In grass, the evolutionary relationship between lemma and palea, and their relationship to the flower organs in dicots have been variously interpreted and wildely debated. In the present study, we carried out morphological and genetic analysis of a palealess mutant (pal) from rice (Oryza sativa L.), and fine mapping the gene responsible for the mutated trait. Together, our findings indicate that the palea is replaced by two leaf-like structures in the pal flowers, and this trait is controlled by one recessive gene, termed palealess1 (pal1). With a large F2 segregating population, the pal1 gene was finally mapped into a physical region of 35 kb. Our results also suggest that the lemma and palea of rice are not homologous organs, palea is likely evolutionarily equivalent to the eudicot sepal, and the pal1 should be an A function gene for rice floral organ identity.