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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Eriachne

1. Eriachne pallescens R. Brown, Prodr. 184. 1810.

鹧鸪草 zhe gu cao

Aira chinensis Retzius; Eriachne chinensis Hance.

Perennial. Culms tufted, erect, wiry, glabrous, smooth, 20–60 cm tall, 5–8-noded. Leaf sheaths usually shorter than internodes, ciliate along margins and mouth; leaf blades stiff, convolute, papillose-pilose, 2–10 cm; ligule ca. 0.5 mm. Panicle open, 5–10 cm, branches inserted singly, very slender, smooth, glabrous, up to 5 cm. Spikelets purplish, 4–5.5 mm; glumes ovate-lanceolate, 3–4 mm, 9–10-veined, glabrous, sharply acute; lemmas 3–3.5 mm, densely hispid, apex constricted, bidentate, awned from sinus; awn erect, rather stout, subequal to lemma body; palea equal to its lemma, dorsally hispid. Anthers 2, 2–2.4 mm. Caryopsis oblong, ca. 2 mm. Fl. and fr. May–Oct.

Dry stony hillsides, grassland, sometimes the dominant groundcover. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi [E India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia].

The names Aira chinensis Retzius (1783) and Eriachne chinensis Hance (1861) are based on different types. Although A. chinensis is the earliest legitimate name for the species, its specific epithet cannot be transferred to Eriachne without creating a later homonym, which would be illegitimate. Eriachne pallescens is therefore the correct name for the species.

This is a good forage grass.


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