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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.



Perennial from scaly rhizomes, generally dioecious
Stems ascending to erect, stiff, glabrous, solid in X -section
Leaves 2-ranked; ligule membranous, fringed; blade flat or ± rolled, pointed, glabrous, generally deciduous at collar
Inflorescence panicle- or raceme-like; spikelets stalked
Spikelet unisexual; pistillate generally = staminate, compressed; glumes unequal, firm, awns 0, lower 3(5)-veined, upper 5–7(9)-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; florets 3–20; lemma wide, 9–11-veined, awn 0; palea < or > lemma; keels minutely hairy
Species in genus: 3–6 species: Am, 1 sp. in Australia
Etymology: (Greek: 2-ranked, from leaf arrangement)
Reference: [Beetle 1943 Bull Torr Bot Club 70:638–650]


D. spicata (L.) Greene


Perennial; rhizomes stout, yellowish; stolons sometimes present
Stems erect, 1–5 dm,
Leaf: blade generally 2–10 cm, 1–4 mm wide, stiff
Inflorescence panicle-like, 2–8 cm, narrowly ± cylindric to elliptic in outline, ± dense
Spikelet 6–20(25) mm, straw-colored to purplish; glumes 1.5–4 mm; florets 5–15; lemmas 3–6 mm; palea ± = lemma, keel ciliate in pistillate florets
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Salt marshes, moist, alkaline areas
Elevation: < 1550 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: s Canada, US
Flowering time: Apr–Jul
Synonyms: vars. divaricata Beetle, nana Beetle, stolonifera Beetle, stricta (Torr.) Beetle
Horticultural information: SUN: 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24 &IRR: 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20; GRCVR; INV; STBL; tolerates salt and alkali.

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