A Handbook Of Some Common South Indian Grasses: 7-Panicaceæ: Paniceæ

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This is an extract from
A HANDBOOK OF SOME SOUTH INDIAN GRASSES
BY
Rai Bahadur K. RANGA ACHARIYAR, M.A., L.T.,
Indian Agricultural Service, Agricultural College, Coimbatore, and
Fellow of the Madras University
ASSISTED BY
C. TADULINGA MUDALIYAR, F.L.S.,
Agricultural College, Coimbatore.
MADRAS:
PRINTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS.

1921 .


Contents

Series I—Panicaceæ.Tribe I—Paniceæ.

This is a fairly large and important tribe flourishing mostly in the warm regions and the tropics. It is very well represented in South India and fifteen genera are met with.

The inflorescence varies very much within this tribe and consists of spikes, racemes and panicles. The spikelets are usually four-glumed and contain one terminal perfect flower and a staminate or neutral flower below. But in the genus Isachne both the flowers are perfect. In some grasses the spikelets contain only staminate or pistillate flowers. In Coix and Polytoca the plant bears both male and female spikelets in the same inflorescence, but in Zea on the same plant they occur as distinct inflorescences. The littoral grass Spinifex is diœcious.

The first glume of the spikelet is the smallest. In Panicum it is nearly two-thirds or less than the third glume. It is very small in Digitaria and entirely suppressed in Paspalum. In Eriochloa it is reduced to a minute ridge lying just close to the swollen ring-like joint of the rachilla. The second and the third glumes are more or less equal and similar in texture. The fourth glume becomes firm and rigid along with its palea and usually encloses the grain.

The pedicel is jointed in some genera and in others it is continuous with the spikelet and not jointed. When mature the spikelets fall away either by themselves, singly with their pedicels or in groups with portions of rachis, according to the position of the joint. Bristles (branchlets) are often found on the pedicels. In Setaria a few are borne by the pedicels. The bristles form a regular involucre at the base of a group of spikelets in Pennisetum, and in Cenchrus these become united at the base into a mass forming a kind of burr around the spikelets.

Key To The Genera

A. Spikelets articulate on their pedicels.

B. Spikelets without involucels.

C. Spikelets dorsally flattened, awnless.

Inflorescence racemed; glumes three; nerves of second glume five or less, side nerves curved 1. Paspalum.

Inflorescence digitate; glumes three with a minute glume; nerves of second glume five to seven, straight and prominent 2. Digitaria.

Inflorescence panicled; glumes three with a thickening at the base of the spikelet 3. Eriochloa.

Inflorescence racemed or paniculate; glumes four, first two glumes unequal 4. Panicum.

Inflorescence panicled, branches of panicle produced beyond the uppermost spikelet; glumes four, the first being minute and hyaline 5. Chamæraphis.

Spikelets unisexual and diœcious 6. Spinifex. CC. Spikelets awned.

Glumes four, second glume broadly fimbriate with hairs; palea of the third glume short and deeply cleft, fourth glume awned 7. Axonopus.

BB. Spikelets involucellate 8. Setaria.

AA. Spikelets not jointed but continuous.

Spikelets in involucelled deciduous fascicles.

Involucre of bristles free 9. Pennisetum.

Involucre of bristles united 10. Cenchrus.

1. Paspalum, L.

These are annuals or perennials. The spikelets are plano-convex, orbicular to oblong, obtuse, secund, 2-ranked on the flattened or triquetrous rachis of the spike-like branches of a raceme, one-flowered and falling off entire from the very short or obscure pedicels. There are three glumes, all more or less equal and similar. The first and the second glumes are membranous, alike and as long as the third, the second glume is usually epaleate and occasionally with a minute palea.

The third glume is chartaceous to sub-coriaceous and paleate. Lodicules are two and small. Stamens are three. The styles are slender and distinct with plumose stigmas exserted at the top of the spikelet. Grain is tightly enclosed in the third glume and its palea.

Paspalum scrobiculatum

This is an annual grass, with stems tufted on very short rhizomes, erect or very shortly bent at base, glabrous, bifariously leafy and varying in height from 1 to 3 feet or more.

Leaf-sheaths are compressed, glabrous, loose, keeled, mouth hairy or not. The ligule is a short thin membrane. The nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, finely acuminate, keeled with a distinct midrib, and with very minutely serrulate margins, 6 to 18 inches by 1/12 to 1/3 inch.

The inflorescence consists of 2 to 5 sessile alternate spikes, usually distant and spreading and varying in length from 1 to 8 inches; the rachis is flattened and winged.

The spikelets are either orbicular or ovate-oblong, as broad as the rachis, glabrous, closely imbricating in two rows (rarely in three or four rows), sessile or rarely geminate on a common pedicel.

There are three glumes. The first glume is concave, 3- to 5-nerved (rarely 3- to 7-nerved). The second glume is flat, 5-nerved, with two strong sub-marginal nerves, sometimes with shallow transverse pits along the margins.

The third glume is thickly coriaceous, brownish, shining, minutely striolate, margins roundly incurved throughout its length, paleate; the palea is similar to the glume in structure and colour, margins strongly inflexed and with two broad membranous auricles almost overlapping just below the middle. There are three stamens. The stigmas are white both when young and while fading. The style branches are diverging widely and then straight. There are two oblong cuneate fleshy lodicules.

Paspalum scrobiculatum 1 and 2. Front and back view of a portion of spike; 3, 4 and 5. spikelets; 6, 7 and 8. the first, second, and the third glume, respectively; 9. palea of the third glume; 10. the ovary, stamens and the lodicules.

This grass flourishes all over the Presidency in moist places, such as, bunds of wet lands, edges of ponds and lakes and in marshy land.

There are two forms of this grass, one with round and another with ovate oblong spikelets. They also vary in the size of the spikelets—some forms have small spikelets and others large. Sometimes the spikelets show variation in the number of glumes.

This grass is also cultivated for its grain. In cultivated forms the spikelets are larger and the whole plant grows bigger. It is grown both in wet and dry land.

2. Digitaria, Rich.

Annuals or perennials. The spikelets are lanceolate, 2- to 3-nate, in digitate or racemose spikes, jointed on the pedicels but not thickened at the base, 1-flowered. There are usually four dissimilar glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is hyaline very minute, sometimes absent in the same species.

The second glume is membranous, 1- to 5-nerved or nerveless. The third glume is membranous, almost equal to the fourth, usually 7- to 9-nerved, the nerves being straight, close, parallel and prominent, with a minute palea or without a palea. The fourth glume is chartaceous or sub-chartaceous, usually 3-nerved and paleate; palea is equal to and similar to the fourth glume, 2-nerved. Lodicules are two, small, broadly cuneate. Stamens are three. Styles are distinct with plumose stigmas exserted laterally near the apex of the spikelet. Grain is enclosed in the fourth glume and its palea.

KEY TO THE SPECIES

Spikelets 1/10 inch or more.

Spikes usually few, spikelets bearded 1. D. sanguinalis. Var. ciliaris.

Spikelets not bearded 2. Do. Var. extensum. Spikes usually many; spikelets spreading 3. Do. Var. Griffithii. Spikelets less than 1/10 inch.

Spikes narrowly winged; spikelets subsilky with slender (not clavellate) hairs 4. D. longiflora.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Var. ciliaris.

This is an annual grass either with erect tall stems or long prostrate stems, varying in length from 1 to 3 feet or more.

The leaf-sheath is herbaceous, loose and glabrous. The ligule is a distinct membrane. The nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate or linear, flat, glabrous or very sparsely hairy, varying in length from 2 to 5 or 6 inches and in breadth from 1/6 to 1/3 inch.

The spikes are usually few, 2 to 6, 3 to 6 inches long, with a triquetrous, narrowly winged rachis.

The spikelets are oblong, acute, binate, one pedicel being shorter than the other, usually appressed to the rachis and not spreading.

Digitaria sanguinalis. Var. ciliaris 1. A portion of the spike showing the binate spikelets; 2. a spikelet; 3. the minute scale-like first glume; 4, 5 and 6. the second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 7. the palea of the fourth glume.

There are four glumes including the minute glume. The first glume is a very minute scale. The second glume is about half as long as the third glume, membranous, usually 3-nerved and sometimes 3- to 5-nerved, distinctly ciliate. The third glume is oblong-lanceolate, acute, membranous, 3- to 5-nerved, sparingly hairy in the lower spikelet and densely bearded with soft spreading hairs in the upper spikelet. The fourth glume is lanceolate, or oblong-lanceolate, acute, somewhat chartaceous, paleate; palea is like the glume in texture. Anthers are pale yellow. Stigmas are white. There are two small cuneate lodicules.

This is an excellent fodder grass. It grows well in all kinds of soils, rich or poor, and is very common in dry fields brought under cultivation. Distribution.—Throughout India.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Scop.

Var. Griffithii.

This is an annual with stems ascending from a prostrate or geniculate base, glabrous and varying in length from 1 to 3 feet.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous, thinly herbaceous and loose. The ligule is a distinct membrane and the nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is linear or linear-lanceolate, flat, acuminate, varying in length from 2 inches to 12 inches and in breadth 1/6 to 1/3 inch.

The inflorescence is of several slender spikes, usually drooping, 2 to 4 inches; the rachis is filiform and trigonous.

The spikelets are linear-lanceolate, solitary or in distant pairs, glabrous or ciliate, pedicelled and when binate the upper pedicel often longer than the spikelets, usually spreading and not appressed to the rachis.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Var. Griffithii 1. Inflorescence; 2. a portion of the spike; 3 and 4. sessile and pedicelled spikelets front and back view, respectively; 5. the scale-like first glume; 6, 7 and 8. the second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 9. palea of the fourth glume; 10. the lodicules, stamens and the ovary.

There are four glumes. The first glume is a minute scale. The second glume is shorter than the third and narrower, 5-nerved, ciliate, acute or sometimes with two fine teeth. The third glume is oblong-lanceolate, acute, 5-nerved (rarely 3-nerved), ciliate on the nerves. The fourth glume is lanceolate, acute, sub-chartaceous, paleate; palea is like the glume in texture. Anthers are yellow and stigmas are white. Lodicules are two and small.

