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Glyceria R.Br.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Poaceae Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • MANNA GRASS - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Perennials, often with rhizomes or rooting at lower nodes; leaf sheaths closed for 3/4 or more of their length; ligule a membrane; inflorescence an open or contracted panicle (rarely a raceme); spikelets in ours with 314(20) florets, awnless, disarticulating above glumes and between florets; glumes unequal; lemmas usually with 7 strong, parallel veins, rounded on back; paleas often as long or slightly longer than lemmas.


Ecology: All species are potentially toxic.

Notes: A cosmopolitan but particularly temperate North American C₃ genus of ca. 40 species (Barkworth ined.), typically of wet places or shallow water; a number are good pasture grasses. The genus resembles Puccinellia, and some species previously placed in Glyceria are now treated in Puccinellia and Torreyochloa. Native Americans formerly used the seeds of some, and in Europe, flour is made using the seeds of certain species (Yatskievych 1999). All species are palatable (Barkworth ined.), but under certain conditions Glyceria species are known to be poisonous to livestock, due to the presence of dhurrin, a cyanogenic glycoside which is enzymatically converted to hydrogen cyanide (Burrows & Tyrl 2001). (Greek: glyceros, sweet, referring to the taste of the seeds of the type species) (subfamily Pooideae, tribe Meliceae)