Common Name: GRASS FAMILY
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.
Common Name: PANIC GRASS
Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Stem: generally erect or ascending; internode solid to hollow. Leaf: basal and cauline, similar or dissimilar, basal rosette well developed or not; blade generally flat or rolled under; sheath glabrous or hairy; ligule short-hairy or membranous, ciliate, hairs generally > membrane, with an adjacent false ligule of longer hairs in some species Inflorescence: panicle-like, generally open; 1° branches spreading to ascending; 2° main branches simple or forked at base; spikelets many, 1--2 per node, generally stalked, on one side of axis or not, stalk tip expanded, one side concave. Spikelet: falling as 1 unit, +- compressed, generally green to +- purple; glumes generally unequal, lower generally < upper, free, clasping, upper glume +- = spikelet, membranous, +- thin; florets 2, lower sterile or staminate, lemma texture like glumes, upper floret fertile, lemma leathery to hard, firm, generally shiny, smooth to rough, margin inrolled or partly flat, tip blunt, palea +- enclosed by lemma margin.
Species In Genus: +- 440 species: tropics to warm temperate, worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for millet) Note: Subg. Dichanthelium often recognized as distinct, monophyletic genus, as in FNANM by Freckmann; based on editorial decision, Panicum treated here to include Dichanthelium, which is phylogenetically nested in Panicum.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert W. Freckmann & Robert Webster
Habit: Perennial herb. Leaf: sheath 2--7 cm; ligule of hairs 2--4 mm. Inflorescence: 1° branches 2--4 cm, axis glabrous or short-hairy; spikelet 1 per node, stalk 0.5--3 mm. Spikelet: +- < 1 mm wide; lower glume 1-veined, tip acute, upper glume 7-veined, lacking orange spot at base; lower floret sterile, lemma 7-veined, tip rounded, palea vestigial; upper floret +- < lower floret. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Note: Other varieties, including Panicum acuminatum var. acuminatum, in Canada, eastern United States, Central America, northern South America.