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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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.

POLYPOGON

BEARD GRASS

Steven A. Conley

Annual, perennial herb
Stems decumbent to erect, simple
Leaf: sheath open, loosely enclosing stem, glabrous; ligule thinly membranous, obtuse to truncate, minutely ciliate to toothed; blades ± cauline, flat, scabrous, veins minutely prickly at 10X
Inflorescence panicle-like, oblong to narrowly ovoid in outline, interrupted to compact, dense
Spikelets breaking below glumes and part of stalk, falling as 1 unit; glumes ± equal, 1-veined, entire or 2-lobed, awned at tip or between lobes, awn straight; floret 1; lemma ± 0.5 X glumes, translucent, 5-veined, tip toothed, awn < glume awn; palea slightly < lemma, transparent; anthers tightly enclosed by lemma and palea
Fruit oblong, smooth, enclosed by lemma, palea
Species in genus: 18 species: warm temp Eurasia, Africa, South America. Some species ornamental
Etymology: (Greek: much bearded)

Introduced

P. maritimus Willd.

MEDITERRANEAN BEARD GRASS

Annual
Stem 0.5–5 dm
Leaf: ligule < 6 mm, irregularly toothed, minutely hairy; blade 1–14 cm, 2–4 mm wide
Inflorescence 1–8.5(15) cm, plume-like, densely flowered
Spikelet: stalk < 1 mm; glumes 1–2 mm, minutely bristly below middle, ciliate-fringed, tip lobes 0.5–1 mm, awn 4.5–11.5 mm; lemma 0.5–1.5 mm, awn 0
Chromosomes: 2n=14,42
Ecology: Common. Moist places
Elevation: < 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean Europe, Africa

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