Mostly perennial grasses, with flat or convolute leaf-blades and contracted or open panicles. Spikelets 3-many-flowered, the flowers all perfect, or the upper staminate; rachilla pubescent, extending beyond the flowers. Scales 5-many, the 2 lower empty, keeled, acute, subequal, persistent, generally extending beyond the uppermost flowering one; flowering scales rounded on the back, 2-toothed, deciduous, the awn arising from between the acute or awned teeth, flat and twisted at base, bent; palet hyaline, 2-keeled near the margins, obtuse or 2-toothed. Stamens 3. Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain free, enclosed in the scale. [Name in honor of Etienne Danthoine, a Marseilles botanist of the last century.]

A genus of about 100 species, widely distributed in warm and temperate regions, chiefly in South Africa. Type species: Avena spicata L.

Spikelets, exclusive of the awns, less than 1/2' long.

Teeth of flowering scales merely acute, not awned; panicle contracted, spike-like.


D. spicata.

Teeth of the flowering scales long-awned; panicle commonly open, its branches spreading,

and usually reflexed at flowering time.




Spikelets, exclusive of the awns, exceeding 1/2' long.

Panicle loose and open, green; awns 5" long or more.

Foliage and flowering scales pubescent.




Foliage glabrous; flowering scales pubescent on margins and base only.




Panicle contracted, spike-like, dense, purple-variegated; awns 3"-4" long.




1. Danthonia Spicata (L.) Beauv. Common Wild Oat-Grass

Fig. 532

Avena spicata L. Sp. PI. 80. 1753-

Danthonia spicata Beauv.; R. & S. Syst. 2: 690. 1817.

Culms 1°-2 1/2° tall, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous, nearly terete. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, glabrous or often sparingly pubescent below; ligule very short; blades rough, 1" wide or less, usually involute, the lower 4'-6' long, the upper 1'-2' long; inflorescence racemose or paniculate, 1-2' in length, the pedicels and branches erect or ascending; spikelets 5-8-flowered; empty scales 4"-5" long, glabrous; flowering scales broadly oblong, sparingly pubescent with appressed silky hairs, the teeth about 1/2" long, acute or short-pointed, the bent spreading awn closely twisted at the base, loosely so above.

In dry soil, Newfoundland to South Dakota, south to North Carolina and Texas. Ascends to 3000 ft. in Virginia. June-grass. July-Sept.

1 Danthonia Spicata L Beauv Common Wild Oat Grass 532