V. The annual, D. villosum, is diploid, the perennial, D. breviaristatum, is a tetraploid.
Plants annual or perennial, shortly rhizomatous when perennial. Culms 20-100 cm.
Auricles small, inconspicuous; blades 1.5-5 mm wide, usually long hairy on both sides, the midvein evident on the abaxial (lower) surface; sheaths of innovations connate when youg.
Inflorescence spikelike, 4-12 cm long, with solitary spikelets; diarticulation in the rachis, above the node, the spikelets falling attached to the internode segment below (wedge typed disarticulation).
Spikelets with 2-4 florets, usually only the lower two bisexual. Glumes to 8 mm long excluding the awns, strongly 2-keeled, keels usually long hairy, tips almost truncate but awned, awns 10-40 mm long. Lemmas 1-keeled, gradually tapering into an awn. Anthers about 5 mm long.
Caryopses not adhering to the lemma and palea.
There are two species in Dasypyrum, D. villosum and D. breviaristatum.
From western North Africa and the northeastern Mediterranean to the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, with the majority of collections being from the northeastern Mediterranean. Maire (cited by Frederiksen) suggested that the records from North Africa represent introductions.
Frederiksen, S. 1991. Taxonomic studies in Dasypyrum (Poaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 13: 481-493.