from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small or secondary spike, characteristic of grasses and sedges, bearing one or more florets and usually subtended by one or two bracts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, a small or secondary spike: more especially applied to the spiked arrangements of two or more flowers of grasses, subtended by one or more glumes, and variously disposed around a common axis. See cuts under Meliceæ, oat, orchardgrass, Poa, reed, rye, and Sorghum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A small or secondary spike; especially, one of the ultimate parts of the in florescence of grasses. See Illust. of quaking grass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany A small, or secondary spike, especially one of many in the inflorescence of a grass or sedge

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a small sharp-pointed tip resembling a spike on a stem or leaf


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The _spikelets_ are linear-oblong, glabrous or villous, 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, sessile and stalked spikelets close together; the pedicel of the stalked spikelet is thick about 1/3 or less than the length of the sessile spikelet, ciliate on one side, confluent with the thick callus of the sessile spikelet, which is sparsely bristly.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • Above about 35°C, however, spikelet fertility drops off noticeably.

    1. African Rice

  • In a sorghum flower, only one spikelet of each pair is fertile.

    10. Sorghum: Specialty Types

  • The _spikelets_ are rather small, narrow, greenish or purplish, 1/15 inch long or less, the rachilla is slender, produced to about half the length of the spikelet behind the palea.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • The _sessile spikelet_ consists of four glumes and contains a complete flower and the callus is short and bearded with long hairs.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • The _spikelets_ are 1/8 to 1/6 inch concealed by long silvery hairs of the callus and the glumes, articulate at the base; callus hairs are about twice as long as the spikelet or longer.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • There is usually a complete flower in a spikelet and the glumes are membranous.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • Spikelets are small, 1-flowered, binate, one sessile and the other pedicelled, the sessile spikelet is bisexual and the pedicelled is female and rarely bisexual; sessile spikelets are deciduous with the contiguous joint of the rachis and the pedicel.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • But in grasses the unit of the inflorescence is the = spikelet = and not the flower.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • The racemes consist of many male spikelets with one (rarely two) female spikelets at the base; the rachis is stout above, and the part within the bract enclosing the female spikelet is slender.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses


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