Dactylis* Sp. Pl. 71 (1753).
Derivation:. From Greek daktylos (finger), alluding to the finger-like appearance of the inflorescence.
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 640(1878); C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 104–105 (1952); J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 176–177 (1983); J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1888 (1986); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 90 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and S.M.Hastings, Flora of New South Wales 4: 612 (1993); N.G.Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 435 (1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 221–222(1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 95–96 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002) J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 121 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th Ed, 194 (2008); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 343 (2009)
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (125).
Naturalised. 1 species, from temperate Eurasia. WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also Malesia and New Zealand.
Habit. Perennial, densely tufted (with short, oblique rhizomes and/or stolons). Leaf blades broad or narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate, a spike-like panicle or an open panicle with branches ending in single spikelets, open or contracted.
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, more than 2 flowered to 2 flowered, with 2 or more fertile florets, awned, solitary, subsessile or pedicelled (shortly so); with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets elliptic or ovate, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes relatively large, unequal to more or less equal, shorter than spikelet to about equal to spikelet, shorter than adjacent lemmas or long relative to adjacent lemmas (from about half to as long as), pointed, awned to awnless, keeled, similar (membranous, somewhat curved, often asymmetric about the midvein). Lower glume 1–3 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 2–5. Lemmas decidedly firmer than glumes (papery), not becoming indurated, entire at apex, pointed, awned, 5 nerved, hairy or glabrous or scabrous, 1 keeled. Awns 1, dorsal or apical, non-geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma. Palea relatively long, tightly clasped by lemma, apically notched, thinner than lemma (membranous), 2 nerved. Palea keels wingless. Distal incomplete florets 1, underdeveloped (rudimentary). Callus short, blunt. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Grain small, oblong to ellipsoid, not grooved, compressed dorsiventrally to terete. Hilum short. Embryo small.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 14 and 28 (+ 0–4 B), 2 and 4 ploid (+0–4B), commonly adventive.
Habitat. Mesophytic. Meadows, woodlands and disturbed ground, in moist to dry places. Shade species and species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Poeae.
Notes. Dactylis is a segregate from Poa (Clayton and Renvoize 1986).
Types Species. D. glomerata L.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.