Polypogon Fl.Atl. 1: 66 (1798).
Derivation:. From Greek poly (many) and pogon (beard), alluding to the many awns on the inflorescence.
Key references (keys and floras):. G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7: 546–547 (1878); C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae 140–143 (1952); E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea 159, 162 (1969); M.Lazarides, Flora of Central Australia 436 (1981); J.C.Tothill and J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland 356–357 (1983); J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1923–1924 (1986); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 152 (1993); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 281–283 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 287–290 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 246–249 (2006); S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th ed, 356–357 (2008); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 229–233 (2009).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (212).
Native and naturalised. 18 species, from Mediterranean, southwest Asia and Australia. 4 species in Australia (1 native in W.A.), WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic, and Tas. Also New Guinea and New Zealand.
Habit. Annual or perennial, stoloniferous or tufted. Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate, an open panicle with branches ending in single spikelets, bristly, contracted.
Spikelets. Spikelets 1 flowered, with 1 fertile floret, awned, solitary, pedicelled; with rachilla terminating in a floret. Fertile spikelets somewhat laterally compressed, falling with glumes (and the pedicel, or part of it).
Glumes. Glumes relatively large, more or less equal, exceeding florets, long relative to adjacent lemmas, hairless, scabrous, pointed (entire to bilobed), usually awned (apically) or awnless, non-keeled, similar (chartaceous, scabrid). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 1 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas less firm than glumes (hyaline), not becoming indurated, entire at apex to incised (truncate, finely toothed via excurrent nerves), muticous or awned (usually), 5 nerved, glabrous. Awns 1, from a sinus or dorsal, non-geniculate or geniculate, hairless, much shorter than body of lemma to about as long as body of lemma, deciduous. Palea relatively long or conspicuous and relatively short, entire (truncate) or apically notched, 2 nerved. Callus very short. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Grain small, fusiform or ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved. Hilum short. Embryo large (rarely) or small.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 14, 28, 42, 50, and 60, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Helophytic to mesophytic. In moist ground. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Poeae.
Notes. It closely approaches Agrostis and hybridises with it, but is distinguished by its deciduous spikelets with a stipitate base (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. P. monspeliensis (L.) Desf.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Cosmopolitan.