Perennial tufted grasses, with narrow flat leaf-blades and paniculate inflorescence. Spikelets 2-4-flowered. Two lower scales empty, somewhat obtuse or acute, unequal, shorter than the spikelet; flowering scales membranous, rounded on the back, 3-nerved; palets scarcely shorter than the scales, obtuse, 2-keeled. Stamens 3. Styles short. Stigmas short, plumose. Grain oblong, free, enclosed in the scale and palet. [Greek name for Lolium Icmulcntitm.]

A genus of a few species, natives of Europe and Asia. Type species:Aira coerulea L.

1. Aira Coerulea L. Purple Melic- Or Moor Grass. Lavender-Grass. Indian-Grass

Fig. 570

Aira coerulea L. Sp. PI. 63. 1753. Molinia coerulea Moench, Meth. 183. 1794.

Culms 1°-3 1/2° tall, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths overlapping and confined to the lower part of the culm, smooth and glabrous; ligule a ring of very short hairs; blades 4-10 long or more, 1"-3" wide, erect, acuminate, smooth beneath, slightly scabrous above; panicle 3'-10' in length, green or purple, the branches usually erect, 1'-4' long; spikelets 2-4-flowered, 2 1/2"-4" long; empty scales acute, unequal; flowering scales about 2" long, 3-nerved, obtuse.

Sparingly introduced on ballast and in waste places, Maine to New York. Adventive from Europe. Aug.-Sept.

1 Aira Coerulea L Purple Melic Or Moor Grass Laven 570