Definition of ligule in US English:



  • A narrow strap-shaped part of a plant, especially, in most grasses and sedges, a membranous scale on the inner side of the leaf sheath at its junction with the blade.

    • ‘Hopi confers pigmentation to a wide variety of plant tissues, including pericarp, root, mesocotyl, and leaf blade in the seedling, midrib, ligule, leaf blade, and anthers in the mature plant.’
    • ‘All experimentation was done using the expanding second true maize leaf blade at a stage before growth of the leaf sheath, which is seen as displacement of the ligule from the leaf base.’
    • ‘Indeed, it has been noted that tyloses appeared to hinder, but not entirely block, the movement of radiolabelled amino acids in the xylem sap at the ligule of senescent leaves of Lolium temulentum.’
    • ‘Ray florets are much larger, with an 8-12 mm long, yellow, three-lobed, strap-shaped ligule surmounting a short corolla tube.’
    • ‘Stem height was defined as the length between insertion of the first adventitious roots and the top of the spike, and ligule height as the height of the ligule of the corresponding leaf.’


Early 19th century: from Latin ligula ‘strap’.