Nardus* Sp. Pl. 53 (1753).
Derivation:. Indirectly from the Greek nardos, the classical name for Spikenard (Valerianaceae). This came to be applied to other aromatic plants including grasses (e.g. Cymbopogon nardus), then by other associations to non-aromatic grasses, and finally by Linnaeus to several grasses with spicate inflorescences (see Bor, 1968).
Key references (keys and floras):. B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 133 (1993); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 184 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 62–63 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2: 10–11 (2009).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (92).
Naturalised. 1 species, from Europe, western Asia. 1 species in Australia, Tas. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Tough, wiry perennial, tufted. Leaf blades narrow. Ligule an unfringed membrane.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence a single spike (slender, one-sided).
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, solitary, sessile; with rachilla terminating in a floret. Fertile spikelets (the larger)more or less abaxial (with lower glume on side away from rachis), laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes one per spikelet or two, minute, unequal, shorter than adjacent lemmas (l.g. a small scale, u.g. minute or absent), hairless, awnless. Lower glume 0 nerved. Upper glume 0 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas linear-lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong, decidedly firmer than glumes, papery, entire at apex, pointed, awned, 3 nerved, not keeled. Awns apical, non-geniculate, hairless, much shorter than body of lemma (1–3 mm long). Palea relatively long, entire, thinner than lemma, 2 nerved. Callus short, blunt. Stamens 3. Stigmas 1. Grain small. Hilum short (but linear). Embryo small. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
2n = 26–30 (chrosomes large), 2 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Xerophytic. Moorland. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Pooideae; Nardeae.
Notes. This genus has been placed in both the Arundinoideae and the Pooideae, but placement in the latter is more generally accepted now (B.K.Simon).
Types Species. N. stricta L.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.