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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

49. Piptatherum P. Beauvois, Ess. Agrostogr. 17. 1812.

落芒草属 luo mang cao shu

Eriocoma Nuttall; Fendleria Steudel; Urachne Trinius.

Perennials, tufted. Leaf blades linear to setaceous, flat or rolled. Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle. Spikelets with 1 floret, bisexual, disarticulating above glumes; rachilla extension absent; glumes ovate to lanceolate, subequal, usually longer than floret, herbaceous to membranous, 3–7-veined, veins linked by veinlets or anastomosing near apex, apex obtuse to acuminate; callus very short, rounded, glabrous; lemma lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, dorsally compressed, leathery to bony, brown or black-brown at maturity, glossy, usually with appressed ascending white hairs, infrequently glabrous, covering sides of palea, apex entire or minutely 2-toothed, awned; awn caducous (rarely persistent), fine, straight, scabrid; palea back exposed between lemma margins. Lodicules 3. Stamens 3, anthers usually bearded at apex. Stigmas 2.

About 30 species: Europe through C Asia to the Himalayas and China, also in North America; nine species (two endemic) in China.

Quantitative characters are very variable and reliable qualitative characters are rather few. Plant size varies within wide limits for most species and spikelet size is also very variable. Lemma shape, a stable character, refers to the mature floret when full width has been attained. Other reliable characters for species separation, such as lemma pubescence and awn insertion, require careful observation and a good magnification.

1 Lemma glabrous, slightly longer than glumes at maturity; glumes elliptic-obovate, apex broadly rounded; anthers glabrous at apex   1 P. kuoi
+ Lemma usually pubescent, shorter than or equaling glumes; glumes lanceolate, apex obtuse or denticulate to acuminate; anthers usually hairy at apex (glabrous in P. hilariae)   (2)
2 (1) Awn 2–4(–7) mm; culms 20–60 cm tall, 2–3-noded; panicle often narrow   (3)
+ Awn 5–9 mm; culms up to 100 cm tall, 3–5-noded; panicle lax, usually open   (5)
3 (2) Lemma elliptic to ovate, apex shortly beaked, shortly 2-lobed, each lobe bearing hair tuft; anthers glabrous.   2 P. hilariae
+ Lemma narrowly lanceolate, apex entire or obscurely 2-lobed, not beaked, without hair tufts; anthers densely bearded   (4)
4 (3) Lemma back pilose with 0.4–0.5 mm hairs, apex minutely 2-lobed; awn subterminal, bent at insertion.   3 P. gracile
+ Lemma back pubescent with 0.2–0.4 mm hairs, apex entire; awn terminal, straight at insertion.   4 P. laterale
5 (2) Glumes equaling or only slightly longer than lemma; branches of panicle 3–5 per node   (6)
+ Glumes distinctly longer than lemma; branches of panicle 2(–3) per node   (7)
6 (5) Spikelets lanceolate, 5–9 mm; lemma 4–7.5 mm.   5 P. aequiglume
+ Spikelets ovate, 3.5–5 mm; lemma 2.5–4 mm.   6 P. tibeticum
7 (5) Lemma lanceolate, hairy throughout; glumes herbaceous, apex usually purple   (8)
+ Lemma ovate, hairy in upper part, glabrous below; glumes membranous, green or gray brown.   9 P. songaricum
8 (7) Panicle branches and pedicels scabrid; glumes 4.5–8 mm.   7 P. munroi
+ Panicle branches and pedicels smooth; glumes 8–9 mm.   8 P. grandispiculum

  • List of lower taxa


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