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Schizachyrium Nees


Description from Flora of China

Perennial or annual. Leaf blades linear or oblong-linear; ligule membranous. Inflorescence a solitary slender fragile raceme, racemes axillary, supported by a spatheole; rachis internodes and pedicels filiform to clavate, glabrous to ciliate or villous, apex cupular with scarious lobed rim; spikelets of a pair dissimilar. Sessile spikelet dorsally compressed or squeezed between internode and pedicel; callus obconical, obtuse, shortly bearded, inserted into internode apex; lower glume papery to leathery, convex, linear to lanceolate, flanks inflexed, often 2-keeled, usually wingless, intercarinal veins several, sometimes faint; upper glume boat-shaped, cuspidate to mucronate; lower floret reduced to a hyaline lemma; upper lemma hyaline, deeply 2-lobed, awned from sinus; awn geniculate, column glabrous. Stamens 3. Caryopsis linear. Pedicelled spikelet male or barren, usually smaller than sessile, sometimes much reduced.

Schizachyrium is closely related to Andropogon, differing mainly by its single racemes. The convex lemma of the sessile spikelet and scarious, cupular internode apex are additional features characteristic of Schizachyrium.

About 60 species: throughout the tropics and subtropics; four species in China.

(Authors: Chen Shouliang (陈守良); Sylvia M. Phillips)

Lower Taxa


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Flora of China  
  • Schizachyrium.pdf
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