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Published In: Essai d'une Nouvelle Agrostographie 53, 161. 1812. (Ess. Agrostogr.) 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 7/22/2009)

 

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63. Echinochloa P. Beauv. (barnyard grass)

(Gould et al., 1972)

Plants with C4 photosynthesis, annual (perennial elsewhere), forming tufts or small clumps. Flowering stems usually spreading in the basal portion and sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, otherwise erect to spreading, circular in cross‑section or slightly flattened, glabrous or rarely sparsely hairy at the nodes. Leaf sheaths glabrous or hairy, somewhat flattened and keeled, the ligule absent (a line of hairs elsewhere). Leaf blades flat, glabrous or hairy, the base rounded or abruptly narrowed, the midvein conspicuous and thickened on the undersurface. Inflorescences panicles with the primary branches unbranched or with several short secondary branches, the branches consisting of somewhat or strongly 1‑sided, spikelike racemes, these with a spikelet at the tip. Spikelets solitary or paired along the axis, not subtended by bristles or spines, disarticulating below the glumes, without a cuplike ring or knoblike disk at the base. Lower glume up to about 1/2 as long as the rest of the spikelet, broadly ovate, pointed at the tip, awnless, 3‑nerved, glabrous or hairy. Upper glume about as long as the rest of the spikelet, elliptic to ovate, not inflated, sometimes tapered to an awn at the tip, 5‑nerved. Lowermost floret sterile, the palea well developed (absent or highly reduced in E. crus‑pavonis), the lemma about as long as the rest of the spikelet, elliptic to ovate, sometimes tapered to an awn at the tip, 5‑nerved. Fertile floret with the lemma elliptic to elliptic‑ovate, abruptly contracted to a short, often wrinkled, sharp, awnlike point at the tip, this differentiated from the body of the lemma by a usually green band, nerveless or obscurely nerved, glabrous, smooth, usually shiny, light yellow to straw‑colored or grayish white, thickened and relatively hard (usually somewhat bonelike) at maturity, the margins not thinner or lighter colored, noticeably wrapped around the palea, but not enclosing its free tip. Paleas glabrous, slightly shorter than and similar in texture to the lemma. Fruits broadly elliptic to ovate in outline. About 40 species, nearly worldwide, mostly in tropical and warm‑temperate regions.

A modern monograph of the genus Echinochloa is urgently needed. Species that seem distinct in some portions of their distributions can be very difficult to distinguish in other parts, which both frustrates users of floristic manuals and leads to doubts about the validity of some of the taxa. For its size, Echinochloa is one of the most taxonomically difficult genera in the tribe Paniceae.

 

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1 Sterile floret with the palea absent or much less than half as long as the lemma 2 Echinochloa crus-pavonis
+ Sterile floret with the palea well developed, more than half as long as the lemma (2)
2 (1) Fertile lemma narrowly elliptic, about 3 times as long as wide; at least the lowermost leaf sheaths hairy (rarely glabrous) 5 Echinochloa walteri
+ Fertile lemma elliptic to ovate, up to 2 times as long as wide; leaf sheaths glabrous (rarely with a few hairs at the tip) (3)
3 (2) Main inflorescence branches 1.0–2.0(–2.8) cm long, ascending and loosely spaced, usually not or only slightly overlapping along the main axis; spikelets 2.5–3.0 mm long, awnless; leaf blades 3–6 mm wide 1 Echinochloa colonum
+ Main inflorescence branches 2–8 cm long, ascending to less commonly spreading and relatively densely spaced, mostly overlapping along the main axis; spikelets 2.8–5.0 mm long (excluding the awns, if present), awnless or more commonly with awns; leaf blades 5–30 mm wide (4)
4 (3) Fertile lemma with the tip thin and tending to wither at maturity, bluntly to sharply but broadly pointed, differentiated from the main body by a line of minute hairs (visible only with 15¥ or higher magnification and absent in some cultivated forms); upper glume and lemma of the sterile floret roughened or hairy to nearly glabrous, the hairs all or mostly lacking pustular bases 3 Echinochloa crusgalli
+ Fertile lemma with the tip firm and not withering, narrow and sharply pointed, without a line of minute hairs at the base; upper glume and lemma of the sterile floret hairy with all or most of the hairs having pustular bases 4 Echinochloa muricata
 
 
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