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Pakistan | Family List | Poaceae | Digitaria

Digitaria sanguinalis (Linn.) scop., Fl. Cam., ed. 2, 1:52. 1772. Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:17. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 304. 1960; Bor in Towns., Guest & Al-Rawi, Fl. Iraq 9:478. 1968; Bor in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 70:491. 1970; Tzvelev, Poaceae URSS 672. 1976; Clayton in Tutin et al., Fl. Eur. 5:262. 1980.

  • Digitaria cruciata auct. non Nees ex Steud.
  • Digitaria sanguinalis subsp. aegyptiaca var. frumentacea Henr.
  • Digitaria sanguinalis subsp. pectiniformis Henr.
  • Digitaria sanguinalis subsp. vulgaris var. rottleriana Henr.
  • Panicum sanguinale Linn.
  • Paspalum sanguinale (Linn.) Lam.

    Annual; culms 20.60 cm high or sometimes more, decumbent at the base, geniculately ascending. Leaf-blades broadly linear to narrowly lanceolate, 3-30 cm long, 3-17 mm wide. Inflorescence digitate or subdigitate (rarely with an axis up to 15 cm long in robust specimens), composed of 2-16 racemes; racemes stiff, 3-20 cm long, the spikelets binate and overlapping by about two-thirds their length on a winged rhachis with triquetrous midrib; pedicels triquetrous, scabrid, obtuse or slightly expanded at the tip. Spikelets narrowly elliptic to ovate elliptic, 2.3-3.5 mm long, sharply acute; lower glume an ovate scale 0.2 mm long; upper glume a third to half as long as the spikelet, 3-nerved; lower lemma as long as the spikelet, 7-nerved, the nerves evenly spaced (or occasionally with a wide interspace flanking the midrib), scaberulous on the nerves with minute siliceous spines, obscurely and appressedly pubescent, rarely with brownish glassy bristles very rarely with a ciliate frill; fruit lanceolate, grey or light brown.

    Fl. & Fr. Per.: July-September.

    Type: cultivated at Leiden, Van Royen (L).

    Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir); warn temperate regions throughout the World, penetrating into the tropics.

    Digitaria cruciata (Nees ex Steud) A. Camus is similar to, and often confused with Digitaria sanguinalis. The species is characterised by plump apiculate spikelets in which the nerves of the lower lemma are smooth, lacking the minute spines which are a feature of Digitaria sanguinalis. Neither character alone is sufficient to distinguish the two species since Digitaria sanguinalis may have equally plump spikelets or very few spines which are easy to overlook. Digitaria cruciata is confined mainly to the eastern Himalayas but extending as far west as Simla, and may only be a subspecies of Digitaria sanguinalis. No specimens corresponding to the type of Digitaria cruciata (Royle 28, LIV) have been found in Pakistan or Kashmir.

    Digitaria sanguinalis is a common weed in warm temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World and has found its way into most other countries. Like Digitaria ciliaris it is polymorphic and no attempt has been made to present an infraspecific break-down; this is dealt with in some detail by Henrard.


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