pet·al / ˈpetl/ •
n. each of the segments of the corolla of a flower, which are modified leaves and are typically colored.DERIVATIVES: pet·al·ine / ˈpetlˌīn; -in/ adj.pet·aled adj. [in comb.] pink-petaled trailing phlox. pet·al·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.pet·al·oid / -ˌoid/ adj.
, or scale-pattern
ornament suggesting overlapping scale-like shapes. It represents roofing-tiles, as on the top of the Choragic
Monument of Lysicrates, Athens
(C4 bc), and was often found in Roman work, e.g. sarcophagi
. Petal-diaper patterns occur in roofing and tile-hanging.
One of the parts of the flower that make up the corolla
. Petals of insect-pollinated plants are usually brightly coloured and often scented. Those of wind-pollinated plants are usually reduced or absent. Petals are considered to be modified leaves but their structure is simpler. Epidermal hairs may be present and the cuticle is often covered by lines or dots known as honey guides
, which direct insects to the nectar
In a flower
, one of the inner floral leaves, usually brightly coloured, and borne in a tight spiral, or whorled
. See also COROLLA
Part of a flower. The petals of a flower are together known as the corolla. Surrounded by sepals
, flower petals are often brightly coloured and may secrete nectar and perfume to attract the insects and birds necessary for cross-pollination. Once fertilization occurs, the petals usually drop off.
XVIII. — modL. petalum
, in medL. metal plate — Gr. pétalon
lamina, leaf, sb. use of n. of adj. pétalos
outspread, f. base pet-
, as in petánnusthai