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Published In: Systema Vegetabilium 2: 34, 599. 1817. (Syst. Veg. (ed. 15 bis)) 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 8/6/2009)


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Plants perennial, sometimes with short rhizomes, forming tufts or small clumps. Flowering stems erect or ascending. Leaf sheaths with the ligule a short membrane with a hairy margin. Inflorescences usually positioned well above the subtending leaf sheaths, open to dense panicles with the branches mostly spreading and branched again or narrow and spikelike with the spikelets on short, strongly ascending branches, the axes not flattened or 1‑sided. Spikelets somewhat flattened laterally, with 3–11 florets, disarticulating above the glumes. Glumes about equal in length or the upper glume slightly longer than the lower glume, shorter than the adjacent lemmas to slightly longer than the rest of the spikelet, glabrous. Lemmas strongly 3‑nerved, bluntly pointed and minutely notched or with 3 small teeth at the tip, awnless, rounded on the back, hairy (often densely so), at least below the middle of the nerves. Paleas slightly shorter than to about as long as the lemmas, glabrous or hairy along the 2 nerves or margins, but lacking a conspicuous fringe of longer hairs toward the tip. Stamens 3. Fruits oblong‑elliptic in outline, slightly flattened, sometimes with a shallow longitudinal groove, yellowish brown to dark brown. Fifteen to 18 species, U.S., Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa.


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1 Inflorescences open broad panicles, the branches loosely ascending to spreading or drooping at maturity 1 Tridens flavus
+ Inflorescences dense narrow spikelike panicles, the spikelets on short, strongly ascending branches (2)
2 (1) Spikelets 7–12 mm long; glumes shorter than the rest of the spikelet, the upper glume 3–7-nerved 2 Tridens muticus
+ Spikelets 4–7 mm long; glumes about as long as or slightly longer than the rest of the spikelet, the upper glume 1-nerved 3 Tridens strictus
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