Bracts are modified leaves associated with a flower.
Drawing courtesy Carrie Liz Carpenter
All the bracts that surround a flower, taken as a group, can be referred to as an involucre.
Plants develop bracts in an unbelievable variety of forms, helping each species to thrive in its part of the world.
These showy petal-like bracts help pollinators find the tiny flowers in the center.
Mountain Dogwood photo courtesy Keir Morse
Thistle bracts are spiny, discouraging browsing animals from eating the flowers.
Milk Thistle photo © Neal Kramer
In the Aster family, bracts surround a compound flower.
Shrubby Alkali Aster Photo courtesy Steve Matson
These bracts look like scales and help protect a drooping cluster of emerging flowers.
Common Manzanita photo courtesy Jeff Bisbee
Skunk Cabbage features one large bract. It provides protection and advertising for the small flowers.
Skunk Cabbage photo courtesy Keir Morse
Pine cones are made up of woody bracts that protect seeds until theyre ready to fall.
Jeffrey Pine Cone photo © John Muir Laws
Oak bracts grow to form the acorn cap, protecting and connecting the acorn to the tree.
Leather Oak photo © Neal Kramer
Want more? See Wikipedia.