Poaceae (GFTAMINEAE) (Monocot) – Grass Family characteristics and floral diagram

 Poaceae (Grass Family)

Diagnostic characters

  1.  Habit: Annual or perennial herbs; rarely tree (bamboos.
  2. Roots: Fibious adventitidus.
  3. Stem: Herbaceous; cylindrical; jointed, hollow at intemodes. Sometimes, forms rhizome or runner.
  4. Leaves: Sessile with long sheathing base; alternate; simple; ligulate; parallel venation.
  5. nflorescence: Spike of spikelets or panicles of spiklets. Each spiklet is composed of 2-5 flowers. It is enclosed by a pair of bracts called glumes.
    Spike of spikelets: The spiklets form dense clusters in sessile manner on main axis as in wheat.
    Panicles of spikelets: The spiklets are arranged on a branched axis-panicle as in oat.
  6. Flower: Pedicillate; bracteate, two bracts palea and lemma enclose flower or floret; lemma contain    bristle like awns zygomorphic; incomplete; unisexual or hermaphrodite; hypogynous.
  7. Perianth: Represented by two or three scale like lodicules.
  8. Androecium: 3 stamens, sometimes 1,2 or 6; polyandrous; anther versatile.
  9. Gynoecium: Monocarpillary; unilocular; ovary superior; stigma usually 2; feathery; basal placentation.
  10. Fruits: Caryopsis
  11. Seed: Endospermic.

Floral formula and floral diagram of wheat

Poaceae floral formula and floral diagram

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Economic Importance

This family has greater importance than all other families of the flowering plants. It has importance both for man and animals.


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  1. Food: All the cereals and millets belong to this family. These from the basic food of mankind. These plants are: Tirticum sp (Wheat). Avena saliva Zea mays (corn). Oryza saliva (rice). Hordeum vulgare (barley 2), Scale cereale (rye).
  2. Penisetum typhoideum  Sorghum vulgare .
  3. Fodders: Most of the fodders of the animals also belong to this family. The dried stems and leaves of the cereal crops are used as fodder for the cattle.
  4. Sugar: Sugar is obtained from the juice of Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane).
  5. Ornamental plants: Many grasses are used M lavms, e.g. Agrost is. Boa, Festuca etc. So these plants have ornamental significance.
  6. Aromatic oils: Certain grasses give aromatic oil, e.g. Cymbopogon throws (lemon grass). It gives lemon grass oil. This oil is used in perfumes and soap industry for making infusions.
  7. Paper industry: Some species of grasses are used for making papers.
  8. Alcohol and beverages: Ethyl alcohol and many other beverages are prepared form cereals. For example, wine is prepared from rye, corn and rum molasses form sugar cane.
  9. Ropes: Fibers are obtained form the leaves of Saccharin?: munjo
    These fibers are used for making ropes.
  10. Used of Bamboo: Bambusa (bamboo) are used as building material. These are used for thatching huts, making boats, carts pipes etc. Their spilt stems are woven into mars, fans, hats and ‘course umbrella. Their leaves are given to horse for curing cough and cold.

Distribution pattern

This family is distributed throughout the world. It has 600 genera and 10,000 species. There are 158 genera and 492 species of this family in Pakistan.

Common species

  1. Triticum vulgare, wheat
  2. Zea mays, corn
  3. Avena sativa,
  4. Oryza sativa, rice
  5. Bambusa, bamboo
  6. Saccharam officinarum, Sugar cane.

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