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Published In: Familles des Plantes 2: 31, 530. 1763. (Fam. 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 ± 280 species in temperate regions throughout the world; 8 species occur in Pakistan.
Comment/Acknowledgements: The traditional characters for separating Calamagrostis and Deyeuxia (the latter is said to have a scabrid lemma and penicillate rhachilla extension) are unreliable in Eurasia, and the modern view (Tzvelev 1976, Clarke 1980) is that they are insufficient to warrant the recognition of more than one genus (but see Vickery in Contr. N.S.W. natn. Herb. 1(2): 43-45. 1940 for an alternative view).

The taxonomic value of the rhachilla extension is over-rated in Calamagrostis since it can be present or absent in several species. Calamagrostis garhwalensis Hubbard & Bor was distinguished from species 1-3 in this account on the basis of its prolonged rhachilla. In fact each of the other species shows a prolongation to some degree in some specimens, and all Pakistani material named by Bor as Calamagrostis garhwalensis can be comfortably accommodated in one or another of these species. The type specimen, however, has not yet been seen, so the name does not appear in synonymy.

Calamagrostis munroi Boiss., with a dense narrow panicle, occurs in Afghanistan in the Kurram Valley, but it does not appear to have penetrated into Pakistan.


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Tufted perennials. Leaf-blades flat or convolute. Panicle usually rather narrow and dense. Spikelets linear to lanceolate, acuminate; rhachilla disarticulating above the glumes, prolonged or not; glumes persistent, sub-equal or unequal, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, firmly membranous, keeled above, acute, the lower 1-nerved, the upper 1-3-nerved; lemma lanceolate to oblong, shorter than the glumes, hyaline or firmly membranous, smooth or scabrid, 3-5-nerved, truncate-denticulate or ± bifid with the lobes acute or toothed, awned from the back or from the sinus of the lobes or from the tip; awn short, fine, straight or twisted below; callus bearded with white hairs shorter than to much longer than the floret; palea as long as the lemma or shorter.

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1 Lemma hyaline, smooth, not more than half as long as the glumes; callus hairs 2-3 times the length of the floret; rhachilla at most shortly prolonged (2)
+ Lemma hyaline or firmly membranous, smooth or scaberulous, at least two-thirds the length of the glumes; callus hairs at most as long as the floret, usually much shorter; rhachilla always prolonged, usually penicillate (4)
2 (1) Awn dorsal or subterminal, exceeding the tip of the lemma by no more than the length of the floret (3)
+ Awn subterminal, exceeding the tip of the lemma by 15-2.5 times the length of the floret Calamagrostis emodensis
3 (2) Awn emerging from the tip of the lemma (with in 03 mm), very rarely below Calamagrostis pseudophragmites
+ Awn emerging from well below the top third of the lemma, usually at or just above the middle, rarely below Calamagrostis epigejos
4 (1) Lemma tip without 4 aristulate teeth (5)
+ Lemma 4-toothed at the tip, the teeth aristulate Calamagrostis stolizkae
5 (4) Panicle lanceolate, sometimes fairly dense but usually lax, (8-)10-25 cm long; culms 60-150 cm high (6)
+ Panicle ovoid, dense, 15-6(-10) cm long; culms 10-40 cm high Calamagrostis holciformis
6 (5) Callus hairs scarcely half the length of the floret, mostly about a third as long (7)
+ Callus hairs at least half the length of the floret, sometimes almost as long; awn inserted near the base of the lemma Calamagrostis decora
7 (6) Awn inserted near the base of the lemma Calamagrostis arundinacea
+ Awn inserted at or near the middle of the lemma Calamagrostis scabrescens
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