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DELTA sample data

M. J. Dallwitz and L. Watson

Phragmites Adans.

Including Czernya Presl, Miphragtes Nieuwland, Oxyanthe Steud., Trichoon Roth, Xenochloa Roem. & Schult.

Habit, vegetative morphology. Perennial. Culms 60–400 cm high (–1000 cm); woody and persistent to herbaceous (often somewhat persistent); branched above (especially when main culm damaged), or unbranched above. Culm nodes glabrous. Leaf blades linear-lanceolate to lanceolate; 6–50 mm wide; not pseudopetiolate. Ligule a fringe of hairs.

Inflorescence. Plants bisexual, with bisexual spikelets. Inflorescence paniculate; open (20–60 cm long, plumose, the fertile lemmas surrounded by long white silky hairs); not comprising ‘partial inflorescences’ and foliar organs. Spikelet-bearing axes persistent. Spikelets not secund.

Female-fertile spikelets, florets, fruit. Spikelets 9–16 mm long; compressed laterally; disarticulating above the glumes (at least above the L1); disarticulating between the florets. Rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost female-fertile floret. Hairy callus present (with long fine silky hairs). Glumes two; very unequal; shorter than the adjacent lemmas; awnless; non-carinate (rounded on the back). Upper glume 3–5 nerved. Spikelets with incomplete florets. The incomplete florets both distal and proximal to the female-fertile florets. The proximal incomplete florets 1; male (the stamens often 2), or sterile. The proximal lemmas awnless. Female-fertile florets (2–)3–10. Lemmas entire; pointed (acute to acuminate or aristulate); awnless, or awned (narrow-attenuate, muticous to aristulate). Awns (if lemmas aristulate) 1; apical; non-geniculate; much shorter than the body of the lemma. Lemmas non-carinate; 1–3 nerved. Palea present; conspicuous but relatively short. Lodicules present; fleshy; ciliate, or glabrous. Stamens 3. Ovary glabrous. Stigmas 2; brown. Fruit small. Hilum short.

Photosynthetic pathway, leaf blade anatomy. C3; XyMS+. Mesophyll with arm cells. Midrib conspicuous; having a conventional arc of bundles. All the vascular bundles accompanied by sclerenchyma.

Taxonomy, distribution. Arundinoideae; Arundineae. 3 species. Holarctic, Paleotropical, Neotropical, Australian, and Antarctic.

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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