Definition of palea in English:


nounplural noun paleae/-lēˌē/ /-lēˌī/

  • The upper bract of the floret of a grass.

    Compare with lemma

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Parts of the palea were removed to allow correct positioning and to avoid destruction of the sensor.’
    • ‘Early stages of floret development are similar in the ear and tassel: each floret is enclosed in a lemma and palea and all florets produce two lodicules, three stamens, and a gynoecium.’



/ˈpālēə/ /ˈpeɪliə/


Mid 18th century from Latin, literally ‘chaff’.