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Published In: De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum. . . . 1: 7. 1788. (Fruct. Sem. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of 9 species mainly in eastern Africa; one species pantropical; 2 species occur in Pakistan, 1 of them cultivated.


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Tufted annuals or tussocky perennials from a short ascending rhizome; culms slender to robust, flattened. Leaf-blades linear, usually folded; ligule membranous, truncate, often ciliate; leaf-sheaths keeled. Inflorescence digitate or shortly racemose, composed of a number of secund spikes clustered at the top of the culm. Spikelets several-flowered, ovate to narrowly oblong, laterally compressed, biseriate, usually closely overlapping, disarticulating between the florets; glumes 1-several-nerved, keeled, shorter than the lemmas, persistent; lemmas 3-nerved, keeled, sometimes with additional nerves on either side of the keel, elliptic to oblong, membranous, glabrous, the lateral nerves shorter than the lemma, the tip entire, obtuse to acute. Grain enclosed within a free hyaline pericarp, blackish (except in E. coracana), the surface ornamented, usually obtusely trigonous in cross-section.

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1 Spikes 9-15 mm wide; spikelets ovate, non-shattering, very closely overlapping; grain plump, almost globose, usually brown, often exposed between the gaping lemma and palea when ripe (cultivated) Eleusine coracana
+ Spikes 3-7 mm wide; spikelets elliptic, disarticulating between the florets; grain elliptic to oblong, blackish, never exposed when ripe (wild) Eleusine indica
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