Microchloa Prodr. 208 (1810).
Derivation:. From the Greek mikros (small) and chloe (a grass).
Taxonomic revisions, nomenclatural references:. M.Lazarides, Austr. J. Bot. Supp.Ser. 5: 48–49 (1972).
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 608 (1878); M.Lazarides, Tropical Grasses S.E. Asia 161–162 (1980); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 131 (1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3: 312 (2005); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th ed, 300 (2008).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (407).
Native. 4 species, from Africa (3), and 1 pantropical. 1 species in Australia, NT. Also Malesia.
Habit. Annual (rarely) or perennial, tufted (low) or decumbent (mat-forming). Leaf blades narrow (stiff, often convolute). Ligule a fringed membrane (narrow) or a fringe of hairs.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single spike (slender, often curved, the spikelets inclined to pectinate).
Spikelets. Spikelets subterete to dorsally compressed, solitary, sessile; with rachilla terminating in a floret. Fertile spikelets adaxial (with lower glume against rachis) (but twisted), subterete to dorsally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, exceeding florets, long relative to adjacent lemmas, hairless, glabrous, pointed (lanceolate-acute), awnless, dissimilar (the lower asymmetric, cymbiform, keeled, twisted at the base, the upper flat). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas not becoming indurated (membranous or hyaline), entire at apex to incised, when entire pointed or blunt, not deeply cleft (no more than emarginate), muticous or mucronate, without a germination flap, 2 nerved. Palea entire to apically notched, textured like lemma, 2 nerved. Palea keels hairy. Callus short, pointed. Lodicules 2. Ovary hairy. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain small (0.9–1.5 mm long), ellipsoid, compressed dorsiventrally or terete. Hilum short. Embryo large. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C4.
2n = 40.
Habitat. Mesophytic to xerophytic. Savanna, in shallow hard soils. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Chloridoideae; Cynodonteae.
Types Species. M. indica (L.f.) P.Beauv.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Gondwanan.