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The grass genera of the world

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

Nematopoa C.E. Hubb.

From the Greek nema (thread), referring to the filiform inflorescence branches.

Type species: Type: N. longipes (Stent & C.E.Hubbard) C.E. Hubbard.

Including Triraphis longipes, Crinipes longipes

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial; loosely caespitose. Culms herbaceous; unbranched above. Young shoots extravaginal. Leaves non-auriculate. Leaf blades narrow; setaceous (filiform); without cross venation. Ligule a fringe of hairs.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate; open (ovate, oblong); with capillary branchlets; espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund; pedicellate.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes; disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret; hairless (scabridulous); the rachilla extension with incomplete florets. Hairy callus present (densely bearded). Callus short.

Glumes two; very unequal; shorter than the spikelets; shorter than the adjacent lemmas (small); awnless; similar (thinly membranous, hyaline, G1 narrowly lanceolate, G2 broader). Lower glume 0 nerved, or 1 nerved. Upper glume 0 nerved, or 1 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets distal to the female-fertile florets. The distal incomplete florets merely underdeveloped. Spikelets without proximal incomplete florets.

Female-fertile florets 4–7. Lemmas similar in texture to the glumes to decidedly firmer than the glumes (membranous); not becoming indurated; incised; 2 lobed (shortly and narrowly bilobed, the lobes commonly mucronulate); not deeply cleft; awned. Awns 1; median; from a sinus; non-geniculate; flexuous (very thin). Lemmas hairy; non-carinate (convex); 3 nerved (the laterals near the margins). Palea present (narrowly oblong); relatively long; entire (obtuse); awnless, without apical setae; not indurated; 2-nerved; 2-keeled. Lodicules present (minute); 2; free; fleshy; glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles free to their bases. Stigmas 2; red pigmented.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Fruit broadly fusiform; not noticeably compressed. Hilum short. Embryo large; not waisted. Endosperm hard.

Abaxial leaf blade epidermis. Costal/intercostal zonation conspicuous. Papillae absent. Mid-intercostal long-cells rectangular; having markedly sinuous walls. Microhairs present; panicoid-type; 34–50 microns long; 5.5–9 microns wide at the septum. Microhair total length/width at septum 5.2–6.9. Microhair apical cells 16–30 microns long. Microhair apical cell/total length ratio 0.45–0.6. Stomata absent or very rare. Intercostal short-cells common; in cork/silica-cell pairs; silicified. Costal short-cells conspicuously in long rows (but the files frequently interrupted by large prickles). Costal silica bodies ‘panicoid-type’, or oryzoid (mostly panicoid type, but a few vertically elongated crosses); nearly all cross shaped; not sharp-pointed.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Arundinoideae; Danthonieae (?). Soreng et al. (2015): Arundinoideae, or Chloridoideae (? - omitted); Molinieae, or Triraphideae (?). 1 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. South Africa.

Mesophytic (in moist places).

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Hubbard 1957. Leaf anatomical: this project.

Special comments. Anatomical data epidermal only.


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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