GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora


W.D. Clayton, M. Vorontsova, K.T. Harman & H. Williamson

© Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Chusquea serpens

HABIT Perennial. Rhizomes elongated; leptomorph. Culms scandent; 1000–2000 cm long; 5–10 mm diam.; woody; without nodal roots. Culm-internodes terete; solid; 20–39 cm long; mid-green, or mid-green and purple; concolorous, or mottled; retrorsely scabrous. Lateral branches dendroid; infravaginal. Bud complement 3. Branch complement three; in a clump; with subequal branches; thinner than stem. Culm-sheaths deciduous but leaving a persistent girdle; 6.7–11.3 cm long; 2.7–3 times as long as wide; chartaceous; glabrous, or hispid. Culm-sheath ligule ciliolate. Culm-sheath blade triangular; cordate; deciduous; 3–8.4 cm long; glabrous on surface and with ciliate margins. Leaves 3–7 per branch. Leaf-sheaths keeled; glabrous on surface; outer margin hairy. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 1–2 mm long; scarious; truncate. Collar with external ligule. Leaf-blade base broadly rounded; with a brief petiole-like connection to sheath; petiole 0.3–1.2 cm long. Leaf-blades lanceolate; 11.7–35.8 cm long; 18–51 mm wide. Leaf-blade venation without cross veins, or with obscure cross veins. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or pilose; hairy abaxially. Leaf-blade margins cartilaginous; serrulate. Leaf-blade apex attenuate; filiform.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle.

Panicle contracted; linear; secund; 35–55 cm long. Primary panicle branches appressed; 5–9 cm long. Panicle axis glabrous. Panicle branches angular; glabrous, or puberulous.

Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 2 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate, or ovate; laterally compressed; 11.3–14.6 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, or ovate; 1.2–2.5 mm long; 0.33 length of upper glume; membranous; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; 3.5–7 mm long; 0.33–0.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; without keels; 1–3 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent, or distinct. Upper glume apex acute; awned; 1 -awned. Upper glume awn 3 mm long.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets similar; barren; without significant palea; attached to and deciduous with the fertile. Lemma of lower sterile floret ovate; 5.4–8.6 mm long; chartaceous; (5–)7(–9) -veined; acute; awned. Awn of lower sterile floret 3 mm long. Lemma of upper sterile floret ovate; 7.7–9.9 mm long; chartaceous; acute; awned. Awn of upper sterile floret 1 mm long. Fertile lemma ovate; 10.6–13.2 mm long; coriaceous; shiny; without keel; 7–18 -veined. Lemma inner surface glabrous, or pubescent. Lemma apex acute; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn 0.5 mm long overall. Palea 10.1–11.5 mm long; 2–4 -veined. Palea keels contiguous above a sulcus. Palea surface pilose; hairy on margins; hairy above.

FLOWER Lodicules 3; 2–2.5 mm long; membranous; ciliate. Anthers 3; 5.5–7.5 mm long. Stigmas 2. Ovary glabrous.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; apex unappendaged.

DISTRIBUTION South America: Mesoamericana, northern South America, and western South America.

NOTES Bambuseae. Clark 1995.

ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS Central branch bud triangular.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 3rd February 2016.