One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small bulb-like structure, in particular one in the axil of a leaf, which may fall to form a new plant.
- ‘The fine, young leaves of sprouted garlic bulbils look like newly sprouted grass.’
- ‘A unique feature of this flower is that the bulbils appear in the leaf axils.’
- ‘If you look closely at the flower head you can see lots of bulbils forming - each one of those will grow into a new plant if it gets the chance.’
- ‘It can reproduce both asexually and through aerial bulbils, which is another reason for its high rank in impact.’
- ‘This species has sweet and palatable bulbs and also bears clusters of bulbils at the flower head.’
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin bulbillus, diminutive of bulbus ‘onion, bulbous root’.
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