PHALARIS L. L. Canarygrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous, annual or perennial. Culms erect to ascending or decumbent,
glabrous; internodes hollow, terete. Leaves cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open;
auricles present or absent; ligules membranous; blades flat, linear, lax or stiff. Panicles narrow to
contracted (elongate to ovoid); primary branches ascending or appressed (secondary branches ascending or
appressed). Spikelets solitary, laterally compressed; disarticulation above glumes, awnless,
pedicellate; florets 3, reduced florets (2) at base (vestigual scales), upper floret perfect, callus
glabrous; rachilla not extending beyond upper floret; glumes 2; 1-5-veined, equal, equaling spikelet
length, glabrous, awnless; uppermost lemma indistinctly 5-veined, chartaceous or indurate, hairy,
apex acuminate, awnless, veins glabrous to scabrous; paleas of uppermost floret 2-veined, awnless,
glabrous. Stamens 3; anthers pale yellow to tan. Caryopses with free pericarp, laterally compressed. Base
chromosome number x=7.
A temperate genus of about 16 species. These taxa are found in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Many of our introduced species are annuals. Annual species seeds are used in bird seed. The perennials are
harvested as hay and/or important wetland species.