Description: Erect annuals.
Leaves with ligule membranous; blade flat, soft, hairy or glabrous.
Inflorescence spicate or paniculate, compact, often lobed at the base.
Spikelets strongly laterally compressed, hairy or glabrous, florets usually 5, rachilla disarticulating above the glumes and between the lemmas. Glumes keeled, firm at the base, hairy or glabrous. Lemmas broad-lanceolate, apex 2-fid with an awn, prominently 5-nerved, keeled, margins narrow, scarious; awn subterminal, straight or curved, to 3 mm long. Palea shorter than the lemma, 2-fid, 2-keeled.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 10 species, mostly in the Mediterranean . Australia: 2 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.
Rostraria is sometimes included in Koeleria which here is restricted to perennials. The distribution of this genus is similar to Koeleria.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay: updated Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Fl of NSW, Vol.4 (1993); updated Grasses of NSW Edition 4 (2008)
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Lower glume c. 75% as long and much narrower than the upper; glumes glabrous or sparcely hairy; rachilla produced (if at all) as a glabrous bristle or with hairs 0.5 mm long||Rostraria cristata|
|Glumes subequal; hairy (at least the lower): rachilla produced as an awn-like, hairy bristle with hairs 1 mm long||Rostraria pumila|