Chrysopogon aciculatis (Retz.) Trin.
Family Poaceae, Tribe Andropogoneae
pilipiliula, love grass
Spikelets heteromorphic. Sessile spikelets 3.4–4.3 mm long (not including callus), 0.5–0.6 mm wide, of 1 fertile floret and 1 basal sterile lemma. Callus 3–7 mm long, pointed, +/– densely covered with golden-colored hairs. Glumes dissimilar, margins of upper glume overlap lower glume; lower glume cartilaginous, flatter than upper glume, 2-keeled on margins of upper half, keels scabrous, apex truncate; upper glume acuminate to mucronate, 1-keeled in center, keel scabrous. Sterile lemma hyaline. Fertile lemma with apical awn 3.5–8 mm long. Pedicels mostly glabrous, more than half the length of the sessile spikelet, slender. Pedicellate spikelets 4.4–7.1 mm long, sterile; glumes acute to acuminate.
Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan; Australia and the Pacific Islands; Hawaii
native to India and China
open areas and rocky slopes, meadows; a weed in pastures, lawns, rangelands, wastelands, perennial crops
Chrysopogon aciculatis is a quickly-spreading, erect rhizomatous perennial grass with creeping stolons, to 50 cm tall. The spikelets of this grass cling to animal hair, where the sharp callus works its way into the animal’s flesh, causing ulcerations. The sharp, callused spikelets also become embedded in dogs’ feet. Propagation is by grain, stolons and rhizomes.
caryopses, extracted from bracts (left 2 specimens) and with awned lemma and palea still attached (right)