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The grass genera of the world

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

Trichloris Benth.

~ Chloris or Leptochloa

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial; stoloniferous, or caespitose. Culms 70–150 cm high; herbaceous. Ligule a fringe of hairs.

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

Inflorescence. Inflorescence of spicate main branches; digitate (the racemes erect ot ascending); espatheate; not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelets solitary; secund (the spikelets 2-rowed, broadside on to the rachis); sessile.

Female-fertile spikelets. Spikelets 2.5–7 mm long; lanceolate; compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes; disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret; the rachilla extension with incomplete florets. Hairy callus present.

Glumes two; more or less equal; shorter than the spikelets; dorsiventral to the rachis; pointed; awned (the upper), or awnless (the lower); carinate; very dissimilar (the lower lanceolate, awnless and hyaline to membranous, the upper acuminate, awned and membranous). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets distal to the female-fertile florets. The distal incomplete florets merely underdeveloped; awned.

Female-fertile florets 1, or 2. Lemmas elliptic; decidedly firmer than the glumes (chartaceous); smooth; not becoming indurated; incised (from the tip, into awns); pointed (acute); awned. Awns 3; median and lateral. The lateral awns shorter than the median to about equalling the median. Lemmas hairy to hairless (glabrous to puberulous); carinate. The keel wingless. Lemmas 3 nerved. Palea present; apically with excurrent keel veins.

Fruit, embryo and seedling. Fruit ellipsoid; concavo-convex; compressed dorsiventrally (T. crinita, T. pluriflora). Pericarp soft, free.

Transverse section of leaf blade, physiology. Midrib conspicuous.

Classification. Watson & Dallwitz (1994): not described separately. Soreng et al. (2015): Chloridoideae; Cynodonteae; Eleusininae. 2 species.

Distribution, phytogeography, ecology. North and South America.

References, etc. Morphological/taxonomic: Grassbase (2016).

Special comments. Fruit data wanting. Illustrations. • T. crinita and T. pluriflora (Hitchcock and Chase, 1950)


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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