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.

Eragrostis canescens

HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped densely. Butt sheaths persistent and investing base of culm; with fibrous dead sheaths. Culms erect; 30–50 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades filiform; 5–30 cm long; 0.3–0.6 mm wide.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle, or composed of racemes.

Panicle open; lanceolate; 6–30 cm long. Primary panicle branches simple; sterile at the tips. Panicle branches stiff; straight.

Racemes borne along a central axis; bearing few fertile spikelets. Rhachis terminating in a barren extension; extension bristle-like.

Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels filiform; flexuous; 4–5 mm long.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 0–2 basal sterile florets; 2–20 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets elliptic, or oblong; laterally compressed; 2–9 mm long; breaking up at maturity (tardily), or persistent on plant (but shedding caryopsis); disarticulating below each fertile floret.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet. Lower glume ovate; 0.5–3 mm long; 1 length of upper glume; 1-keeled; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface glabrous, or pilose. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; 0.5–3 mm long; 0.25–1 length of adjacent fertile lemma; 1-keeled; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume surface glabrous, or pilose. Upper glume apex acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets similar; barren; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret similar to fertile lemma. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2–3 mm long; membranous; grey; keeled; 3 -veined. Lemma lateral veins less than two thirds length of lemma. Lemma margins ciliate, or eciliate (rarely). Lemma apex obtuse, or acute. Palea keels scaberulous; eciliate. Apical sterile florets resembling fertile though underdeveloped.

FLOWER Anthers 3; 1 mm long.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; ellipsoid; 0.5–0.7 mm long.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: east tropical and southern tropical.

NOTES Eragrostideae. FTEA.

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