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The grass genera of the world

L. Watson, T.D. Macfarlane, and M.J. Dallwitz

Acidosasa Chu and Chao

From Latin acidum (sour) and Sasa (another bamboo genus), referring to the edible shoots.

Habit, vegetative morphology. Shrubby perennial (with sour, edible young shoots). The flowering culms leafy. Culms 300–800 cm high; woody and persistent; branched above. Buds from which the primary culm branches arise (where recorded) 1. Primary branches 2–3. The branching dendroid. Culm leaf sheaths present; deciduous; not leaving a persistent girdle; conspicuously auriculate, or not conspicuously auriculate. Culm leaves with conspicuous blades. Culm leaf blades linear, or lanceolate, or triangular. Rhizomes leptomorph. Plants unarmed. Leaves not basally aggregated. Leaf blades broad (large); pseudopetiolate; disarticulating from the sheaths (mostly), or persistent; rolled in bud. Contra-ligule absent.

Reproductive organization. Plants bisexual, all with bisexual spikelets; with hermaphrodite florets.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence determinate; without pseudospikelets; a single raceme, or paniculate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes ‘racemes’, or paniculate (scanty); persistent. Spikelets pedicellate.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets unconventional (having 4 glumes); linear, or lanceolate, or oblong (rarely); compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes; disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret.

Glumes present; several (four).

Female-fertile florets 3–6 (? - ‘several’). Palea present; relatively long; not convolute; entire (acuminate). Stamens 6. Ovary without a conspicuous apical appendage. Stigmas 3.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Bambusoideae; Bambusodae; Bambuseae. Soreng et al. (2015): Bambusoideae; Arundinarodae; Arundinarieae; Arundinariinae. 6 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. Mostly southern China, one species in Indo-China.

Economic aspects. The young shoots are preserved by local people as a vegetable.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Chu and Chao 1979, Chao and Renvoize 1989.

Special comments. Fruit data wanting. Anatomical data wanting.


We advise against extracting comparative information from the descriptions. This is much more easily achieved using the DELTA data files or the interactive key, which allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, distributions of character states within any set of taxa, geographical distribution, and classifications. See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.


Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., Macfarlane, T.D., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onwards. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. Version: 13th November 2017. delta-intkey.com/grass’.

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