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Genus Bothriochloa Family Poaceae

Description: Tufted, usually erect perennials, often with branched culms and glabrous nodes.

Leaves with ligule short, membranous; blade rolled in bud, flat or rolled, rough along the margin.

Inflorescence of racemes on a primary axis or a sub-digitate arrangement of racemes borne on a short axis; racemes bare at the base; joints and pedicels with a distinct discoloured groove, dumbbell-shaped in cross section, more or less hairy. Spikelets more or less hairy, paired, 1 sessile, fertile, awned, breaking up and falling entire at maturity with the axis joints and pedicels, the other spikelet pedicellate, unawned. Sessile spikelets with 1 fertile floret above a sterile floret, awned; callus bearded. Glumes dissimilar, the lower 5–7-nerved, 2-keeled, sometimes with a circular depression (pit); upper narrower, faintly 3-nerved. Lemmas 2, the lower thin, nerveless; upper with a twisted, usually terminal, awn. Palea absent. Pedicellate spikelets sterile, awnless, reduced to 1 or 2 glumes that may enclose a small lemma with a male flower.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 35 species, tropical and warm temperate regions. Australia: 9 species (7 species native, 2 species naturalised), all mainland States.

Many species are regarded as valuable components of native pasture.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & C. A. Wall
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Bothriochloa insculpta

 Key to the species 
1Upper lemma of sessile spikelets narrow but 2-lobed (pull awn out to examine) with the awn between the lobes2
Upper lemma of sessile spikelets narrow and without lobes on either side of the awn3
2Racemes with dense, long hairs that almost conceal the spikelets; awn straightBothriochloa erianthoides
Racemes with only sparse hairs that do not conceal the spikelets; awn bent or twisted
                       Back to 1
Bothriochloa biloba
3Racemes subdigitate, 3–6; sessile spikelets 4.7–7 mm long, pedicellate spikelets usually reduced to glumes(s)4
Racemes 4-numerous arranged on a primary axis; sessile spikelets 3–5 mm long; pedicellate spikelets similar to the sessile spikelet but unawned
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5
4Sessile spikelets 5–7 mm long, awn together with the stipe 20–25 mm long, pedicellate spikelets 4–6 mm long, reduced to 1 or 2 glumes; stamens 3Bothriochloa macra
Sessile spikelets 4.7–5.3 mm long, awn together with the stipe 15–24 mm long; pedicellate spikelets 2.5–4.5 mm long, reduced to 1 glume; stamen 1
                       Back to 3
Bothriochloa decipiens
5Main axis of panicle less than 4 cm long, not glandular; lowest racemes exceeding the common axis in length; racemes naked at the base for 2–7 mm; leaves with midrib and margins of blade paleBothriochloa ewartiana
Main axis of panicle 4–20 cm long; internodes and branches rather obscurely glandular; lowest racemes shorter than the common axis; racemes naked at the base for 10–15 mm; leaves without pale margins
                       Back to 3
Bothriochloa bladhii

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