Eragrostis barrelieri Day. in J. Bot., Paris. 8:289. 1894. Tackholm & Drar, Fl. Egypt 1: 190. 1941; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 503. 1960; Bor in Towns., Guest & Al-Rawi, Fl. Iraq 9: 438. 1968; Bor in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 70: 443. 1970; Tutin in Tutin et al., Fl. Eur. 5: 257. 1980.
Loosely tufted annual; culms 5-50(80) cm high, ascending, Leaf-blades flat or inrolled, up to 10 cm long and 5.5 mm wide, mostly glabrous, devoid of warty crateriform glands, somewhat glaucous. Panicle oblong-lanceolate, 3-20 cm long, usually open, stiffly branched, with glands on branchlets and pedicels. Spikelets 5-30-flowered, narrowly oblong, 5-20 mm long, 1.3-2 mm wide, yellowish green or tinged with grey or purple, breaking up from the base, the rhachilla persistent; glumes unequal, lanceolate, the lower 0.9-1.3 mm long, the upper 1.5-2 mm long, acute; lemmas broadly ovate-oblong, 1.7-2.6 mm long, the lateral nerves distinct, obtuse; palea scabrid on the keels, persistent; anthers 3, 0.2 mm long. Caryopsis elliptic-oblong, 0.65-1 mm long, dark brown.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: October-November.
Syntypes: Egypt, Ascherson 336 (K); Algeria, Balansa 734 (K); Sicily, Herb. Todaro (K); and others.
Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan & N.W.F.P); Mediterranean region to the Middle East; tropical Africa; introduced in South Africa.
Very similar in appearance to Eragrostis minor, but can be distinguished by the absence of warty glands on the leaves, lemmas and glumes (although they are still to be found on the inflorescence branches) and the rather longer grain (0.65-0.1 mm rather than 0.6-0.8 mm). Bor’s mention of panicles arising from the lower sheaths does not always help in distinguishing this species from Eragrostis minor. Eragrostis maderaspatana Bor, a closely related species from Madras and Sri Lanka differs from Eragrostis barrelieri in having lemmas less than 1.5 mm long and the caryopsis grooved on the back.
Eragrostis barrelieri has the most easterly extension of its range in Pakistan and is absent from India and Kashmir. It is known as Mediterranean Lovegrass.