B, pair of bracteoles below the flower; s, sepals; p, petals; st, stamens; o, ovary.
The term bract is properly applied to the leaf from which the primary floral axis, whether simple or branched, arises, while the leaves which arise on the axis between the bract and the outer envelope of the flower are bracteoles or bractlets.
The smaller bracts or bracteoles, which occur among the subdivisions of a branching inflorescence, often produce no flower-buds, and thus anomalies occur in the floral arrangements.
Usually, however, the floral axis, arising from a more or less altered leaf or bract, instead of ending in a solitary flower, is prolonged, and bears numerous bracteoles, from which smaller peduncles are produced, and those again in their turn may be branched in a similar way.
In these forms the lateral shoots, developed centripetally upon the primary axis, bear numerous bracteoles, from which floral shoots arise which may have a centripetal arrangement similar to that on the mother shoot, or it may be different.