Catapodium* Hort. Berol. 1: 44, 380 (1827).
Derivation:. From the Greek kata (under, downward) and podion (diminutive of pous, foot, stalk or pedicel), allusion obscure.
Key references (keys and floras):. C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 99 (1952) as Scleropoa; J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1888–1889(1986) as Desmazeria; B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 82 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and S.M.Hastings, Flora of New South Wales 4: 606 (1993); N.G. Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 438 (1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 224–225 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 91–92 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 116–118 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th Ed, 196, as Desmazeria (2008); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 295–297 (2009)
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (143).
Naturalised. 2 species, from Europe, Mediterranean. 2 species in Australia, WA, SA, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Annual, tufted (or the culms solitary). Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single raceme or paniculate (rigid, spike-like, with or without branches in the proximal part), open or contracted (the branches with small adaxial pulvini).
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, pedicelled (the pedicels short, thick); with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets oblong or elliptic, laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, shorter than spikelet, shorter than adjacent lemmas, pointed, awnless, keeled, dissimilar or similar (leathery, the lower lanceolate, the upper ovate). Lower glume 1–3 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved or 3 nerved or 5 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets (3–)4–11(–12). Lemmas less firm than glumes to similar in texture to glumes (membranous or leathery), entire at apex, blunt, muticous, without a germination flap, 5 nerved, not keeled. Palea relatively long, tightly clasped by lemma, 2 nerved, 2 keeled. Palea keels wingless. Distal incomplete florets 1, underdeveloped (much reduced). Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain small (1.5–2 mm long), ellipsoid, shallowly longitudinally grooved (ventrally), compressed dorsiventrally (ventrally). Hilum short. Embryo small. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 14, 2 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Mesophytic to xerophytic. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Poeae.
Notes. The genus differs from the annual Puccinellia by little more than the lemma texture, but is probably not directly related (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. C. loliaceum (Huds.) Link.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised