Elytrophorus Essai Agrost. 67 (1812).
Derivation:. From Greek elytrion (cover) and phoros (bearing), referring to the large outer glume.
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 638(1878); C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 86 (1952); M.Lazarides, Tropical Grasses S.E.Asia 172 (1980); J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 218–219(1983); J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1934 (1986); E.M.Bennett, Flora of the Kimberley Region 1157–1158 (1992); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 109 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and K.L.McClay, Flora of New South Wales 4:533(1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3: 21–22 (2005); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 299–301 (2006).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (257).
Native. 2 species, from tropical Africa, tropical Asia and Australia. 1 species in Australia, WA, NT, SA, Qld, and NSW. Also Malesia.
Habit. Annual, tufted. Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane to a fringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a false spike, with spikelets on contracted axes (which form glomerules which are sometimes confluent to form a cylinder), a spike-like panicle, but the glomerules and the clusters within them subtended by the enlarged, spreading glumes of the lower spikelets. Spikelet-bearing axes much reduced (to glomerules).
Spikelets. Spikelets more than 2 flowered, with 2 or more fertile florets, awned, associated with bractiform involucres (these constituted by the enlarged glumes of the lower spikelets), several in a whorl; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets strongly laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, shorter than spikelet or about equal to spikelet, shorter than adjacent lemmas, hairy (sparsely hispid on the margins), pointed (acuminate), awned (shortly aristulate) or awnless (muticous), keeled, similar (narrowly lanceolate, persistent, membranous). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 2–7. Lemmas drawn out into the awn, similar in texture to glumes (membranous, granular, ovate), not becoming indurated, entire at apex, pointed, awned, 3 nerved, glabrous (or scabrid ciliate on the keel and margins), 1 keeled (naviculate). Awns 1, apical (lemma becoming setaceous at the summit), non-geniculate, much shorter than body of lemma. Palea conspicuous and relatively short, deeply bifid, 2 nerved (or more?). Palea keels winged (the wings narrow or broad, dorsal). Lodicules 1, or 2. Stamens 1–3. Grain small. Hilum short. Embryo large (half the fruit length).
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 24 or 26 (?), 2 ploid, commonly adventive.
Notes. An isolated genus of uncertain affinity, but with some resemblance to Tribolium (Clayton and Renvoize,1986).
Types Species. E. articulatus P.Beauv. = E. spicatus (Willd.) A.Camus.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Old World Tropics.