The calyx is the outermost whorl of a flower which is composed of sepals. The sepals are generally green in color, however sometimes, become brightly colored then, said to be petaloid as in Caesalpinia pulcherrima. In Mussaenda frondosa the sepals are converted into big, yellow or white and leafy structure.

The main function of the calyx is protective. It defends the internal parts of the flower from mechanical damage, rain and excessive sun-shine, and from drying out in the bud situation. Green in color, it can as well do the phosynthetic function. If petaloid, it executes the function of attracting insects for the pollination. Whenever spiny, its function is protective and as the pappus, it aids in the dispersal of fruit.

The calyx might be regular or irregular. The sepal is free from one other and is stated to be polysepalous, whenever united, gamosepalous.

Variations of calyx:

  • The calyx might sometimes be not present or modified into scaly structure as in Sunflower.
  • In some situations it is converted into a bunch of hair – like structures termed as the pappus example: Vernonia.


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