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.

Distichlis spicata

HABIT Perennial. Rhizomes elongated. Culms 10–60 cm long. Culm-nodes glabrous. Leaves cauline; distichous. Leaf-sheaths longer than adjacent culm internode. Ligule a ciliolate membrane. Leaf-blades involute; 2–8(–20) cm long; 1–4 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface ribbed. Leaf-blade apex pungent.

INFLORESCENCE Dioecious. Inflorescence composed of racemes.

Racemes 2–10; borne along a central axis; closely spaced; in a head; paucilateral; 1–2 cm long; bearing few fertile spikelets. Central inflorescence axis 2.5–8 cm long. Rhachis angular.

Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels linear.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 5–15 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets ovate; laterally compressed; 6–18(–28) mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 0.9 length of upper glume; scarious; 1-keeled; 3–9 -veined. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; 1 length of adjacent fertile lemma; scarious; 1-keeled; 3–9 -veined. Upper glume apex acute.

FLORETS Fertile florets female. Fertile lemma ovate; 3–6 mm long; coriaceous; keeled; 5–11 -veined. Lemma apex acute. Palea coriaceous; 2 -veined. Palea keels winged; narrowly winged. Apical sterile florets resembling fertile though underdeveloped.

FLOWER Anthers 3; 2 mm long.

MALE Male inflorescence similar to female; of racemes along a central axis. Male spikelets similar to female but less developed; 5–20 flowered; persistent; ovate; 6–18 mm long. Male spikelet glumes 2. Male spikelet lemma 5–11 -veined; muticous.

DISTRIBUTION Pacific: north-central. North America: Subarctic, western Canada, eastern Canada, northwest USA, north-central USA, northeast USA, southwest USA, south-central USA, southeast USA, and Mexico. South America: Mesoamericana, Caribbean, northern South America, western South America, and southern South America.

NOTES Eragrostideae. Gould.

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