Lithachne P.Beauv.
  • Ess. Agrostogr.: 135 (1812) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. & Subtrop. America

General Description

HABIT Perennial. Rhizomes absent (3), or short (1). Stolons absent (3), or present (1). Culms erect (1/1), or geniculately ascending (1/1); slender (1/1); 10-25.87-75 cm long; rooting from lower nodes (1/1). Culm-internodes terete (1/1). Culm-nodes constricted (1/1); with distinct supra-nodal ridge (1/1). Ligule an eciliate membrane (2), or a ciliolate membrane (2). Leaf-blade base with a brief petiole-like connection to sheath. Leaf-blades linear (1), or lanceolate, or oblong (1), or ovate (1). INFLORESCENCE Monoecious; with male and female spikelets in different inflorescences (3), or with male terminal and mixed axillary inflorescences (1). Inflorescence comprising only a few spikelets; axillary; exserted (2), or embraced at base by subtending leaf (1), or enclosed (2). Sexes segregated (1/1); with male below (1/1). Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile (3), or pedicelled (1). Male spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels cuneate (1/1). STERILE SPIKELETS Basal sterile spikelets absent (3), or represented by a single scale (1). FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets cuneate; laterally compressed; 4-6.875-11 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Floret callus evident; truncate. GLUMES Glumes deciduous; exceeding apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of upper glume; membranous (1), or herbaceous (3); without keels; 5 -veined (1), or 7-8 -veined (1), or 9 -veined (3). Lower glume apex acuminate (2), or caudate (2). Upper glume ovate; 1.3-1.862-2.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous (1), or herbaceous (3); without keels; 3 -veined (1), or 5-6 -veined (1), or 7 -veined (2), or 9 -veined (1). Upper glume apex acuminate (2), or caudate (2). FLORETS Fertile florets female. Fertile lemma obovate; laterally compressed; gibbous; triangular in profile (3), or hemispherical (1); indurate; without keel; 5 -veined (1/1). Lemma margins involute. Lemma apex truncate. Palea indurate. FLOWER Lodicules 3. Anthers 3. Stigmas 2 (1/1). FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; orbicular (1/1). Hilum linear (1/1); 1 length of caryopsis. MALE Male inflorescence terminal; unlike female; a panicle (2), or of few spikelets (2). Male spikelets distinct from female; linear (3/3), or lanceolate (3/3). Male spikelet glumes absent. Male spikelet lemma muticous (3), or awned (1). DISTRIBUTION North America (1), or South America.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil Northeast
  • Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Brazil West-Central
  • Caribbean Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Leeward Is.
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Windward Is.
  • Central America Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panamá
  • Northern South America French Guiana
  • Venezuela
  • Southern South America Argentina Northeast
  • Argentina Northwest
  • Paraguay
  • Western South America Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru


  • 1 Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
Clayton, W.D., Vorontsova, M.S., Harman, K.T. and Williamson, H. (2006 onwards). GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. [accessed 24 January 2012; 14:30 GMT]
  • A © Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • C See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.