Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
16. Leersia Sw.
1. Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw. -- Rice cutgrass
Loosely tufted perennial from creeping rhizomes, 3-10 dm tall; culms
upright to decumbent. Leaves flat, 3-11 mm wide, strongly scabrous, abrasive
to the touch; sheaths scabrous, usually puberulent at the collar; ligule
truncate, rather firm, 1 mm long. Panicle 10-20 cm long, open with spreading
to ascending branches or often partially to completely included by the uppermost
leaf sheath, the spikelets then cleistogamous. Spikelets strongly compressed,
pale green and becoming stramineous or brown with age, 3.5-5 mm long; glumes
absent; lemma boat-shaped, hispid, coarsely so on the keel and margins;
palea as long as or slightly exceeding the lemma, coarsely hispid on
the keel, the margins tightly included by the lemma; anthers 0.2-2.4
mm long, the smaller sized anthers most typical of cleistogamous spikelets.
Grain reddish-brown to brown, compressed, asymmetrically pyriform to
obovoid, 2.5-3 mm long. Late Jul--early Sep. Muddy or sandy stream banks and
shores; frequent except in the w part; (Que. and N.S. to B.C., s to FL, TX and
CA, apparently absent in MT and WY; also in Europe).
Previous Section -- Hordeum jubatum L. -- Foxtail
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass
Next Section -- Leptochloa fascicularis (Lam.)
A. Gray -- Bearded sprangletop