The hairy or feathery appendage of the achenes of thistles, dandelions, and most other plants of the order Compositæ; also, the scales, awns, or bristles which represent the calyx in other plants of the same order.
In composite flowers the part of the individual disk and ray flowers that surrounds the flower at the base as calyx does in a regular flower. They may be like bristles teeth or scales and are usually to small to see with the unaided eye.
Pappus, in a composite flower, is the element of the individual disk and ray flowers that surrounds the flower structure, in the same manner at the base as calyx does in a non-compound flower. Pappuses may be like bristles, teeth or scales and are usually too diminutive to discern without some type of magnification device. The etymology of this term derives from the Ancient Greek word pappus meaning bristle.