SECALE L. Rye
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose, (or solitary) annual. Culms erect, or ascending, glabrous or scabrous; internodes hollow,
terete. Leaves cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles present; ligules membranous; blades
flat or involute, linear, lax. Spikes bilateral, (distichous and laterally compressed) rachis disarticulating or
persistent. Spikelets solitary at inflorescence nodes, ascending, laterally compressed, not disarticulating in
domestic material, awned, sessile; florets 3-4, reduced floret at apex or absent, callus glabrous, rachilla not extending
beyond upper floret; glumes 2, 1-veined, opposite relative to floret position, equal or unequal, subulate, shorter
than first floret, awned; lemmas 5-veined, chartaceous, scabrous, apex entire and tapering to an awn (1); awn
apical, straight; paleas 2-veined, awnless. Stamens 3; anthers yellow. Caryopses dorsiventrally compressed. Base
chromosome number x=7.
An Old World genus of about five species. Commonly weedy species of open grassland habitats. The
cereal crop rye (S. cereale) is part of this genus.