Poaceae (Grasses) of Southern Africa

Poaceae (Grasses) of Southern Africa - Southern Africa : Group all Poaceae (Grasses) of Southern Africa together to facilitate identification. The Poaceae (English pronunciation: /poʊˈeɪ.siˌiː/) (also called Gramineae or true grasses) are a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering pla

Group all Poaceae (Grasses) of Southern Africa together to facilitate identification.

The Poaceae (English pronunciation: /poʊˈeɪ.siˌiː/) (also called Gramineae or true grasses) are a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. With more than 10,000 domesticated and wild species, the Poaceae are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Fabaceae, and Rubiaceae. Though commonly called "grasses", seagrasses, rushes, and sedges fall outside this family. The rushes and sedges are related to the Poaceae, being members of the order Poales, but the seagrasses are members of order Alismatales.

Grasslands are estimated to constitute 20% of the vegetation cover of the Earth. Poaceae live in many other habitats, including wetlands, forests, and tundra.

Domestication of poaceous cereal crops such as maize (corn), wheat, rice, barley, and millet lies at the foundation of sedentary living and civilization around the world, and the Poaceae still constitute the most economically important plant family in modern times, providing forage, building materials (bamboo, thatch) and fuel (ethanol), as well as food.

Until recently, fossil findings indicated that grasses evolved around 55 million years ago. Recent findings of grass-like phytoliths in Cretaceous dinosaur coprolites have pushed this date back to 66 million years ago. Indeed, revised dating of the origins of the rice tribe Oryzeae suggest a date as early as 107 to 129 Mya.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae

07 Nov 2015
Shaun Swanepoel