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The grass genera of the world

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

Leptagrostis C.E. Hubb.

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial; caespitose. Culms 22 cm high (slender); herbaceous; unbranched above. Plants unarmed. Leaves non-auriculate. Leaf blades narrow; 2–6 mm wide (10–25 cm long); setaceous at the tip; not pseudopetiolate; without cross venation. Ligule a fringe of hairs.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate; contracted (narrow, 5–12.5 cm long); with capillary branchlets; espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund; shortly pedicellate.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets 3.5–4 mm long; purple-tinged; compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret; hairy, or hairless; the rachilla extension naked. Hairy callus present. Callus hairs present, more than 0.5 mm long. The callus hairs white (to 3.5 mm long, half as long as the lemma). Callus blunt.

Glumes two; very unequal (G1 shorter); (the upper) long relative to the adjacent lemmas (the lower half as long); hairless; pointed; awnless; keeled above; similar (lanceolate, acuminate, thinly membranous). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved. Spikelets with female-fertile florets only.

Female-fertile florets 1. Lemmas broadly lanceolate, flattened; similar in texture to the glumes (thinly membranous); not becoming indurated; entire, or incised; when entire, pointed (acuminate into the awn); when incised 2 lobed; when incised, not deeply cleft (bidenticulate); awned. Awns 1; median; from a sinus (i.e., from between minute teeth), or apical; non-geniculate; straight; much shorter than the body of the lemma (little more than 1 mm long); entered by one vein. Lemmas hairless; glabrous; non-carinate (dorsally rounded); 3–5 nerved. Palea present; relatively long; awnless, without apical setae (apically ciliolate); not indurated (membranous); 2-nerved. Lodicules present; 2; free; membranous; glabrous. Stamens 3. Anthers 1.5 mm long. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles free to their bases. Stigmas 2.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Pooideae (?); Poodae (?); Aveneae (?). Soreng et al. (2015): Arundinoideae; Molinieae. 1 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. Abyssinia.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Hubbard 1939b.

Special comments. Description hopelessly inadequate for reliable classificatory assignment. 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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