The formation of flowers starts when floral meristems develop on the flanks of the inflorescence meristem. In Arabidopsis the identity of floral meristems is promoted and maintained by APETALA1 (AP1) and CAULIFLOWER (CAL). In the ap1 cal double mutant the meristems that develop on the flanks of the inflorescence meristem are unable to establish floral meristem identity and develop as inflorescence meristems on which new inflorescence meristems subsequently proliferate. We demonstrate in contrast to previous models that AGAMOUS-LIKE 24 (AGL24) and SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) are also floral meristem identity genes since the ap1-10 agl24-2 svp-41 triple mutant continuously produces inflorescence meristems in place of flowers. Furthermore, our results explain how AP1 switches from a floral meristem identity factor to a component that controls floral organ identity.