This seems to be a good fodder grass. It grows in all kinds of soils. It is not so common in the plains as on the hills, though it occurs in the plains at the base of the hills. Distribution.—Throughout India.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Var. extensum.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Scop.

Var. extensum.

This grass is an annual with stems ascending from a prostrate or geniculate, rooting branched base, greenish or purplish, glabrous and varying in length from 1 to 2-1/2 feet.

The leaf-sheath is thin, herbaceous, rather loose, keeled and glabrous. The ligule is a distinct membrane, truncate, rarely irregularly toothed. The nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, acuminate, flat when mature and convolute when young, glabrous, 1 to 12 inches long and 1/6 to 1/3 inch broad, the margin is very closely and finely serrate, the midrib is prominent with three or four main veins on each side.

The inflorescence consists of a few or many spikes, corymbosely arranged on a short angular slightly rough axis, erect or spreading, 1-1/2 to 4 inches long, the lowest ones in whorls of two to four; the rachis is nearly triquetrous, laterally winged, base thickened and with a few long white hairs; the peduncle is cylindric, smooth, 6 to 12 inches long.

Digitaria sanguinalis, Var. extensum. 1. A portion of spike; 2, 3 and 3a. the back and front views of a spikelet; 4, 5 and 6 the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 7. palea of the third glume; 8. anthers, lodicules and the ovary.

The spikelets are oblong-lanceolate, acute, about 1/10 inch long, binate, one pedicelled and the other subsessile, the pedicel is angular, about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the spikelet.

There are three glumes in the spikelet corresponding to the second, third and fourth glumes of a Panicum, the first glume being obsolete. The first glume is membranous, ovate-lanceolate, acute, about 1/3 the length of the spikelet or very much less, 3-nerved, densely ciliate along the margins and silkily hairy between the nerves.

The second glume is greenish, oblong lanceolate, acute, ciliate along the margins and with fine appressed silky hairs between the lateral nerves, 5-nerved, palea is very minute or absent. The third glume is oblong, sub-acuminate, a little shorter than the second glume, 3-nerved, sub-chartaceous, paleate; palea is similar to the glume in texture. Anthers are pale yellow with a tinge of purple. Stigmas are white. Lodicules are two, minute and cuneate.

This is an excellent fodder grass and is very much liked by cattle. It grows very rapidly and is found in cultivated fields and in somewhat rich loamy soils. Distribution.—Throughout the Presidency in the plains and low hills.

Digitaria longiflora.

This is a perennial grass with short underground branches covered with scales. Stems are many, tufted, slender, creeping and rooting, or ascending and suberect, simple or branched, 6 to 20 inches long and leafy and leaves bifarious and divaricate.

Leaf-sheaths are hairy or glabrous, compressed, keeled. The ligule is a short membrane. Nodes are glabrous.

Leaf-blades are broadly lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, acute, spreading, flat, or in short-leaved forms, stiff and pungent, 1 to 2 inches long (rarely also 5 inches long), glabrous above and below, ciliate at the margins towards the base, and with a very minutely serrate hyaline margin.

The inflorescence consists of two to four terminal spikes with a slender, long, hairy or glabrous peduncle. The spikes are slender, erect or spreading with fine winged glabrous rachis.

The spikelets are small, 1/20 to 1/14 inch, geminate, one short and the other long pedicelled, appressed to the rachis, elliptic, silky with slender crisped hairs, pale green or purplish.

Digitaria longiflora. 1. A portion of the spike; 2. the first glume; 3 and 4. the second and third glumes; 5 and 6. the fourth glume and its palea; 7. lodicules, ovary and stamens.

There are three glumes with a rudimentary first glume. The first glume is very minute and hyaline. The second glume is as long as the third, membranous, 5-nerved (rarely 3- to 7-nerved), silkily hairy. The third glume is similar to the second and usually 7-nerved (rarely 3- to 5-nerved). The fourth glume is sub-chartaceous, ovate-oblong, paleate, slightly shorter than the third glume, pale brown, smooth. There are two small lodicules. Styles are long and purple.

This grass grows in cultivated dry fields. It seems to like a sandy loamy soil.

Distribution.—Throughout India.

3. Eriochloa, H. B. & K.

These are annuals or perennials. Leaves are flat. The inflorescence is a raceme or a panicle. Spikelets are one-flowered, borne unilaterally on the branches, and the base is thickened and jointed on the top of a short pedicel. The spikelet has three glumes. The first and the second glumes are subequal, membranous. The third glume is apiculate, hardened in fruit. The lodicules are small and truncate. There are three stamens with linear anthers. Styles are two free, with plumose stigmas. The grain is oblong, free within the hardened glume and its palea.

Eriochloa polystachya.

Eriochloa polystachya, H. B. & K.

This grass is a densely tufted perennial, varying in height from 2 to 3 feet, with a short creeping root-stock. Stems are slender, or stout, simple and branching, ascending from a short creeping and rooting base, glabrous, slightly channelled on one side.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous, green or partly purplish, striate, loose, mouth and margins above sometimes pubescent. The ligule is a short villous ridge. Nodes are perfectly glabrous.

The leaf-blade is flat, linear or linear-lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous on both sides, with a slender or prominent midrib, veins more or less uniform, 2 to 10 inches long and 1/6 to 1/3 inch wide, convolute when young. Sometimes the blade is purplish below.

The inflorescence is a panicle on a long or short glabrous stalk, striate, 2 to 7 inches long, with four to fifteen erect or spreading, lax branches, the main rachis is glabrous, angular and deeply grooved. Spikes or branches are slender, alternate, 1 to 2-1/2 inches, becoming shorter upwards, thickened and puberulous at the base, and the secondary rachis is flexuous, grooved, angular, and obscurely pubescent.

Eriochloa polystachya. 1. A portion of the branch; 2, 3 and 4. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 4a. back view of the third glume; 5. palea of the third glume; 6. lodicules, stamens and the ovary; 7. grain.

The spikelets are green or purplish, ovate, lanceolate, acuminate 1/8 to 1/6 inch long, softly hairy, stalked, solitary above and binate below and then one with a long and the other with a short pedicel rising from a common short branchlet, loosely imbricate, distichous and shortly stipitate and the stipe with a purple thickening; pedicel is short, 1/24 to 1/12 inch with sometimes long deciduous hairs and the tip somewhat thickened.

There are three glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is membranous, covered densely with silky hairs, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, tip very minutely 3-toothed with three to five fine nerves. The second glume is similar to the first glume but with a more pointed tip, faintly 3- to 5-nerved; palea is not present and if present it is very small, hyaline and empty. The third glume is shorter than the first and the second glumes, thinly coriaceous, punctate, oblong, obtuse, pale, faintly 3- to 5-nerved with a short scaberulous awn, paleate; palea is oblong, similar to the glume in texture, margin infolded. Anthers are three, linear, pale yellow. Stigmas are feathery, white when young and purple later. Lodicules are two and distinct.

This is a common succulent grass growing in large or small tufts in moist situations such as sides of water channels, rivulets and bunds of paddy fields. It is very much liked by cattle. This grass is easily recognized by the silky lanceolate spikelets which have a purple thickening at the base. Distribution.—Plains of India and Ceylon and in all hot countries.

4. Panicum, L.

The grasses of this genus are annual or perennial and of various habits. Inflorescence is either a raceme of spikes or, a lax or contracted panicle. Spikelets are small, solitary or two to four, rarely more ranked, 1- to 2-flowered, ovoid or oblong, rounded, or dorsally or laterally compressed, falling entire with the pedicels. There are four glumes in a spikelet. The first two glumes are empty and the first glume is small (sometimes minute) and fewest nerved. The second glume is equal or very nearly equal to the third glume, oblong-ovate or lanceolate, 5- to many-nerved.

The third glume is similar to the second, male or neuter, paleate or not, 3- to 9-nerved. The fourth glume is chartaceous, sometimes shortly stalked, ovate-oblong or lanceolate, hardened in the fruit, smooth or rough, bisexual, paleate; the palea is as long and of the same texture as the glume. Lodicules are cuneate or quadrate and two in number. There are three stamens and an ovary with two style branches ending in feathery stigmas. Grain is free and enclosed by the hardened fourth glume and its palea.

KEY TO THE SPECIES.

A. Inflorescence racemose of simple (rarely branched) spikes bearing secund spikelets.

I. Rachis of spikes broad and flattened.

(a) Spikelets biseriate.

Spikelets villous. 1. P. Isachne.

Spikelets glabrous.

Spikes shorter than the internodes. 2. P. flavidum.

Spikes longer than the internodes. 3. P. fluitans.

(b) Spikelets 3- to 5-seriate.

Third glume awned.

Stems stout, erect. 4. P. Crus-galli.

Stems stout, prostrate at base. 5. P. stagninum.

Third glume cuspidate.

Stems slender. 6. P. colonum.

II. Rachis of spikes narrow, filiform, terete or angular.

First glume shorter than the third. First glume semilunate, about 1/4 of the third glume. 7. P. prostratum.

First glume 1/2 of or less than 1/2 of third glume, 5-nerved. 8. P. ramosum.

Leaf base broad or cordate.

Fourth glume shortly awned. 9. P. javanicum.

Fourth glume muticous. 10. P. distachyum.

B. Inflorescence a contracted or open panicle.

I. Panicle contracted and spike-like.

Spikelets lanceolate and first glume minute. 11. P. interruptum.

II. Panicle effuse.

Annuals; first glume nearly 3/4 of the third glume. 12. P. trypheron.

Perennials; first glume less than 1/3 of the third glume. 13. P. repens.

Panicum Isachne.

Panicum Isachne, Roth.

This is an annual grass usually growing in tufts with fine fibrous roots and many slender spreading branches, all of them at first creeping and horizontal, rooting at the nodes and then becoming erect and varying in length from 1 to 2 feet.

Stems are very slender, glabrous or covered with scattered hairs, purplish or pale green, and branching freely towards the base.

The leaf-sheath is shorter than the internodes, green or purplish, striate, externally hairy with scattered bulbous-based hairs, varying in length from 1/2 to 3 inches, the outer margin of the sheath is ciliate with long hairs and at the mouths sometimes long hairs are present, especially when the leaves are young. The ligule is merely a dense fringe of long hairs. Nodes are tumid, purplish, covered with long hairs.

