Poa curvula Schrad.
Densely tufted perennial; basal leaf-sheaths strongly striate with the nerves forming prominent ridges, often hard and yellowish, appressed silky hairy below; culms 30-120 cm high, slender or robust, usually erect. Leaf-blades narrow, up to about 30 cm long and 3 mm wide, usually rolled or filiform. Panicle very variable, loose and spreading to narrow and contracted, 6-30 cm long, the lowest branches often whorled and hairy in the axils. Spikelets 4-13-flowered, linear, 4-10 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, grey-green, breaking up from the base, the rhachilla persistent below but fragile above; lower glume lanceolate, 1-1.8 mm long, one-third to three-quarters as long as the lowest floret; upper glume narrowly ovate, 1.5-2.2 mm long; lemmas ovate-elliptic, 1.8-2.6 mm long, appressed to the rhachilla; palea smooth or minutely scaberulous on the keels, persistent; anthers 3, 0.8-1.1 mm long. Caryopsis ellipsoid, 0.7 mm long.
Type: South Africa, Hesse..
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan & N.WFP.; introduced) Kenya and Tanzania southwards to South Africa; introduced throughout the tropics.
Eragrostis curvula is a most variable grass, often divided into several varieties or even species. However, these intergrade completely, and the cytology of the group is known to be complex. In the circumstances it seems better to interpret the species in a wide sense than to indicate subdivisions of uncertain practical value.
Eragrostis curvula is widely introduced as a forage and ground cover plant and is occasionally found as an escape.
Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees, Fl. Afr. Austr. 402. 1841, is another South African species introduced into Asia as a forage grass. Similar to Eragrostis curvula but differing by having papery basal sheaths with the nerves less prominent and more widely spaced and wiry culms. It has been erroneously reported from Pakistan (viz. A.K. Khan M8) but as it has been introduced into India it may yet be found here.