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Description

Annual or perennial grasses of shady places and forests. Culms weak, trailing. Leaves: lamina lanceolate to ovate. Inflorescence of 1-sided racemes arranged along a central axis, the spikelets in pairs (the lower often reduced). Spikelets laterally flattened, lanceolate; glumes 1/2 to 3/4 length of spikelet, the lower glume or both glumes tipped by a sticky (scaberulous in O. burmannii) awn; lower lemma acute to shortly awned; upper lemma dorsally flattened, smooth, shiny, coriaceous, with involute margin.  A genus of weakly defined species. Clayton comments that O. compositus, O hirtellus and O. undulatifolius differ in appearance and in geographical distribution, but that variation between them is quite continuous and intermediates cannot be assigned to a particular species with certainty.Poecilostachys oplismenoides also resembles an Oplismenus and grows in similar habitats.

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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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