Home Flora of Missouri
Home
Name Search
Families
Volumes
Paspalum L. Search in The Plant ListSearch in IPNISearch in Australian Plant Name IndexSearch in Index Nominum Genericorum (ING)Search in NYBG Virtual HerbariumSearch in JSTOR Plant ScienceSearch in SEINetSearch in African Plants Database at Geneva Botanical Garden Decrease font Increase font Restore font
 

Published In: Systema Naturae, Editio Decima 2: 846, 855, 1359. 1759. (Syst. Nat. (ed. 10)) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library
 

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/27/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
 

Export To PDF Export To Word

67. Paspalum L. (bead grass)

Plants with C4 photosynthesis, annual or perennial, sometimes with rhizomes or stolons, forming tufts, clumps, or mats. Flowering stems erect to spreading, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, glabrous or hairy at the nodes. Leaf sheaths glabrous or hairy, the ligule a membrane (a line or band of hairs elsewhere). Leaf blades usually flat, the base rounded or abruptly narrowed, glabrous or hairy. Inflorescences panicles with (1)2 to many spikelike branches, these alternate or rarely opposite or whorled along the main axis, not rebranched. Spikelike branches appearing 1‑sided, with many spikelets loosely to more commonly densely spaced nearly the entire length, the axis flattened or slightly trigonous, with a spikelet at the tip or extended past the uppermost spikelet into a short, pointed, sterile tip, persistent (shed eventually after fruiting in P. repens). Spikelets mostly in 2 or 4 rows (actually 2 rows of paired spikelets) on 1 side of the axis, disarticulating below the glumes, not subtended by bristles or spines, without a cuplike ring or knoblike disk at the base. Lower glume absent or less commonly present, but very short. Upper glume about as long as the rest of the spikelet, not inflated or saclike at the base, rounded or pointed at the tip, awnless. Lowermost floret sterile, the palea absent or highly reduced, the lemma about as long as the rest of the spikelet, rounded or pointed at the tip, awnless. Fertile (perfect) floret with the lemma slightly shorter than that of the sterile floret, rounded or bluntly pointed at the tip, awnless, nerveless or obscurely nerved, glabrous, usually shiny, thickened and hard (usually somewhat bonelike) at maturity, the margins also thick, wrapped around the palea and fruit, including the tip (after flowering). Paleas glabrous, shiny or dull, thickened and hard (usually somewhat bonelike) at maturity. Fruits mostly broadly oblong‑elliptic in outline. About 250 species, nearly worldwide, most diverse in the New World tropics.

Several species of Paspalum are commercially important as forage crops in the tropics, especially P. dilatatum. Some of the native Missouri species, including P. laeve and P. setaceum, also are considered good forage grasses when present in sufficient density (Crins, 1991).

 

Export To PDF Export To Word Export To SDD
Switch to indented key format
1 Spikelike branches of the inflorescence with the axis relatively broad, leaflike or winged, wider than the spikelets and with the margins sometimes somewhat wrapped around them (2)
+ Spikelike branches of the inflorescence with the axis narrow and unwinged, narrower than the spikelets (3)
2 (1) Spikelike branches of the inflorescence 2–5, persistent, the axis of the branches with a spikelet at the tip; spikelets 1.7–2.3 mm long, the upper glume glabrous 3 Paspalum dissectum
+ Spikelike branches of the inflorescence 5–50, shed eventually after fruiting, the axis of the branches extended past the uppermost spikelet into a short, pointed, sterile tip; spikelets 1.1–1.7 mm long, the upper glume finely hairy 8 Paspalum repens
3 (1) Spikelike branches of the inflorescence regularly 2, these opposite or less than 1 cm apart at the tip of the main axis; plants with long, slender stolons, the flowering stems with several to many branches, mostly spreading and forming mats, only the tips ascending 4 Paspalum distichum var. distichum
+ Spikelike branches of the inflorescence 1–30, but if 2, then alternate and more than 1 cm apart along the main axis; plants without stolons (short rhizomes may be present), the flowering stems unbranched or with few branches, single or forming tufts, mostly erect to ascending, sometimes spreading only at the base (4)
4 (3) Plants with short rhizomes, these with a distinctive pattern of broadly ovate, overlapping, densely hairy scales; spikelike branches of the inflorescence with the spikelets arranged relatively loosely or irregularly, not or only slightly overlapping along the axis; at least some of the spikelets with a very short lower glume present 1 Paspalum bifidum
+ Plants with or without rhizomes, if rhizomes are present, then these with an irregular pattern of narrowly oblong-elliptic, sheathlike, glabrous or sparsely hairy scales; spikelike branches of the inflorescence with the spikelets dense and mostly strongly overlapping along the axis; spikelets all with the lower glume absent (5)
5 (4) Upper glume with long, silky hairs near the margins (shorter hairs are usually also present on the surface); spikelets broadly but relatively sharply pointed at the tip (6)
+ Upper glume glabrous or with minute hairs; spikelets rounded to bluntly pointed at the tip (7)
6 (5) Spikelike branches of the inflorescence 3–6; spikelets 2.9–3.8 mm long 2 Paspalum dilatatum
+ Spikelike branches of the inflorescence 8–30; spikelets 2.2–2.8 mm long 10 Paspalum urvillei
7 (5) Spikelets occurring singly, appearing in 2 rows along the axis of each spikelike branch 6 Paspalum laeve
+ Spikelets mostly occurring paired (the pair from a short, forked stalk), appearing in 4 rows along the axis of each spikelike branch (8)
8 (7) Spikelets 3.6–4.3 mm long; flowering stems mostly 90–200 cm long 5 Paspalum floridanum
+ Spikelets 1.4–3.2 mm long; flowering stems mostly 30–100 cm long (9)
9 (8) Spikelets 2.8–3.2 mm long; inflorescences with 5–10 spikelike branches 7 Paspalum pubiflorum var. glabrum
+ Spikelets 1.4–2.8 mm long; inflorescences with 1–4 spikelike branches 9 Paspalum setaceum
 
 
© 2014 Missouri Botanical Garden - 4344 Shaw Boulevard - Saint Louis, Missouri 63110