Annual or perennial, tufted, sometimes geniculate, rooting at nodes, rhizomatous or stoloniferous, sometimes mat-forming, often glandular, particularly on leaf sheath and inflorescence. Leaf blade linear, expanded or rolled, rarely folded or setaceous; ligule a short fringe of hairs or a fringed membrane. Inflorescence a panicle or raceme, these open to very dense, contracted or spike-like; primary branches, especially lowermost, solitary, opposite, clustered or whorled on central axis; spikelets pedicelled or subsessile. Spikelet 1.5-26 mm long, usually laterally compressed, variously disarticulating: usually above glumes, either from apex downwards and rachilla falling with florets; or florets disarticulating from below upwards with rachilla remaining; or, rarely, entire spikelet falling with glumes ( E. superba, E. pilgeriana); glumes equal or unequal, shorter than spikelet, usually membranous, 1- to rarely 3-nerved, keeled to not noticeably keeled, usually glabrous, awnless to rarely minutely mucronate or awned. Florets 2-many, rarely 1, bisexual or uppermost floret reduced; lemmas +/- imbricate, similar to firmer in texture to glumes, membranous to chartaceous, ovate, elliptic to oblong or almost orbicular, entire or rarely deeply lobed, acute or obtuse, 3-nerved, laterals faint or occasionally suppressed, keeled or rounded, glabrous or rarely with stiff hairs or cilia on keels, rarely nerves (laterals and central) excurrent into short mucros or awns; awn straight; palea equal to, or shorter than lemma, glabrous, 2-keeled, sometimes gland-dotted, scabrous-ciliate or winged on keels, membranous. Lodicules 2 or 0, small, cuneate, +/- fleshy. Stamens 1-3. Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, plumose. Caryopsis globose to ellipsoid, sometimes pericarp free. x= 10 (high polyploidy).
Species +/- 350, cosmopolitan, mainly subtropical; +/- 90 in sthn Afr., widespread.

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith