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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

9. Poaceae Tribe MELICEAE

臭草族 chou cao zu

Authors: Zhen-lan Wu & Sylvia M. Phillips

Perennial. Culms usually unbranched. Leaf sheaths tubular, margins fused for most or all of their length; leaf blades linear, transverse veinlets sometimes present; ligule membranous, sometimes tubular and lobed on side opposite blade. Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle, sometimes scanty or racemelike. Spikelets all alike, laterally compressed, of 1 to many fertile florets, upper florets sterile and often gathered into a clump of rudimentary lemmas, usually disarticulating below each floret; glumes persistent, usually shorter than spikelet, often shorter than adjacent lemma, often papery with hyaline margins, 1–5-veined; lemmas herbaceous or becoming leathery, rounded on back, prominently 5–9(–13)-veined, awnless or with straight or curved awn from apex or back; lodicules 2, fused, short, fleshy, truncate. Stamens (2 or)3. Caryopsis ellipsoid; hilum linear. Leaf anatomy: non-Kranz; microhairs absent. x = 9, 10.

Eight genera and ca. 130 species: temperate regions throughout the world; three genera and 34 species (nine endemic) in China.

This small tribe is allied to Poeae, but differs in the closed, tubular leaf sheaths, small, fleshy lodicules, and chromosome number.

1 Floret callus hairy; lemma awned.   57 Schizachne
+ Floret callus glabrous; lemma awnless   (2)
2 (1) Spikelets with several to many fertile florets; upper glume 1-veined; aquatic and marsh plants.   55 Glyceria
+ Spikelets with 1–4 fertile florets and terminal sterile lemmas; upper glume 3–5-veined; forest and grassland plants.   56 Melica

Lower Taxa


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