The leaf-blade is flat but convolute when young, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, acuminate, base rounded and margin with minute serrations. It is glabrous or occasionally hairy with scattered, tubercle-based, deciduous hairs, and varying in length from 1 to 3 inches generally (sometimes in well-grown plants it is 5 inches) and in breadth from 1/8 to 1/4 inch. The midrib is prominent though slender at the base and four veins are present on each side with five or six smaller ones between them.

Panicum Isachne. 1 and 1a. Front and back view of a spike; 2 and 2a. back and front views of a spikelet; 3 and 4. the first and the second glume, respectively; 5 and 5a. the third glume and its palea; 6 and 6a. the fourth glume and its palea; 7. lodicules, anthers and ovary; 8. grain.

The inflorescence is an erect, narrow panicle consisting of spikes varying in number from 5 to 12 and in length from 2 to 3 inches. The spikes are erect, pressed to the very slender rachis, longer than the internodes of the main rachis, stalked or sessile, mostly simple but sometimes the lower dividing into two or three branches, 1/2 to[Pg 67] 1 inch long. The rachis of the spike is very slender, angular, flexuous, narrower than the spikelets, scaberulous with a few long cilia at the angles.

The spikelets are very small, 1/16 inch long, turned all to one side and closely packed in two rows, oblong or oval-oblong, obtuse or subacute, softly hairy, pale green or purplish, with very short pedicels which are pubescent with a few long hairs towards the thickened cupular tips. There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is very small, membranous, glabrous, broader than long, cordate or triangular, broadly but shallowly emarginate, nerveless or very obscurely 1- to 2-nerved. The second glume is pale or purplish, 5-nerved, hairy, as long as the third glume, membranous, oblong and obtuse.

The third glume is pale, nearly equal to the second glume with a longitudinal depression at the back, less hairy than the second glume, 3-nerved (rarely 5-nerved also); palea is present, and it is hyaline, shorter than the glume, truncate or shallowly retuse, usually barren but occasionally with three stamens. The fourth glume is oblong, rounded, coriaceous, smooth, shining, dorsally flattened, 3- or indistinctly 5-nerved; palea is similar to the glume in texture and with folded margins. There are three stamens with yellow anthers. Lodicules are two, very small and distinct. Ovary has two styles with feathery stigmas white at first, but turning deep purple while withering.

This delicate and small grass occurs here and there as mere tufts especially in sheltered situations. It usually flourishes in black cotton soils amidst cholam (Andropogon Sorghum), although it thrives equally well in other rich soils. This is considered to be a very good fodder grass. Distribution.—It is fairly common all over the Madras Presidency, and goes up to 3,000 or 4,000 feet. It occurs in Africa, America and Italy.

Panicum flavidum.

Fig. 82.—Panicum flavidum.

Panicum flavidum, Retz.

This plant is a tufted annual. It branches freely from the base; branches are tufted, decumbent at first but soon becoming erect, slender, glabrous, compressed and leafy, varying in length from 1 to 3 feet.

Leaves are somewhat distichous. The leaf-sheath is compressed, glabrous, sometimes with a tinge of purple, the lower ones swollen at the base and the mouth is hairy. The ligule is a fringe of hairs. Nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is flat, thinly coriaceous, linear-lanceolate and acuminate, or ligulate with a rounded tip, 3 to 5 inches in length, 3/16 to 5/16 inch wide, glabrous or very thinly scaberulous, base rounded or slightly cordate with long white ciliate hairs on the small basal lobes.

Panicum flavidum. 1 and 2. Front and back view of a portion of spike; 1a and 2a. the front and back view of a spikelet; 3 and 4. the first and the second glume, respectively; 5 and 5a. the third glume and its palea; 6 and 6a. the fourth glume and its palea; 7. anthers and ovary; 8. grain.

The inflorescence is a raceme of spikes, 5 to 10 inches long, erect or inclined on a short or long, glabrous, strongly channelled peduncle; the main rachis is grooved, angled and scaberulous. Spikes are few or many, 1/4 to 1 inch long, erect, pressing on the rachis of the inflorescence along the groove, distant and sessile; the lower spikes are very much shorter than the internodes, but the upper equal to or longer than the internodes; the rachis of the spike is angular, flattened below, erect or slightly recurved.

The spikelets are white, in two rows on a flattened rachis, obliquely ovoid or gibbously globose, glabrous, sessile, 1/8 inch in length.

There are four glumes. The first glume is suborbicular, about half the length of the third glume, usually 3-nerved. The second glume is broadly ovate, obtuse, concave, larger than the first glume and nearly equal to or shorter than the fourth glume, 7-nerved, rarely 7- to 9-nerved, nerves are anastomosing, tip rounded. The third glume is broadly ovate or oblong, equal to or longer than the fourth glume, obtuse, 3- to 5-nerved, paleate, mostly with and rarely without stamens. The anthers are yellow and they do not open until the stigmas and anthers of the fourth glume are thrown out.

Lodicules are two and conspicuous. Palea is hyaline with infolded margins. The fourth glume is coriaceous, broadly ovate, tip acutely pointed and almost cuspidate or acute, mucronate, white or brownish, reticulately minutely pitted. Anthers are three and yellow. Stigmas are purplish. Lodicules are small but conspicuous.

This grass is very common throughout the plains and grows in the bunds of paddy fields and in wet situations, and goes up to moderate elevations on the hills. Cattle eat this grass greedily and seem to like it. It is considered to be an excellent fodder.

Distribution.—In wet situations all over India ascending to 6,000 feet. Occurs also in Ceylon, Africa, Tropical Asia and Australia.

Panicum fluitans.

Panicum fluitans, Retz.

This is a perennial grass with prostrate branches which afterwards become erect towards the free ends. The young branches are covered with scale-leaves. Stems are stout, glabrous, smooth and hollow, rooting at the lower nodes.

The leaf-sheath is loose, glabrous, striate, margins not ciliate. The ligule is a ridge with a row of erect long hairs. Nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is firm, linear, finely acuminate, base rounded, rather narrower than the sheath at the white band, very thinly scaberulous above and glabrous below, veins prominent above, 3 to 9 inches long, 1/4 to 7/16 inch broad; margins are slightly incurved and the midrib is conspicuous only at the lower portion of the blade. The scale-leaves persist at the base of the stems.

Panicum fluitans. 1 and 2. Front and back view of a spike; 1a. and 2a. front and back view of a spikelet; 3, 4 and 5. first, second and third glume respectively; 5a. palea of the third glume and stamens in it; 6 and 6a. fourth glume and its palea; 7. stamens and ovary.

The inflorescence is a compound spike varying in length from 4 to 10 inches, erect; the main rachis is triquetrous, dorsally rounded, glabrous and very thinly scaberulous at the edges. Spikes are many (fifteen and more), sessile, secund, generally longer than the internodes, and appressed to the rachis, 1/4 to 1-1/2 inches long; the rachis of the spike is angular, edges scaberulous and with very fine short hairs.

The spikelets are pale, ovoid, acute, biseriate, imbricate, very shortly pedicellate, glabrous, 1/16 to 1/8 inch, pedicels are hairy with a few long hairs towards the base. There are four glumes. The first glume is white, thin, membranous, truncate and wavy at the apex, nerveless or sometimes with one to three short nerves, less than one-third of the third glume, broader than long and clasping at the base. The second glume is ovate, obtuse or subacute, concave, submembranous, slightly shorter [Pg 73]than the fourth glume, 5-nerved but occasionally 6- or 7-nerved.

The third glume is a little longer than the second and the fourth, usually 5-nerved, broadly ovate, acute, paleate, always with three stamens which come out only after the fading of the stigmas and enlargement of the ovary in the fourth glume. Lodicules are distinct and conspicuous; palea is broad with incurved broad margins and hyaline. The fourth glume is thinly coriaceous, shining, striolate, broadly ovate, mucronate, compressed, faintly and thinly 5-nerved and palea with infolded margins. Anthers are yellow. Stigmas are white when young. Lodicules are distinct.

It is a common grass of the wet lands met with in many parts of the Presidency and often confused and united with Panicum punctatum, Burm.

Distribution.—Throughout India and Ceylon. It is also found in Arabia, Afghanistan, Africa and Tropical America.

Panicum Crus-galli.

Panicum Crus-galli, L.

It is a tufted annual with many erect branches growing to a height varying from 2 to 3 or 4 feet and the whole plant is glabrous. Stem is stout or slender, simple or branched.

The leaf-sheath is smooth, glabrous and loose, varying in length from 2 to 6 inches, keeled. The ligule is only a smooth semilunar line without hairs. Nodes are glabrous and the lower nodes bear adventitious roots.

The leaf-blade is narrowly linear-lanceolate, flat, finely acuminate, glabrous or very minutely scabrid with a stout midrib; margin is minutely serrate and with tubercle-based hairs near the base. The blades of the lower leaves are longer than those in the upper and at the junction with the sheath the blade is narrow, just as broad or less than the sheath, and becomes broader about the middle; the length varies from 6 to 10 inches generally, also to 14 inches, and breadth at base 1/4 inch and at the middle 5/16 inch; the upper leaf-blade is generally shorter, varying from 5 to 10 inches and very broad at the base near the sheath, about 7/16 inch and gets gradually narrow upwards. It is convolute when young.

The inflorescence is a compound spike varying in length from 4 to 8 inches, contracted and pyramidal and always erect; the main rachis is stout, angled with very minute hairs on the ridges and with a tuft of bristly hairs and also tubercle-based hairs at the place of insertion of the spikes. Spikes are many (up to 16 or rarely more), simple or branched, the lower ones longer, but getting gradually shorter upwards, and varying in length from 1/2 to 2 inches. The rachis of the spike is angular, with scattered tubercle-based bristly hairs.

Panicum Crus-galli. 1 and 2. Front and back views of spike; 3. spikelet; 4 and 5. first and second glumes; 6 and 7. third glume and its palea; 8. fourth glume, front and back view; 9. ovary, anthers and lodicules.

The spikelets are turgid, densely packed on one side of the rachis in three to five rows, sessile or subsessile, sub-globose or ovoid, [Pg 76]with unequal tubercle-based bristly hairs on the nerves of the glumes and with short minute hairs on the outer surface of the glumes, 1/12 to 1/8 inch; awn 1/4 inch to 5/16 inch.

