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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

84. Anthoxanthum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 28. 1753.

黄花茅属 huang hua mao shu

Authors: Zhen-lan Wu & Sylvia M. Phillips

Hierochloë R. Brown.

Perennial, fragrant herbs. Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle. Spikelets lanceolate to plumply elliptic or oblong, weakly laterally compressed, florets 3, brown, lower 2 florets staminate or sterile, terminal floret bisexual; rachilla disarticulating above glumes but not between florets. Glumes persistent, unequal to subequal, lanceolate to ovate, lower glume shorter, 1(–3)-veined, upper glume 3(–5)-veined, about as long as spikelet, apex acute. Lower 2 florets subequal, with a palea and 3 stamens, or sterile and epaleate, or a combination of both; lemmas equal to or shorter than upper glume, firmly membranous to leathery, often brown-pilose on back and ciliate along margins, apex emarginate to deeply 2-lobed, awnless, with a short straight awn from above middle, or geniculately awned from near base. Bisexual floret equaling or shorter than 2 lower florets; lemma cartilaginous, glossy, 3–5-veined, margins convolute and covering palea, apex awnless, rarely mucronate; palea 1–3-veined, without keels; lodicules absent or 2; stamens 2; stigmas plumose. x = 5, 7.

About 50 species:temperate and cold regions of both hemispheres, also on tropical mountains; ten species (three endemic) in China.

All species are scented with coumarin (C9H6O2), and some are used medicinally for their coumarin content.

Hierochloë has traditionally been recognized on the basis of the two lower florets being staminate, paleate, and awnless or only shortly awned, in contrast to the sterile, epaleate, geniculately awned lower florets in typical Anthoxanthum. Lodicules are also absent in typical Anthoxanthum. However, it is now known that a considerable number of species is intermediate in these characters, including some in China, and also some (e.g., A. hookeri) where the sex of the lower florets is variable within the species. There is no justification for continuing to recognize two separate genera. The species are all clearly related by their unusual spikelet structure and by the presence of coumarin.

1 Lemma of both lower florets awnless or mucronate   (2)
+ Lemma of both lower florets awned, or at least lemma of second floret   (3)
2 (1) Spikelets 3.5–6 mm; lower florets slightly shorter than glumes; plants up to 60 cm tall; panicle 4–10 cm.   1 A. nitens
+ Spikelets 2.5–4 mm; lower florets equal to or longer than glumes; plants up to 30 cm tall; panicle 3–6 cm.   2 A. glabrum
3 (1) Lower florets both staminate, with a palea and stamens, or second floret sterile   (4)
+ Lower florets both sterile, without a palea or stamens   (7)
4 (3) Culms 50–120 cm tall; leaf blades 6–15 mm wide; panicle 10–22 cm; 2 lower lemmas scabrid.   3 A. potaninii
+ Culms 10–50 cm tall; leaf blades 2–8(–10) mm wide; panicle 1.5–10 cm; 2 lower lemmas pubescent   (5)
5 (4) Panicle 1.5–5 cm; awn of second lemma arising near middle, 3–7 mm, straight or weakly geniculate; bisexual floret hairy toward apex   (6)
+ Panicle 6–10 cm; awn of second lemma arising near base, 6–11 mm, clearly geniculate; bisexual floret glabrous   6 A. hookeri
6 (5) Lemma of second floret with straight ca. 3 mm awn.   4 A. tibeticum
+ Lemma of second floret with weakly geniculate 4–7 mm awn.   5 A. monticola
7 (3) Spikelets ca. 3 mm, obovate.   7 A. pallidum
+ Spikelets more than 3 mm, lanceolate to oblong   (8)
8 (7) Leaf blades up to 3 mm wide; spikelets 3–5 mm; glumes ovate.   8 A. sikkimense
+ Leaf blades up to 7 mm wide; spikelets 4.3–9 mm; glumes lanceolate   (9)
9 (8) Spikelets 4.3–5.5 mm; lower glume 3/4 length of the upper glume; sterile lemmas ca. 4/5 length of spikelet.   9 A. horsfieldii
+ Spikelets 6–9 mm; lower glume 1/2 length of upper glume; sterile lemmas 1/2–2/3 length of spikelet.   10 A. odoratum

  • List of lower taxa


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