201. Dichanthium Willemet, Ann. Bot. (Usteri). 18: 11. 1796.
双花草属 shuang hua cao shu
Authors: Shou-liang Chen & Sylvia M. Phillips
Eremopogon Stapf; Lepeocercis Trinius.
Perennial, rarely annual. Leaf blades often cauline, linear; ligule membranous. Inflorescence of single or subdigitate racemes, terminal or also axillary and sometimes supported by spathes; racemes usually with 1 or more basal homogamous spikelet pairs, spikelets often imbricate; rachis internodes and pedicels slender, solid, bearded, truncate or oblique at apex. Sessile spikelet dorsally compressed; callus short, obtuse; lower glume papery to cartilaginous, broadly convex to slightly concave, sometimes pitted, rounded on flanks, becoming 2-keeled upward, apex obtuse; upper glume boat-shaped, dorsally keeled, awnless; lower floret reduced to an empty hyaline lemma; upper lemma stipitiform, entire, awned from apex; awn geniculate, glabrous or puberulous. Stamens (2–) 3. Pedicelled spikelet similar to the sessile, male or barren, awnless.
About 20 species: Africa through India to SE Asia and Australia; three species in China.
Dichanthium is closely related to Bothriochloa, but can be distinguished by its pedicels and rachis internodes being solid and lacking a median, purple line. The species present in China are not clear-cut and are also variable within themselves due to polyploidy and apomixis. All three species provide good grazing and now occur widely in tropical regions as introductions or escapes.