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Genus Imperata Family Poaceae

Description: Rhizomatous perennials.

Leaves mostly basal; ligule scarious.

Inflorescence a fluffy spike-like panicle. Spikelets all similar, awnless, usually paired, unequally pedicellate. Florets 2, shorter than the glumes, the lower reduced to the lemma, the upper bisexual. Glumes subequal, 3–9-nerved, enveloped by long silky hairs from the very obtuse basal callus and lower portions of the glumes. Lemmas hyaline, nerveless or 1-nerved, the upper shorter than the lower, lanceolate to oblong, rarely absent. Palea broad, enfolding the flower, hyaline, nerveless, finely toothed. Stamens 1 or 2.

Grain elliptic to oblong, embryo 50–70% the length of the grain.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 8 species, tropical regions. Australia: 1 species (native).

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

One species in NSW: Imperata cylindrica

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