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Distichlis spicata

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DISTICHLIS Raf. Saltgrass
Plants dioecious, rhizomatous, perennial. Culms erect to ascending, glabrous; internodes solid, terete. Leaves cauline, distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles absent; ligules a ciliate membrane; blades flat to involute, pungent, stiff. Panicles contracted; primary branches appressed, terminating in a spikelet. Spikelets unisexual (staminate and pistillate similar in morphology), solitary, laterally compressed, awnless, pedicellate, pedicels without glands; disarticulation above glumes; florets 3 - 13, callus glabrous; reduced florets at apex; glumes 3-9-veined, nearly equal, shorter than first floret, glabrous; lemmas 3 - 7-veined (often inconspicuous), coriaceous, entire, awnless, glabrous, veins glabrous; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3, anthers yellow with purple tinge. Caryopses terete. Base chromosome number x = 10.

A genus of 3 species native to North and South America. Species of fair to poor forage value for livestock. These taxa are adapted to saline marshes or coastal areas or moist flats.