Chamaeraphis Prodr. 193 (1810).
Derivation:. From Greek chamai (dwarf) and rhaphis (needle), alluding to the awn-like point of the central stalk.
Taxonomic revisions, nomenclatural references:. F.Ballard, Hookers Icon. Plant. 32: t.3140: 1–2 (1930).
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 498–500 (incl. Pseudoraphis) (1878); R.D.Webster, Australian Paniceae 28–29 (1987); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 84 (1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (531).
Native, endemic. 1 species, from tropical Queensland and N.T.
Habit. Perennial, tufted. Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a false spike, with spikelets on contracted axes (densely spikelike, with distichously arranged, much reduced racemes), a single raceme or spike, contracted. Spikelet-bearing axes much reduced (to a single spikelet, a pungent callus, and a stout bristle), falling entire.
Spikelets. Spikelets dorsally compressed, 2 flowered, with 1 fertile floret, subtended by solitary bristles (the terminal branch `awns' being so interpreted), solitary, pedicelled. Fertile spikelets with lower incomplete floret(s), oblong or elliptic or lanceolate or ovate or obovate, abaxial (with lower glume on side away from rachis), falling with glumes (and with the branchlet).
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, long relative to adjacent lemmas, awnless. Lower glume 9–11 nerved. Upper glume 9–11 nerved.
Florets. Lower incomplete floret(s) male. Lemmas awnless. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas decidedly firmer than glumes, smooth, white in fruit, muticous or mucronate (?), without a germination flap, 7–9 nerved. Palea 2 nerved. Lodicules 2. Stamens 0 or 3. Grain small, compressed dorsiventrally. Hilum short. Embryo large.
Kranz Anatomy. C4.
Habitat. Mesophytic. Subhumid open woodland and coastal grassland. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Panicoideae; Paniceae.
Notes. The genus is apparently derived by reduction from Pseudoraphis (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. C. hordeacea R.Br.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Endemic.