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Inflorescences

Dissections:
Hilaria mutica

HILARIA Kunth
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous or stoloniferous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending or mat forming or decumbent, glabrous; internodes solid, terete. Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles present or absent; ligules a membrane or a ciliate membrane or a line of hairs; blades flat or folded or involute, linear, stiff or lax, apex acuminate. Spikes with persistent rachis (wavy or zigzag). Spikelets in threes (ternate), the central spikelets (1) perfect, the lateral spikelets (2) staminate, disarticulation below the glumes as a unit of three spikelets. Staminate spikelets dorsally compressed, awned, sessile, florets 2; glumes 2, 4-5-veined, asymmetrical. Perfect spikelets awned, sessile, florets 1, reduced floret absent, callus (?), rachilla not extended beyond upper floret; glumes 2, 5-7 veined, equal, shorter than first floret, glabrous, awned laterally; lemmas 3-veined, membranous, apex entire or shallowly cleft, awned or mucronate or awnless; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3; anthers yellow or brownish yellow. Caryopses elliptical. Base chromosome number x=9.

A New World genus of about nine species. These grasses are adapted to arid or semiarid areas and many are important livestock forages. The species withstand repeated heavy grazing.