Description: Coarse erect perennials.
Ligule usually short, ciliate, membranous rims; blade flat, short.
Inflorescence a number of spike-like racemes on a central axis or subdigitate.
Spikelets solitary, shortly pedicellate, arranged along one side of a slender rachis; rachilla disarticulating above the glumes and between the lemmas; florets 1 to several, bisexual. Glumes shorter than the lemmas, unequal or subequal, 1-nerved, awnless or mucronate. Lemmas 3-nerved, entire, obtuse or mucronate, keeled, the lateral nerves usually hairy; palea slightly shorter than the lemma, 2-nerved, 2-keeled, the keels ciliate.
Distribution and occurrence: A genus of c. 27 species of the tropics and warm temperate regions.
Now often expanded to include species in Diplachne and see note under that species.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stout wiry grass with hard, woody stems 1–2 m high; racemes subdigitate||Leptochloa digitata|
|Slender to stout grasses, usually with compressible stems less than 1 m high; inflorescence of racemes on a primary axis||2|
|2||Spikelets 5–10 mm long; leaves scabrous and to 1 cm wide||Leptochloa dubia|
|Spikelets less than 5 mm long; leaves more or less scabrous and to 5 mm wide|
Back to 1
|3||Racemes stiff and widely spreading; spikelets distant from one another, only slightly overlapping if at all||Leptochloa divaricatissima|
|Racemes not stiff, not widely spreading though they may spread slightly and curve away from the axis; spikelets overlapping at least in the upper half of the racemes|
Back to 2
|4||Leaves hairy; lemmas 1.5–2.5 mm long, densely bearded along the margins with hairs wider than the breadth of the internerves||Leptochloa peacockii|
|Leaves glabrous or with few hairs; lemmas with hairs shorter than the breadth of the internerves|
Back to 3
|5||Lemmas 1.5–2.5 mm long; grain dorsally compressed||Leptochloa decipiens|
|Lemmas 1.2–1.7 mm long; grain trigonous|
Back to 4