Description: Tufted aquatic or semi-aquatic annuals or perennials.
Leaves with ligule membranous; auricles present, hairy; blade flat, pubescent or scabrous, margins scabrous or hispid.
Inflorescence paniculate, open, drooping after anthesis.
Spikelets laterally compressed, disarticulating above the glumes on threshing, pedicellate, usually solitary, 3 florets, 2 reduced to sterile lemmas. Glumes minute, scale-like or reduced to a rim. Lower lemmas sterile, equal, leathery, to 25% the length of the spikelet; uppermost lemma fertile, rigid, acute or acuminate, awned or awnless, keeled, scabrous, 5-nerved, nerves often with appressed hairs, spines or hairs especially prominent towards apex. Palea only partly enclosed by the lemma, narrow, 3-nerved, keeled, keel ciliate. Stamens usually 6. Another interpretation of the floret structure describes the spikelet as having 1
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 200 species, tropical regions. Australia: 4 species (3 species native, 1 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A. PNG.
Rice feeds more people than any other crop ,although it is not as important in world trade as wheat. Rice is used to make breakfast cereals, starch and as a basis for wine making. Rice straw is an important animal fodder and used extensively for so-called 'sea-grass matting'.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay
|One species in NSW: Oryza sativa|