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Pakistan | Family List | Poaceae | Eragrostis

Eragrostis ciliaris (Linn.) R.Br. in Tuckey, Narr. Exp. Congo App. 478. 1818. Duthie, Fodder Grasses 62. 1888; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 7:314. 1896; Blatter & McCann, Bombay Grasses 231. 1935; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 2:230. 1959; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 506. 1960; Bor in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 70:428. 1970.

  • Eragrostis ciliaris var. brachystachya Boiss.
  • Eragrostis pulchella Parl
  • Megastachya ciliaris (Linn.) P. Beauv.
  • Poa ciliaris Linn.

    Tufted annual; culms 5-60 cm high, erect. Leaf-blades flat, up to 12 cm long and 5 mm wide. Panicle spike-like, but often ± lobed or interrupted, 1-20 cm long, woolly, the spikelets densely clustered. Spikelets 6-12-flowered, ovate, 2-4.5 mm long, fluffy, often purplish, breaking up from the apex, the rhachilla fragile; glumes lanceolate, subequal, 0.7-1.2 mm long, acute; lemmas oblong-elliptic, 0.9-1.5 mm long, the keels (at least in the upper lemmas) bearing a few short stiff hairs, otherwise smooth, broadly obtuse, more or less obscurely mucronate; paleakeels tuberculate-ciliate, the hairs 0.6-0.7 mm long, exceeding the width of the adjacent floret; anthers 2, 0.2 mm long. Caryopsis ellipsoid, 0.3-0.5 mm long.

    Fl. & Fr. Per.: through-out most of the year.

    Type: Jamaica (LINN).

    Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan & Punjab); tropical and South Africa, extending through Arabia and the Mascarene Islands to India; tropical America.

    The woolly spike is usually distinctive, but sometimes the panicle shape may approach extreme forms of Eragrostis tenella; the cilia on the lemma-keel, though rather obscure, are then the surest means of determination. Eragrostis ciliaris also differs in the possession of only 2 stamens.

    Specimens with the inflorescence reduced to an ovoid head have been separated as var. brachystachya, but they seem to be no more than a dwarfed form of arid habitats.

    In sufficient quantity this grass affords good grazing.


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