Lophatherum Voyage Monde Coquille, Bot. 49 (1831).
Derivation:. From Greek lophos (crest) and ather (awn), referring to the crested awns.
Key references (keys and floras):. E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea 124 (1969); M.Lazarides, Tropical Grasses S.E. Asia 154–155 (1980); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 130 (1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (249).
Native. 2 species, from eastern Asia, Indomalaya, tropical Australia. 1 species in Australia, Qld. Also New Guinea and Malesia.
Habit. Perennial, tufted. Leaf blades broad, not cordate (rather oblique at the base). Ligule an unfringed membrane (ciliolate).
Inflorescence. Inflorescence of spicate main branches or paniculate (the unilateral racemes solitary to paired on the common axis), a spike-like panicle, open.
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed (to sub-terete), more than 2 flowered, with 1 fertile floret, solitary, pedicelled; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets falling with glumes.
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, shorter than adjacent lemmas, lower often with tubercle-based hairs submarginally near the apex, obtuse, awnless, non-keeled (rounded on the back), membranous with hyaline margins. Lower glume 5 nerved. Upper glume 7 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas not becoming indurated, entire at apex, blunt, awned (the awns retrorsely scabrid), strongly 7–9 nerved, glabrous, 1 keeled. Awns 1, apical, non-geniculate, hairless, much shorter than body of lemma. Palea 2 nerved, strongly 2 keeled. Distal incomplete florets 3–4(–9), specialised and modified (the fan of awns forming an adhering apparatus). Lodicules 2. Stamens 1.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 48, 4 ploid.
Habitat. Shade species to species of open habitats.
Notes. The awns of the sterile lemmas function as a dispersal device. An unusual feature is the occurrence of food-storing root tubers (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. L. gracile Brongn.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Indo-Malayan.