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Genus Elymus Family Poaceae

Description: Densely to loosely tufted or rarely rhizomatous perennials.

Leaves with ligule membranous, short; blade slender, flat or rarely involute.

Inflorescence a spike, erect or nodding. Spikelets solitary or in groups of 2 or 3 at each node, slightly laterally compressed, usually imbricate; florets several, bisexual; rachilla disarticulating above the glumes and between florets. Glumes obtuse to shortly awned, 3–9-nerved, rounded or keeled in the upper half. Lemmas 5-nerved, rounded on the back or keeled at the apex. Paleas 2-keeled.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 150 spp., cosmop. Aust.: 6 spp (1 naturalised), all States except N.T.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Plants with long, pale yellow vigorous rhizomes; lemmas acute but awnlessElymus repens
Plants caespitose; at least some lemmas usually awned2
2Rachilla hairs usually 0.2–1 mm long; callus usually triangular to narrowly triangular, usually distinctly hairy3
Rachilla hairs <0.2 mm long; callus broadly triangular, glabrous to glabrescent
                       Back to 1
4
3Rachilla hairs usually not covering callus base: callus usually triangular or various, dorsal surface falt to sunken; callus tip usually thickenedElymus scaber
Rachilla hairs covering callus base; callus usually narowly triangular , dorsal surface rounded; callus distinctly hairy, hairs restricted to margins
                       Back to 2
Elymus rectisetus
4Glumes 7.7 mm or longer; lemma awn regularly curved when dry, 1-nerved at base; mature caryopsis <55% palea lengthElymus plurinervis
Glumes usually <7 mm long; lemma awn straight when dry, 3-nerved at base; mature caryopsis >60% palea length
                       Back to 2
5
5Awn of lowest lemma 2–7.5 mm long; other lemma awns 4.4–15 mm long; awn : lemma length 0.7–1.3 ; dark brown basaltic soils of SE Qld and N NSWElymus fertilis
Awn of lowest lemma 0–3 mm long; other lemma awns 0–11 mm long; awn : lemma length 0.2–0.8; coastal or riparian habitats
                       Back to 4
Elymus multiflorus

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