Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

POACEAE

GRASS FAMILY

James P. Smith, Jr., except as specified

Annual to bamboo-like; roots generally fibrous
Stem generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid
Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear; sheath generally open; ligule membranous or hairy, at blade base
Inflorescence various (of generally many spikelets)
Spikelet: glumes generally 2; florets (lemma, palea, flower) 1–many; lemma generally membranous, sometimes glume-like; palea generally ± transparent, ± enclosed by lemma
Flower generally bisexual, minute; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose
Fruit: achene-like grain
Genera in family: 650–900 genera; ± 10,000 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1951 Manual grasses US, USDA Misc Publ 200; Clayton & Renvoise 1986 Kew Bull Add Series 13]
See Glossary p. 26 for illustrations of general family characteristics. Generally wind-pollinated.

MELICA

MELIC, ONIONGRASS

Mary E. Barkworth

Perennial; rhizomes, corms generally 0
Stems generally erect, generally densely clumped
Leaves ± basal; sheath closed to near top, glabrous to short-hairy; ligule thin, membranous, tip obtuse to truncate, generally jagged; blade generally 2–5 mm wide, flat, veins inconspicuous
Inflorescence raceme- or panicle-like, generally narrow
Spikelet: glumes papery, back rounded, tip rounded, translucent, lower glume 3–5-veined, upper 1–3-veined; axis generally breaking above glumes; lower florets fertile, 1–7, uppermost florets sterile, ± densely clustered at axis tip; lemma ± like glumes, prominently 5–7-veined, veins not converging, base ± red; palea < lemma
Species in genus: ± 80 species: generally temp, except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: honey, or old Italian name for plant with sweet sap)
Reference: [Boyle 1945 Madroño 8:1–26]

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