Juncaceae Cyperaceae Poaceae
Juncus Schoenoplectus Rhynchospora Carex Luzula Eriophorum Cyperus
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE GRASS FAMILY? The grass family is the 4th largest of all plant families. Worldwide, about 11,000 species from 700 genera comprise Poaceae. -The FNA recognizes 10 subfamilies, 25 tribes, 236 genera, and 1,373 wild and cultivated species. -Native to the region are all 10 subfamilies, 22 tribes, 136 genera, and 892 species. No plant family comes close to Poaceae in its importance to world agriculture. Wheat (Triticum aestivum), rice (Oryza sativa), corn (Zea mays), oat (Avena sativa), rye (Secale cereale), barley (Hordeum vulgare), and the many species of sorghum and millet provide the grains which are the staff of life for nearly all of the peoples on earth. Many species of range and pasture grasses, in addition to the grains listed above, are used for livestock forage and feed. Turf and ornamental grasses are used and appreciated for their durability and beauty throughout the world (the namesake for the grass family, Poa, is the genus from which current cultivated varieties of bluegrass have been developed). Finally, grasses such as bamboo lend their service for construction and plumbing in many countries. Grasslands cover 35-40% of terrestrial portions of the globe excluding Antarctica and are important in most habitat types.
Characters most important in identification include features of the spikelet (size, plane of compression, features of glumes and lemmas, number of florets, and presence of awns). Grass spikelet Grass floret
The most recent classification of the grass family recognizes twelve subfamilies: Anomochlooideae, a small lineage of broad-leaved grasses that includes two genera (Anomochloa, Streptochaeta) Pharoideae, a small lineage of grasses that includes three genera, including Pharus and Leptaspis Puelioideae, a small lineage that includes the African genus Puelia. Pooideae, including wheat, barley, oats, brome-grass (Bromus), reed-grasses (Calamagrostis), Poa w/ about 500 species, native to the temperate regions of both hemispheres. Bambusoideae, including bamboo Ehrhartoideae, including rice, wild rice Arundinoideae, including giant reed, common reed Centothecoideae, a small subfamily of 11 genera that is sometimes included in Panicoideae Chloridoideae, including the lovegrasses (Eragrostis, ca. 350 species, including teff), dropseeds (Sporobolus, some 160 species), finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.), and the muhly grasses (Muhlenbergia, ca. 175 species) Panicoideae, including panic grass, maize, sorghum, sugar cane, most millets, fonio, and bluestem grasses Aristidoideae, including Aristida Danthonioideae, including pampas grass