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Viper Grass
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Viper Grass
A Native Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Viper Grass, Catstail grass • Hindi: Man-alu, Bara sarpot • Kannada: Halgyan hullu, huligyan hullu, Nari baalada gandu hullu • Marathi: Goradu, Kangar • Sanskrit: Alu, Madhvalu • Tamil: Katakelenga
Botanical name: Dinebra retroflexa    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Cynosurus retroflexus, Dinebra paspaloides

Viper Grass is a loosely clustered annual grass with culms 50 cm or taller, slender, usually straggling and rising up from a prostrate base, often rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves are glandular especially on the sheaths; leaf-blades 4.5-28 cm long, 4-8 mm wide, finely pointed. Inflorescence is 8-34 cm long, linear or elliptic-oblong to pyramidal; spikes 0.6-5 cm long, stiff, rising up at first, reflexing and deciduous at maturity. Spikelets are 1-3-flowered, narrowly wedge-shaped, 5.7-9 mm long, closely over-lapping on the flattened, narrowly green-winged rhachis; glumes narrowly elliptic with with a tail curving tips, 6.1-8.2 mm long, leathery, asymmetric, usually over-lapping on the lower side and obscuring the florets, glandular along the keel. Viper Grass is is found throughout the Tropical world. Flowering: May-October.

Identification credit: Paradesi Anjaneyulu, Manoj Chandran Photographed in Nasik, Maharashtra.

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