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Eragrostis annulata Rendle ex Scott-Elliot

Journ. Bot. 29: 72 (1891).
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Vernacular names
Ringed lovegrass, ring windgrass (En). Eragrostis annelé (Fr).
Origin and geographic distribution
Eragrostis annulata is found in Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
The grain of Eragrostis annulata is eaten in Namibia.
Eragrostis annulata has an unpleasant smell.
Annual, loosely tufted grass up to 40 cm tall; stem (culm) ascending, with a glandular ring below the nodes. Leaves alternate, simple; leaf sheath thinly hairy, the slender hairs mixed with shorter gland-tipped hairs; ligule a line of hairs; blade linear, 2–12 cm × 1–5 mm, flat, thinly hairy, with scattered crater-shaped glands along the margins and a line of glandular pits along the midvein below. Inflorescence an ovoid panicle 4–20 cm long, fairly dense to open, stiffly branched, primary branches not in whorls, terminating in a fertile spikelet. Spikelet on a pedicel 1–3 mm long with a distinct annular gland, narrowly oblong or sometimes linear, laterally compressed, 3–9(–15) mm × 1.5–2.5 mm, 6–16(–40)-flowered, with bisexual florets; glumes almost equal, narrowly ovate, up to 1 mm long, keeled, apex acute; lemma ovate to broadly ovate, 1.5–2 mm long, keeled, papery, glabrous, apex obtuse; palea glabrous on the sides, persistent; stamens 3, anthers 0.5–1 mm long; ovary superior, with 2 stigmas. Fruit a more or less square caryopsis (grain) c. 0.5 mm long, with a shallow to deep depression along the back.
Eragrostis is a large and taxonomically complex genus comprising more than 350 species mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. Eragrostis annulata resembles the forage species Eragrostis cilianensis (All.) F.T.Hubb., but the latter lacks gland-tipped hairs and has a globose grain.
In its native region Eragrostis annulata flowers from February to May.
Eragrostis annulata is found on a range of soil types, especially on sandy, stony or calcareous soils where the groundwater table is high, and in disturbed locations.
Eragrostis annulata is collected from the wild.
Genetic resources and breeding
The Division of Plant and Seed Control, Department of Agriculture Technical Service, Pretoria, South Africa, holds 2 accessions of Eragrostis annulata. This species occurs in a diversity of habitats in a fairly large region, and thus is not easily liable to genetic erosion.
The role of Eragrostis annulata as a source of food is very limited and will most probably remain so.
Major references
• Cope, T., 1999. Gramineae (Arundineae, Eragrostideae, Leptureae and Cynodonteae). In: Pope, G.V. (Editor). Flora Zambesiaca. Volume 10, part 2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 261 pp.
• de Villiers, P.A. & Kok, O.B., 1988. Eto-ekologiese aspekte van olifante in die Nasionale Etoshawildtuin. Madoqua 15(4): 319–338.
• Gibbs Russell, G.E., Watson, L., Koekemoer, M., Smook, L., Barker, N.P., Anderson, H.M. & Dallwitz, M.J., 1990. Grasses of Southern Africa: an identification manual with keys, descriptions, distributions, classification and automated identification and information retrieval from computerized data. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa No 58. National Botanic Gardens / Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa. 437 pp.
• Klaassen, E.S. & Craven, P., 2003. Checklist of grasses in Namibia. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No 20. SABONET, Pretoria, South Africa. 130 pp.
• Launert, E., 1970. Gramineae. Prodromus einer Flora von Südwestafrika. No 160. J. Cramer, Germany. 228 pp.
Other references
• IPGRI, undated. Directory of Germplasm Collections. [Internet] Accessed April 2004.
• Missouri Botanical Garden, undated. VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database. [Internet] Accessed September 2003.
• USDA, ARS & National Genetic Resources Program, 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Internet] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, United States. Accessed April 2005.
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
G. Belay
Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization, Debre Zeit Center, P.O. Box 32, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
Associate editors
J.M.J. de Wet
Department of Crop Sciences, Urbana-Champaign, Turner Hall, 1102 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, United States
O.T. Edje
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, P.O. Luyengo, Luyengo, Swaziland
E. Westphal
Ritzema Bosweg 13, 6706 BB Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Photo editor
A. de Ruijter
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2006. Eragrostis annulata Rendle ex Scott-Elliot In: Brink, M. & Belay, G. (Editors). PROTA 1: Cereals and pulses/Céréales et légumes secs. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.