STIPA L. Needlegrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending, glabrous or hairy; internodes usually
hollow, terete. Leaves basal or basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles present or
absent; ligules membranous or a ciliate membrane; blades flat or folded or involute, pungent or not pungent,
linear, lax. Panicles open or contracted; primary branches spreading or ascending, terminating in a spikelet.
Spikelets solitary, terete or laterally compressed, awned, pedicellate, disarticulation above the glumes;
florets 1, reduced floret absent, callus hairy (blunt or sharp); glumes (acuminate) the first 1-4-veined, the
second 3-6-veined , nearly equal, longer than floret, glabrous to scabrous; lemmas 3-7-veined, indurate, lemma
margins not or slightly overlapping, apex entire or shallowly bifid, awned; awns (1) apical, geniculate and twisted;
paleas 2-veined but without keels, awnless, pubescent. Stamens 3; anthers yellow. Caryopses fusiform, terete or
laterally compressed. Base chromosome number x=11.
A large genus of about 300 species that are tropical and temperate. These taxa are important for livestock
forage. The callus of the floret frequently causes mechanical injury to livestock.