Saccharum ravennae (L.) L.
Family: Poaceae
Saccharum ravennae image

Plants cespitose. Culms 2-4 m, glabrous; nodes glabrous. Sheaths glabrous; auricles absent; ligules 0.6-1.1 mm; blades 50-100 cm long, 5-14 mm wide, glabrous. Peduncles 40-80 cm, glabrous; panicles lanceolate; rachises 30-70 cm, glabrous; primary branches 6-20 cm, appressed or spreading; rame internodes 1-2 mm, with hairs. Sessile spikelets 4-6 mm long, 0.7-0.9 mm wide, straw-colored. Callus hairs 4-6 mm, subequal to the spikelets, white; lower glumes smooth, 4-5-veined; upper glumes 3-veined; lower lemmas 3-5 mm, 1-veined; upper lemmas subequal to the lower lemmas, without veins, entire; awns 2-5 mm, flat, straight or curved at the base; lodicule veins not extending into hairlike projections; anthers 3. Pedicels 1-3 mm, pubescent. Pedicellate spikelets similar to the sessile spikelets. 2n = 20.

Saccharum ravennae is native to southern Europe and western Asia. It is grown as an ornamental in the Flora region, occasionally escaping and persisting.

Perennial tufted herb 2 - 4.4 m tall Leaves: borne along the stem, with hairless sheaths and ligules that are 0.6 - 1.1 mm long, membranous, and lined with hairs along the margins. The blades are 0.5 - 1 m long, 5 - 14 mm wide, flat, and hairless. Inflorescence: terminal, branched (panicle), large, with many pairs of one stalked and one stalkless spikelet and terminating in a trio of one stalkless and two stalked spikelets. Fruit: a caryopsis. Culm: 2 - 4 m long, hairless throughout. Spikelets: either stalkless or stalked. The stalkless spikelets are straw-colored, 4 - 6 mm long, and 0.7 - 0.9 mm wide, while the similar stalked spikelets are a little shorter than or as long as the stalkless spikelets. Glumes: nearly equal, with two longitudinal ridges. The lower glume is smooth with four or five veins, and the upper glume has three veins. Lower florets: sterile, with lemmas that are 3 - 5 mm long, single-veined, and terminate in flat awns 2 - 5 mm long, and paleas that are are rudimentary or absent. Upper florets: bisexual, with three anthers and lemmas that are similar to the lower lemmas but lack veins.

Similar species: No information at this time.

Flowering: August to October

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from southern Europe, this species grows along a highway in Berrien County and may be an escape from cultivation.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Etymology: Saccharum comes from the Greek word saccharon, "a sweet juice." Ravennae means "from Ravenna, Italy."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Common Name: ravennagrass Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Graminoid Synonyms: Erianthus ravennae, Erianthus ravennae var. purpurescens
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Kathy M. Davis, University of Florida Herbarium  
Saccharum ravennae image
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Kathy M. Davis, University of Florida Herbarium  
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Zachery Berry  
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Kathy M. Davis, University of Florida Herbarium  
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
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Zachery Berry  
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Kathy M. Davis, University of Florida Herbarium  
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
Kathy M. Davis, University of Florida Herbarium  
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
Saccharum ravennae image
Zachery Berry  
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