shaped.

- spathis elongatis glabris, universali margine parum scariosa, partialibus angustis, calycis tubo praeter apicem pubescente, (F. Mueller), with the spathes elongate, glabrous, with the primary [sc. spathe] on the margin somewhat scarious, with the secondary [sc. spathes] narrow, with the tube of the calyx pubescent except for the apex.

- [Reedia: Cyperaceae] inflorescentia fere aroidea, spica intra spatham angusto-lanceolatam solitariam v. geminatam apice foliaceam pedunculata (F. Mueller), the inflorescence almost aroid, with the spike pedunculate within a narrowly-lanceolate, solitary or paired spathe, leafy at the apex.

- 4, sectio transversa apicis spathae exterioris (F. Mueller), 4. transverse (i.e. cross-) section of the apex of the exterior spathe.

- calycis tubo praeter apicem pubescente, with the tube of the calyx pubescent except for the apex.

Rhodospatha,-ae (s.f.I), > Gk. rhodo-, ‘red’ + spatha, spathe. Araceae (Stearn 1996).

NOTE: the term spathe in palms, was “not used in this book because of its ambiguity within palms” (Uhl, N. W. & J. Dransfield; 1987. Genera Palmarum: L. H. Bailey Hortorium and the International Palm Society. Lawrence, Kansas.


A work in progress, presently with preliminary A through R, and S, and with S (in part) through Z essentially completed.
Copyright © P. M. Eckel 2010-2018

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