Arthraxon P. Beauv., Ess. Agrost. 111, .t.11/6. 1812. Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:143. 1896; Blatter & McCann, Bombay Grasses 74. 1935; Bor, Fl. Assam 5:373. 1940; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:87. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 96. 1960; Bor in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 70:633. 1970; Tzvelev, Poaceae URSS 704. 1976.
Annuals or perennials with slender, often trailing culms. Leaf-blades broad, commonly lanceolate, cordate and amplexicaul at the base; ligule membranous. Inflorescence composed of slender subdigitate racemes, their internodes filiform to linear. Sessile spikelet laterally compressed; callus truncate; lower glume chartaceous to coriaceous, rounded or ± flat on the back, with or without lateral keels, often scabrid or muricate; lower floret reduced to a hyaline lemma; upper floret with hyaline subentire lemma bearing a glabrous geniculate awn from low down on the back, the palea minute or absent; caryopsis terete. Pedicelled spikelet variable, from as large as the sessible to quite suppressed.
A genus of about 25 species in the Old World tropics, introduced to the New World; 2 or 3 species occur in Pakistan.
Arthraxon nudus (Nees ex Steud.) Hochst. does not occur in Pakistan as reported in Grasses W. Pak. 1:90, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. 105 and Fl. Iran. 70:534. The cited specimen, M. A. Siddiqi & Arthraxon Rahman Beg 26720 from Dir is Arthraxon prionodes.
Hooker in Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:145 (under Arthraxon ciliaris P. Beauv.) stated that Arthraxon hispidus (Thunb.) Makino occurred from Kashmir eastwards, but its presence in the area covered by this Flora cannot be confirmed. In the Kew Herbarium there is a small scrap from Kalam, Swat (Arthraxon Rahman Beg 272) with 2 anthers 0.75 mm long, no pedicelled spikelet and a minute pedicel. This may be Arthraxon hispidus, but it may just as easily be Arthraxon micans (Nees) Hochst. (Arthraxon quartinianus (A. Rich.) Hochst.), there is simply not enough material for a more precise determination.