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Piptochaetium is a wonderfully distinct genus, one whose species consistently exhibit several unusual morphological and anatomical features. It was originally restricted to species of Stipeae with short, tubby florets, blunt calluses, caducous, centric awns, and striations on the lemma, most of which occurred in South America, but with a few species extending the range into the southern U.S.A.
Parodi (1947) provided convincing evidence that the genus should be expanded to include several stipoid species with elongate florets, sharp calluses, and persistent awns. The features that all members of the genus have in common are: (wait for the next exciting installment!)