The regulation of proper shoot and floral meristem size during plant development is mediated by a complex interaction of stem cell promoting and restricting factors. The phenotypic effects of mutations in the ULTRAPETALA gene, which is required to control shoot and floral meristem cell accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana, are described. ultrapetala flowers contain more floral organs and whorls than wild-type plants, phenotypes that correlate with an increase in floral meristem size preceding organ initiation. ultrapetala plants also produce more floral meristems than wild-type plants, correlating with an increase in inflorescence meristem size without visible fasciation. Expression analysis indicates that ULTRAPETALA controls meristem cell accumulation partly by limiting the domain of CLAVATA1 expression. Genetic studies show that ULTRAPETALA acts independently of ERA1, but has overlapping functions with PERIANTHIA and the CLAVATA signal transduction pathway in controlling shoot and floral meristem size and meristem determinacy. Thus ULTRAPETALA defines a novel locus that restricts meristem cell accumulation in Arabidopsis shoot and floral meristems.