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Taiwan Gramineae | Family List | Poaceae

Eleusine Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1:7. 1788.


Eleusine indica
leaf cross section

Credit: JW Lin

Perenmals or annuals; culms solid, with one long internode alternating with several short internodes. Leaves therefore more or less in groups, and branches apparently opposite; ligule membranous. Blades linear. Inflorescence consisting of secund, subsessile, digitately arranged spikes, seldom a solitary spike. Spikelets solitary, sessile, alternate on abaxial side of rachis, obliquely erect, laterally compressed, imbricate, one side turned to rachis; upper glumes at outer side, 3-several-flowered, unawned; rachilla glabrous, articulate below lemmas, breaking up maturity or not; glumes and lemma strongly keeled-compressed, often shortly ciliate on keel; glumes shorter than spikelet, long-persistent; upper glume longer than the lower; lemmas successively smaller upwards; palea shorter, 2-nerved; lodicules 2, small; stamens 3, the anthers short; ovary glabrous, the styles 2, free, with narrow stigmas. Utricles broadly ellipsoid, ribbed, with thin, not adnate pericarp; embryo basal, nearly circular, the hilum basal, punctiform. About nine species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions.

Two species are found in Taiwan, E. indica is a common weed, and the other; E. coracana is a cultivated cereal grass, this species is widely cultivated as a cereal and/or used for making alcoholic beverage in Ceylon, India, Africa and elsewhere, it is also useful as fodder.


1 Spikes incurved, about 1 cm wide; seeds globose; cultivated cereal   Eleusine coracana
+ Spikes slender, about 5 mm wide; seeds bluntly triangular in X-section   Eleusine indica

Lower Taxa


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