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DELTA sample data

M. J. Dallwitz and L. Watson

Festuca L.

Including Amphigenes Janka, Anatherum Nabelek, Argillochloa Weber, Bucetum Parnell, Drymochloa Holub, Drymonaetes Fourr., Festucaria Fabric., Gnomonia Lunell, Gramen Krause, Hellerochloa Rauschert, Leiopoa Ohwi, Lojaconoa Gand., Nabelekia Roshev., Wasatchia M. E. Jones

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial. Culms 2–200 cm high; herbaceous; unbranched above. Culm nodes glabrous. Leaf blades linear to linear-lanceolate; 0.2–15 mm wide. Ligule an unfringed membrane (sometimes ciliolate).

Inflorescence. Plants bisexual, with bisexual spikelets (Leucopoa being excluded). Inflorescence paniculate; open (usually), or contracted (rarely); not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund.

Female-fertile spikelets, florets, fruit. Spikelets 3–20 mm long; compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes; disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret. Hairy callus absent. Glumes two; very unequal; shorter than the adjacent lemmas; awnless; carinate to non-carinate. Upper glume (1–)3–5 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets distal to the female-fertile florets. Female-fertile florets 2–14 (rarely 1). Lemmas entire, or incised; when entire pointed, or blunt; awnless, or mucronate, or awned. Awns when present, 1; from a sinus, or apical; non-geniculate; much shorter than the body of the lemma (usually), or about as long as the body of the lemma (sometimes, rarely somewhat longer). Lemmas non-carinate; 3–7 nerved. Palea present; relatively long. Lodicules present; membranous; ciliate, or glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous, or hairy. Stigmas 2; white. Fruit small, or medium sized, or large. Hilum long-linear (usually about as long as the grain, but sometimes elliptical and only half as long).

Photosynthetic pathway, leaf blade anatomy. C3; XyMS+. Midrib conspicuous, or not readily distinguishable; with one bundle only. Many of the smallest vascular bundles unaccompanied by sclerenchyma, or all the vascular bundles accompanied by sclerenchyma.

Taxonomy, distribution. Pooideae; Poodae; Poeae. 360 species (or more). Holarctic, Paleotropical, Neotropical, Cape, Australian, and Antarctic.

Anatomical references. Metcalfe 1960; this project; Aiken et al. 1985.


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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