The panicle, also called raceme compound or mazzocca, is a compound inflorescence defined in which along the main axis, instead of individual flower pedicels, are inserted irregular and determined ramifications that develop and grow from the top to the base, generally forming a pyramidal figure. The panicle can also take on the appearance of raceme (Lactuca alpina), of spike (Sesleria nitida), of corimbo (Spiraea decumbens) and other inflorescences and each branching is always shorter than that from which it derives.
The term “panicle” refers to the female inflorescence of maize, which is actually a spadix, routinely but improperly.
The spadix is a type of spike-like inflorescence found in many species of monocotyledonous plants, especially the Araceae family.
The part of the corn spadix where the kernels are fixed takes the name of tutolo. The corn ear is also commonly called panicle, although this term more properly indicates the inflorescence of the plant.
On the contrary, the male inflorescence of corn, the so-called “pennacchio”, is instead a panicle, as the spikelets are pedunculated.
The part of the plant arranged in panicle or which has the appearance of a panicle is called paniculate or paniculata (eg panicular inflorescence).