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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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.



Robert Webster

Annual, perennial herb
Stems: internode solid to spongy inside
Leaves basal and cauline; sheath generally smooth; ligule short-hairy or membranous, ciliate; blade flat or folded
Inflorescence: main axis straight or wavy; spikelets in groups of 1(–8), generally enclosed by bur-like involucre, bracts bristle- or spine-like, fused; involucre and enclosed spikelets falling as 1 unit; spikelet sessile to ± embedded in short axis
Spikelet ± compressed; glumes strongly unequal, lower 1-veined, upper ± = florets; florets 2, lower floret sterile or staminate, lemma generally 5-veined, palea generally present, upper floret fertile, lemma thick, ± hard, palea ± = lemma
Species in genus: ± 20 species: warm temp Am, Africa, s Asia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Delisle 1963 Iowa State Coll J Sci 37:259–351]


C. ciliaris L.

Perennial, sometimes from stolons
Stem 2–15 dm
Leaf: sheath 2–7 cm, glabrous or hairy; ligule 0.5–1.5 mm; blade 5–30 cm, 2.5–11 mm wide, upper surface soft-hairy
Inflorescence 2–13 cm; main axis straight; involucre bracts 30–50, ± stiff-bristly, free to near base
Spikelet 2.5–4.5 mm, ± 1–1.5 mm wide, lanceolate to ovate, gray to green; lower glume ± 1–2.5 mm, upper ± 1.5–3.5 mm; lower floret staminate or sterile, lemma acute to acuminate, palea present or 0
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast (Los Angeles Co.)
Distribution outside California: to Texas, n Mexico; native to Africa, India

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