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.

Zea nicaraguensis

HABIT Annual. Culms erect; 200–500 cm long; with prop roots. Culm-internodes solid. Lateral branches lacking. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades lanceolate; 20–80 cm long; 30–80 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous.

INFLORESCENCE Monoecious; with male and female spikelets in different inflorescences. Inflorescence composed of racemes; axillary; subtended by a spatheole; enclosed. Spatheole elliptic; 6–10 cm long; herbaceous.

Racemes 1; single; bilateral; 6–18 cm long; bearing 4–10 fertile spikelets on each. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; subcylindrical and excavated. Spikelet packing 2 -rowed. Rhachis internodes inflated (trapezoidal); 7–10 mm long. Rhachis internode tip oblique; cupuliform.

Spikelets sunken; solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile. Male spikelets sessile and pedicelled; 2 in a cluster.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets rhomboid; laterally compressed; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; reaching apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma; shiny. Lower glume oblong; 1 length of spikelet; coriaceous; light brown, or dark brown; without keels. Upper glume elliptic; membranous; without keels.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret membranous. Fertile florets female. Fertile lemma elliptic; hyaline; without keel.

FLOWER Anthers 3. Stigmas 2; terminally exserted; papillose.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp.

MALE Male inflorescence terminal; unlike female; of racemes along a central axis (23–32cm). Male spikelets distinct from female; with free pedicels; 2 flowered; elliptic; 9–11 mm long. Male spikelet glumes 2; muticous. Male spikelet lemma muticous.

DISTRIBUTION South America: Mesoamericana.

NOTES Andropogoneae. Iltis & Benx 2002.

ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS Male racemes 8–12cm with 36–64 spikelets.

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