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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Poaceae | Digitaria

Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Schreb.


Description from Flora of China

Panicum ischaemum Schreber in Schweigger, Spec. Fl. Erlang. 16. 1804; Digitaria asiatica (Ohwi) Tzvelev; D. humi-fusa Persoon; D. ischaemum subsp. asiatica (Ohwi) Tzvelev; D. ischaemum var. asiatica Ohwi; Panicum humifusum (Persoon) Kunth; Paspalum humifusum (Persoon) Poiret; Syntheris-ma humifusa (Persoon) Rydberg.

Annual, whole plant often purple-tinged. Culms loosely tufted, erect or ascending, 15–40 cm tall. Leaf sheaths loose, usually keeled, glabrous or pilose; leaf blades linear-lanceolate, 5–12 × 0.4–0.8 cm, ± pilose, base subrounded, apex acuminate; ligule ca. 0.6 mm. Inflorescence digitate or on a short axis; racemes 2–4, divaricate, 2–9 cm; spikelets ternate; rachis ribbonlike, winged, 0.8–1.1 mm broad, midrib white, rounded or triquetrous, narrower than the green or purple wings, margins serrulate; pedicels angular, scabrous, tips discoid. Spikelets elliptic, 2–2.2 mm, pilose with verrucose hairs, some with curled tips; lower glume absent or a tiny hyaline rim; upper glume as long as spikelet or slightly shorter, 3–5-veined, intervein spaces and margins appressed-pilose; lower lemma as long as spikelet, 5–7-veined, interveins and margins appressed-pilose; upper lemma purplish brown to blackish at maturity. Fl. and fr. Jun–Nov. 2n = 36.

Digitaria ischaemum is very close to D. violascens, but has a slightly stouter habit with broader leaves, a few short, widely spreading racemes, and larger, plumper spikelets. It also has a more temperate distribution.

Digitaria ischaemum, D. fauriei, D. longiflora, and D. violascens belong to a group of Digitaria known as the Verrucipilae because of their warty spikelet hairs. A compound microscope is required to see this, but the hairs have a beadlike appearance under moderate magnification. These spikelet hairs also have curled tips in D. ischaemum (and sometimes in D. violascens), which led to the hairs being described as capitate or clavate in the past.

Open grassy places. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang [Japan, Pakistan, Russia; Europe, North America].


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