Skip to main content
This genus is accepted, and its native range is Africa, Europe to Iran, Tibet to W. Himalaya.
Aira elegans

[GB]

nonem

Morphology General Habit
Annual. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending (4); slender (3/3); 2-22.87-55 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades filiform (6), or linear (2).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle; subtended by an unspecialized leaf-sheath (7), or an inflated leaf-sheath (1); exserted (7), or embraced at base by subtending leaf (1). Panicle open (7), or spiciform (1). Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels filiform (7), or linear (1); tip widened (1/4), or globular (1/4), or pyriform (2/4).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets comprising 2 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong, or ovate (6); laterally compressed; 1.3-2.485-4.2 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Rhachilla internodes suppressed between florets. Floret callus pubescent.
Fertile
Spikelets comprising 2 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong, or ovate (6); laterally compressed; 1.3-2.485-4.2 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Rhachilla internodes suppressed between florets. Floret callus pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes persistent; reaching apex of florets (1), or exceeding apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma; gaping. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; 1 -veined, or 2-3 -veined (6). Lower glume lateral veins absent (4), or obscure (2), or distinct (4). Lower glume apex entire, or erose (1); obtuse (3), or acute (5); muticous (7), or mucronate (2). Upper glume ovate; 1-1.287-1.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; 1 -veined, or 2-3 -veined (6). Upper glume apex obtuse (3), or acute (5); muticous (7), or mucronate (2).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Florets
Fertile lemma ovate; laterally compressed; lanceolate in profile (6/6); cartilaginous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma lateral veins obscure. Lemma surface scaberulous (6), or scabrous (2). Lemma margins involute; covering most of palea. Lemma apex dentate; 2 -fid (7), or 3 -fid (1); muticous (1), or awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn dorsal; geniculate. Palea 0.7 length of lemma; membranous (2), or cartilaginous (6); 2 -veined (6/6).
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Lodicules 2; membranous. Anthers 3. Stigmas 2.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis with adherent pericarp (6/6); fusiform (4/4); isodiametric (4/4); biconvex (4/4); smooth (4/4); apex unappendaged (6/6). Embryo 0.2 length of caryopsis. Hilum punctiform (6/6).
Distribution
Europe, or Africa (5), or Temperate Asia (3), or Tropical Asia (1), or Australasia (5), or Pacific (1), or North America (3), or South America (3), or Antarctica (2).

[FTEA]

Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips And S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

Morphology General Habit
Small annuals, with slender culms and delicate open, or sometimes contracted, panicles
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets small, 2-flowered, both florets bisexual, the rhachilla glabrous and very short between the florets, minutely produced beyond the upper floret; glumes delicately membranous, 1-nerved, glabrous; lemma lanceolate, shorter than the glumes, faintly 5-nerved, 2-toothed, rounded on the back, dorsally awned or awnless; callus minute, obtuse; stamens 3; stigmas 2
Distribution
Species ± 8; mainly in the Mediterranean region, but extending from Scandinavia to South Africa; several species have become naturalized in other temperate regions of the world.

[FZ]

Gramineae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 10:1. 1971

Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Lodicules
Lodicules 2.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 3.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary glabrous; styles distinct, short, stigmas plumose, rather short, laterally exserted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Caryopsis oblong to narrowly elliptic in outline, tightly enclosed by the lemma and palea; hilum oblong, rather small; embryo subcircular, 1/3-1/4 the length of the caryopsis.
Morphology General Habit
Small annuals.
Morphology Leaves Ligules
Ligule a membrane.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a panicle, many-flowered, usually open.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Spikelets
Spikelets strongly laterally compressed, pedicelled, rather small, strictly 2-flowered, awned or rarely muticous; rhachilla disarticulating above the glumes and between the florets, very shortly produced beyond the superior floret, glabrous; florets 2, both bisexual, similar.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Glume
Glumes 2, subequal and similar, persistent, thinly membranous, usually hyaline, exceeding the florets except for the awns, 1-nerved, keeled, muticous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Lemma
Lemmas shorter than the glumes, subequal, slightly distant, broadly lanceolate, dorsally rounded, faintly 5-nerved, very thinly membranous, hyaline, broadly lanceolate, with the apex acute to acuminate and usually shortly 2-dentate, margins usually involute, dorsally awned from beneath the middle, rarely awnless; awn geniculate, twisted below the bend (straight when moistened); callus rather short, obtuse, pilose or glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Palea
Paleas slightly shorter than the corresponding lemmas, 2-nerved, 2-keeled, narrowly oblong, with the apex 2-dentate.

Native to:

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., Ethiopia, Finland, France, Føroyar, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Kriti, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madagascar, Madeira, Malawi, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, North Caucasus, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Sardegna, Sicilia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Uganda, Ukraine, West Himalaya, Yugoslavia, Zaïre

Introduced into:

Alabama, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Brazil South, British Columbia, California, Cape Provinces, Chatham Is., Chile Central, Chile South, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Crozet Is., Delaware, District of Columbia, Falkland Is., Florida, Free State, Hawaii, Juan Fernández Is., Kerguelen, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Marquesas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritius, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Tennessee, Tristan da Cunha, Uruguay, Victoria, Virginia, Washington, Western Australia

Aira L. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Sp. Pl.: 63 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 10: 87 (1937).
  • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 31 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl. 63 (1753)

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 31 (1754).
  • Sp. Pl. 1: 63 (1753)

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 31 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl.: 63 (1753)

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0