One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An oil tube in the fruit of some plants.
- ‘In L. juncta, each pale yellow elytron has five black vittae, with vitta 1 bordering sutural margin and extending from just below the base to the apex.’
- ‘The mericarp of Heracleum mantegazzianum can be distinguished from other similar fruits in the genus by its conspicuously expanded vittae.’
- ‘The triglyceride and essential oil are located in separate, well-defined compartments, the seed endosperm and vittae, respectively.’
A band or stripe of colour.
Early 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘band, chaplet’.
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