DACTYLIS L. Orchardgrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous, perennial. Culms erect to ascending, glabrous; internodes
hollow, terete or slightly compressed. Leaves basal and cauline, not distichous; sheaths with compressed
keels, margins connate one-half length; auricles absent; ligules membranous; blades flat or folded, not
attenuate, lax. Panicles open or narrow, primary branches spreading or ascending. Spikelets in one sided
clusters, laterally compressed, disarticulation above glumes; sessile or short pedicellated;
florets 3-6, reduced floret at apex, callus glabrous; glumes 2, first 1-3-veined, second 3-veined
(acute), equal or unequal, shorter than first lemma, mid-veins hispid or scabrous, awned;
lemmas 5-veined, membranous or chartaceous, entire (acute to acuminate), veins hispid, awns (1) apical
(short); paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous to short ciliate. Stamens 3; anthers yellowish cream.
Caryopses dorsiventrally compressed. Base chromosome number x=7.
A monotypic genus of temperate regions of the world. A widely introduced and naturalized forage grass.
This species occurs in mesic habitats in shade or open sunlight. A common component of meadows and pastures.
The species is an important livestock forage.