Poaceae  Barnhart, nom. cons.

pronounced: poh-AY-see-eye

the grass family

Mossman River grass flowersThe name comes from the Greek ποα (poa), the grass, i.e. a grassy place. The family was previously known as Gramineae, and indeed often still is. Grasses are mostly annual or perennial herbs, terrestrial or aquatic. The stems are round and commonly hollow, at least in the internodes. The leaves are solitary at the nodes, sometimes crowded at the base of the stem, alternate and usually in 2 rows, proximally comprising an open sheathing base with overlapping margins, and distally producing a parallel-veined, strap-shaped blade. On the adaxial leaf surface, at the junction of the blade and sheath, there is often a hairy fringe of tissue known as a ligule. The basic unit of the inflorescence is a spikelet, typically consisting of a basal pair of minute chaffy bracts (glumes) and one or more distichously arranged distal florets on an often zigzag extension of the spikelet axis. Each floret is typically embraced by an additional pair of bracts, the lemma and the palea. The florets may be unisexual or bisexual. There are usually 3 or occasionally 6 stamens, a single compound pistil of 2 or 3 carpels, an equal number of styles with feathery stigmas, and a superior ovary with one locule containing a single ovule. The fruit is usually a caryopsis.

Aristida gracilipes - Three-awn Speargrass

Arundo donax - Giant Reed

Axonopus compressus - Buffalo Grass

Bambusa aurea (syn.) - Golden Bamboo

Bambusa lako - Timor Black Bamboo

Bambusa textilis var. textilis - Weavers' Bamboo

Bothriochloa pertusa - Indian Bluegrass

Cenchrus ciliaris - Buffel Grass

Cenchrus echinatus - Mossman River Grass

Chloris abyssinica (syn.) - Rhodes Grass

Chloris barbata- Swollen Fingergrass

Chloris gayana - Rhodes Grass

Chloris inflata (syn.) - Swollen Fingergrass

Coelorachis rottboellioides - Northern Cane Grass

Cymbopogon ambiguus - Scent Grass

Cymbopogon citratus - Lemon Grass

Dactyloctenium aegyptium - Coastal Button Grass

Dactyloctenium radulans - Native Button Grass

Digitaria didactyla - Queensland Blue Couch

Enneapogon lindleyanus - Lindley Nineawn

Enneapogon oblongus (syn.) - Lindley Nineawn

Enneapogon polyphyllus - Leafy Nineawn

Eragrostis cumingii - Cuming's Lovegrass

Eragrostis elongata - Clustered Lovegrass

Eriachne rara - Wanderrie Grass

Enneapogon pubescens (syn.) - Lindley Nineawn

Heteropogon contortus - Black Spear Grass

Heteropogon triticeus - Giant Spear Grass

Imperata cylindrica - Cogon Grass

Melinis repens - Red Natal Grass

Mnesithea rottboellioides (syn.) - Northern Cane Grass

Panicum maximum - Guinea Grass

Paspalum scrobiculatum - Rice Grass

Pennisetum ciliare (syn.) - Buffel Grass

Pennisetum glaucum - Pearl Millet

Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' - Purple Fountain Grass

Phragmites karka - Tall Reed

Phyllostachys aurea - Golden Bamboo

Rhynchelytrum repens (syn.) - Red Natal Grass

Saccharum officinarum - Sugar Cane

Sarga plumosa (syn.) - Plume Sorghum

Setaria australiensis - Scrub Pigeon Grass

Setaria pumila - Yellow Bristle-grass

Sorghum bicolor - Sorghum

Sorghum plumosum - Plume Sorghum

Spinifex sericeus - Beach Spinifex

Sporobolus jacquemontii - Rat's Tail Grass

Sporobolus virginicus - Marine Couch

Thysanolaena maxima (syn.) - Tiger Grass

Thysanolaena latifolia - Tiger Grass

Tricholaena repens (syn.) - Red Natal Grass

Triodia stenostachya - Porcupine Grass (Spinifex)

Zea mays - Maize

Photograph © Donald Simpson 2010

Page last updated 28th March 2018







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