They are called " huitzilin " (spikelet) by the 'Aztecs, and " colibri," " chupaflor " and " chupa-miel " (floweror honey-sucker), and " pajaromosca " (fly-bird) by the Spanish-speaking Mexicans.
Each spikelet contains a solitary flower with two outer small barren glumes, above which is a large tough, compressed, often awned, flowering glume, which partly encloses the somewhat similar pale.
The cultivated varieties are extremely numerous, some kinds being adapted for marshy land, others for growth on the hill A, spikelet (enlarged) B, bearded variety sides.
The pale is now generally considered to represent the single bracteole, characteristic of Monocotyledons, the binerved structure being the result of the pressure of the axis of the spikelet during the development of the pale, as in Iris and others.
They are commonly firm and strong, often enclose the spikelet, and are rarely provided with long points or imperfect awns.