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The grass genera of the world

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

Castellia Tineo.

Habit, vegetative morphology. Annual. Culms 50–100 cm high; herbaceous. Leaves non-auriculate. Leaf blades linear; narrow; flat; without cross venation; persistent. Ligule an unfringed membrane; truncate; 1–2 mm long.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single raceme (rarely), or paniculate; open; espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund; pedicellate.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets 9–20 mm long; compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes; disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret; the rachilla extension with incomplete florets. Hairy callus absent.

Glumes two; relatively large; very unequal to more or less equal; shorter than the adjacent lemmas, or long relative to the adjacent lemmas; hairless; glabrous; pointed, or not pointed; awnless; non-carinate; similar. Lower glume 1–3 nerved. Upper glume 3–5 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets distal to the female-fertile florets. Spikelets without proximal incomplete florets.

Female-fertile florets 3–17. Lemmas less firm than the glumes; not becoming indurated (membranous); entire; awnless; densely tuberculate dorsally; non-carinate; without a germination flap; 5 nerved. Palea present; relatively long; entire to apically notched; 2-nerved; 2-keeled. Lodicules present; 2; free; membranous; glabrous; toothed; not or scarcely vascularized. Stamens 3. Anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long; not penicillate; without an apically prolonged connective. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles free to their bases. Stigmas 2.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Fruit adhering to lemma and/or palea (to the palea); small, or medium sized (3–4 mm long); not grooved; compressed dorsiventrally. Hilum long-linear. Embryo small. Endosperm hard; without lipid; containing compound starch grains. Embryo with an epiblast; without a scutellar tail; with a negligible mesocotyl internode. Embryonic leaf margins meeting.

Abaxial leaf blade epidermis. Costal/intercostal zonation conspicuous. Papillae absent. Long-cells markedly different in shape costally and intercostally (costals smaller); of similar wall thickness costally and intercostally. Mid-intercostal long-cells rectangular; having markedly sinuous walls. Microhairs absent. Stomata common; 33–36 microns long. Subsidiaries parallel-sided. Guard-cells overlapped by the interstomatals. Intercostal short-cells absent or very rare. Costal short-cells neither distinctly grouped into long rows nor predominantly paired. Costal silica bodies horizontally-elongated crenate/sinuous.

Transverse section of leaf blade, physiology. C3; XyMS+. Mesophyll with non-radiate chlorenchyma; without adaxial palisade. Leaf blade with distinct, prominent adaxial ribs (small, rounded); with the ribs more or less constant in size. Midrib not readily distinguishable; with one bundle only; with colourless mesophyll adaxially. Bulliforms present in discrete, regular adaxial groups; in simple fans. Combined sclerenchyma girders present (in the primaries); forming ‘figures’ (narrow, in the primaries). Sclerenchyma all associated with vascular bundles.

Cytology. Chromosome base number, x = 7. 2n = 14. 2 ploid.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Pooideae; Poodae; Poeae. Soreng et al. (2015): Pooideae; Poodae; Poeae; Loliinae. 1 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. Mediterranean to western Asia.

Species of open habitats. Dry places.

References, etc. Leaf anatomical: this project.


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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