Panicum hispidulum Retz.
Coarse annual; culms 25-100 cm high, erect or ascending. Leaf-blades 7-35 cm long, 4-20 mm wide; ligule absent; sheaths glabrous, rarely appressed hairy. Inflorescence linear to ovate, 6-22 cm long, the racemes untidily 2-several-rowed, the longest 2-10 cm long, usually with short secondary branchlets at the base. Spikelets ovate-elliptic, mostly 3-.4 mm long, hispid; lower lemma acuminate or with an awn up to 5 cm long; upper lemma 2-3 mm long, including the short herbaceous tip.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: June-October.
Type locality: Europe (typification undecided).
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir); warm temperate and subtropical regions of the world, extending into the tropics (but scarcely so in Africa).
Echinochloa crus-galli (Cockspur Grass, Cockspur Panic-grass, Barn-yard Grass, Barnyard Millet) is distinguished by its untidy racemes of acuminate or awned spikelets. It is a polymorphic weed of warm temperate and subtropical regions, whose numerous intergrading races are apparently the consequence of cleistogamous self-pollination. There is much uncertainty as to which segregates are worth recognising as species (see, for example, Gould, Fairbrothers and Ali in Amer. Midl. Nat. 7: 36-59.1972 for North America; and Vickery in Flora New South Wales, Gram. 189-211.1975 for Australia).
Certain specimens among those cited are unusual in that the lower lemma is indurated. Such specimens are found occasionally among populations of Echinochloa crusgalli (notably in India and Pakistan), and have been separated as Echinochloa glabrescens.
This is said to be a good fodder grass, once sown for its grain in Lahore district and occasionally still eaten in times of want. It is common in marshy places and rice fields below 3000 m.