The grass genera of the world

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

Sclerostachya A. Camus

From the Greek skleros (hard) and stachys (‘ear of corn’, spike), referring to rigid inflorescence axes.

~ Saccharum (subgenus Sclerostachyum), Miscanthus

Habit, vegetative morphology. Robust perennial; often forming large clumps. Culms 200–300 cm high; herbaceous. Leaf blades linear-lanceolate (rigid, often very long); broad, or narrow; flat; pseudopetiolate; without cross venation. Ligule an unfringed membrane.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate; open (large, narrow, decompound, with whorled or fascicled branches); without capillary branchlets (the branches not slender); espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent (but the branches jointed). Spikelets paired; not secund; all pedicellate; consistently in ‘long-and-short’ combinations; unequally pedicellate in each combination. Pedicels of the ‘pedicellate’ spikelets free of the rachis. The ‘shorter’ spikelets hermaphrodite. The ‘longer’ spikelets hermaphrodite.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets compressed dorsiventrally; falling with the glumes (falling from the pedicels). Rachilla terminated by a female-fertile floret. Hairy callus present (short, the silky hairs up to half the length of the spikelet).

Glumes two; more or less equal; long relative to the adjacent lemmas; hairless (firm, smooth); awnless; carinate (G2), or non-carinate (G1); very dissimilar (the G2 flat-backed, with two ciliate submarginal keels, notched, the G2 naviculate). Lower glume two-keeled; 3 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets proximal to the female-fertile florets. The proximal incomplete florets 1; sterile. The proximal lemmas awnless; similar in texture to the female-fertile lemmas (with hyaline, narrow, ciliate margins); not becoming indurated.

Female-fertile florets 1. Lemmas not incised; less firm than the glumes (hyaline); not becoming indurated; entire; awnless; hairy; non-carinate; without a germination flap. Palea present; conspicuous but relatively short; awnless, without apical setae; not indurated (hyaline); keel-less. Lodicules present; 2; free; glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary apically glabrous. Styles free to their bases. Stigmas 2.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Fruit brown; smooth.

Phytochemistry. Leaves without flavonoid sulphates (1 species).

Cytology. 2n = 30, 48, and 96.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): Panicoideae; Andropogonodae; Andropogoneae; Andropogoninae. Soreng et al. (2015): Panicoideae; Andropogonodae; Andropogoneae; Saccharinae. 2–3 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. India to Malaysia.

Hybrids. Intergeneric hybrids with Narenga, Saccharum.

Rusts and smuts. Rusts — Puccinia. Smuts from Ustilaginaceae. Ustilaginaceae — Ustilago.

Special comments. 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: 11th December 2017.’.