Description: Stoloniferous or tufted aromatic annuals or perennials; culms ascending to decumbent; nodes hairy.
Leaves with sheath usually hairy; ligule a fringe of short hairs; blade rolled in the bud, flat, glabrous or hairy.
Inflorescence paniculate, contracted and narrow or open, branches slender, purple to red or white.
Spikelets laterally compressed, pedicellate, falling entire; florets 2, lower floret male, upper floret bisexual. Glumes unequal; lower scale-like to oblong, with or without hair; upper elliptic to ovate, 2-lobed or shortly 2-toothed, mucronate or shortly awned from the sinus, 5–7-nerved, with or without hair. Lemmas unequal; lower lemma similar to the upper glume; upper lemma smooth, glabrous, ± shiny. Paleas absent or subequal to their lemma, 2-nerved, smooth, glabrous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, Africa, S. America. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), all mainland States except S.A.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Spikelet c. 2 mm long (excluding awn); glumes and lower lemma glabrous||Melinis minutiflora|
|Spikelet 3–5 mm long (excluding awn and hairs); glumes and lower lemma silky with hairs to 5 mm long||Melinis repens|