Chloris virgata Sw.

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Cynodonteae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Chloris elegans H.B.K.

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

feather fingergrass

Primary Disseminule Type

fertile floret plus 1–2 apically-attached sterile lemmas

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets sessile, solitary, strongly imbricate, cuneate, laterally compressed, 2.5–4.5 mm long, consisting of 1 fertile floret, with 1(2) diminished sterile florets (just lemmas) attached above. Disarticulation below the fertile floret.

Glumes persistent, similar but subequal, lanceolate, thinner than fertile lemma, membranous, gaping, keeled, 1-veined. Lower glume 1.5–2.5 mm long (0.5–0.6 length of upper glume), apex acute. Upper glume 2.5–4.5 mm long (same length as adjacent fertile lemma), apex setaceously attenuate.

First sterile floret 1.4–3 mm long x 0.4–0.8 mm wide, apex bilobed (lobes < 0.2 length of lemma), truncate, subapically-awned, awns 3–12 mm long. Secondary sterile floret greatly reduced, shorter than the subtending rachilla segment or absent (but rachilla still present), awnless.

Fertile floret obtuse, callus bearded.

Fertile lemma obovate, laterally compressed (elliptic in profile), somewhat gibbous, 2.5–4 mm long x 0.5–1.5 mm wide, pallid or dark brown, cartilaginous, pubescence variable (though margins near apex usually with long tufts of hair >1.5 mm long), keeled, 3-veined, apex subapically-awned (awn 2.5–15 mm long).

Caryopsis elliptic in outline, trigonous in cross-section, 1.5–2 mm long x ca. 0.5 mm wide, brown, ± translucent, embryo ca. 0.66 length of caryopsis, hilum round.

Similar Species

Chloris gayana

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)