One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The cap of a mushroom or toadstool.
- ‘Their compact pilei - tight-fitting in infant plants, robust and appetizingly domed in ripe ones - have a smooth (not lamellate) undersurface and a neat, strong stem.’
- ‘The development is initiated as a hyphal knot of 0.2 mm or less in diameter, which rapidly develops into a tiny primordium containing the rudimentary tissues of the future pileus and stipe.’
- ‘CO2, levels above 1,000 ppm repress expansion of the pileus and stimulate stipe growth in a wide variety of commercially-grown species, leading to spindly mushrooms in high CO2 conditions.’
Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘felt cap’.
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