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The grass genera of the world

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

Manisuris L.

From the Greek manos (a necklace or a scaly lizard) and oura (a tail), re appearance of the ‘racemes’.

Including Peltophorus Desv.

Excluding all but Manisuris myuros L.

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial. Culms 15–70 cm high; herbaceous; branched above. Leaf blades linear; narrow.

Reproductive organization. Plants bisexual, all with bisexual spikelets; with hermaphrodite florets. The spikelets of sexually distinct forms on the same plant; hermaphrodite and male-only, or hermaphrodite and sterile (?). The male and female-fertile spikelets mixed in the inflorescence. The spikelets overtly heteromorphic; all in heterogamous combinations.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence of spiciform ‘racemes’, solitary or fascicled. Rachides hollowed. Inflorescence spatheate. Spikelet-bearing axes spikelike; solitary (axillary and terminal); with substantial rachides; disarticulating; disarticulating at the joints (in a peculiar and characteristic fashion). ‘Articles’ non-linear (stoutly clavate); with a basal callus-knob. Spikelets paired; secund (the sessile members in two rows, on one side of the rachis); sessile (by fusion of the pedicels); consistently in ‘long-and-short’ combinations; in pedicellate/sessile combinations. Pedicels of the ‘pedicellate’ spikelets discernible, but fused with the rachis (the ‘pedicelled’ spikelet abscinds from its own pedicel, but remains fused to the base of the internode above, so that there are ‘false pairs’ of spikelets comprising the pedicelled member of one segment plus the sessile member of the segment above - by contrast with the ‘normal’ arrangement in Glyphochloa). The ‘shorter’ spikelets hermaphrodite. The ‘longer’ spikelets male-only, or sterile (?).

Female-sterile spikelets. ‘Pedicelled’ spikelets male or neuter (?), about 4 mm long, striate, awnless, the G1 winged on one margin, the G2 naviculate and keel-winged at the tip.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets 2.5–3 mm long; abaxial; compressed dorsiventrally; falling with the glumes (and with the joint plus the pedicelled spikelet from the joint below - by contrast with Glyphochloa). Rachilla terminated by a female-fertile floret. Hairy callus absent.

Glumes present; two; long relative to the adjacent lemmas; hairless; without conspicuous tufts or rows of hairs; awnless; non-carinate; very dissimilar (G1 hardened, laterally winged, with a deep transverse groove interrupting the wings). Lower glume two-keeled; not pitted; relatively smooth. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets proximal to the female-fertile florets. The proximal incomplete florets 1; epaleate; sterile. The proximal lemmas awnless; 0 nerved, or 2 nerved; similar in texture to the female-fertile lemmas (hyaline).

Female-fertile florets 1. Lemmas entire; less firm than the glumes (i.e., than the G1 - hyaline); not becoming indurated; entire; awnless; 0 nerved, or 2 nerved. Palea present. Lodicules present; 2; fleshy. Stamens 3.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Hilum short. Embryo large.

Abaxial leaf blade epidermis. Costal/intercostal zonation conspicuous. Papillae absent. Long-cells markedly different in shape costally and intercostally (the costals much narrower); of similar wall thickness costally and intercostally (fairly thin walled). Mid-intercostal long-cells rectangular to fusiform; having markedly sinuous walls (the sinuosity fine to coarse, fairly irregular). Microhairs present; elongated; clearly two-celled; panicoid-type. Stomata common. Subsidiaries non-papillate; dome-shaped to triangular. Guard-cells overlapping to flush with the interstomatals. Intercostal short-cells common; in cork/silica-cell pairs. No prickles or macrohairs seen. Costal short-cells conspicuously in long rows. Costal silica bodies present and well developed; ‘panicoid-type’; butterfly shaped and dumb-bell shaped, or nodular (mostly short dumb-bells).

Transverse section of leaf blade, physiology. C4. The anatomical organization conventional. XyMS–. Midrib conspicuous; having a conventional arc of bundles; with colourless mesophyll adaxially. Many of the smallest vascular bundles unaccompanied by sclerenchyma. Combined sclerenchyma girders present (with the primaries). Sclerenchyma all associated with vascular bundles.

Special diagnostic feature. Spikelets in ‘false pairs’, the pedicellate member of the andropogonoid pair abscinding from its pedicel but remaining attached to the base of the ‘article’ above, alongside the sessile member of that ‘article’.

Cytology. Chromosome base number, x = 9. 2n = 18 and 36. 2 and 4 ploid.

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

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. India.

Dry places.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Jain 1970. Leaf anatomical: this project.

Special comments. Sensu stricto, = M. myuros. Illustrations. • M. myurus, as Peltophorus: P. Beauv. (1812). • M. tessellata: Lamson-Scribner, American Grasses III (1900)


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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