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Manual of Grasses for North America

Mary E. Barkworth, Laurel K. Anderton Kathleen M. Capels, Sandy Long, and Michael B. Piep

Publication Year: 2007

Grasses are the world’s most important plants. They are the dominant species over large parts of the earth’s land surface, a fact that is reflected in the many different words that exist for grasslands, words such as prairie, veldt, palouse, and pampas to mention just a few. As a group, grasses are of major ecological importance, as soil binders and providers of shelter and food for wild animals, both large and small. Some grasses, such as wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye, tef, and sugar cane are major sources of calories for humans and their livestock; others, primarily bamboos, are used for construction, tools, paper, and fabric. More recently, the seed catalogs that tantalize gardeners each winter have borne witness to an increasing appreciation of the aesthetic value of grasses.

The Manual of Grasses for North America is designed as a successor to the classic volume by Hitchcock and Chase. It reflects current taxonomic thought and includes keys, illustrations, and distribution maps for the nearly 900 native and 400 introduced species that have been found in North America north of Mexico. In addition, it presents keys and illustrations for several species that are known only in cultivation or are of major agricultural significance, either as progenitors of bread wheat and corn or as a major threat to North American agriculture because of their ability to hybridize with crop species. The Manual is a major reference work for grasses that will retain its value for many years.

Published by: Utah State University Press

Map, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ii-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The original goal of the Grass Manual Project (GMP) was to develop a single-volume work modeled on Hitchcock’s Grasses of the United States. When the GMP became part of the Flora of North America Project, the contributors were asked to develop more detailed descriptions than originally envisioned. The resulting two volumes, Flora of North America volumes 24 and 25 ...


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p. ix-ix

Taxonomic Treatments

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pp. 1-2


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pp. 3-4

Key to Tribes

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pp. 4-7

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pp. 7-8

The Pharoideae has one tribe, the Phareae, three genera, and twelve species. It is pantropical. In the Americas, it is represented by one genus, Pharus, that extends from Florida to Uruguay and Argentina. The Pharoideae is a basal lineage of ...

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pp. 8-11

The Bambusoideae includes two tribes, the woody Bambuseae and the herbaceous Olyreae. Their range includes tropical and temperate regions of Asia, Australia, and the Americas, primarily Central and South America. Three species ...

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pp. 11-17

The Ehrhartoideae encompasses three tribes, one of which, the Oryzeae, is native to the Manual region; the Ehrharteae is represented by introduced species. The third tribe, Phyllorachideae C.E. Hubb., is native to Africa and ...

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pp. 17-183

The subfamily Poöideae includes approximately 3300 species, making it the largest subfamily in the Poaceae. It reaches its greatest diversity in cool temperate and boreal regions, extending across the tropics only in high ...

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pp. 183-185

The Arundinoideae are interpreted here as including one tribe, the Arundineae. ...

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pp. 185-253

The subfamily Chloridoideae is most abundant in dry, tropical and subtropical regions. In the Manual region, it reaches its greatest diversity in the southwestern United States. Almost all its members, and all those in the Manual ...

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pp. 253-257

The Danthonioideae include one tribe, the Danthonieae, which used to be included in the Arundinoideae. The combination of haustorial synergids, ciliate ligules, elongated embryo mesocotyls, and C3 photosynthesis distinguishes the ...

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pp. 257-264

The subfamily Aristidoideae includes one tribe, the Aristideae. ...

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pp. 264-266

The subfamily Centothecoideae is one of the subfamilies that cannot be characterized by a suite of morphological characteristics, but anatomical, micromorphological, and nucleic acid data all support its recognition. It is most ...

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pp. 266-346

The subfamily Panicoideae is most abundant in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly mesic portions of such regions, but several species grow in temperate regions of the world. Within the Manual region, the Panicoideae are represented by 63 genera and 363 species. They are most ...

Literature Cited

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p. 346-346


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pp. 347-504

Distribution Maps

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pp. 505-558


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pp. 560-626


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p. 627-627

E-ISBN-13: 9780874217780
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874216868

Publication Year: 2007