In the male flower the receptacle is "concrescent" or inseparate from the bract in whose axil it originates.
A single male flower consists of an axis enclosed at the base by an inconspicuous perianth formed of two concrescent leaves and terminating in two, or as many as eight, shortly stalked or sessile anthers.
The spike of an inflorescence bears whorls of flowers at each node in the axils of concrescent bracts accompanied by numerous sterile hairs (paraphyses); in a male inflorescence numerous flowers occur at each node, while in a female inflorescence the number of flowers at each node is much smaller.
The whole flower may be looked upon as an adventitious bud bearing two pairs of leaves; each pair becomes concrescent and forms a perianth, the apex of the shoot being converted into an orthotropous ovule.
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