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165. Brachiaria (Trinius) Grisebach, Ledebour, Fl. Ross. 4: 469. 1853.

臂形草属 bi xing cao shu

Authors: Shou-liang Chen & Sylvia M. Phillips

Panicum sect. Brachiaria Trinius, Gram. Panic. 51, 125. 1826.

Annual or perennial. Leaf blades linear to lanceolate, often with cartilaginous margins. Inflorescence composed of racemes along a central axis; raceme rachis triquetrous or flattened, sometimes winged; spikelets sessile or pedicelled, single or paired, rarely in fascicles or on secondary racemelets. Spikelets plump, usually elliptic, florets 2; lower glume adaxial, varying in length from very small and veinless to many-veined and subequaling spikelet, base sheathing, sometimes extended downward as a short stipe; upper glume and lower lemma similar, as long as spikelet, membranous or cartilaginous; upper lemma coriaceous, smooth, striate or rugose, margins inrolled, apex obtuse to acute, occasionally minutely mucronate; upper palea apex tucked within lemma. x = 7, 9.

About 100 species: tropics and subtropics mainly of the Old World, especially Africa; nine species (one endemic) in China.

Brachiaria is sometimes included within Urochloa, but usually they can be distinguished without difficulty.

1 Culms robust, up to 2 m tall; inflorescence with 10–20 racemes.   1 B. mutica
+ Culms slender, up to 60 cm tall; inflorescence with less than 10 racemes   (2)
2 (1) Inflorescence with erect appressed racemes; fertile floret smooth and shiny, obtuse, readily falling from spikelet.   2 B. eruciformis
+ Inflorescence with spreading racemes; fertile floret rugulose, acute to mucronate, persistent within the spikelet   (3)
3 (2) Spikelets 1.5–2.7 mm; leaf blades broadly lanceolate, 1–4 cm long   (4)
+ Spikelets 2.5–4 mm; leaf blades lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 4–15 cm long   (5)
4 (3) Spikelets elliptic, 2–2.7 mm.   3 B. villosa
+ Spikelets ovate, gibbous, 1.5–2 mm.   4 B. semiundulata
5 (3) Spikelets paired, one subsessile and one pedicelled.   5 B. ramosa
+ Spikelets single (except sometimes at raceme base)   (6)
6 (5) Rachis of racemes triquetrous, 0.2–0.4 mm wide; spikelets herbaceous, pubescent or glabrous   (7)
+ Rachis of racemes flat on back, 0.4–0.5 mm wide; spikelets cartilaginous, glabrous or almost so   (8)
7 (6) Spikelets contiguous, 3.8–4 mm, pubescent.   6 B. fusiformis
+ Spikelets distant, 2.5–3.5 mm, glabrous.   7 B. kurzii
8 (6) Lower glume 1/3–1/2 spikelet length, separated from upper glume by a short internode; upper lemma subacute.   8 B. subquadripara
+ Lower glume 1/2–3/5 spikelet length, not separated from upper glume; upper lemma mucronate.   9 B. urochlooides

  • List of lower taxa


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