|Genus Dactyloctenium ||Family Poaceae|
Description: Short, spreading, tufted annuals or stoloniferous perennials.
Leaves with ligule membranous, short, sometimes a ciliate rim; blade folded in bud, flat, often with tubercle-based hairs on margins.
Inflorescence digitate with 2–6 erect or spreading short, thick spikes, the rachis projecting as a spine beyond the spikelets.
Spikelets solitary, sessile and closely overlapping in 2 close rows on 1 side of the flattened rachis; rachilla tardily disarticulating above the glumes; florets 2–6, bisexual. Glumes unequal, broad, 1-nerved, strongly keeled, shorter than the florets; the lower persistent, ovate, acute, thin; the upper not persistent, firm, obtuse, mucronate or short-awned below the tip. Lemmas firm, ovate, broad, keeled, 3-nerved, acuminate or short-awned. Paleas about as long as the lemmas, 2-keeled.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 10 species, mainly warm regions of Africa & India. Australia: 4 species (1 species native, 3 species naturalized), all mainland States.
Stoloniferous species are used as lawn grasses and/or soil stabilizers.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stoloniferous long-lived perennial; spikes 2–5, each 2–4 cm long||Dactyloctenium australe|
|Tufted annuals or short-lived perennials, sometimes rooting from the lower nodes; spikes 2-many, 0.5–5 cm long||2|
|2||Spikes 3–10, each 0.5–1.5 cm long; spikelets crowded and touching those of adjacent spikes||Dactyloctenium radulans|
|Spikes 2–4, each 1–5 cm long, only the lowest spikelets of the spikes touching as the spikes radiate freely|
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