spikelet

[spahyk-lit]
noun Botany.
a small or secondary spike in grasses; one of the flower clusters, the unit of inflorescence, consisting of two or more flowers and subtended by one or more glumes variously disposed around a common axis.

Origin:
1785–95; spike2 + -let

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World English Dictionary
spikelet (ˈspaɪklɪt)
 
n
1.  botany lemma See palea the unit of a grass inflorescence, typically consisting of two bracts (glumes) surrounding one or more florets, each of which is itself surrounded by two bracts
2.  the small inflorescence of plants of other families, esp the sedges

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
spikelet   (spīk'lĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
A small spike, especially one that is part of the characteristic inflorescence of grasses and sedges. A grass spikelet consists of one or more florets (reduced flowers). Each floret contains a pistil and stamens and is enclosed by two bracts, the lemma and the palea. At the base of the entire spikelet are two additional scalelike bracts, the glumes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The primary kernel of this spikelet is always larger than the secondary kernel.
The bases of the panicle branches are enclosed in an inflated, tawny spathe as long or longer than the spikelet.
Genetic advances were moderate for tiller number, spikelet number and grain yield per plant and low for rest of the characters.
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