Miscanthus* Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 12: 165 (1855).
Derivation:. From the Greek mischos (pedicel) and anthos (flower), referring to both spikelets of the pair being pedicellate.
Key references (keys and floras):. J.W.Vickery, Flora of New South Wales, Gramineae 19: 25–26 (1961); M.Lazarides, Tropical Grasses S.E. Asia 58 (1980); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 132 (1993); S.W.L.Jacobs and C.A.Wall, Flora of New South Wales 4: 432–433 (1993); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 606–609 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 528–530 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th ed, 301–302 (2008).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (570).
Naturalised. 20 species, from Japan & Philippines. 1 species in Australia, WA and NSW. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Perennial, rhizomatous or tufted. Leaf blades broad or narrow. Ligule a fringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence of spicate main branches and paniculate. Spikelet-bearing axes racemes.
Spikelets. Spikelets dorsally compressed, 2 flowered, with 1 fertile floret, paired (unequally), pedicelled, unequally pedicelled in each combination; with rachilla terminating in a floret; with lower incomplete floret. Fertile spikelets dorsally compressed, falling with glumes (falling from their pedicels).
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, long relative to adjacent lemmas, awnless. Lower glume 3–4 nerved. Upper glume 1–5 nerved.
Florets. Lower incomplete floret(s) sterile. Lemmas awnless, exceeding fertile lemmas, not becoming indurated (hyaline). Fertile florets 1. Lemmas usually becoming stiptate beneath an awn, but rarely reduced, hyaline and awnless, less firm than glumes, entire at apex or incised, not deeply cleft (bidentate), muticous (rarely) or awned, without a germination flap, 0–3 nerved, not keeled. Awns 1, usually from a sinus, geniculate, hairless (glabrous), much shorter than body of lemma to much longer than body of lemma. Palea conspicuous and relatively short, nerveless. Callus short, blunt. Lodicules 2. Stamens 2–3. Stigmas 2. Hilum short. Embryo large.
Kranz Anatomy. C4.
2n = 35–43 or 57, 76, 95, and 114, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Helophytic, mesophytic. Hillsides and marshes. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Panicoideae; Andropogoneae.
Notes. Miscanthus is closely related to Saccharum, with which it hybridises. The disjunction afforded by the tough raceme rhachis is undoubtedly somewhat artificial, and is justified mainly by its practical convenience (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. M. capensis (Nees) Andersson.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.