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Elegant Rat-Tail Grass
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Elegant Rat-Tail Grass
A Native Photo: Chintan Bhatt
Common name: Elegant Rat-Tail Grass
Botanical name: Thelepogon elegans    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Andropogon princeps, Meoschium elegans, Sehima elegans

Elegant Rat-Tail Grass is a coarse annual grass with culms up to 1.5 m tall, erect, supported by stilt-roots. Leaves are 4-20 x 0.5-3 cm, lanceshaped, heart-shaped at the base and often stem-clasping, hairless or bristlyulous, the margins finely pectinate-fringed with hairs. Inflorescence is composed of 2-17 racemes, the lowermost whorled, the uppermost borne on a short common axis 1-5 cm long. Racemes are 5-15 cm long, very fragile. Stalkless spikelets are 5-13 mm long; inferior glume narrowly ovate; superior lemma with an awn 1.5–2.5 cm long. Flower-stalk a little longer than the stalkless spikelet, hairless. Elegant Rat-Tail Grass is native to Tropical Africa to Namibia, India to W. Indo-China, S. Malesia.

Identification credit: Ketaki Ghate, Chintan Bhatt Photographed in Vetale Hills, Pune, Maharashtra.

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