Description: Aquatic or semi-aquatic perennials with slender, creeping rhizomes or stolons; culms weak, slender, nodes usually pubescent.
Leaves with ligule truncate, membranous; blade rolled in bud, stiff, flat, scabrous.
Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle.
Spikelets laterally compressed, shortly pedicellate, somewhat overlapping, disarticulating from the pedicel; 1 bisexual floret. Glumes reduced to a minute, transparent rim attached to the pedicel. Lemma firm, broad, oblong-elliptic, keeled, 5-nerved, the 2 lateral nerves marginal, the keel and margins ciliate or hispid. Palea usually narrower and shorter than the lemma, otherwise similar to the lemma, the margins tightly clasped by the lemma margins.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 2 species (1 species native, 1 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., N.T.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Panicle narrow, with primary and secondary branching, the very slender branches erect or appressed to the axis; spikelets 3.5–5 mm long; stamens 6; leaves glabrous, slightly scabrous or hispid, usually with auricles||Leersia hexandra|
|Panicle open, with secondary and higher order branching, the slender branches widely spreading at maturity; spikelets 5–8 mm long; stamens 2 or 3; leaves coarsely scabrous or hispid, auricles usually absent||Leersia oryzoides|