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Dactyloctenium aegyptium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; 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; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Genus: DactylocteniumView Description 

Habit: Annual, perennial herb; tufted, stoloniferous, or rhizomatous Stem: erect or decumbent; 5--115 cm, often rooting at lower nodes. Leaf: ligule membranous; blade flat or inrolled, 4--25 cm, 2--8 mm wide. Inflorescence: terminal, panicle-like, branches 2--11, finger-like, each with 2 rows of overlapping, sessile spikelets along lower side; axis extending beyond spikelets. Spikelet: laterally compressed; glumes unequal, wide, 1-veined, keeled, lower persistent, acute, upper deciduous, short-awned, awn generally curved; axis breaking apart above glumes, florets falling as a unit; bisexual florets 3--7; lemma membranous, keeled, 3-veined, lateral veins generally faint, tip acuminate or short-awned, awn generally curved; palea +- = lemma. Fruit: utricle-like, seed falling free from outer wall.
Species In Genus: 10--13 species: Africa, Australia. Etymology: (Greek: finger + a small comb, from spikelet arrangement on branches)
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr.

Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd.
Habit: Annual, stoloniferous perennial herb. Stem: 10--35(100) cm, rooting at lower nodes. Leaf: sheath keeled, with bulbous-based hairs; ligule 0.5--1 mm, membranous, ciliate; blade 5--20 cm, 2--8 mm wide, margin ciliate, hairs bulbous-based. Inflorescence: branches generally 2--5, 1--6 cm. Spikelet: +- 4 mm, +- 3 mm wide; glumes 1.5--2 mm, lower ovate, acute, upper elliptic, obtuse, awned, awn to 2.5 mm; florets 3; lemma +- 3 mm, ovate, midvein extended as curved awn to 1 mm; palea +- = lemma. Chromosomes: 2n=20,36,40,45,48.
Ecology: Disturbed places; Elevation: < 300 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV (Kern Co.), SCo, PR, DSon; Distribution Outside California: southern and eastern United States, worldwide in warmer areas; native to Africa. Flowering Time: Jul--Nov
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr.
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botanical illustration including Dactyloctenium aegyptium


Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. 2017. Dactyloctenium aegyptium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Dactyloctenium aegyptium
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Dactyloctenium aegyptium
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Dactyloctenium aegyptium
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Dactyloctenium aegyptium
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Dactyloctenium aegyptium in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dactyloctenium aegyptium:
SnJV (Kern Co.), SCo, PR, DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.