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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

137. Eleusine Gaertner, Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1: 7. 1788.

穇属 can shu

Authors: Shou-liang Chen & Sylvia M. Phillips

Annuals or tussocky perennials. Culms compressed. Leaf sheaths strongly keeled; leaf blades linear, usually folded; ligule membranous, usually with a ciliate fringe. Inflorescence of digitate or subdigitate spikelike racemes clustered at the top of the culm; racemes with closely imbricate, biseriate spikelets, terminating in a fertile spikelet. Spikelets laterally compressed, florets several, disarticulating between the florets (except the cultivated species E. coracana); glumes shorter than lemmas, persistent, 1–3(–7)-veined, keeled, awnless; lemmas membranous, 3-veined, glabrous, strongly keeled, keel thickened with 1–3 closely spaced additional veins, obtuse or acute. Grain ellipsoid to subglobose, trigonous in section, ornamented, pericarp free. x = 9. Fl. and fr. Jul–Sep.

Nine species: mostly in E and NE tropical Africa, one species a pantropical weed and one cultivated as a cereal; two species (one introduced) in China.

Eleusine, Acrachne, and Dactyloctenium form a group of closely related genera, remarkable for their unusual, ornamented grains enclosed within a free pericarp, which is easily removed when soaked in a drop of water.

1 Racemes slender, 3–5 mm broad, straight; spikelets disarticulating at maturity; grain oblong or ovate, not exposed when ripe   1 E. indica
+ Racemes stout, 8–15 mm broad, incurved; spikelets not disarticulating at maturity; grain globose, exposed in the gaping floret when ripe   2 E. coracana

Lower Taxa


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