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DELTA sample data

M. J. Dallwitz and L. Watson

Andropogon L.

Including Anatherum P. Beauv., Arthrostachys Desv., Arthrolophis (Trin.) Chiov., Dimeiostemon Raf., Eriopodium Hochst., Heterochloa Desv., Homoeatherum Nees, Leptopogon Roberty

Habit, vegetative morphology. Annual, or perennial. Culms 8–250(–430) cm high; herbaceous; branched above, or unbranched above. Leaf blades linear; pseudopetiolate, or not pseudopetiolate. Ligule an unfringed membrane to a fringed membrane.

Inflorescence. Plants bisexual, with bisexual spikelets. Inflorescence of spicate main branches, or paniculate (usually with paired or digitate ‘racemes’, these often spatheate and aggregated into false panicles); a complex of ‘partial inflorescences’ and intervening foliar organs (often), or not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes disarticulating; disarticulating at the joints. Spikelets paired; consistently in ‘long-and-short’ combinations; in pedicellate/sessile combinations. Pedicels of the ‘pedicellate’ spikelets free of the rachis. The ‘shorter’ spikelets hermaphrodite. The ‘longer’ spikelets male-only, or sterile (sometimes reduced to their pedicels).

Female-sterile spikelets. The pedicelled spikelets male or barren, usually awnless, occasionally suppressed.

Female-fertile spikelets, florets, fruit. Spikelets compressed laterally, or not noticeably compressed, or compressed dorsiventrally; falling with the glumes. Rachilla terminated by a female-fertile floret. Hairy callus present. Glumes two; more or less equal; long relative to the adjacent lemmas; awned, or awnless (G2 sometimes aristate). Upper glume 1–3 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets proximal to the female-fertile florets. The proximal incomplete florets 1; sterile. The proximal lemmas awnless. Female-fertile florets 1. Lemmas incised (usually bifid); awned. Awns 1; from a sinus; geniculate; about as long as the body of the lemma to much longer than the body of the lemma. Lemmas non-carinate; 1–3 nerved. Palea present; very reduced (hyaline). Lodicules present (tiny); fleshy; ciliate, or glabrous. Stamens 1–3. Ovary glabrous. Stigmas 2. Fruit small. Hilum short.

Photosynthetic pathway, leaf blade anatomy. C4; biochemical type NADP–ME (3 species); XyMS–. Midrib conspicuous; having a conventional arc of bundles; with colourless tissue adaxially. Many of the smallest vascular bundles unaccompanied by sclerenchyma, or all the vascular bundles accompanied by sclerenchyma.

Taxonomy, distribution. Panicoideae; Andropogonodae; Andropogoneae. About 100 species. Holarctic, Paleotropical, Neotropical, and Cape.

Anatomical references. Metcalfe 1960; this project.


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, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa. See also Guidelines for using data taken from Web publications.


Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1998 onwards. DELTA sample data: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 19th October 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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