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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 62. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Agrostis capillaris L. (Rhode Island bent)

Pl. 129 l; Map 523

A. tenuis Sibth.

Plants perennial, with rhizomes and sometimes also stolons, forming clumps. Flowering stems 20–60 cm long, erect to spreading, often ascending from spreading bases. Leaf sheaths glabrous, the ligule 0.5–2.5 mm long, mostly shorter than wide, truncate at the tip. Leaf blades 2–12 cm long, 2–6 mm wide, flat or folded, somewhat roughened, green to dark green. Inflorescences 4–15 cm long, open panicles, erect, the main branches loosely ascending to spreading, branched again below the middle, all naked (without spikelets) toward the base, glabrous. Glumes 1.5–3.0 mm long. Lemma 1.4–2.5 mm long, narrowed to the slender tip, sharply pointed or truncate at the very tip, usually somewhat roughened toward the tip, awnless or with a slender straight awn, this 0.5–2.0 mm long, shorter than the spikelet. Palea relatively well developed, 1/2–2/3 as long as the lemma, 2‑nerved. Stamens 3, the anthers 0.5–1.5 mm long. Fruits 1.0–1.4 mm long, reddish brown. 2n=28–35. June–September.

Introduced, uncommon and widely scattered in the state (native of Europe; cultivated and escaped sporadically in the northern U.S. and Canada). Roadsides, railroads, and open, disturbed areas.

Agrostis capillaris is cultivated as a turf grass for lawns. The correct name for this species remains controversial. The original description by Linnaeus of A. capillaris contained elements of five different species, including the present taxon. Several authors, including Philipson (1937), have suggested that it is thus of uncertain application and should be rejected under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Under this interpretation, A. tenuis becomes the oldest validly published name. However, Widén (1971), who reviewed the situation regarding nomenclature and typification, rejected this argument because most authors have continued to apply the name A. capillaris in a consistent fashion. He lectotypified (selected a type for the species from among the materials available to Linnaeus) the name A. capillaris to stabilize its application to plants of the present taxon. According to the International Code, this must be followed unless a proposal is approved in the future to officially reject the name A. capillaris.



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