Definition of palea in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpeɪlɪə/

noun (plural paleae /ˈpeɪlɪiː/)

The upper bract of the floret of a grass. Compare with lemma2.
Example sentences
  • Each flower has a lemma (outer bract) and a palea (inner bract) at its base, and contains two lodicules and one pistil surrounded by three anthers.
  • For all studies, fresh barley grains were extracted in triplicate (after removing the glumes and paleae and keeping the pericarp - aleurone intact) and analysed in duplicate.
  • The lemma is inserted on the rachilla (the spikelet axis) and, together with the palea, encloses the floret.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'chaff'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: palea

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