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The grass genera of the world

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

Ischnochloa J.D. Hook.

~ Microstegium

Habit, vegetative morphology. Small, delicate annual. Culms 10–20 cm high; herbaceous. Leaves not basally aggregated. Leaf blades oblong elliptic; narrow (but relatively broad); not setaceous. Ligule a fringed membrane.

Reproductive organization. Plants bisexual, all with bisexual spikelets; with hermaphrodite florets. The spikelets all alike in sexuality (homogamous).

Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single terminal ‘raceme’. Rachides flattened. Inflorescence espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes ‘racemes’; solitary; with very slender rachides (these flattened); persistent. Spikelets paired; not secund; sessile and pedicellate; consistently in ‘long-and-short’ combinations; in pedicellate/sessile combinations. Pedicels of the ‘pedicellate’ spikelets free of the rachis. The ‘shorter’ spikelets hermaphrodite. The ‘longer’ spikelets hermaphrodite.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets small; compressed dorsiventrally. Rachilla terminated by a female-fertile floret. Hairy callus present. Callus short.

Glumes two; more or less equal; long relative to the adjacent lemmas; free; without conspicuous tufts or rows of hairs; not pointed; awnless. Lower glume two-keeled (the keels ciliolate); deeply or shallowly sulcate on the back; not pitted; relatively smooth; 5–6 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved. Spikelets with female-fertile florets only; without proximal incomplete florets.

Female-fertile florets 1. Lemmas less firm than the glumes (glumes almost leathery, lemma hyaline); not becoming indurated; incised; 2 lobed; deeply cleft; awned. Awns 1; median; from a sinus; geniculate; much longer than the body of the lemma. Lemmas hairless; non-carinate; without a germination flap; 1 nerved. Palea present; not indurated (scarious). Lodicules present; 2; free; fleshy; glabrous. Stamens 3. Anthers not penicillate; without an apically prolonged connective. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles fused. Stigmas 2.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Panicoideae; Andropogonodae; Andropogoneae; Andropogoninae. Soreng et al. (2015): Panicoideae; Andropogonodae; Andropogoneae; Saccharinae. 1 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. Himalayas.

Growing in moss at 1800–2100 m altitude.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Hooker 1896.

Special comments. Fruit data wanting. Anatomical data wanting. Illustrations. • I. falconeri: Hook. Ic. Pl. (1896)


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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