There are four glumes. The first glume is 1/3 to 1/2 of the third glume, suborbicular, abruptly acuminate or rarely mucronate and 5-nerved (very rarely 5- to 7-nerved), clasping at base and margins thinly ciliolate. The second glume is ovate oblong, short, awned and 5-nerved; sometimes with partial nerves at the apex between the central and the lateral nerves, and then 5- to 7- or 5- to 9-nerved, hispidly hairy on the nerves, margins ciliolate.

The third glume is as long as the second, ovate-oblong and the apex abruptly ending in a stout scabrid nerved awn, varying in length from 1/4 to 3/8 inch, rarely 1 inch; 5- to 7-nerved (two partial at tip), paleate and sometimes with three stamens; palea is hyaline, ovate-oblong with infolded margins. The fourth glume is smooth, shining, broadly oblong, faintly 5-nerved, apex rounded or cuspidate with a few cilia; paleate with a single bisexual flower; palea is similar to the glume in structure. Anthers are orange yellow, and lodicules are very small. Stigmas are white. Grain is smooth and ovoid.

This grass grows in paddy fields and wet places generally. It is considered to be a very good fodder grass in Australia and America. This is the "Barn-yard" grass of the Americans, highly valued as a fodder grass.

'Distribution.—Throughout India in wet places and in paddy fields.

Panicum stagninum, Retz.

It is an annual. The stems are glabrous, creeping and somewhat prostrate at the base, and the upper portion is erect, 3 to 4 feet long, and rooting at the nodes in the geniculate portion of the stem.

The leaf-sheath is smooth, striate, glabrous, sometimes pubescent about the lower nodes, varying in length from 1-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches. The ligule is distinct, consisting of a fringe of stiff hairs.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, acuminate or acute, base rounded, glabrous, smooth below, especially in the lower part, and scabrid above and in the upper part, 6 to 12 inches long, by 1/4 to 3/8 inch; the lower leaves have their blades somewhat narrower at the base than in the middle, but the blades in the upper part of the stem and in the middle are of the same breadth; margins are very minutely serrate.

Panicum stagninum. 1. Front view of a portion of spike; 2. back view of the same; 3 and 4. front and back views of a spikelet; 5, 6 and 7. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 8. palea of the third glume with its anthers; 9. front and back view of fourth glume; 10. the ovary, stamens and lodicules.

The inflorescence is 4 to 8 inches long; the main rachis is angular, grooved, scabrid on the ridges. The spikes are 7 to 10 inches, alternate, pale green or purplish, rather distant, spreading or suberect (never erect) 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long, sessile and with a tuft of bristly hairs at the base; the rachis of the spike is angular, grooved with scattered bulbous-based bristles on the ridges.

The spikelets are four ranked, ovoid-lanceolate, 1/8 to 1/6 inch long without the awn, somewhat flattened on one side and gibbous on the other, pale green or purplish, with equal bulbous-based bristly hairs on the nerves.

There are four glumes. The first glume is half of the third glume, thin, membranous, hairy, broadly ovate, abruptly cuspidate at the apex, and acuminate, 5-nerved (rarely 3-nerved). The second glume is broadly ovate-lanceolate, concave, acuminate, short awned, 5-nerved with two partial nerves one on each side of the central [Pg 78]nerve (7- to 9-nerved at the tip), hairs on nerves, a few tubercled.

The third glume is similar to the second, broadly ovate-lanceolate, awned, awn 1/8 to 1/4 inch, paleate with usually three stamens, occasionally neuter. Lodicules are present. The fourth glume is chartaceous, shining, smooth ovate-oblong, apex cuspidate, with a few hairs on the edges at the apex, faintly 5-nerved. The anthers within this glume come out before those of the third glume. Anthers are three, yellowish and lodicules are conspicuous though small.

In this grass very often, purple streaks or bands occur across the leaf blades and the sheath and the spikelets become purple on one side as is met with in P. colonum. This grass is occasionally found in the paddy fields either alone, or along with Panicum Crus-galli.

Distribution.—Throughout the Madras and the Bombay Presidencies and in Ceylon in wet places especially in cultivated ground and in ditches. Occurs more or less throughout India.

Panicum colonum.

Panicum colonum, L.

This is a slender annual growing to a height of 2 feet. The stems are creeping below, erect above, and with roots in the lower internodes of the decumbent part of the stem, smooth, dull green or partly purplish.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous and sharply keeled. The nodes are glabrous or obscurely pubescent. There is no ligule.

The leaf-blade is narrow, lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous but sometimes tubercle-based hairs occur just on the margin at the base of the leaf-blade close to the white band, varying in length from 1 to 6 inches and in breadth 3/16 to 5/16 inch; the margin is minutely and distantly serrate, midrib is quite distinct and there are three main veins on each side and three or four smaller between main ones. The blades of the lower leaves are narrow at the base and broader at about the middle but those of the upper are equally broad at the base, as well as at the middle.

Panicum colonum. 1 and 2. The front and back view of the spikes; 1a and 2a. the back and the front view of the spikelet; 3, 4 and 5. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 6. palea of the third glume; 7 and 8. the fourth glume and its palea; 9. ovary anther and lodicules.

The inflorescence is a contracted panicle, 3 to 5 inches long. Spikes are from 8 to 20, suberect, usually distant, 1/4 to 1 inch long and getting shorter upwards; the rachis of the spike is stout, angular, scaberulous on the angles with a few long hairs towards the base.

The spikelets are small green or partly purplish 1/12 to 1/10 inch long, globosely ovoid, acute, pubescent with minute hairs on the outer surface of the glumes and bristly hairs on the nerves, all on one side, sessile or very shortly pedicelled, two or three from a node, one or two barren, 3- to 5-seriate.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is about half of the third glume, broadly ovate or suborbicular, acute, generally 3-nerved, rarely 5-nerved, pubescent between and hispidly hairy on the nerves. The second glume is as long as the third, broadly ovate, cuspidate, 5-nerved sometimes with two partial nerves added one on each side of the central vein, pubescent between the veins and hispid on the veins.

The third glume is similar to the second, 5-nerved, tip with a few cilia, paleate; palea is empty oblong-orbicular, subacute. The fourth glume is coriaceous, shining, turgid, broadly ovate, acute, paleate. Sometimes the tip possesses a few cilia. Anthers are three, pale yellow and stigmas dark purple. Lodicules are small but conspicuous.

This grass is common in water-logged situations, in paddy fields and in irrigated dry lands. Sometimes on the blades of this grass purple bands are present and the internodes and the spikes also become purplish.

It is really a weed of cultivation met with generally on rich soils. This grass is considered to be one of the best fodder grasses in India. All kinds of cattle eat it greedily.

Distribution.—It is found throughout India up to 6,000 feet and also in all warm countries.

Panicum prostratum.

Panicum prostratum, Lamk.

The plant is a slender annual and it consists of several branches, prostrate and creeping, with adventitious roots at the nodes below, branching or ascending above, all green or sometimes purple above and green below, 4 to 18 inches long.

The leaf-sheath is striate, 1 to 2 inches long, glabrous or very sparsely hairy, purplish above and green below or all green, keeled, margins ciliate on one side only throughout its length. The ligule is a fringe of white hairs. The nodes are glabrous or pubescent.

The leaf-blade is short or long, varying from 1/2 to 2-1/2 inches in length and 3/16 to 5/16 inch in breadth, convolute when young, lanceolate to broadly ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, upper surface glabrous, and the lower glabrous or with a few scattered tubercle-based hairs; margins are very minutely serrate; base is cordate, amplexicaul with a few long slender hairs (sometimes tubercle-based), just close to the white patch on both sides on the margin of the blade about the ligule. The midrib is distinct.

The inflorescence consists of five to fifteen or twenty spikes spreading in all directions, distant or crowded; peduncle varies from 1 to 4 inches. Spikes are 1/2 to 1-3/8 inches, sessile or shortly stalked; the rachis of the spike is slender, trigonous and scaberulous.

Panicum prostratum. A. Front and back view of spike; B. front and back view of a spikelet; 1, 2, 3 and 4, the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 3a and 4a. the palea of the third and the fourth glumes; 5. anthers, ovary and lodicules.

The spikelets are crowded all on one side, 2- to 3-seriate, ellipsoidal, 1/20 to 1/16 inch long, glabrous or pubescent, pale green or purple on one side, in pairs on pedicels, one with a slightly longer pedicel than the other; fine long hairs, varying in number from one to eight and longer than the spikelets, are found on the pedicels at their tips in some plants and not in others. There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is very short about 1/4 of the third or less, semilunar, membranous, hyaline, subtruncate, obtuse or acute, generally nerveless, but rarely, obscurely 1- to 3-nerved.

The second glume is membranous, ovate, acute, glabrous or pubescent and 7-nerved. The third glume is of about the same length as the second, 5-nerved, always paleate, with or without stamens; palea is broad, margins infolded, 2-nerved, obtuse and hyaline; when stamens are present the lodicules are very conspicuous. The fourth glume is slightly shorter than the third, oblong or elliptic, apiculate, minutely rugulose, thinly coriaceous, with bisexual flower; palea is similar to the glume in texture and markings. Stamens are three with yellowish anthers. Lodicules are small and fleshy.

This plant occurs widely as a weed of cultivation in black cotton as well as other kinds of soil and shows variation in its leaves and spikelets. In some plants growing in somewhat dry places the leaves are shorter and broader, and those in favourable situations have longer narrower leaves. The spikelets are either perfectly glabrous or pubescent and long hairs may or may not be present on the pedicels. As regards colour the whole plant is green or the exposed portions of stems and spikelets are purplish. This grass is liked by cattle and is one of the most nutritious of Indian fodder grasses.

Distribution.—Throughout India and Ceylon in the plains. Common in the Tropics.

Panicum javanicum

Panicum javanicum, Poir.

This is an annual and it branches freely and the branches are decumbent and rooting at the nodes at the base, and erect to some extent at the free end, 1 to 2 feet long; the internodes are glabrous, thinly striate, shallowly channelled on one side.

The leaf-sheath is somewhat compressed and loose, covered with scattered long hairs, some of them being tubercle-based; the margin is ciliate on one side only. The nodes are pubescent with long hairs. The ligule is a distinct fringe of hairs.

