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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Scott Simono, adapted from Michael (2003)

Annual to perennial herb. Stem: decumbent to erect; internode hollow or solid. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath generally glabrous; ligule generally 0; blade generally flat, linear to linear lanceolate, midrib prominent, upper surface generally glabrous. Inflorescence: panicle-like, of simple or compound branches; branches angular, generally ascending to appressed, axis generally glabrous; spikelets generally many, 1–2 per node, generally subsessile, densely packed on branches. Spikelet: ovoid to compressed, falling as one unit, breaking free below glumes, or not at all; florets 2(3), lower floret sterile or staminate, upper florets bisexual, anthers 3; glumes membranous, unequal, lower < upper, short-bristly to hairy, generally green to ± purple, upper glume unawned or shortly awned; lower lemma similar to the upper glume in length and texture, unawned or awned, upper lemma leathery, dorsally rounded, mostly smooth, tip short or elongate, firm or membranous, unawned; upper palea free from lemma at tip, lower palea vestigial to well developed.
40–50 species: warm temperate, subtropics, worldwide. (Greek: hedgehog grass, from bristly spikelet) [Webster 1993 TJM (1993):1252–1253; Michael 2003 FNANM 25:390–403]

Key to Echinochloa

1. Lower lemma generally unawned; spikelets, especially those near the base of inflorescence, not breaking free at maturity; upper lemma > upper glume in length, width ..... [E. esculenta]

1' Lower lemma often awned; spikelets breaking free at maturity; upper lemma < to ± > upper glume in length, width

2. Stem erect, densely tufted; spikelets 3.7–7 mm; plants resembling rice vegetatively, closely associated with rice cultivation ..... E. oryzoides

2' Stem sprawling, decumbent or erect; spikelets 2–5 mm; plant occasionally resembling rice vegetatively but, if so, the spikelets < 3 mm; plants generally not associated with rice cultivated, in wet, disturbed places and cultivated fields

3. Inflorescence branches 0.7–2(4) cm, without 2° branches; spikelet 2–3 mm, unawned ..... E. colona

3' Inflorescence branches 1–14 cm, generally rebranched, 2° branches often short and inconspicuous; spikelet 2.5–5 mm, awned or not

4. Upper lemma broadly obovate, acute or acuminate, tip not sharply differentiated, not early withering; inflorescence generally erect, branches generally spreading ..... E. muricata var. microstachya

4' Upper lemma narrowly elliptic to broadly ovate, acute or obtuse, tip withering, differentiated from lemma body by a line of minute hairs or not; inflorescence erect to strongly drooping

5. Inflorescence spreading to erect, occasionally nodding, not drooping 180°, 2° branches generally inconspicuous; awns straight or irregularly bent, <= 10 mm and only at branch tips or <= 50 mm and throughout inflorescence ..... E. crus-galli

5' Inflorescence generally drooping 180°, 2° branches to 3 cm; awns curved, 3–15 mm, throughout inflorescence ..... E. crus-pavonis var. crus-pavonis


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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