Umbellate plants have numerous rays on the umbels of strong stems, but the number is seen to decrease and to become very small on the weakest lateral branches. The same holds good for the number of ray-florets in the flower-heads of the composites, even for the number of stigmas on the ovaries of the poppies, which on weak branches may be reduced to as few as three or four.
The flowers, however, are both large and conspicuous, and impart to the tree an interesting and novel appearance. They are individually small, of a creamy-white colour, and produced in long, umbellate racemes, and which when fully developed, from their weight and terminal position, are tilted gracefully to one side.
This fact at once points to an analogy with the umbellate allies, and induces us to examine the insertion of the flowers more critically. In doing so we find that they are united at their base so as to constitute a sessile umbel. The scapes are not absolutely lacking, but only reduced to almost invisible rudiments.