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What are the bracts of a flower, their characteristics and examples

Our intention in AgroCorrn is to try to get even closer to the nature that surrounds you so that you can admire it as it truly deserves and, thus, you can enjoy it even more. Therefore, in this article we want to teach you a little more about the organs or parts of some plants to increase your knowledge of botany. Specifically, we will talk about what bracts are, their characteristics and examples , as well as differences with other parts of the plant.

Thus, to make it even easier for you to start identifying them, we offer you a list of plants with bracts. You will see that you already know many of them. Do you want to expand your knowledge a little more? Well, join us in this article where we explain everything you need to know about these curious parts of the plant world.

  1. What are bracts
  2. Characteristics of the bracts
  3. Examples of plants with flower bracts
  4. Difference between bracts and sepals

What are bracts

They are known as bracts or hypsofilos , within the specific terms of botany, to those modified leaves located near the compound flowers , typical of angiosperm plants .

Bracts are foliar organs that differ, depending on the species, from normal leaves due to their size and coloration. However, there are cases where this line of visual differentiation can be quite fine, as happens with the so-called floral bracts , which become even more striking than the flowers themselves. There are also the so-called bracteoles or profils, which are those that are born in the floral pedicel and that are located right on the lateral axis of the flower.

Therefore, the best way to differentiate the bracts of the leaves or sepals of a plant is by the function they perform. And it is that the bracts work as a protective shield of the flowers . In fact, they also carry out photosynthesis, although their contribution is less than that of the rest of the parts of the plant.

Commonly, bracts are known as false flowers since, due to what has been explained above, especially in the case of floral bracts, these are much more showy and showy, so it is normal that they are usually confused with flowers. The best example is that of the poinsettia. In this case, the bracts that take on that intense red color due to the drop in temperatures, are confused with the petals of the small flowers that accompany them inside, so it seems that the flower is all the red part when in reality these are modified leaves and flowers are the small white ones in the center.

We recommend you learn more with these other AgroCorrn articles about the Parts of a plant and their functions and What are the parts of a flower and their functions .

Characteristics of the bracts

Next, we are going to list the main characteristics of the bracts in order to differentiate them from the rest of the organs of flowering plants:

  • Generally, the bracts are smaller than the leaves of the plant, although there are exceptional cases where this happens in reverse.
  • The bracts are usually bright and striking in color and can range from the most intense green to have different types of coloration ranging from red to purple, through pink, yellow and even white.
  • Although they also carry out photosynthesis, their energy contribution is much lower than that of the rest of the parts of the plant than if they do it actively, such as the stem or leaves.
  • The main function of the bracts is to protect the flowers to ensure their reproduction. Mainly, they protect it from insects or from climatic effects, such as strong winds or heavy rains.
  • The bracts are born just at the base of the flowers and reach their maximum development before the flowers are fully developed.
  • The bracts can form from one to several overlapping floors around the flower.

Examples of plants with flower bracts

Here are some examples of plants with flower bracts :

Difference between bracts and sepals

You may wonder, at this point, how you can differentiate the bracts from the sepals of a plant due to their great similarity, especially due to their similar morphology and coloration in some cases. And it is that there are sepals and bracts of intense green color, due to chlorophyll, and that only differ at first glance by their size and position.

Remember that the bracts are modified leaves that are very close or almost attached to the flower or inflorescence in most cases. While the sepals are formed during the growth of the plant during the first cycle and second protective cycle. These, in addition, are arranged around the calyx of the flower , not glued to them.

In addition, the sepals are completely independent organs, while the bracts make up a unique set that protects the flower. This set is called the involucre and can be found, depending on the species, at the base of the flower, in the chapter or in the umbel of the plant.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are the bracts of a flower, their characteristics and examples , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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