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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.

SCHISMUS

MEDITERRANEAN GRASS

Kelly W. Allred

Annual, biennial, cespitose
Stem erect to prostrate
Leaves generally basal, tufted, glabrous; ligule short-hairy; blades flat or inrolled
Inflorescence panicle-like, dense
Spikelet ± laterally compressed; glumes lanceolate, membranous, 5–7-veined; florets 3–8, bisexual, breaking above glumes and between florets; lemma 9-veined, ciliate proximally, toothed to notched, awn ± 0; palea < to > lemma
Species in genus: 5 species: warm temp, subtropical, Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (Greek: split, from notched lemma)
Reference: [Conert and Türpe 1974 Abh. Senckenberg Naturf. Ges. 532:1–81]

Introduced

S. arabicus Nees

Annual
Stem generally 5–20 cm
Leaf: blade < 1 mm wide, thread-like
Spikelet: glumes 4.5–6.5 mm; lemma 2.5–4 mm, teeth ± 0.3 X lemma, narrowly triangular; palea 2–3 mm, generally << lemma
Chromosomes: 2n=12
Ecology: Dry, open, generally disturbed areas
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley, Central Western California, s Channel Islands, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, Arizona; native to Eurasia
Flowering time: Mar–May

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