A sepal (from Latin "separatus" "separate" + "petalum" "petal") is a part of the flower of angiosperms or flower plants. Sepals in a "typical" flower are green and lie under the more conspicuous petals. As a collective unit the sepals are called the "" of a flower.

The calyx is part of the "perianth" of the flower. The perianth is composed of the sepals (collectively called the calyx) and the corolla (which is the outer part of the flower with the inner part of the perianth composed of the petals).The "petals" and "sepals" are usually differentiated into colorful petals and green sepals. But many flowers have colorful sepals and lack petals or the sepals and petals look similar and are often called "tepals". The term tepal is usually applied when the petals and sepals are not differentiated and look similar or the petals are absent and the sepals are colorful. When the flower is in bud, the sepals enclose and protect the more delicate floral parts within. Morphologically they are modified leaves.

The number of sepals in a flower (called "merosity") is indicative of the plant's classification: eudicots having typically four or five sepals and monocots and palaeodicots having three, or some multiple of three, sepals.

There exists considerable variation in form of the sepals among the flowering plants. Often the sepals are much reduced, appearing somewhat awn-like, or as scales, teeth, or ridges. Examples of flowers with much reduced perianths are found among the grasses. In some flowers, the sepals are fused towards the base, forming a calyx tube. This "floral tube" can include the petals and the attachment point of the stamens.

ee also

Plant morphology

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  • sepal — sepal; sepal·ine; sepal·oid; …   English syllables

  • sepal — leaf of the calyx, 1821, from Fr. sépal, from Mod.L. sepalum (H.J. de Necker, 1790), coined from L. separatus separate + petalum petal …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sepal — Se pal, n. [NL. sepalum, formed in imitation of NL. petalum, petal, to denote one of the divisions of the calyx: cf. F. s[ e]pale.] (Bot.) A leaf or division of the calyx. [1913 Webster] Note: When the calyx consists of but one part, it is said… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sepal — ► NOUN Botany ▪ each of the leaf like parts of a flower that surround the petals, enclosing them when the flower is in bud. ORIGIN from Greek skep covering , influenced by French pétale petal …   English terms dictionary

  • sepal — [sē′pəl; ] chiefly Brit [ sep′əl] n. [Fr sépale < ModL sepalum, arbitrary blend < Gr skepē, a covering + ModL petalum, PETAL] Bot. any of the usually green, leaflike parts of the calyx: see FLOWER sepaled adj. sepalled …   English World dictionary

  • sepal —   n. portion of calyx.    ♦ sepaline,    ♦ sepaloid, a. like sepal …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • sepal — taurėlapis statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Augalų žiedo taurelės lapelis. atitikmenys: angl. sepal rus. чашелистик …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • sepal — noun Etymology: New Latin sepalum, from sep (irregular from Greek skepē covering) + alum (as in petalum petal) Date: 1821 one of the modified leaves comprising a calyx see flower illustration …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sepal — Kamelienblüte Skizze: Ke = Kelchblatt Die Kelchblätter (Sepalen) bilden den Kelch (Calyx) einer Blüte einer Bedecktsamigen Pflanze und sind die äußeren, manchmal derberen und manchmal grünen Blütenhüllblätter, sie können aber auch andere Farben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sepal — sepaled, sepalled, adj. /see peuhl/, n. Bot. one of the individual leaves or parts of the calyx of a flower. [ < NL sepalum (1790), irreg. coinage based on Gk sképe covering and L petalum PETAL] * * * …   Universalium

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