Description: Short-lived, tufted perennials or annuals. Culms very slender, angular, striate or grooved.
Leaves basal, mostly filiform; sheaths generally with mouth bearded with long white hairs; ligule absent.
Inflorescence head-like or branched, sometimes reduced to a single spikelet; sometimes amphicarpous with spikelets present at base of plant; involucral bracts leaf-like. Spikelets usually not compressed, angular, several–many-flowered. Rachilla persistent, narrowly winged. Glumes spirally arranged, caducous, with strong midnerve, sides nerveless; lower 1 or 2 empty. Flowers bisexual, the uppermost often male or barren. Hypogynous bristles absent. Stamens 1–3. Style 3-fid or rarely 2-fid, articulate with the ovary, slender, glabrous; style base bulbously thickened, persistent (or rarely not) on nut as a minute, darker coloured button.
Nut trigonous or triquetrous, very rarely biconvex, obovoid, obtuse, scarcely stipitate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: c. 7 species (c. 3 species endemic), all mainland States except Vic.
Text by K. L. Wilson
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stigmas 2; nut lenticular||Bulbostylis humilis|
|Stigmas 3; nut trigonous||2|
|2||Glumes 1.5–2.5 mm long; nut 0.5–1.1 mm long||3|
|Glumes 2.7–3.3 mm long; nut 1–1.4 mm long|
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|3||Inflorescence head-like; nut obovoid, smooth, minutely reticulate (isodiametric cells); stamens 1||Bulbostylis barbata|
|Inflorescence branched, occasionally reduced to 1 sessile spikelet; nut verruculose; stamens 2|
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