Chionachne gigantea

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Chionachne gigantea (J.Koenig) Veldkamp
  • Synonyms : Chionachne koenigii (Spreng.) Thwaites, Chionachne barbata (Roxb.) Benth., Coix gigantea J.Koenig
  • Common Name : Garolu
  • Plant Family : Poaceae (Gramineae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Gramineae became Poaceae. However, the name Gramineae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Grasses
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Chionachne gigantea Plant :

  • Habit : Perennial, monoecious herb.
  • Stem : Culms erect and near the top, bowing a little, ramous, jointed, smooth, joints sometimes bearded.
  • Leaves : Sheathing, narrow keeled; margins armed with small prickles, on the upper side sometimes a few, sometimes numerous, stiff, white hairs, mouths of the sheaths slightly bearded.
  • Inflorescence :
    • Spikes numerous, pedicelled, terminal, and from the exterior axils, forming altogether a large linear panicle, collected in fascicles of from two to six on a common peduncle, and embraced by a common spathe.
    • Pedicels compressed, jointed near the top and there a partial spathe, there insertions are intermixed with lanceolate, chaffy scales.
  • Flowers :
    • Male flowers in pairs, one a little above the other in a second spike above the female.
    • Calyx two-flowered; valvelet obliquely oblong, hairy on the outside.
    • Corol, glume awnless.
    • Female flowers solitary, below the male.
    • Calyx or involucre, consisting of one oval, very hard, glossy valve, which embraces most completely the corol, its margins are double, not united.
    • Corol four-valve, the interior two long and somewhat fleshy.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : September - October
  • Significance :
    • It is considered to be a poor fodder because of the stiff hairs on sheaths and leaves.
    • The stony fruits are used as rosary beads.