coleoptile

[koh-lee-op-til, kol-ee-]
noun Botany.
(in grasses) the first leaf above the ground, forming a sheath around the stem tip.

Origin:
1865–70; < Neo-Latin coleoptilum < Greek koleó(n) sheath, scabbard + ptílon soft feathers, down

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World English Dictionary
coleoptile (ˌkɒlɪˈɒptaɪl)
 
n
a protective sheath around the plumule in grasses
 
[C19: from New Latin coleoptilum, from Greek koleon sheath + ptilon down, soft plumage]

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
coleoptile   (kō'lē-ŏp'tĭl, kŏl'ē-)  Pronunciation Key 
A protective sheath enclosing the shoot tip and embryonic leaves of grasses.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Dig up the entire plant in the seedling stage, being careful not to tear the seed loose from the coleoptile.
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