catkin definition

  • noun:
    • A usually thick, cylindrical, usually drooping group of unisexual apetalous flowers present in willows, birches, and oaks. Also known as ament1.
    • a kind of inflorescence, composed of a slender axis with several unisexual apetalous blossoms along its edges, as in the willow and poplar.
    • An ament; a species of inflorescence, composed of a slender axis with many unisexual apetalous plants along its edges, as in the willow and poplar, and (regarding staminate blossoms) into the chestnut, pine, hickory, etc. -- so-called from the resemblance to a cat's tail. See Illust. of ament.
    • In botany, a scaly spike of unisexual flowers, often deciduous after flowering or fruiting, like in the willow and birch; an ament. Also referred to as cattail.
    • a cylindrical spikelike inflorescence

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