|Mary E. Barkworth|
Plants annual or perennial; tufted
or cespitose. Culms 15-50 cm, not woody. Sheaths open; ligules
membranous. Inflorescences terminal, spikelike panicles, each node supporting
a highly reduced branch or fascicle of spikelets; fascicles imbricate,
with a short, thick, basal stipe subtending 4 thick, rigid, coriaceous, many-veined,
flat, narrowly elliptic to ovate bracts; bracts fused at the base, enclosing
2-11 spikelets, 1-2 of the spikelets sterile or reduced; disarticulation
beneath the fascicles. Spikelets with 2 florets. Lower glumes
absent; upper glumes acicular, 1-veined, awned; lower florets
sterile, sometimes reduced; lower lemmas 7-veined; lower paleas
subequal to the lower lemmas; upper florets bisexual, sterile, or reduced;
upper lemmas faintly 3-veined. Caryopses ellipsoidal. x
= 9. Name from the Greek anthe, blossom, and pherin, to bear,
alluding to the superficial resemblance of the inflorescence to a normal flower.
Anthephora is a genus of 12 species. Most of the species are native to Africa and Arabia. One species is native to tropical America and has become established in the Flora region.
The fascicle bracts are often interpreted as the lower glumes of the spikelets, but the developmental studies needed to evaluate this interpretation have not been conducted.
1. Anthephora hermaphrodita (L.) Kuntze
Plants annual. Culms erect or decumbent, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, branching from the base. Sheaths densely to sparsely pubescent, hairs papillose-based; ligules 1.5-3 mm, brownish, entire or dentate, not ciliate; blades 4-17 cm long, 2-8 mm wide, flat, pubescent on both surfaces. Panicles 4-12 cm long, 5-8 mm wide, with 20-60 fascicles; fascicles 5-7.5 mm; bracts 4-7 mm, scabrous. Fertile spikelets 3.5-4.5 mm, ovoid, scabrid between the veins, acute; upper lemmas 3.7-4 mm, glabrous, margins overlapping the edges of the palea. Caryopses about 2 mm. 2n = 18.
Anthephora hermaphrodita is a weedy species, native to maritime beaches, lowland pastures, and disturbed areas from Mexico and the Caribbean Islands to Peru and Brazil. It is now established in Alachua County, Florida, having escaped from plantings at the Experiment Station of the University of Florida, Gainesville.