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Inflorescences

Dissections:
Eriochloa contracta

ERIOCHLOA H.B.K. Cupgrass
Plants caespitose, annual or perennial. Culms erect or ascending or decumbent, glabrous; internodes solid or hollow, terete. Leaves not differentiated into two kinds (basal rosette absent), basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete; ligules a ciliate membrane or line of hairs; blades flat or involute. Panicles contracted; spicate primary branches alternate; primary branches ascending, terminating in a spikelet; bristles absent below spikelets. Spikelets solitary or paired; not embedded in branch, adaxial, dorsiventrally compressed ; disarticulation below spikelets; florets 2; lower sterile staminate or without stamen; upper fertile, one half to nearly lower floret length; first glumes usually highly reduced (forms a cuplike structure), absent or rarely present; second glumes present, 0.9-1.3 times spikelet length, not saccate, 3-or 5-or 7- or 9-veined; lemma of upper florets indurate, rugose, yellowish, glabrous, margins involute, not differentiated at apex, mucronate or awned; palea of upper florets present. Stamens 3; anthers tan. Base chromosome number x=9.

A tropical or subtropical genus of about 25-30 species. Webster and Shaw (1987) revised the genus for North America. Many of the species are adapted to disturbed sites. Plants can be frequent to common in damp sites.