POACEAE,  Grass Family

Herbaceous or rarely woody; rhizomes present or absent; internodes hollow or solid, nodes solid; leaves alternate, 2-ranked, linear to lanceolate, parallel-veined, consisting of sheath and blade, the ligule at junction of blade andsheath; unit of inflorescence a spikelet consisting of an axis (rachilla) bearing 2 rows of scales, the 2 lowest empty, these called the first (lower) and second glumes; scales above the glumes called lemmas; in axil of lemma another scale with back to rachilla, the palea; between lemma and palea, subtended by palea, the flower; lemma, palea, and flower parts constituting a floret; spikelet may contain one to many florets; if rachilla is jointed or articulated below each floret, florets fall at maturity from glumes and pedicel; if joint is in pedicel below glumes, the whole spikelet falls as a unit. Flowers hypogynous, bisporangiate. with sometimes some monosporangiate flowers present, too, or rarely all monosporangiate. the species then monoecious or dioecious; perianth none or of 2 or 3 small scales (lodicules); stamens usually 3 (sometimes 1, 2. or 6-many); carpels 3, united; ovary 1-loculed; stigmas 2. usually plumose; seed 1; fruit a grain or rarely a utricle, a nut, or a berry. (Gramineae, nom. altern.)