Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Puccinellia Parl.

English: Goose grass, alkali grass,

French: Puccinellie,

Inuktitut: Iviit, ivisuka, ivitsuskaka.

Poaceae, Grass family.

Published in Fl. Ital. 1: 366.1850.

Synonymy. Colpodium auct., non Trin. 1820.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 1–17–40 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose, or not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent; stoloniferous; elongate. Aerial stems erect, or decumbent, or prostrate. Leaves distributed along the stems, or mainly basal; alternate; not distinctly distichous; marcescent. Prophylls 4–12–30 mm long; with smooth veins, or with scabrous veins; with pronounced keels, or lacking pronounced keels. Petioles absent. Sheaths present; with the margins fused only in the lower part, or with the margins not fused; glabrous; sheath collars present. Ligules present; 0.3–1.7–4 mm long; membranous; glabrous, or hairy (rarely); ovate-oblong, or transversely oblong. Ligule apices acute, or obtuse; entire, or erose, or lacerate. Leaves grass-like. Blades 10–120–160 mm long, 0.2–1–4 mm wide, appressed to the stem or spreading or reflexed, rolled in bud (usually) or folded in bud (Puccinellia vahliana), linear, flat or folded or involute, veins parallel, midvein conspicuously larger than the lateral veins or midvein similar in size to other veins in the leaf, bulliform cells in distinct rows on either side of the midvein (Puccinellia vahliana) or without bulliform cells in a distinct row on either side of the midvein (usually). Blade adaxial surface glabrous or scabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section. Flowering stems with leaves; rooting at the lower nodes, or not rooting at the lower nodes; culm nodes not exposed, or becoming exposed; culm nodes number visible 0–2. Flag leaf sheaths inflated, or not inflated. Inflorescences paniculate; dense, or diffuse; linear, or oblong, or lanceolate, or ovate; 0.35–4.5–17 cm long; 2–20–125 mm wide. Inflorescences main axis glabrous, or scabrous. Number of inflorescence branches at lowest node 1–7. Inflorescence primary branches 1–105 mm long; glabrous, or scabrous; with appressed secondary branches, or with spreading secondary branches. Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes; oblong, or lanceolate, or ovate, or oblanceolate, or obovate; 3–6–9.5 mm long; 0.7–4.5 mm wide. Florets per spikelet 2–8. Two glumes present. First glume 0.4–1.1 × the length of the second glume; 0.1–0.7 × spikelet length; 0.7–3.5 mm long; oblong, or lanceolate, or ovate; glabrous; margins glabrous, or scabrous; veins 1–3; apex acuminate, or acute, or obtuse. Second glume 0.4 × as long as the spikelet or less, or 0.4–0.9 × as long as the spikelet (in Puccinellia vahliana); shorter than the lowest floret, or almost as long as, or longer than, the lowest floret; 1.3–2.3–3.9 mm long. Second glume oblong, or lanceolate, or ovate, or elliptic, or oblanceolate. Second glume glabrous, or with trichomes; margins glabrous, or scabrous; veins 3–5. Rachilla pronounced between the florets, or not pronounced between the florets; terminating in a vestigial floret, or extending beyond the uppermost floret; internode 0.1–1.6 mm long; internode 0.04–0.25 mm wide; internode glabrous, or hairy. Callus differentiated, or not differentiated; hairs 0–0.17–0.5 mm long; hairs shorter than the floret. Lemma oblong, or ovate, or lanceolate, or elliptic, or obovate; 2–5.2 mm long; keeled, or rounded on the back; lemma not strongly inrolled, or lemma strongly inrolled; surface shiny, or dull; surface glabrous, or sparsely scabrous, or hairy; surface with trichomes on veins only, or on and between the veins (when present); veins 3–7 (the midvein reaching to the apex, the other veins not reaching the apex); apex acute, or rounded, or truncate; apex entire, or erose, or lacerate; apex glabrous, or scabrous; awnless. Palea well developed; 2–3–4.8 mm long; veins glabrous, or scabrous, or hairy. Flowers bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Perianth represented by lodicules. Stamens 3. Anthers 0.6–2.5 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Styles 2. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; dry; a caryopsis; 0.9–2.6 mm long; indehiscent. Seeds 1.

Chromosome information. 2n = 14, or 21, or 28, or 42, or 56.

14, 28, 43, and 56. Supposed basic chromosome number of family 2–8x.

North American distribution. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common.

General notes. The above is a restricted generic description combining data for the taxa occurring in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, using INTKEY.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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