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palea

[pey-lee-uh]
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noun, plural pa·le·ae [pey-lee-ee] /ˈpeɪ liˌi/.
  1. a chafflike scale or bract.
  2. 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.
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Origin of palea

1745–55; < New Latin, special use of Latin palea chaff
Related formspa·le·a·ceous [pey-lee-ey-shuh s] /ˌpeɪ liˈeɪ ʃəs/, pa·le·ate [pey-lee-it, ‐eyt] /ˈpeɪ li ɪt, ‐ˌeɪt/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for palea

Historical Examples

  • The palea is as long as the glume, 2-toothed or not at the apex.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

  • The third glume is hyaline, empty, nerveless and without a palea.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

    Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar

  • The awn or beard is merely an elongation of the palea inferior.

  • The long slender awn is inserted below the bifid tip of the palea.

    Grasses

    H. Marshall Ward

  • Caryopsis grooved, blunt and more tightly held in the palea.

    Grasses

    H. Marshall Ward


British Dictionary definitions for palea

palea

pale

noun plural paleae (ˈpeɪlɪˌiː) or pales botany
  1. the inner of two bracts surrounding each floret in a grass spikeletCompare lemma 1
  2. any small membranous bract or scale
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Derived Formspaleaceous (ˌpeɪlɪˈeɪʃəs), adjective

Word Origin

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

palea in Science

palea

[pālēə]
Plural paleae (lē-ē′)
  1. The inner or upper of the two bracts enclosing one of the small flowers within a grass spikelet.
  2. The chaffy scales on the receptacle of a flower head in a plant of the composite family.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.