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Taiwan Gramineae | Family List | Poaceae

Microstegium Nees, Nat. Syst. Bot. 447. 1836.


Microstegium dilatatum
living plant

Credit: JW Lin

Annuals or perennials; culms ribbed or terete, smooth. Leaf blades suddenly narrowed at base, often petiole-like. Inflorescence consisting of several spike-like racemes digitately arranged. Racemes many noded, breaking up at maturity. Spikelets in pairs, the one pedicelled, finally falling off from pedicel, the other usually sessile and falling off with adjacent rachis-joint, rarely shortly pedicelled and deciduous at maturity. Spikelets oblong, dorsally compressed, usually awned, with short, bearded callus, dorsiventrally arranged; lower glumes as long as spikelets or slightly shorter, apex truncate or 2-toothed, with a longitudinal depression on back, margins inflexed, without midnerve; upper glume as long as spikelet, boat-shaped keeled, acute, acuminate or awned, 3-nerved; lower lemma, if present hyaline, nerveless; lower palea present or absent, often apparently substituting for a lower lemma; upper lemma thinly membranous, entire, 2-toothed or 2-lobed usually awned, the awn very slender and flexuous; upper palea small or wanting; : lodicules 2, curieate, small; stamens 3; stigmas exserted at or below apes. Caryopsis Oblong.

About 30 species distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.

Eight species, mostly forest grasses, are found in the mountain regions of Taiwan.

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Vascular Plant Type Catalog at NYBG: Link

1 Lower palea reduced, less than 1/2 as long as the spikelet; anthers 3; keels of lower glume usually bristled.   (2)
+ Lower palea well developed, slightly shorter than the spikelet; anthers 2; keels of lower glume scabrous, not bristled.   (7)
2 (1) Anthers of two kinds, the smaller about 0.5 mm long and the larger ones more than 1 mm long; the former in the upper floret and the latter in the lower floret.   (3)
+ Anthers of one kind, linear, more than 1 mm long.   (4)
3 (2) Plant large; spikelets more than 4.5 mm long   Microstegium dilatatum
+ Plant medium in sized; spikelets less than 4 mm long   Microstegium vimineum
4 (2) Rachis-joint shorter than lower spikelets; lower glume of the lower spikelets deeply furrowed.   (5)
+ Rachis-joint longer or as long as the lower spikelet; lower glume of the lower spikelet concave not deeply furrowed   (6)
5 (4) Spikelets about 3 mm long; ligule usually shorter than 1 mm long   Microstegium glaberrimum
+ Spikelets more than 3.5 mm long; ligule 1.5-2 mm long   Microstegium ciliatum
6 (4) Upper glume acuminate; lower palea 1/2 as long as the spikelet, acute; leaves tomentose   Microstegium geniculatum
+ Upper glume ending in a short awn; tip of lower palea with a sinus, less than 1/3 as long as the spikelet; leaves not tomentose   Microstegium fauriei
7 (1) Spikelets all pedicelled; lower glume 2-cleft   Microstegium somai
+ Spikelets one pedicelled, the other sessile; lower glume acuminate . . 6. M. nudum   Microstegium nudum

Lower Taxa


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