One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In grasses: the floral axis, i.e. the axis on which the florets are borne within the spikelet. Also (in palms): the ultimate flower-bearing axis of the inflorescence.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William T. Brande (1788–1866), chemist. From scientific Latin rachilla from post-classical Latin rachis + -illa.
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