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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

121. Aristida Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 82. 1753.

三芒草属 san mang cao shu

Authors: Sheng-lian Lu, Shou-liang Chen & Sylvia M. Phillips

Perennials, less often annuals or suffruticose. Culms tufted. Leaf blades usually basal, rolled or rarely flat. Inflorescence a narrow or open panicle. Spikelets with 1 floret; glumes scarious, narrow, unequal with the upper usually longer, 1(–3)-veined; floret callus bearded, obtuse to pungent or 2-toothed; lemma narrowly cylindrical or laterally compressed, convolute, glabrous or sparsely hairy; awn 3-branched, branches arising directly from lemma apex or seated on a straight or twisted column, persistent or disarticulating either at base or apex of column (always persistent in China), scabrid. Stamens 3.

About 300 species: widely distributed in tropical and warm-temperate regions of the world; ten species (six endemic) in China.

This genus is found on poor, dry soils in areas of low rainfall, but does not usually penetrate into true desert.

1 Annuals; culms usually branched   (2)
+ Perennials; culms usually unbranched   (4)
2 (1) Lemma 1.7–2 mm; central awn 0.5–0.8 cm.   1 A. cumingiana
+ Lemma 5–11 mm; central awn 1–2.5 cm   (3)
3 (2) Glumes subequal or lower glume slightly shorter; lemma distinctly longer than upper glume.   2 A. adscensionis
+ Glumes unequal, lower glume 1/2–2/3 length of upper glume; lemma ± equal to upper glume.   3 A. depressa
4 (1) Lower glume longer than upper glume; panicle open, branches divaricate, bearded in axils.   4 A. chinensis
+ Lower glume shorter than upper glume or glumes subequal; panicle narrow, branches erect or ascending, glabrous in axils   (5)
5 (4) Column of awn 1–3 mm, twisted; lateral awns 5–10 mm   (6)
+ Column of awn absent or very short and straight; lateral awns reduced, 0.1–3 mm, or up to 6 mm   (7)
6 (5) Leaf sheaths and blades glabrous; glumes and lemma smooth (rarely scabrid); anthers 3.5–4 mm.   5 A. tsangpoensis
+ Leaf sheaths and blades with silky hairs; glumes and lemma scabrid or lemma with long soft hairs; anthers 4–4.5 mm.   6 A. scabrescens
7 (5) Lateral awns 0.1–0.4 mm.   7 A. brevissima
+ Lateral awns 1.1–6 mm   (8)
8 (7) Glumes 7–10 mm, lemma 6.5–8 mm, central awn 4–8 mm   (9)
+ Glumes 12–13 mm; lemma ca. 9 mm, central awn 8–9 mm.   10 A. alpina
9 (8) Lateral awns 1.1–3 mm; apex of glumes acute, upper mucronate; leaf sheaths smooth.   8 A. triseta
+ Lateral awns 5–6 mm; apex of glumes obtuse or emarginate; leaf sheaths scaberulous.   9 A. batangensis

Lower Taxa


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