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

12. Digitaria stricta Roth ex Roemer & Schultes, Syst. Veg. 2: 474. 1817.

竖毛马唐 shu mao ma tang

Annual. Culms tufted, slender, erect, 20–40 cm tall. Leaf sheaths loose, keeled, glabrous or papillose-pilose, especially at mouth; leaf blades linear, soft, 5–20 × 0.3–0.5 cm, adaxial surface tuberculate-hispid in lower 1/3, apex finely acuminate; ligule 1–1.5 mm. Inflorescence subdigitate, axis 1–3 cm; racemes 2–8 or more, 5–12 cm; spikelets ternate; rachis triquetrous, narrowly winged, margins scabrous; pedicels scabrous, tips slightly dilated with overtopping spicules up to 1 mm. Spikelets elliptic, 1.2–1.4 mm, hairs clavate, rarely glabrous; lower glume absent; upper glume variable, 1/4–1/2 as long as spikelet, rarely vestigial or absent, veinless or 1–3-veined; lower lemma slightly shorter than spikelet, 3–5-veined, intervein spaces and margins sparsely pubescent to villous; upper lemma chestnut brown to purplish black with a paler, apiculate, slightly protruding apex. Anthers ca. 0.3 mm. Fl. and fr. autumn.

Grasslands; below 1800 m. Fujian, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka].

This species is allied to Digitaria ternata, which has bigger spikelets with a longer upper glume.

Digitaria stricta is a fairly uniform species, recognizable by its slender, tufted habit and small spikelets with exposed, dark upper floret ringed by setae from the pedicel apex. However, the spikelet pubescence is variable, ranging from subglabrous to conspicuously villous forms, and the small upper glume may sometimes be only vestigial or even occasionally completely absent. Two extreme variants from the typical plant have been given varietal status, as follows.

1 Spikelets glabrous or almost so.   12b var. glabrescens
+ Spikelets sparsely to densely hairy with clavate hairs   (2)
2 (1) Upper glume distinct.   12a var. stricta
+ Upper glume absent.   12c var. denudata


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