Poa megastachya Koel.
Loosely tufted annual; culms 10-90 cm high, erect or ascending. Leaf-blades flat, up to 15 cm long and 8 mm wide, mostly glabrous and usually with a row of warty glands along the margin. Panicle ovate, 4-30 cm long, fairly dense, contracted, stiffly branched, usually with glands on pedicels and branchlets. Spikelets 5-60-flowered, narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong, rarely linear, 3-20 min long, 2-4 mm wide, pallid yellowish green to leaden grey, breaking up from the base, the rhachilla often breaking off above the glumes before all the lemmas have fallen; glumes subequal, oval, boat-shaped, 1.5-2.2 mm long, 1-3-nerved, often glandular on the keel, acute; lemmas broadly ovate to subrotund, (1.7)2-2.8 mm long, chartaceous, often glandular on the keel, the lateral nerves distinct, emarginate or obtuse (occasionally bluntly acute) when flattened, usually obtuse in side-view; palea ± scabrid on the keels, persistent; anthers 3, 0.3 mm long. Caryopsis typically subglobose, 0.5(0.7) mm long, rarely oblong, dark reddish brown.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: May-October.
Type: Italy, Bellardi (TO).
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan, Punjab, N.WF.P. & Kashmir); tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World; introduced to the New World.
Henrard (in Blumea 3:420.1940) has pointed out that Allioni’s description of Poa cilianensis mentions 3-4 branches per node of the inflorescence, and has suggested that he was in fact describing Poa trivialis Linn. However, the rest of the description, the figure (which shows only 1-2 branches per node) and the isotypes all contradict this view. Clayton (in Fl. Trop. E. Afr. 234. 1974) has accepted Lutati’s conclusion that Poa cilianensis is synonymous with the plant at one time known as Eragrostis major Host and his treatment is adopted here. Lutati, however, doubted his own conclusion and would not formally make the new combination although it is often ascribed to him. Eragrostis major, often applied to this species, is a new name dating from 1809 and is predated by Poa cilianensis (1785), the basis of Lutati’s combination. Sprague & Hubbard (in Kew Bull. 1933: 17. 1933) have listed the full synonymy.
This species is best recognised by the warty, crateriform glands on the leaf-margins and the rather stiff panicles of yellowish green or leaden grey spikelets. It does, however, intergrade with Eragrostis minor Host.
Stinkgrass, so called in North America from its disagreeable odour when fresh, is occasionally used as fodder.