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Pakistan | Family List | Poaceae

Eleusine Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 1:7. 1788. Phillips in Kew Bull. 27:251-270. 1972.

Tufted annuals or tussocky perennials from a short ascending rhizome; culms slender to robust, flattened. Leaf-blades linear, usually folded; ligule membranous, truncate, often ciliate; leaf-sheaths keeled. Inflorescence digitate or shortly racemose, composed of a number of secund spikes clustered at the top of the culm. Spikelets several-flowered, ovate to narrowly oblong, laterally compressed, biseriate, usually closely overlapping, disarticulating between the florets; glumes 1-several-nerved, keeled, shorter than the lemmas, persistent; lemmas 3-nerved, keeled, sometimes with additional nerves on either side of the keel, elliptic to oblong, membranous, glabrous, the lateral nerves shorter than the lemma, the tip entire, obtuse to acute. Grain enclosed within a free hyaline pericarp, blackish (except in E. coracana), the surface ornamented, usually obtusely trigonous in cross-section.

A genus of 9 species mainly in eastern Africa; one species pantropical; 2 species occur in Pakistan, 1 of them cultivated.

1 Spikes 3-7 mm wide; spikelets elliptic, disarticulating between the florets; grain elliptic to oblong, blackish, never exposed when ripe (wild)   Eleusine indica
+ Spikes 9-15 mm wide; spikelets ovate, non-shattering, very closely overlapping; grain plump, almost globose, usually brown, often exposed between the gaping lemma and palea when ripe (cultivated)   Eleusine coracana

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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