In botany, a glume is a bract (leaf-like structure) below a spikelet in the inflorescence (flower cluster) of grasses (Poaceae) or the flowers of sedges (Cyperaceae). There are two other types of bracts in the spikelets of grasses: the lemma and palea.

Upper and lower glumes of Urochloa mosambicensis, a grass

In grasses, two bracts known as "glumes" form the lowermost organs of a spikelet (there are usually 2 but 1 is sometimes reduced; or rarely, both are absent).[1]: 974–977  Glumes may be similar in form to the lemmas, the bracts at the base of each floret.

In sedges, by contrast, a glume is a scale at the base of each flower in a spikelet.[2]: 521 


  1. ^ Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (3 ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725.
  2. ^ Jermy, AC; Simpson, DA; Foley, MJY; Porter, MS (2007). Sedges of the British Isles. Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. ISBN 9780901158352.