The leaf-blade is broadly lanceolate, cordate at base, amplexicaul, acuminate or acute, with scattered long hairs both above and below, and some of the hairs of the under surface are tubercle-based, convolute when young; margin of the leaf is wavy, minutely serrate, and ciliated with distant hairs towards the lower half of the leaf when young; the midrib is prominent below.

Panicum javanicum. 1 and 2. Front and back view of a spike; 3, 4, 5 and 6. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 5a and 6a. the palea of third and fourth glumes; 7. the ovary and the stamens.

The inflorescence is a panicle of spikes on a short or long erect slender peduncle. Spikes vary from two to ten in number and in length from 1/2 to 2 inches, distant and spreading; the rachis of the spike is zigzag, somewhat flattened with a wavy ridge, scaberulous or glabrous, swollen towards the base and the swollen part is pubescent.

The spikelets are biseriate, loosely imbricate, ovate, acute, pubescent or villous (sometimes quite glabrous), sessile or shortly pedicelled; the pedicels have one or two (rarely more) long hairs.

There are four glumes. The first glume is small, membranous, less than 1/2 of the third glume, ovate, acute or obtuse, 3- to 5-nerved. The second glume is nearly equal to the third, ovate acute, generally 7-nerved and sometimes 7- to 13-nerved. The third glume is similar to the second in shape, generally 5-nerved and occasionally 7-nerved, paleate with three stamens or empty; palea 2-nerved, ovate or oblong, margins infolded.

The fourth glume is ovate or oblong, rugulose, chartaceous, apex with a distinct mucro concealed in the second and third glumes; palea same as the glume in texture, etc. Anthers are yellowish; stigmas are feathery and purple in colour; lodicules are small and fleshy.

This is an excellent fodder grass. Though it is an annual it grows rapidly under favourable conditions. A single plant found growing in the compound of the Agricultural College, Coimbatore, weighed 15 lb. and occupied 15 square feet of the ground. It flourishes in cultivated dry fields and in rich loamy soils.

Distribution.—Plains of India and Ceylon and in Tropical countries generally.

Panicum ramosum.

Panicum ramosum, L.

This is an annual with stems erect or ascending from a creeping base, rooting at the lower nodes, 1 to 2 feet long. The stem is slender or stout, usually glabrous though occasionally glabrescent or pubescent, channelled on one side, branched from base upwards, and leafy.

The leaf-sheath is finely striate, keeled, thinly pubescent with the margins ciliate near the ligule. The ligule is only a fringe of short hairs. Nodes are softly hairy.

The leaf-blade is flat, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, softly pubescent or glabrescent on both the surfaces, with rounded or subcordate base and margins minutely serrate and ciliate, 2 to 6 inches long 1/6 to 1/2 inch broad; the midrib is distinct though slender with four to six main veins on each side.

The inflorescence is a pyramidal panicle 2 to 6 inches long, consisting of usually five to ten (rarely also up to twenty) erect or spreading spikes. Spikes are distant, alternate and in some the lower ones are opposite, 1/2 to 2-1/2 inches long or shorter. The rachis of the spike is thin, angular and scaberulous.

The spikelets are usually pubescent, ovoid or obovoid, acute, turgid, 1/8 inch, pale green and some occasionally purplish on one side, alternate close or distant, in pairs lower down and then one with a somewhat longer pedicel, solitary in the upper portions, pedicels with hairs, some of them especially those near the apex being longer.

Panicum ramosum. 1 and 2. Back and front view of spike; 3 and 4. front and back view of a spikelet; 5 and 6. first and second glumes; 7 and 8. third glume and its palea; 9 and 10. fourth glume and its palea; 11. ovary, anthers and lodicules.

There are four glumes. The first glume is nearly half the length of the third glume, broadly ovate, subacute, margin overlapping at the base, and usually 5-nerved. The second glume is broadly ovate acute, rather cuspidate, usually 5-nerved (rarely 7-nerved). The third glume is similar to the second glume, 5-nerved, paleate, empty; palea is hyaline oblong, acute. The fourth glume is ovoid-oblong, [Pg 90]acute, coriaceous, rugulose, with short broadened stipes, and three faint nerves; palea similar to the glume in texture and markings. Anthers are orange-yellow; style branches are purple. Lodicules are small and fleshy.

This grass is a common weed found in dry cultivated fields and open waste places and is one of the best fodder grasses available.

Distribution.—Plains throughout India and in Afghanistan.

Panicum distachyum.

Panicum distachyum, L.

This grass is an annual. Stems are slender, rarely stout, creeping and rooting at the nodes, pale green or purplish, with erect or ascending slender branches, varying in length from 10 to 15 inches, glabrous or pubescent, channelled near the nodes.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous or glabrescent and sometimes hirsute; margin is ciliate. The ligule is a fringe of short hairs. Nodes are glabrous or pubescent.

The leaf-blade is lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, base cordate and subamplexicaul, glabrous or rarely sparsely hairy on both sides; margins are wavy here and there, finely serrate with tubercle-based hairs towards the base, the midrib is slender, not prominent and veins not distinct. There is considerable variation in leaves especially in the length. In the ordinary form it varies from 1/2 to 3 inches and even up to 6 or 7 inches sometimes in length and the breadth from 1/8 to 1/4 inch. In one form which is separated as a variety (var. brevifolium, Wight and Arnott,) the leaves are always short and broad, ovate-lanceolate never exceeding 1 inch in length.

The inflorescence consists of two or three, very rarely four erect or spreading distant spikes on a somewhat slender very hairy peduncle. Spikes are from 1/2 to 2 inches; rachis is slender, flexuous, flattened, scaberulous, with a few long hairs scattered singly along the margins or without these hairs.

Panicum distachyum. 1 and 2. Front and back view of a portion of a spike; 3, 4, 5, and 6. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 5a and 6a. palea of the third and the fourth glume, respectively; 7. anthers and ovary.

The spikelets are glabrous, ovate-oblong, acute, 1/8 inch, 1- or 2-seriate, subsessile, pale green, occasionally purplish on one side.

There are four glumes. The first glume is membranous, broadly ovate, obtuse with margins overlapping at the base, hardly half the length of the third glume, usually 5-nerved but occasionally 7-nerved. The attachment of the first glume is not close to that of [Pg 93]the second glume but is far lower.

The second glume is ovate-acute, 7-nerved. The third glume is equal to the second, 5-nerved, paleate, empty; the palea is narrow, hyaline, acute. The fourth glume is ellipsoidal, obtuse, chartaceous, minutely and obscurely rugulose, faintly 3-nerved, with the base somewhat thickened. Palea is similar to the glume in texture. Anthers are orange-yellow. Lodicules are minute and fleshy. Style branches are purple.

This grass is fairly common in open and loamy and sandy soils. The form (var. brevifolium, Wight & Arnott) is fairly common in Coimbatore District.

Distribution.—Plains of India and Ceylon. Not recorded from the Bombay Presidency. It occurs in China, Malaya and Australia.

Panicum interruptum.

Panicum interruptum, Willd.

This is a large perennial grass with stems reaching 5 to 6 feet in length, flourishing in marshes and in the edges of ponds and tanks. The stems are long, stout and spongy below, ascending from a creeping and rooting or floating root-stock; the lower internodes are often 1/2 inch or more in thickness, with nodes bearing in fascicles long stout roots clothed with fine lateral roots; and the upper internodes are long and slender.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous, striate. The ligule is a short broad membrane.

The leaf-blade is soft, flat, many-nerved, linear, finely acuminate, margins smooth, base rounded or subcordate, glabrous, 6 to 12 inches long, 1/4 to 1/2 inch broad.

The inflorescence is a strict spike-like panicle, 6 to 12 inches long by 1/4 to 1/3 inch broad, cylindric, interrupted below; the rachis terete, stout, channelled.

The spikelets are glabrous, green, herbaceous, densely packed in small fascicles, ovoid lanceolate, 1/6 to 1/5 inch long; many spikelets are imperfect.

Panicum interruptum. 1 and 2. Front and back view of a spikelet; 3. first glume; 4. second glume; 5. third glume; 6. palea of third glume; 7 and 8. the fourth glume and its palea; 9. ovary, lodicules and stamens.

There are four glumes. The first glume is hyaline, membranous, about 1/3 the length of the third glume, broadly ovate or orbicular, obtuse, 5-nerved. The second glume is membranous, ovate-oblong, obtuse, prominently 9-nerved. The third glume is as long as the second but broader, ovate-oblong, 9-nerved, paleate; palea is small with three stamens or without them. The fourth glume is shorter than the third glume, lanceolate, subacute, thinly coriaceous white, polished, dorsally convex; the palea is as long as the glume and thinly coriaceous. There are two small lodicules.

This is a rank marsh grass growing abundantly in permanent marshes and edges of tanks and ponds. Cattle eat this along with other grasses, when young and not covered with algæ.

Distribution.—In swampy situations throughout India and Ceylon.

Panicum trypheron, Schult.

The plant is a tufted annual leafy at the base, with branches spreading a little at the base and then erect, varying in length from 1/2 to 3 feet. Stems are stout or slender, cylindric or slightly compressed towards the base.

The leaf-sheath is striated, green or purple tinged, shorter than the internodes, the upper portion hairy (sometimes tubercle-based) and the lower glabrous, with sometimes ciliate margin. The ligule is a short membrane with a fringe of slender hair-like processes. Nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is flat, convolute when young, linear-lanceolate, acute or narrow linear-lanceolate, acuminate, hairy on both sides (hairs indistinctly bulbous-based); margin is very minutely serrate and often ciliate with tubercle-based hairs; base is narrowed, slightly rounded or cordate; midrib is conspicuous though narrow and keeled; length 1 to 7 inches and breadth 1/8 to 3/8 inch.

The inflorescence is a diffuse panicle 4 to 14 inches long with filiform, divaricate, scaberulous, angled branches; the main rachis is angular, smooth below and scaberulous above; peduncle is cylindric, striate, 2 to 12 inches long. Branches are irregularly distantly alternate, solitary or rarely two, swollen at base, dividing into slender filiform spreading branchlets; the lower branches from 3 to 7 inches in length and getting shorter upwards. Branchlets are 1/2 to 3 inches, capillary, angular and further dividing.

