Eremopyrum* Ill. Pl. Or. 4: 26 (1851).
Derivation:. From the Greek eremos (desert) and puros (wheat), referring to the habitat and resemblance of the inflorescence to that of wheat.
Key references (keys and floras):. B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 116 (1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (239).
Naturalised. 5 species, from Mediterranean to central Asia. 1 species in Australia, NSW.
Habit. Annual, tufted. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single spike (the spikelets often divergent from the rachis). Spikelet-bearing axes usually either falling entire or disarticulating at joints.
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, solitary, sessile; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes shorter than adjacent lemmas or long relative to adjacent lemmas, pointed, shortly awned or awnless, keeled, similar (becoming very hard at maturity). Lower glume 1–4 nerved. Upper glume 1–4 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 3–6. Lemmas similar in texture to glumes (leathery), muticous or mucronate or awned, 5–7 nerved, 1 keeled. Awns when present, 1, apical, non-geniculate. Palea conspicuous and relatively short, entire to apically notched, awnless, without apical setae or with apical setae (via prolongation of the keels), thinner than lemma (membranous), 2 nerved, 2 keeled. Callus blunt. Lodicules 2. Ovary hairy. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain small to large, longitudinally grooved, slightly compressed dorsiventrally, with hairs confined to a terminal tuft. Hilum long-linear. Embryo small.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 14 and 28, 2 and 4 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Xerophytic. Stony slopes, steppe, semi-desert. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Triticeae.
Notes. The genus is little more than an annual version of Agropyron according to Clayton and Renvoize (1986), but on the basis of morphological and genomic characters Kellogg (1989) present a case for the recognition of the genus.
Types Species. E. orientale (L.) Jaub. & Spach.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.