AskDefine | Define nectary

Dictionary Definition

nectary n : a gland (often a protuberance or depression) that secretes nectar [syn: honey gland]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A gland that secretes nectar


  • Italian: nettario

Extensive Definition

otherusesof Nectar Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants. It is produced either by the flowers, in which it attracts pollinating animals or by extrafloral nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists providing anti-herbivore protection. It is produced in glands called nectaries.
Nectar is economically important as it is the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of many predatory insects, as well as hummingbirds and butterflies, feed on nectar.


Nectar is derived from Latin nectar "drink of the gods", which in turn has its origins in the Greek word νέκταρ (néktar), presumed to be a compound of the elements nek- "death" and -tar "overcoming". The earliest recorded use of its current meaning, "sweet liquid in flowers", dates back to 1609.

Floral nectaries

Floral nectaries are generally located at the base of the perianth, so that pollinators are made to brush the flower's reproductive structures, the anthers and pistil, while accessing the nectar.

Extrafloral nectaries

Nectar produced outside the flower is generally made to attract predatory insects. These predatory insects will eat both the nectar and any plant-eating insects around, thus functioning as 'bodyguards'. Extrafloral nectaries are generally located on the leaf petioles, mid-rib or leaf margin. They are thought to be modified trichomes and exude nectar which is sourced from phloem sap. Extrafloral nectaries can be found on species belonging to (amongst others) the genera: Salix, Prunus and Gossypium.


nectary in Czech: Nektar
nectary in Danish: Nektar (planter)
nectary in German: Nektar (Botanik)
nectary in Spanish: Néctar (botánica)
nectary in Esperanto: Nektaro
nectary in French: Nectar (botanique)
nectary in Scottish Gaelic: Neactair
nectary in Korean: 꽃꿀
nectary in Indonesian: Nektar
nectary in Italian: Nettare (botanica)
nectary in Hebrew: צוף
nectary in Lithuanian: Nektaras
nectary in Malay (macrolanguage): Madu
nectary in Dutch: Nectar (plant)
nectary in Japanese: 蜜
nectary in Norwegian: Nektar
nectary in Polish: Nektar (botanika)
nectary in Portuguese: Néctar
nectary in Simple English: Nectar
nectary in Finnish: Mesi
nectary in Swedish: Nektar
nectary in Turkish: Nektar
nectary in Chinese: 花蜜
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1