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.

Briza maxima

HABIT Annual; caespitose. Culms erect, or decumbent; 10–60 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 2–5 mm long. Leaf-blades 5–20 cm long; 3–8 mm wide. Leaf-blade margins scaberulous.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle; comprising 3–12 fertile spikelets.

Panicle open; obovate; 3–10 cm long; bearing few spikelets.

Spikelets pendulous; solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels filiform; recurved; 5–20 mm long.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 7–20 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets oblong, or ovate; laterally compressed; 14–25 mm long; 8–15 mm wide; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Rhachilla internodes obscured by lemmas.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet. Lower glume ovate; 5–7 mm long; 1 length of upper glume; chartaceous; without keels; 7–9 -veined. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume ovate; 5–7 mm long; 0.75 length of adjacent fertile lemma; chartaceous; without keels; 7–9 -veined. Upper glume apex obtuse.

FLORETS Fertile lemma orbicular; auriculate at base; gibbous; 6–8 mm long; chartaceous; much thinner on margins; keeled; lightly keeled; keeled below; 7–9 -veined. Lemma surface glabrous, or pubescent; with capitate hairs. Lemma apex cuspidate. Palea orbicular; 0.5 length of lemma; 2 -veined. Palea keels winged; narrowly winged; ciliate. Apical sterile florets resembling fertile though underdeveloped.

FLOWER Lodicules 2. Anthers 3; 2–2.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; 2.5 mm long. Embryo 0.25 length of caryopsis. Hilum linear; 0.5 length of caryopsis.

DISTRIBUTION Europe: northern, southwestern, southeastern, and eastern. Africa: north, Macaronesia, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: Soviet far east, Caucasus, western Asia, and China. Asia-tropical: India and Malesia. Australasia: Australia and New Zealand. Pacific: south-central and north-central. North America: eastern Canada, southwest USA, and south-central USA. South America: Mesoamericana, Caribbean, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.


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