- Flower of a grass with glumes removed, showing three stamens and two feathery styles.
- Spikelet of Oat (Avena sativa) laid open, showing the sterile bracts gl, gl, or empty glumes; g, the fertile or floral glume, with a dorsal awn a; p, the pale; fs, an abortive flower.
A, b, Barren glumes; c, fertile glumes, each enclosing one flower with its pale, d; the zigzag axis (rhachilla) bears long silky hairs.
At the base of each spikelet are two empty boat-shaped glumes or "chaff-scales," one to the right, the other to the left, and then a series of flowers, 2 to 8 in number, closely crowded together; the uppermost are abortive or sterile, - indeed, in some varieties only one or two of the flowers are fertile.
On the other side of the flower and at a slightly higher level is the "palea," of thinner texture than the other glumes, with infolded margins and with two ribs or veins.