104. Elytrigia Desvaux, Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris. 2: 190. 1810.
偃麦草属 yan mai cao shu
Braconotia Godron, nom. illeg. superfl.
Plants perennial, with or without rhizomes. Leaf sheath of cauline leaves split almost to base. Spike erect or nodding, linear; rachis usually not disarticulating. Spikelets 1 per node, sessile, clearly laterally compressed, with 3–10 florets; rachilla disarticulating below glumes. Glumes oblong, ovate, or lanceolate, unequal, usually asymmetric, distinctly (3–)5–7-veined, with transverse scar at base. Lemma lanceolate, 5–7-veined, rounded abaxially or keeled only at apex; callus usually glabrous. Palea slightly shorter than lemma, ciliate along keels. Caryopsis usually adherent to lemma and palea, oblong, with longitudinal groove adaxially. x = 7.
About 40 species: subtropical and warm-temperate regions; two species in China.
In addition, the following five species have been recorded as cultivated in China (FRPS 9(3): 105–109. 1987): the mainly European Elytrigia elongata (Host) Nevski, E. intermedia (Host) Nevski, E. juncea (Linnaeus) Nevski, and E. trichophora (Link) Nevski, and the North American E. smithii (Rydberg) Nevski.
These species are very valuable hay and pasture plants.