noun, plural pa·le·ae [pey-lee-ee] /ˈpeɪ liˌi/.
a chafflike scale or bract.
the scalelike, membranous organ in the flowers of grasses that is situated upon a secondary axis in the axil of the flowering glume and envelops the stamens and pistil.
Origin of palea
1745–55; < New Latin, special use of Latin palea chaffRelated formspa·le·a·ceous [pey-lee-ey-shuh s] /ˌpeɪ liˈeɪ ʃəs/, pa·le·ate [pey-lee-it, ‐eyt] /ˈpeɪ li ɪt, ‐ˌeɪt/, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for palea
Historical Examples of palea
British Dictionary definitions for palea
noun plural paleae (ˈpeɪlɪˌiː) or pales botany
Derived Formspaleaceous (ˌpeɪlɪˈeɪʃəs), adjective the inner of two bracts surrounding each floret in a grass spikeletCompare lemma 1
any small membranous bract or scale
Word Origin for palea
C18: from Latin: straw, chaff; see pallet 1
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
Plural paleae (pā′lē-ē′)
The inner or upper of the two bracts enclosing one of the small flowers within a grass spikelet.
The chaffy scales on the receptacle of a flower head in a plant of the composite family.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.