The description of a flowering plant includes vegetative and floral characteristics, the floral formula and the floral diagram for easy identification and classification. The technical description of a flowering plant must be expressed in scientific language and must be simple, brief and sequential. The floral formula is represented by a set of symbols and provides information about a flower such as its symmetry, sex, calyx, corolla, perianth, androecium, gynoecium, bracts, bracteoles, staminodes, pistillodes and the number of sepals, petals, stamens and carpels.
The formula also explains cohesion and adhesion within parts of the whorls and in between the whorls, with the help of symbols. For example, the floral formula of a mustard flower is represented as - actinomorphic and bisexual flower, four sepals arranged in two rows, four petals, six stamens arranged in two rows and the gynoecium is bicarpellary and syncarpous with a superior ovary.
The floral formula is usually accompanied by its floral diagram. The floral diagram represents the cross-section of a flower and provides information about sex, symmetry, bracts, bracteoles and number of floral whorls.