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Paspalum Linnaeus. Subfamily: Panicoideae. Tribe: Paspaleae. Subtribe: Paspalinae. supertribe: Panicodae. clade: "PACMAD". Paspalum, Crown Grass, Beadgrass.

Contributed by Alan S. Weakley & Richard J. LeBlond

Key to Paspalum

A genus of 300-400 species, of tropical and warm temperate regions.

ID notes: The lower glume is absent from the majority of our species, and when present is much reduced. (Both glumes are absent in two species: Paspalum eglume and P. malacophyllum.) The lower floret is sterile and consists of a lemma with or without a rudimentary palea. The upper floret is fertile and consists of a lemma and well-developed palea enclosing the caryopsis. Regarding paired spikelets, the second spikelet is often missing or rudimentary. The pedicel/rachis subtending what appears to be a lone spikelet needs to be examined closely to determine whether or not a second pedicel is attached to it. The term “paired spikelets” is misleading. In our species, it refers to a single fertile spikelet with an axillary pedicel branching off the main pedicel below the spikelet. The axillary pedicel is either empty or with a rudimentary and sterile spikelet. We have chosen to use "blade" in place of "leaf blade" (used in Allen and Hall 2003); these terms appear to be completely analogous and we choose to drop the term "leaf" in light of apparent redundancy.

Key advice:Allen and Hall (2003) often employ the use of entirely whole numbers for their morphometrics of various Paspalum taxa. These measurements may represent approximate values in some cases (as opposed to exact values); therefore, we have maintained these whole numbers, choosing ambiguity over unproven (or untested!) precision. Consider this potential discrepancy when utilizing key splits that rely on such measurements.

Ref: Allen & Hall (2003) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003a); Banks (1966); Franck & Lange (2019) In Weakley et al. (2019a); Hall (2003) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003a); Hitchcock & Chase (1917); Silveus (1942); Wipff & Jones (1994). Show full citations.

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Paspalum fluitans | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Paspalum dissectum | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Paspalum urvillei | Original Image ⭷


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