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The definition says that basipetal succession is the arrangement of flowers such that the older ones are present at upper side and the young flowers are arranged towards base. But in this diagram:

enter image description here

the oldest flower is at the base and the youngest is towards the upper side. Can anyone help me understand this?

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The definition you quote is a bit misleading — what matters is where the lateral flowers are connected to the inflorescence axis, not where they are physically in space.

Thus, due to the way these cymes develop (starts with a terminal flower and then a lateral bud grows out to form anther terminal flower, etc.) they must be basipetal because the first flower to develop is the terminal flower. In other words, for cymes the lateral buds tend to overgrow so it looks like they are above, but what really counts is where they are placed on the inflorescence axis (which is below).

You may find this explanation clearer than the one in your textbook.

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  • $\begingroup$ In my book, it says that Helicoid and Scorpiod Cyme are examples of Cymose Inflorescence which shows basipetal succession of flowers. $\endgroup$ – laksheya Aug 7 '19 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, my original answer wasn't very good — I hope the edited version is more useful to you! $\endgroup$ – tyersome Aug 7 '19 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I really understand this much better! $\endgroup$ – laksheya Aug 8 '19 at 2:02
  • $\begingroup$ You're very welcome! $\endgroup$ – tyersome Aug 8 '19 at 3:05

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