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Dichanthium Willemet


Description from Flora of China

Eremopogon Stapf; Lepeocercis Trinius.

Perennial, rarely annual. Leaf blades often cauline, linear; ligule membranous. Inflorescence of single or subdigitate racemes, terminal or also axillary and sometimes supported by spathes; racemes usually with 1 or more basal homogamous spikelet pairs, spikelets often imbricate; rachis internodes and pedicels slender, solid, bearded, truncate or oblique at apex. Sessile spikelet dorsally compressed; callus short, obtuse; lower glume papery to cartilaginous, broadly convex to slightly concave, sometimes pitted, rounded on flanks, becoming 2-keeled upward, apex obtuse; upper glume boat-shaped, dorsally keeled, awnless; lower floret reduced to an empty hyaline lemma; upper lemma stipitiform, entire, awned from apex; awn geniculate, glabrous or puberulous. Stamens (2–) 3. Pedicelled spikelet similar to the sessile, male or barren, awnless.

Dichanthium is closely related to Bothriochloa, but can be distinguished by its pedicels and rachis internodes being solid and lacking a median, purple line. The species present in China are not clear-cut and are also variable within themselves due to polyploidy and apomixis. All three species provide good grazing and now occur widely in tropical regions as introductions or escapes.

About 20 species: Africa through India to SE Asia and Australia; three species in China.

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


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Flora of China  
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