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Genus Dichelachne Family Poaceae
Common Name: Plumegrasses

Description: Tufted annuals or perennials.

Leaves with ligule membranous; blade flat or convolute, usually scabrous, often pubescent.

Inflorescence a dense spike-like or loose to open panicle.

Spikelets solitary, pedicellate, narrow, numerous and overlapping on the short branches, disarticulating above the glumes; one bisexual floret, rachilla usually not produced as a bristle. Glumes subequal or unequal, narrow, subulate, keeled on the single, scabrous nerve. Lemma shorter than the glumes, firm, entire or 2-fid, faintly nerved, awned from below the apex, the awn slender, curved or bent, column usually twisted; callus hairy. Palea narrow, slightly shorter than the lemma. Stamens 1–3.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 10 species, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands. Australia: c. 9 species (native), all States except N.T.

A genus of c. 10 species fron Australasia. Cool seeason grasses with rough leaves and are common and probably useful components of natural pasture. Dichelachne species are cool-season grasses and are common and probably useful components of natural pasture. The stems of D. crinita have been used to make paper.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Awns 2.5 cm long or longer and 4–6 times as long as their lemmas; panicle dense and spike-like with no branching visible and awns usually concealing the spikeletsDichelachne crinita
Awns 0.8–3.3 cm long and 2–5 times as long as their lemmas; panicle dense or open2
2Lemma usually < 4 mm long3
Lemma 4 mm or longer
                       Back to 1
5
3Lemma longer than at least the lower glume; inflorescence sparse, with branches and pedicles clearly visible, only slightly contracted at anthesis; branches flexuoseDichelachne parva
Lemma usually shorter than glumes; inflorescence dense with spikelets and awns concealing the branches; branches not flexuose
                       Back to 2
4
4Awn 10–22 mm long; usually 1 antherDichelachne micrantha
Awn < 10 mm long; anthers 3
                       Back to 3
Dichelachne montana
5Lemma usually at least 6 mm long, hispid pubescent; plants often hairyDichelachne hirtella
Lemma mostly less than 6 mm long, hispid, scabrous or glabrous; plants sometimes hairy
                       Back to 2
6
6Lemma subequal to lower glumeDichelachne rara
Lemma longer than lower glume, sometimes longer than both glumes
                       Back to 5
7
7Culms and nodes hairy or scabrous to pubescent; lemma usually scabrous; awn column slightly twisted at maturityDichelachne sieberiana
Culms and nodes glabrous; lemma mostly smooth, sometimes scabrous; awn colume only slightly twisted at maturity
                       Back to 6
8
8Palea 4 mm long or less; awn arising 0.5 mm or less from lemma apex; inflorescence < 24 cm longDichelachne inaequiglumis
Palea > 4 mm long; awn arising 0.5 mm or more from lemma apex; inflorescence > 24 cm long
                       Back to 7
Dichelachne robusta

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