Panicum italicum L. Sp. Pl. 56. 1756.
Annuals; culms stout, erect, ligule a ring of hairs. Inflorescence a spike-like panicle, 10-30 cm long,
pendent when mature, main axis densely hairy. Spikelets 2-flowered, elliptic, subtended by several bristles,
falling off from bristles, awnless, 2.5-3 mm long, glume membranaceous; lower glume to 1/3 as
long as spikelet, 3-veined; upper glume obtuse, nearly as long as spikelet, 5-7-veined; lower lemma as
long as spikelet, 5-veined, palea hyaline, lanceolate, bifid, upper lemma oblong, slightly indurate, ca. 2
mm long, palea flattened, as long as lemma; anthers ca. 0.8 mm long. Caryopsis tightly enclosed
between hardened lemma and palea.
ILAN: Nanhutashan, Suzuki s. n. TAIPEI: Taipei, Hsu 747; Wanshengli, DeVol 8186. TAICHUNG: Lishan,
Feung & Kao 4987; Sungmao, Kuo 8801. NANTOU: Lushan, Hsu 11524; Tuchen, Kuoh 3858. PINGTUNG:
Lilongshan, Huang 247; Santimen, Jeng 247. TAITUNG: Lanyu Is., Keng 4386.
This species is widely cultivated in Taiwan, particularly by the aboriginal people and exists in an
innumerable number of races differing in size, color of the grains, hairness of the panicle, and in many
other ways. The grain is cooked as a porridge or made into beer, and is also the cheif food for cage birds.