from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of the usually green leaflike structures composing the outermost part of a flower. Sepals often enclose and protect the bud and may remain after the fruit forms.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, a calyx-leaf; one of the individual leaves or parts that make up the calyx, or outer circle of floral envelops. See calyx, cut in preceding column, and cuts under antisepalous and dimerous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A leaf or division of the calyx.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany One of the component parts of the calyx, when this consists of separate (not fused) parts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun one of the green parts that form the calyx of a flower


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin sepalum, perhaps blend of Greek skepē, covering and Latin petalum, petal; see petal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin sepalum


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  • "The green thing on the back of a rose is the calyx and each of its leaflets is called a sepal," said Ethel Brown by way of fixing the definition firmly in her mind.

    Ethel Morton's Enterprise

  • The sepal is the outermost, green, leaf-like floral organ, which acts defensively to enclose and protect the developing reproductive structures.

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  • In the plant, the eye or germinative point opens to a leaf, then to another leaf, with a power of transforming the leaf into radicle, stamen, pistil, petal, bract, sepal, or seed.

    Representative Men

  • The lamina or expanded portion of a monopetalous corolla or of a petal or sepal. THE PERILS OF A FANCY VOCABULARY.

  • Also he only mentioned one Federal position in his sepal about how it would be tough to win a primary.

    Archive 2004-05-02

  • Thus we may come across a rose, an outer petal of which appears in the form of a leaf of the calyx (sepal), or one of the sepals is found to have grown into an ordinary rose leaf.

    Man or Matter

  • Leaf, sepal, petal, etc., much as they differ outwardly, yet showed themselves to him as manifestations of one and the same spiritual archetype.

    Man or Matter

  • Sanders, singular in the inequality of the calyx and the great development of the posticous sepal.

    Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries

  • Again, another fable says, with respect to the five petals and the five sepals of the Pansy, two of which petals are plain in colour, whilst each has a single sepal, the three other petals being gay of hue, one of these (the largest of all) having two sepals; that the Pansy represents a family of husband, wife, and four daughters, two of the latter being step-children of the wife.

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

  • The calyx of five sepals is very large, whence the specific name, and each sepal is nearly round and cupped, whence the old common name, "Cup St. John's Wort"; the five petals are 2in. long and widely apart; stamens very numerous, long, thready, and arranged in tufts.

    Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, Rockeries, and Shrubberies.


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