Creeping Signal Grass
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Creeping Signal Grass
A Native Photo: Ankush Dave
Common name: Creeping Signal Grass • Kannada: Emme thappare hullu
Botanical name: Urochloa reptans    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Brachiaria reptans, Echinochloa reptans, Panicum reptans

Creeping Signal Grass is an annual grass with stems slender, creeping, rooting at lower nodes, rising up to 10-50 cm tall. Leaf sheaths are hairless, one margin densely fringed with hairs; leaf blades lanceshaped, 2-6 x 0.3-1.2 cm, hairless or loosely bristlyulous, base somewhat heart-shaped, margins scabrous, pectinate-fringed with hairs at base; ligule about 1 mm, fringed with hairs. Inflorescence is pyramidal, axis 1-8 cm; racemes 3-6, 0.5-4 cm, spreading; axis triquetrous, scabrous; spikelets paired, crowded, flower-stalks bristly. Spikelets are ovate or ovate-elliptic, 2-2.5 mm, usually hairless, pointed; lower glume cufflike, 1/8-1/4 spikelet length, thinly membranous, upper lemma broadly elliptic, 1.8-2 mm. It is a good fodder grass whose grain has been used as food in times of famine. Creeping Signal Grass is found Arabian Peninsula, tropical Asia to Australia.

Identification credit: Ankush Dave Photographed in Aranya Ashram, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh.

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