Psilochloa Launert: 156 (1970b).
Annual or perennial, of various habit. Leaf blade linear-lanceolate or long-linear, expanded or rolled; ligule an unfringed or a fringed membrane or a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, open or rarely contracted; spikelets pedicelled. Spikelet lanceolate, oblong, elliptic or almost spherical, usually dorsiventrally compressed, usually falling with glumes; glumes unequal, rarely equal, membranous to hyaline, dissimilar or similar, usually awnless; lower glume usually shorter than spikelet, 0-7-nerved, awnless or minutely awned; upper glume as long as spikelet, 3-14-nerved. Florets 2; lower floret male or sterile; lemma very similar to upper glume, with or without a palea; upper floret bisexual, lemma similar to firmer in texture than glumes, usually becoming indurated, elliptic, ovate-elliptic or rarely oblong, obtuse or subacute, smooth or transversely rugose, glabrous, margins inrolled and clasping edges of palea, awnless; palea similar to and subequalling lemma, often with marginal flaps at base. Lodicules 2, broadly cuneate. Stamens 3. Ovary ellipsoid, glabrous; styles distinct, plumose above. Caryopsis +/- ellipsoid, dorsiventrally compressed. x= 7, 9, 10 (high polyploidy).
Species +/- 470, tropical, subtropical and warm temperate; 42 in sthn Afr., widespread.
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