Tall perennial grasses, with flat leaf-blades and paniculate inflorescence. Spikelets 3-5-flowered, short-pedicelled, in dense capitate clusters, the flowers perfect or the upper staminate. Two lower scales empty, thin-membranous, keeled, unequal, mucronate; flowering scales larger than the empty ones, rigid, 5-nerved, keeled, the midnerve extended into a point or short awn; palets shorter than the scales, 2-keeled. Stamens 3. Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain free, enclosed in the scale and palet. [Name used by Pliny for some grass with finger-like spikes.]

A genus of several species, natives of Europe and Asia. Type species: Dactylis glomerata L.

90 Dactylis L Sp Pi 71 1753 602

1. Dactylis Glomerata L. Orchard-Grass. Cock's-Foot

Fig. 602

Dactylis glomerata L. Sp. PI. 71. 1753.

Culms 2°-4° tall, tufted, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, smooth or.rough; ligule 1"-2" long; blades 3'-9' long, 1"-3" wide, flat, scabrous; panicle 3'-8' in length, the branches spreading or ascending in flower, erect in fruit, the lower l'-2 1/2' long, spikelet-bearing from above or below the middle; spikelets in dense capitate clusters, 3-5-flowered; lower scales 1-3-nerved, the first shorter than the second; flowering scales 2"-3" long, rough, pointed or short-awned, ciliate on the keel.

In fields and waste places, New Brunswick to British Columbia, south to Florida and California. Naturalized from Europe and cultivated for fodder. Dew- or Hard-grass. June-July.