Panicum trypheron. 1 and 2. Front and back view of the spikelet; 3, 4 and 5. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 6. palea of the third glume; 7 and 8. the fourth glume and its palea; 9. stamens, ovary and lodicules.

The spikelets are ovate, acuminate, binate (sometimes solitary or three) on a common finely filiform stalk, one long and the other short pedicelled, pale or yellowish green, or purple; pedicels are angular, scabrid or scaberulous, slightly swollen at the top and sometimes with setose hairs also.

There are four glumes. The first glume is green or purple, broadly ovate, acuminate, clasping at the base, about two-thirds of the third glume, membranous, nerves five, the lateral two stout and anastomosing halfway, finely scaberulous especially on the nerves and more so on the central one.

The second glume is slightly longer than the third, green or purple, ovate, acuminate, generally 7-nerved and sometimes also with two more indistinct marginal nerves, i.e., 9-nerved, scaberulous on the nerves. The third glume is pale green or yellow, ovate-oblong, acute or subacute, obscurely scaberulous, 9-nerved (two of the nerves in the middle sometimes not running to the base), paleate, empty. Palea is hyaline, smaller than the glume, oblong, obtuse, minutely two-lobed or two-toothed at the apex; margins broadly infolded.

The fourth glume is elliptic obtuse, shorter than the third, smooth, shining, coriaceous, dorsally convex, with a prominent short, broad stipe at the base which is persistent with the glume, 5-nerved, sometimes with seven nerves especially when young (two marginal ones being indistinct). Palea is similar to the glume in texture. Anthers are three, linear, orange yellow. Lodicules are two and prominent though small. Stigmas feathery and white.

P.tenellum, Roxb. Fl. Indica I. 306 is probably not this plant though quoted as a synonym, for it is described as having culms prostrate and rooting at the nodes.

This grass is of wide distribution in the Presidency, but it is nowhere abundant. It is fairly common in cultivated dry fields. Cattle like this grass.

Panicum repens. 1. Full plant; 2. a portion of the leaf and ligule.

Fig. 102.—Panicum repens. 1. Full plant; 2. a portion of the leaf and ligule.

Panicum repens, L.

This is a perennial glaucous grass with stoloniferous and rhizomiferous stems bearing ordinary erect leafy branches, and the branches come out piercing through the leaf-sheath (extravaginal).

Stems are numerous, stiff and erect, 1/2 to 3 feet in length, glabrous, covered below by brownish or whitish scale-leaves, and above with densely distichous leaves.

The leaf-sheath is firm, distinctly striate, glabrous, margins ciliate on both sides up to the point of overlapping and then the outer margin alone ciliate. The ligule is a short thin membrane with very short cilia on the free margin. The nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is glaucous, narrow, lanceolate, thinly coriaceous, acuminate with a hardened tip, 1 to 7 or 9 inches long, 1/2 to 1/4 inch broad, flat or involute when slightly faded, with a few distantly scattered hairs above, especially towards the lower portion of the blade when young, and becoming glabrous later, glabrous on the lower surface, margin is finely serrate and with a few cilia towards the base, some hairs being tubercle-based; base of the blade is rounded or cordate, midrib is prominent and keeled.

Panicum repens. 1. Spike; 2 and 3. front and back view of a spikelet; 4, 5 and 6. first, second and third glumes; 7. palea of the third glume; 8 and 9. fourth glume and its palea; 10. lodicules, stamens and ovary; 11. leaf showing ligule.

The inflorescence is a panicle, contracted and not much exserted from the topmost leaf-sheath, 3 to 8 inches long, branches are usually many, erect, the lower being 2 to 5 inches long, slender, angular and scaberulous.

The spikelets are glabrous, erect, pale or pale green, sometimes purplish also on one side, ovate-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, acute, 1/8 inch, pedicels are long with cupular tips.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is hyaline, broadly ovate, rounded and shortly acute or subacute, indistinctly 3- to 5-nerved or nerveless, less than one-third of the height of the third glume. The second glume is membranous, ovate-lanceolate [Pg 100]acute, 7- to 9-nerved. The third glume is equal to and broader than the second, always paleate and with three stamens and 9-nerved; palea is hyaline, oblong, obtuse or subacute, margins folded. The fourth glume is white, coriaceous, smooth and shining, oblong, acute, shortly and broadly stipitate, with the margins folded inwards exposing only a third of the palea; palea is similar to the glume in texture and marking.

Anthers are deep orange in colour. Lodicules are distinct though small. Stigmas are deep purple when mature, and pale when young. This grass flourishes in moist situations such as the bunds of paddy fields, tank beds and edges of marshes and is an excellent binder of the soil. When once established it is very difficult to get rid of it, on account of its rhizomes. Owing to the resemblance of the rhizomes to ginger, some call this grass Ginger-rooted grass. Cattle are fond of this grass.

Distribution.—Throughout India, but not so common on the West and not recorded from Bombay. It is said to occur in South Europe, Australia, North Africa and Brazil.

5.Chamæraphis, Br.

These are glabrous marsh or aquatic grasses. Leaves are linear or lanceolate. The inflorescence is a panicle. The spikelets are one-to two-flowered, subsessile and subsecund on the branches which are produced as awn-like bristles beyond the ultimate spikelet, obscurely jointed and persistent on their obconic short pedicels, narrowly lanceolate and terete. The spikelet consists of four glumes. The first glume is very small, hyaline, suborbicular, nerveless and truncate.

The second glume is the longest, green, membranous, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate or narrowed into a rigid awn, 7- to 11-nerved. The third glume is lanceolate, acute, or aristately acuminate, 7-nerved, paleate, male or neuter, the palea is smaller than the glume and hyaline. The fourth glume is much smaller than the third, stipitate, bisexual or female, oblong or ovate-oblong, acute, flat, thinly coriaceous, nerveless and paleate; the palea is hyaline, as broad as the glume, acute and nerveless. The lodicules are cuneate. Stamens are three. Stigmas are laterally exserted. Grain is oblong, compressed.

Chamæraphis spinescens, Poir.

A glabrous aquatic or marsh grass, with much branched floating stems. Stems are leafy, elongate, ascending, varying in length from 1 to 3 feet.

The leaf-sheaths are long, smooth, loose, with naked margins. The ligule is a ridge of hairs. The nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is flat, narrowly linear-lanceolate, smooth or scabrid, acuminate, base narrowed, 1 to 3-1/2 inches long and 1/16 to 1/8 inch wide.

The inflorescence is a pyramidal panicle, contracted or diffuse, with a leaf very near its base; peduncle is short; branches of the panicle, filiform, angular, flexuous, bearing one or more spikelets and produced as a bristle beyond the last spikelet.

The spikelets are 1/6 to 1/4 rarely 1/3 inch long including the awn, subsessile and somewhat on one side on the branches, obscurely articulate but persistent on the pedicels, pale or green, lanceolate.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is hyaline, suborbicular, rounded at the tip and nerveless, 1/30 inch or less. The second glume is membranous, lanceolate, smooth or setosely scabrid on the sides, 9- to 11-nerved, with a long scabrid awn which is sometimes as long as the body of the glume.

The third glume is shorter than the second, finely acuminate, or awned, 7-nerved, membranous, paleate and with three stamens and two lodicules; the palea is shorter than the glume, linear-oblong, subacute. The fourth glume is ovate-lanceolate, nerveless, acute, paleate with three stamens, ovary and two lodicules; palea is hyaline, narrow, quarter the length of the third glume. Grain is obovate oblong.

Chamæraphis spinescens. 1. Terminal portion of a spike showing the bristle; 2, 3, 4 and 6. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 5. palea of third glume with its anthers and lodicules; 7. palea of the fourth glume; 8. ovary; 9. lodicules.

Distribution.—This plant is found at the edges in ponds, tanks and marshes all over the Presidency.

6.Spinifex, L.

This is a stout, rigid, much branched, gregarious and dioecious grass, flourishing in sand on the sea coast. Leaves are long, narrow rigid, involute, spreading and recurved and thickly coriaceous. Male spikelets are 1- to 2-flowered, subsessile, distichous, jointed on rigid peduncled spikes, which are collected in umbels and surrounded by spathaceous leafy bracts. The spikelets have four glumes.

The first two glumes are empty. The third and the fourth paleate and triandrous and sometimes the former is empty. Female spikelets are collected in large globose heads of stellately spreading very long rigid rod-like processes surrounded by shorter subulate bracts. Each spikelet is solitary, and articulate at the very base of a rachis, lanceolate, 1-flowered. There are four glumes.

The first three glumes are as in the male spikelets, but larger. The third is paleate, empty. The fourth glume has a female flower. The lodicules are large and nerved. Styles are long, free, with short, feathery stigmas. Grain free within the hardened glumes.

Spinifex squarrosus, L.

A perennial littoral dioecious grass forming bushes. Stems are glaucous, smooth, solid, woody, thick below, freely branching, 5 to 10 feet long or more.

The leaf-sheath is smooth, imbricating, 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long. The ligule is a row of stiff long hairs.

The leaf-blade is narrow, rigid, thickly coriaceous, concavo-convex tapering from the base to the tip, spreading and recurved, 4 to 6 inches long.

The male inflorescence consists of several spikes, 1 to 3 inches long, forming umbels, with membranous leafy spathaceous bracts which are shorter than the spikes.

The spikelets are usually 2-flowered, smooth, articulate on short peduncles, distichous, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long.

There are four glumes. The first glume is shorter than the second, ovate, obtuse, 7- to 9-nerved. The second glume is similar to the first, but longer. The third and the fourth glumes are longer than the second glume, 5- to 7-nerved, paleate and triandrous; palea of both are lanceolate with ciliate keels.

Spinifex squarrosus. Male plant—1. A branch with the male inflorescence; 2. a spike; 3. a spikelet; 4, 5, 6 and 7. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 6a. palea of the third glume; 6b. extra palea like structure found occasionally in the palea of the third glume; 7a. palea and lodicules of the fourth glume.

