The grass genera of the world

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

Festucella E. Alekseev

~ Hookerochloa, cf. Austrofestuca (Festuca) eriopoda

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial; densely caespitose. Culms 50–160 cm high; herbaceous; unbranched above; 2–3 noded. Culm nodes exposed; glabrous. Culm internodes hollow. Young shoots intravaginal. Leaves mostly basal; non-auriculate. Sheath margins joined (in the basal leaves), or free (upper leaves). Sheaths terete. Leaf blades linear; apically flat; narrow; 0.5–0.7 mm wide; tightly folded, or rolled to acicular; without cross venation. Ligule an unfringed membrane (ciliolate); 2–3 mm long.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate; open; espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund; pedicellate.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets 6.8–12 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 present. Callus short; blunt (villous).

Glumes two; more or less equal; shorter than the spikelets; shorter than the adjacent lemmas; pointed; awnless; carinate to non-carinate; similar (lanceolate, membranous with thin margins). Lower glume 3 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved, or 5 nerved. Spikelets with female-fertile florets only, or with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets distal to the female-fertile florets. The distal incomplete florets merely underdeveloped.

Female-fertile florets 3–5. Lemmas similar in texture to the glumes; not becoming indurated; more or less incised; 2 lobed; not deeply cleft (minutely bidenticulate or erose); awned. Awns 1; median; from a sinus; non-geniculate; hairless (scabrous); much shorter than the body of the lemma (0.5–2 mm long). Lemmas hairless; scabrous (on the keel and below); carinate; 5 nerved; with the nerves non-confluent. Palea present; relatively long; entire to apically notched; awnless, without apical setae; textured like the lemma; not indurated; 2-nerved; 2-keeled. Palea back glabrous to hairy. Palea keels wingless; scabrous to hairy. Lodicules present; 2; free; membranous; sparsely ciliate, or glabrous; toothed; not or scarcely vascularized. Stamens 3. Anthers 3.6–5.5 mm long. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles free to their bases. Stigmas 2; white.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Fruit free from both lemma and palea; medium sized (3.8–4.5 mm long); fusiform, or ellipsoid; ventrally longitudinally grooved; slightly compressed dorsiventrally. Hilum short (oval). Embryo small; not waisted.

Abaxial leaf blade epidermis. Costal/intercostal zonation conspicuous. Papillae absent. Long-cells markedly different in shape costally and intercostally (the costals much narrower, longer, more rectangular). Mid-intercostal long-cells fusiform; having markedly sinuous walls. Microhairs absent. Stomata absent or very rare. Intercostal short-cells absent or very rare. Abundant costal prickles present, with pitted bases. Crown cells absent. Costal short-cells predominantly paired (and a few short rows). Costal silica bodies horizontally-elongated smooth (almost exclusively, some quite short), or horizontally-elongated crenate/sinuous (very few).

Transverse section of leaf blade, physiology. C3; XyMS+. Mesophyll with non-radiate chlorenchyma; without adaxial palisade. Midrib conspicuous; with one bundle only. Bulliforms not present in discrete, regular adaxial groups (confined to the conspicuous ‘midrib hinges’ in the near acicular blade). All the vascular bundles accompanied by sclerenchyma. Combined sclerenchyma girders absent (abaxial strands only, with all the bundles). Sclerenchyma all associated with vascular bundles.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Pooideae; Poodae; Poeae. Soreng et al. (2015): cf. Pooideae (as a synonym?); Poodae; Poeae; Poinae. 1 species (F. eriopoda).

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. Eastern Australia.

Helophytic, or mesophytic (?); glycophytic.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Alekseev 1985, Jacobs 1990. Leaf anatomical: studied by us.

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: 11th December 2017.’.