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[ruh-kil-uh] /rəˈkɪl ə/
noun, plural rachillae
[ruh-kil-ee] /rəˈkɪl i/ (Show IPA).
a small or secondary rachis, as the axis of a spikelet in a grass inflorescence.
Origin of rachilla
1835-45; < New Latin, diminutive of rachis rachis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rachilla
Historical Examples
  • It is attached to the axis of the flower and its back is towards the rachilla.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar
  • The caryopsis is very narrow, and the rachilla long and feathered with hairs.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • rachilla short, flattened and angular, tapering below (see Festuca elatior).

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • Palea very similar to A. fatua, apex 2-4-toothed or bifid, rachilla with stiffer hairs.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • A conspicuous tuft of fine silky hairs, longer than the palea at the base and on the rachilla.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • rachilla distinct, smooth, much wrapped in, widens upwards and is somewhat flattened.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • These consist typically of a short axis, the rachilla, almost or quite concealed by several chaffy bracts.

    The Plants of Michigan Henry Allan Gleason
  • In the variety of Chevallier known as Archer, however, the rachilla has somewhat long hairs.

  • The small piece of axis (a) left attached to each segment is the rachilla R.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
  • The absence of awn, rachilla, and basal hairs distinguishes Agrostis from Aira.

    Grasses H. Marshall Ward
British Dictionary definitions for rachilla


(in grasses) the short stem of a spikelet that bears the florets
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, diminutive of rachis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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rachilla in Science
Plural rachillae (rə-kĭl'ē)
The stalk that bears the florets in the spikelets of grasses and similar plants, such as rushes and sedges. The rachilla often has a zigzag shape, with florets at each point at which the orientation of the rachilla turns.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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