Mosssman River grass flowers




pronounced: poh-AY-see-eye

the grass family


The name comes from the Greek ποα (poa), the grass, i.e. a grassy place. The family was previously known as Gramineae, and indeed often still is. Grasses are mostly annual or perennial herbs, terrestrial or aquatic. The stems are round and commonly hollow, at least in the internodes. The leaves are solitary at the nodes, sometimes crowded at the base of the stem, alternate and usually in 2 rows, proximally comprising an open sheathing base with overlapping margins, and distally producing a parallel-veined, strap-shaped blade. On the adaxial leaf surface, at the junction of the blade and sheath, there is often a hairy fringe of tissue known as a ligule. The basic unit of the inflorescence is a spikelet, typically consisting of a basal pair of minute chaffy bracts (glumes) and one or more distichously arranged distal florets on an often zigzag extension of the spikelet axis. Each floret is typically embraced by an additional pair of bracts, the lemma and the palea. The florets may be unisexual or bisexual. There are usually 3 or occasionally 6 stamens, a single compound pistil of 2 or 3 carpels, an equal number of styles with feathery stigmas, and a superior ovary with one locule containing a single ovule. The fruit is usually a caryopsis.