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.

Eleusine africana

HABIT Annual; caespitose. Basal innovations flabellate. Culms geniculately ascending; of moderate stature; 40–90 cm long; without nodal roots, or rooting from lower nodes. Culm-internodes elliptical in section. Leaves mostly basal. Leaf-sheaths keeled. Ligule a ciliolate membrane; 0.6–1 mm long; truncate. Leaf-blades flat, or conduplicate; 5–35 cm long; 2.5–6 mm wide.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence composed of racemes. Peduncle glabrous (at raceme base).

Racemes 3–15; digitate; unilateral; 4–17 cm long; 4–8 mm wide. Rhachis wingless; flattened. Spikelet packing broadside to rhachis; regular; 2 -rowed.

Spikelets appressed; solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 3–9 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets elliptic; laterally compressed; 4–8 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet. Lower glume lanceolate; 2 mm long; 0.6–0.7 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; winged on keel; 2–3 -veined. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume elliptic; 3–4.7 mm long; 0.7–0.9 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; winged on keel; 3 -veined (with subsidiaries in keel). Upper glume apex acute.

FLORETS Fertile lemma lanceolate in profile; 3.5–5 mm long; membranous; 3 -veined (excluding subsidiaries). Lemma midvein with contiguous subsidiary veins (3-veined). Lemma apex acute. Palea 0.9–1 length of lemma; 2 -veined. Apical sterile florets resembling fertile though underdeveloped.

FLOWER Lodicules 2; cuneate; fleshy.

FRUIT Caryopsis with free soft pericarp; oblong; isodiametric; trigonous; concealed by floret; 1.2–1.6 mm long; black; granular and rugose.

DISTRIBUTION Europe: northern and central. Africa: north, west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: western Asia and Arabia. Australasia: Australia. North America: northeast USA and southeast USA. South America: Caribbean. Antarctic: Subantarctic islands.

NOTES Eragrostideae. Fl Eth 1997.

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