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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Digitaria

8. Digitaria cruciata (Nees ex Steudel) A. Camus in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine. 7: 399. 1922.

十字马唐 shi zi ma tang

Panicum cruciatum Nees ex Steudel, Syn. Pl. Glumac. 1: 39. 1853; Paspalum sanguinale (Linnaeus) Lamarck var. cruciatum (Nees ex Steudel) J. D. Hooker.

Annual. Culms decumbent at base, branching and rooting at lower nodes, 30–100 cm tall, nodes thinly hispid. Leaf sheaths glabrous or hispid; leaf blades linear-lanceolate, 5–20 × 0.3–1 cm, papillose-hispid on both surfaces or adaxial surface glabrous, margins thickened, undulate, scabrous; ligule 1–2.5 mm. Inflorescence subdigitate, axis 1–5 cm; racemes 5–8, 3–15 cm; spikelets paired, imbricate; rachis winged, ca. 1 mm broad, midrib triquetrous, margins scabrous. Spikelets plumply elliptic-oblong, 2.5–3 mm; lower glume minute, veinless; upper glume broadly ovate, 1/3 as long as spikelet, 3-veined, subglabrous, margins membranous, apex broadly obtuse; lower lemma slightly shorter than upper lemma, 7-veined with intervein spaces nearly equidistant, glabrous or margins pilose; upper lemma pale purplish gray at maturity, apex abruptly apiculate, exserted from spikelet. Fl. and fr. Jun–Oct. 2n = 18, 36, 72.

Upland grasslands; 1000–2700 m. Guizhou, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Myanmar, Nepal].

This species is a common weed in the Himalayan region, generally occurring at higher altitudes than other members of the Digitaria ciliaris complex. It is usually clearly distinguished by its relatively broad spikelets with a short, rounded upper glume and apiculate apex to the fertile floret.

Digitaria cruciata var. esculenta Bor is a minor cereal cultivated in the Khasi hills of NE India. It has longer racemes than the wild form, and a turgid, persistent grain. The name has been misapplied to wild-growing plants in Xizang (Lhasa).


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