The female inflorescence is a large globose head consisting of short spikelets articulate at the very base of the rachis, short bracts and very long, spreading, rigid rod-like rachises. The spikelets are solitary with four glumes and 2-flowered. The first glume is oblong-lanceolate, many-nerved, longer than the other glumes. The second glume is shorter, 7-nerved. The third glume is empty, 5-nerved.

The fourth glume is ovate-lanceolate and abruptly narrowed above the middle, 5-nerved and paleate, palea is shorter than the glume but broader, 2-nerved and acute. Lodicules are two, large, cuneate at base and strongly nerved. Stigmas are oblong. Grain is clavate and tipped by the style base.

This grass grows luxuriantly in the sands near the sea on both the coasts of the Madras Presidency.

Spinifex squarrosus. Female plant—1. A branch with female inflorescence; 2, 3, 4 and 5. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 6. palea of the fourth glume; 7. ovary and the lodicules.

Distribution.—Throughout the sandy coasts of India and Ceylon.

7. Axonopus, Beauv

. These are annual or perennial grasses. Inflorescence is a panicle consisting of digitate or whorled, slender or stout spike-like racemes. Spikelets are solitary, binate or fasciculate, 2-flowered, jointed on the pedicel and awned. There are four glumes. The first glume is the shortest, ovate, acuminate, aristate or cuspidate, hyaline, glabrous and 3-nerved. The second glume is ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acuminate or awned, 5-nerved, lateral nerves being marginal and hairy.

The third glume is oblong or oblong ovate, acute, 5-nerved, paleate, male; palea is very short and small, bipartite. The fourth glume is as long as the third and the second, oblong or ovate, coriaceous, narrowed into a straight terminal awn, paleate and bisexual; palea is oblong, coriaceous and 2-nerved. Lodicules are cuneate. Stamens are three with linear anthers. Stigmas are linear, laterally exserted. Grain is oblong, free within the hardened glume and its palea.

Axonopus cimicinus.

Axonopus cimicinus, Beauv.

It is a perennial grass. Stems are tufted, erect or slightly decumbent at the base, 1 to 2 feet long.

The leaf-sheath is distinctly striate, covered with scattered long tubercle-based hairs, very rarely glabrous, keeled. The ligule consists of a row of hairs. The nodes are hairy.

The leaf-blade is flat, ovate-lanceolate, broad and cordate at base, subacute or obtuse, with a distinct midrib and three main veins on each side of it, glabrous on both sides, but usually with tubercle-based hairs on the two sides of the midrib, on the lower side, the margins are distinctly ciliate with tubercle-based long stiff hairs and very finely serrate; the blade varies in length from 3/4 to 3 inches and in breadth from 3/4 to 1/2 inch.

The inflorescence consists of three to ten spikes springing from the top of a slender glabrous peduncle 2 to 6 inches long. The spikes are whorled, about 3 inches or so in length, naked towards the base to about one-fourth of its length, the rachis is fine, filiform, scabrid.

The spikelets are solitary or binate, dorsally compressed, pale green or reddish, very shortly pedicelled, 1/4 to 5/16 inch long inclusive of the short awn, pedicel is cupular at the tip.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is somewhat narrow ovate-lanceolate, hyaline, acuminate and 3-nerved. The second glume is membranous, ovate-lanceolate, twice as long as the first glume, cuspidately acuminate, 5-nerved; the two marginal nerves are provided with long reddish bristly hairs.

The third glume is oblong lanceolate, obtuse, 5-nerved, a little shorter than the second glume, paleate and with stamens; palea is short. The fourth glume is coriaceous, ovate-lanceolate, nearly as long as the second glume, awned at the apex, paleate, with three stamens and an ovary; the palea is as long as the glume, elliptic oblong, obtuse. Lodicules are small, cuneate.

Axonopus cimicinus. 1. A portion of the spike showing spikelets; 2, 3, 4 and 5. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 4a and 5a. the palea of the third and the fourth glume, respectively; 6. lodicules, stamens and the ovary.

This is a common grass growing in the plains and lower hills in waste places.

Distribution.—Occurs all over India.

8. Setaria, Beauv.

These are usually annuals. Inflorescence is usually a spike-like panicle. Spikelets are 1- to 2-flowered, jointed on very short pedicels which bear persistent scabrid or barbed bristles (modified branchlets). There are four glumes.

The first glume is the shortest, equal to about half the length of the third, membranous, 3- to 5-nerved. The second glume is equal to or shorter than the fourth, 5- to 7-nerved. The third glume more or less exceeding and resembling the second glume, neuter, rarely paleate and male. The fourth glume is coriaceous or crustaceous, plano-convex, bisexual, 5-nerved and paleate; palea is as long as the glume. Lodicules are broadly cuneate. Stamens are three. Stigmas are laterally exserted. Grain is tightly enclosed by the hardened glume and its palea and is oblong or ellipsoid.

KEY TO THE SPECIES.

Bristles with spreading or erect barbs.

Inflorescence cylindric, continuous and not interrupted, with six to twelve bristles in the involucel 1. S. glauca.

Inflorescence interrupted, with three to six bristles in the involucel 2. S. intermedia.

Bristles with reversed barbs 3. S. verticillata.

Setaria glauca, Beauv.

This is a tufted annual grass. Stems are slender, simple or branched, erect or ascending.

The leaf-sheaths are glabrous. Nodes are glabrous and sometimes the lower are rooting. The ligule is a fringe of long hairs.

The leaf-blades are lanceolate-linear, flat, finely acuminate, with a rounded base and very finely and minutely serrate margin, glabrous on both the surfaces or occasionally sparsely hairy on the upper surface and varying in length from 4 to 12 inches or more, and in breadth from 1/4 to 1/3 inch.

The inflorescence is a cylindric, densely flowered, spike-like raceme, 1 to 4 inches long, usually yellow, rarely purplish or pale green, the bristles of involucels vary from six to twelve and are pale or reddish brown, 1/6 to 1/3 inch long with fine erect or spreading barbs.

The spikelets are numerous and are very closely set along the rachis of the inflorescence, 1/8 inch long, glabrous and ellipsoidal.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is less than half the length of the third glume, broadly ovate, hyaline, 3-nerved. The second glume is a little longer than the first but shorter than the third, broadly ovate or suborbicular, hyaline, 5-nerved. The third glume is longer than the second, as long as the fourth, membranous and 5-nerved, paleate, empty or with stamens.

The fourth glume is coriaceous, broadly elliptic, obtuse, dorsally convex, transversely rugose, pale. The anthers are orange and the styles purple.

Setaria glauca. A and B. spikelets; C. a bristle; 1, 2 and 3. The first, second and the third glume, respectively; 4. palea of the third glume; 5. the fourth glume; 6. palea of the fourth glume; 7. ovary, anthers and lodicules.

This is a fairly common grass especially in cultivated ground all over the Presidency, but not very widely distributed. Cattle are fond of this grass.

Distribution.—Throughout India.

Setaria intermedia, R. & S.

This is an annual with straggling, slender, erect or ascending stems, 2 to 3 feet long.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous, keeled, with the margins ciliate with long hairs. The ligule is a fringe of close set long hairs. The nodes are glabrous and the lower rooting.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, narrowed towards the base, finely acuminate, with fine hairs scattered on both the surfaces and with numerous long hairs at the mouth and with very finely serrate margins, varying in length from 2 to 8 inches or more, 1/8 to 3/4 inch in breadth.

The inflorescence is a narrowly pyramidal spike-like panicle, 4 to 6 inches long, the main rachis is glabrous and grooved, branches are short, crowded above, scattered and distant below, with close and densely set spikelets; the bristles of involucels are 1/4 inch long, slender, flexuous with erect barbs varying in number from three to six.

The spikelets are ovoid.

There are four glumes in the spikelet. The first glume is orbicular, oblong or ovate, about one-third the length of the third glume, hyaline, 3-nerved. The second glume is half as long as the third, broadly ovate, hyaline, 5-nerved. The third glume is as long as the fourth, broadly ovate, thinly membranous, 5-nerved, paleate, empty. The fourth glume is broadly ovate, or suborbicular, very concave, coriaceous, transversely rugulose, yellowish brown. Anthers are orange or yellow and styles purplish. Lodicules are very small.

Setaria intermedia. 1. A branch with spikelets; 2 and 2a. spikelets; 3, 4 and 5. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 5a. the palea of the third glume; 6. the fourth glume; 6a. the fourth glume and its palea; 6b. palea of the fourth glume; 7. ovary, anthers and lodicules.

Fairly common in rich soils in sheltered places. Cattle are very fond of this grass as the leaves are flaccid and tender.

Distribution.—Probably all over India.

Setaria verticillata.

Setaria verticillata, Beauv.

This is an annual grass, with erect, ascending, stout or slender, leafy stems, more or less branched and varying in length from 1 to 5 feet.

The leaf-sheaths are smooth, glabrous. The ligule is a fringe of hairs. Nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blades are thin, flat, glabrous, sparsely hairy and scaberulous, linear or linear-lanceolate, tapering to a fine point, base usually narrowed, 4 to 10 inches long and 1/4 to 3/4 inch broad. The inflorescence is a spike-like or subpyramidal panicle, cylindric or oblong, coarsely bristly, 2 to 7 inches long, bristles one or few, studded with conspicuously reversed barbs or teeth, 1/6 to 1/3 inch long.

The spikelets are ellipsoidal, obtuse, glabrous, 1/12 inch long.

There are four glumes. The first glume is very small, broadly ovate, acute, hyaline, faintly 3-nerved. The second glume is as long as the spikelet or a little shorter, ovate, subacute, thinly membranous and 5-nerved. The third glume is equal to the second or a little longer, membranous and 5-nerved, paleate or empty, palea when present, is small and hyaline. The fourth glume is elliptic-oblong, plano-convex, subobtuse, smooth or shining, though faintly striate, coriaceous with incurved margins; palea is coriaceous, as long as the glume, elliptic, faintly striate. Stamens are three. Lodicules are small. [[File: 21.png| Setaria verticillata. 1 and 2. Spikelets with bristles; 3, 4 and 5. the first, second and the third glume, respectively; 6. palea of the third glume; 7 and 8. the fourth glume and its palea; 9. ovary, stamens and lodicules; 10. a bit of the bristle showing the reversed barbs.

This grass grows in shady places in very rich soils generally and is abundant in shady nooks and corners where there are rubbish heaps.


