Elytrigia* Nouv. Bull. Soc. Philom. 2: 190 (1810).
Derivation:. Origin uncertain but possibly a contraction of Elymus and Triticum.
Key references (keys and floras):. C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 145 (1952) as Agropyron; B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 108 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and S.M.Hastings, Flora of New South Wales 4: 602(1993); N.G.Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 511–512 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 404–406 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 267 (2006); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 99–102 (2009).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (snn. of Elymus).
Naturalised. 8 species, from north and south temperate regions. 2 species in Australia, WA, SA, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Perennial, rhizomatous (or densely turf-forming). Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single spike (erect or drooping, linear, with broadside of spikelets facing axis).
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed to subterete, solitary, sessile to subsessile (the pedicels less than 0.3 mm long); with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets laterally compressed to subterete, disarticulating above glumes or falling with glumes.
Glumes. Glumes unequal to more or less equal, shorter than adjacent lemmas, hairy (rarely) or hairless (glabrous), pointed or blunt or incised, awned or awnless, non-keeled (or slightly so only towards the tip), similar (ovate, oblongate or lanceolate, not awnlike). Lower glume 3–11 nerved. Upper glume 3–11 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 3–7(–10). Lemmas similar in texture to glumes (leathery, lanceolate), entire at apex or incised, pointed or blunt, muticous or mucronate or awned, without a germination flap, 5 nerved, with nerves confluent towards tip, not keeled. Awns when present, 1, from a sinus or apical, non-geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma to much longer than body of lemma (to 20 mm long). Palea relatively long, 2 nerved, 2 keeled (the keels scabrous or ciliate). Distal incomplete florets underdeveloped. Callus short. Lodicules 2. Ovary hairy. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain medium sized (4–6 mm long), oblong to ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, compressed dorsiventrally, with hairs confined to a terminal tuft. Hilum long-linear. Embryo small. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 42, 56, and 84, 6, 8, and 12 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Mesophytic, xerophytic. Seashores and deserts.
Classification. Pooideae; Triticeae.
Notes. Although treated as a synonym of Elymus by Clayton and Renvoize (1986), on the basis of morphological and genomic characters Kellogg (1989) presents a case for the recognition of the genus.
Types Species. E. repens (L.) Nevski.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.