Rice Grass
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Rice Grass
P Native Photo: Ankush Dave
Common name: Rice Grass, Southern Cutgrass, Clubhead cutgrass, Swamp rice grass • Assamese: এৰালী Erali, এৰালীবোন Erali-bon • Nepali: नवो धान Navo dhan
Botanical name: Leersia hexandra    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Leersia aegyptiaca, Leersia dubia, Leersia mexicana

Rice Grass is a lax, climbing aquatic perennial grass with long rhizomes that root at the nodes and send up erect shoots up to 1 m high, and is propagated by seeds as well as from rhizomes. Stems are prostrate at the base, rooting at lower nodes, erect shoots up to 30-100 cm, nodes retrorsely velvet-hairy. The leaves are linear to linear-lanceshaped, about 15 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, stiff and sharply pointed at the tip. The midrib bears sharp recurved spines, that could lacerate human skin. The leaf margins are razor sharp. The ligule is pale and membranous, while the sheath is hairless and has prominent ears. Panicle lanceshaped-oblong in outline, 5-10 cm, protruding; branches inserted singly, rising up, 4-5 cm, unbranched, slenderly round or triquetrous, densely clothed to near base with closely overlapping spikelets. Spikelets narrowly elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 3-4 mm, pale green or purple tinged. Rice Grass is found near swamps and paddy fields, and is widespread in the Tropical and subtropical world.

Identification credit: Ankush Dave Photographed in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

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