This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, Eleusin, the town where Ceres, the goddess of harvests, was worshipped). Gramineae. Crab-Grass. Yard-Grass. Coarse tufted annual grasses, more or less grown as ornamentals; also for the grain in Africa.
The stout unilateral spikes digitate at the apex of the culm; spikelets several-flowered, awnless, arranged in 2 rows along one side of a continuous rachis; rachilla articulate above the empty glumes; flowers perfect or the upper one staminate: grain loosely inclosed by the lemma and palea. - Species about 6 in tropical regions of the Old World. Some are valued as cereals in Africa,
India, and some other eastern countries. For E. aegyp-tiaca, see Dactyloctenium.
Fig. 1388. Eleusine indica. (X 1/2)
Fig. 1389. Eleusine coracana. (X 1/2)
Gaertn. Wire-Grass. Goose-Grass. Fig. 1388. Erect, or in open ground prostrate, 2-4 ft. high: culms flattened: spikes 5-7, about 2-4 in. long, digitate, often with one or two lower down; spikelets 3-6-flowered Blooms from June to Oct. - A very common grass in cult, fields and dooryards in the S., often troublesome as a weed on lawns throughout the S. and in Calif.
Gaertn. African Millet. Fig. 1389. Erect, 2-4 ft. high, closely related to and much resembling E. indica. Can be distinguished from it by its stouter habit, shorter, broader and larger spikes. - Cult, in S. E. Asia for the grain. Beer is brewed from the grain in Abyssinia. In cult, in Amer, as an ornamental grass. Coracana means "pertaining to crows."
Kunth (E. barcinonensis, Costa). Culms tufted, 6 in. to 1 ft. high: If . - blades short, about 1/16in. wide, obtuse at the apex: spikes broad, mostly 3, digitate, 1-11/2 in. long, 1/3in. thick; spikelets closely imbricate, 5-flowered India. - Intro, into Amer, on ballast, and in cult, as an ornamental plant.
P. B. Kennedy. A. S. Hitchcock, †