This grass grows in shady places in very rich soils generally and is abundant in shady nooks and corners where there are rubbish heaps.

Distribution.—Throughout India and Ceylon.

9. Pennisetum, Pers.

These are annual or perennial grasses. Leaves are usually narrow. The inflorescence is a spike-like raceme consisting of involucellate clusters of shortly pedicellate spikelets, involucels consist of unequal, simple or branched bristles. Spikelets are obovoid or lanceolate, 1- to 2-flowered, persistent on their stalks, one to three in an involucel. There are usually four glumes in a spikelet.

The first glume is minute or absent. The second glume is shorter than the third, membranous, 3- to 5-nerved, rarely wanting. The third glume is as long as the fourth, lanceolate, paleate or not, male or empty. The fourth glume is coriaceous, lanceolate, bisexual or female. There are three stamens with linear anthers. Styles long. Lodicules are small if present. Grain is oblong, free within the hardened fourth glume and its palea.

KEY TO THE SPECIES

Bristles of the involucel slender and not dilated at the base, and free; leaves very long. 1. P. Alopecuros. Bristles of the involucel dilated below and connate at base. 2. P. cenchroides.

Pennisetum Alopecuros, Steud.

This is a perennial grass, densely tufted and growing to a height of 2 to 3-1/2 feet. Stems are stout, erect and much branched above.

The leaf-sheaths are distichous, compressed, glabrous or rarely hairy.

The leaf-blades are convolute, narrow, linear, coriaceous, strongly keeled, glabrous but with tufts of soft hairs at the base, 12 to 18 inches long, 1/10 to 1/6 inch broad. The ligule is a ring of hairs.

The inflorescence is a spike-like raceme, varying in length from 5 to 7 inches. The involucels are shortly stalked, with a few unequal bristles which are free down to the base and two to three times as long as the spikelet.

Spikelets are lanceolate, acute, solitary, 3/8 inch long.

Pennisetum Alopecuros. A and B. Spikelets front and back view; 1, 2, 3 and 4. the first, second, third and the fourth glume, respectively; 5. palea of the fourth glume; 6. the ovary, stamens and lodicules.

The first glume is very small, almost orbicular, hyaline and nerveless. The second glume is about 1/3 the length of the third glume, lanceolate, acuminate, 3-nerved. The third glume is about 1/3 inch long, lanceolate, acuminate, 7- to 11-nerved, epaleate and with infolded margins.

The fourth glume is a little longer than the third, lanceolate, acuminate, with infolded margins 5- or 6-nerved, paleate and enclosing a complete flower. The palea is lanceolate, acuminate, as long as the glume. There are three stamens with long, narrow, yellow anthers. Stigmas are feathery. Lodicules are either absent or very minute.

This is a very coarse grass usually growing in stiff soils especially near wet places.

Distribution.—Occurs all over Southern India both on the plains and on low hills.

Pennisetum cenchroides.

Pennisetum cenchroides, Rich.

This grass is a perennial. It consists of aerial branches and underground rhizomiferous stems, bearing thick fibrous roots and numerous buds covered by scarious sheaths. The aerial branches are tufted, erect or decumbent and geniculately ascending when in flower, much branched from the base, 6 to 24 inches long (under favourable conditions may reach even 3 to 4 feet in length).

The leaf-sheath is slightly compressed, keeled, with scattered long hairs outside, shorter than the internodes. The ligule is a short thin membrane fringed with hairs.

The leaf-blade is linear, tapering to a very fine point 1-1/2 to 6 inches (sometimes 18 to 20 inches) by 1/8 to 1/4 inch scaberulous with fine long tubercle-based deciduous hairs scattered above, and the lower surface glabrous or with a few distantly scattered fine long hairs, broad at the base and constricted at the point of junction with the sheath.

The inflorescence is a raceme of spikes, varying from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches, with the spikes mostly densely arranged, though occasionally distant and not close-set, on a long; slender, puberulous or scaberulous peduncle; rachis is flexuous, flattened, grooved and scaberulous. The spikes have involucels, consisting of two series of bristles, the outer bristles are horizontal or reflexed, numerous, fine, filiform, scabrid and purple above, shorter or longer than the spikelets; the inner bristles are two to three times longer than the spikelets, flattened and thickened at the base with a strong green nerve, ciliated with long tubercle-based hairs; one of the bristles is longer than the others and the bases of the bristles are connate at the very base into a ring; the upper portion of the bristles are filiform, scabrid and purple, the lower flattened portion being pale.

Spikelets are about 1/5 inch long oblong-lanceolate, one to three in a spike and sessile.

There are four glumes in a spikelet. The first glume is small, hyaline, ovate-lanceolate, acute, nerveless or sometimes 1-nerved. The second glume is a little longer than the first, ovate, acute, about half of the third glume, hyaline, 1 to 3-nerved. The third glume is ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, generally 5- to 7-nerved, paleate, usually male; palea is lanceolate, equal to or slightly shorter than the glume. The fourth glume is as long as the third with a broad hyaline margin, 5-nerved paleate; palea as long as the glume. Anthers are three, yellow, stigmas white, feathery and the styles shortly united at the base. Lodicules are not present.

This is the famous Kolakattai grass (Tamil) of the Coimbatore District and it grows in all kinds of soil and is capable of growing even when the soil is dry. It is readily eaten by cattle, sheep, goat and when once established is not easily killed out even by prolonged droughts. It is in flower in June, November and December.

Distribution.—Fairly common in South India and Western India. Said to occur in Tropical Africa also.

There is a variety of this grass named echinoides. This differs from the type in the following respects—the inner bristles are united very much above the base and much thickened and stiffer than in the type. )

10.Cenchrus, L.

The inflorescences are spike-like racemes, consisting of involucellate clusters of shortly pedicelled spikelets jointed on a simple rachis. The involucel consists of hardened spike-like bristles connate at the base into a short coriaceous cup, which is surrounded by erect or squarrose bristles. Spikelets one to three in each involucel, persistent, 1- to 2-flowered, with three or four glumes. The first glume is very small or absent. The second and the third glumes are subequal 5- to 7-nerved. The third glume is longer than the second with male flower or not, paleate. The fourth glume is coriaceous, with a bisexual or female flower. Lodicules are two. Stamens are three. Styles are long, free or connate below. Grain is broad, oblong and compressed.

KEY TO THE SPECIES

Base of involucel rounded; inner bristles shorter, erect, not ciliateand connate at base. 1. C. biflorus.

Base of involucel turbinate, inner bristles longer, spreading and spinescent, ciliate at base 2. C. catharticus.

Cenchrus biflorus, Roxb.

This is an annual with erect simple stems, 6 to 24 inches long.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous or nearly so, with hairs at the mouth.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, finely acuminate, glabrous or hairy, 3 to 10 inches long and 1/8 to 3/8 inch broad.

The inflorescence is a solitary cylindric raceme of involucels, 2 to 4 inches long, enclosed in the uppermost leaf-sheath; the rachis is flexuous, angular and smooth. Involucels usually with two, rarely three spikelets, loosely imbricate, rounded at the base; the inner bristles are erect, dorsally flat, subulate-lanceolate, puberulous and with thickened margins, about 1/8 inch long. The outer are shorter than the inner, glabrous, erect or subsquarrose and as long as the sessile spikelets.

The spikelets are about 1/6 inch long, sub-globose, with four glumes. The first glume is about 1/10 inch long, ovate-acuminate, very thin, hyaline, nerveless or rarely 1-nerved. The second glume is broadly ovate, 1/6 inch long, hyaline, acute, 1-nerved. The third glume is slightly longer than the second, oblong-ovate, apiculate, 5-nerved and paleate; palea 1/8 inch obtuse. The fourth glume is as long as the third, ovate, obtuse, paleate. Anthers are three. Styles free almost to the base. The grain is 1/12 by 1/16 inch orbicular oblong, compressed, smooth and pale brown.

Cenchrus biflorus. 1. A portion of the raceme; 2. an involucel; 3, 4, 5 and 7. the first, second, third and the fourth glume respectively; 6 and 8. palea of the third and the fourth glumes; 9. the ovary and stamens; 10 grain.

This grass is not so widely distributed as Cenchrus catharticus. It is confined to some East Coast districts.

Distribution.—The Punjab, Gangetic plain, Concan, Sind and Coromandel. Also said to occur in Africa and Arabia.

Cenchrus catharticus, Delile

A tufted annual grass with geniculately ascending stems, branching at the base.

The leaf-sheath is glabrous and somewhat inflated. The ligule is a fringe of hairs. Nodes are glabrous.

The leaf-blade is linear-lanceolate, finely acuminate, 1 to 4 inches long and 1/8 to 1/4 inch broad.

The inflorescence is usually enclosed in the leaf-sheath, 1 to 6 inches long; the rachis is flexuous, angular and glabrous. The involucels are 1/4 to 1/2 inch across, turbinate or truncate at base with an outer, shorter and inner longer series of hard, sharp, pungent spines; the inner subulate, dorsally deeply grooved, very much longer than the spikelets; margins ciliate to about half the distance from the base, and the upper half covered with very short, sharp and stiff, reflexed hairs; the outer are shorter than the spikelets, spreading or erect, glabrous or nearly so and covered with reflexed hairs.

The spikelets are usually one to two and rarely three in an involucel and each one has four glumes. The first glume is lanceolate and nerveless or ovate-lanceolate and 1-nerved, half as long as the third glume, hyaline and acute. The second glume is about 1/6 inch long, ovate, acute, membranous, 5-nerved. The third glume is similar to the second, paleate; palea is lanceolate and short. The fourth glume is as long as the third, cuspidately acuminate, membranous, 5-nerved and paleate; palea is ovate, as long as the glume. Stamens are three. Styles are free and long with plumose stigmas. The grain is ovoid-oblong, brown and compressed.

Cenchrus catharticus. 1. A portion of the spike; 2. an involucel with two spikelets; 3, 4, 5 and 7. the first, second, third and the fourth glume respectively; 6 and 8. palea of the third and the fourth glume respectively; 9. the ovary and stamens; 10. grain.

This grass is more common than C. biflorus and is found on the East Coast districts in open sandy places.

Distribution.—Nellore, Bellary, the Punjab and the Gangetic Plains.

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