Bracts sometimes do not differ from the ordinary leaves, as in Veronica hederifolia, Vinca, Anagallis and Ajuga.
When the flower is sessile the bracts are often applied closely to the calyx, and may thus be confounded with it, as in the order Malvaceae and species of Dianthus and winter aconite (Eranthis), where they have received the name of epicalyx or calyculus.
In many cases bracts act as protective organs, within or beneath which the young flowers are concealed in their earliest stage of growth.
When bracts become coloured, as in Amherstia nobilis, Euphorbia splendens, Erica elegans and Salvia splendens, they may be mistaken for parts of the corolla.
A series of empty coloured bracts terminates the inflorescence of Salvia Horminum.