grow on either side of the culm from the leaf below it. They may
be petiolate (when the leaf is attached to the stem through a leaf base
called the petiole) or sessile
(when the leaf is directly attached to the stem without any leaf
leaf of common grass is long and its petiole, which partly
surrounds the stem, is called the sheath.
The leaf blade is flat and narrow and is referred to as the lamina.
The ligule is a small
appendage at the junction of the sheath and the blade, in the form
of a thin sheet or resembling a row of eyelashes. Leaves show parallel
venation, in which the
arrangement of veins in the lamina is such that they run parallel
to one another.
The floral organs
of the plant include the male floral parts called the stamens, the female parts called the pistil and a few delicate scales called lodicules. These are arranged in clusters of flowers, which produce
seeds from which new plants grow.
is monocotyledonous; that is, the seed of the plant essentially contains an embryo and
the accompanying nourishment in a single structure called the cotyledon.
It may be annual
(when it completes its life cycle in a single season) or perennial
(when it completes its life cycle in several seasons).
Grasses are classified into six major categories. These include
cereals, sugarcane, turf grasses, the grazing variety, woody grass
and ornamental grass.
called grains, form the most important category. They form the commercially
important variety of food crops, such as wheat, sorghum, millets,
corn, maize, rice etc. India is an agricultural country that
produces grains on a large scale, not only to feed its teeming
millions but also to export them, as part of its economy.
is the source from which more than half the world’s requirements
of sugar are taken care of. An important by-product of the sugar
industry, fibrous bagasse
is used as fuel and as raw material in the paper and wallboard
industry, the explosives industry etc.
and forage grasses
provide food for a large number of grazing animals such as cattle,
sheep, horses and goats. Turf grasses are
intensively used to cover lawns, playgrounds, athletic grounds and
golf courses. Woody grasses refer to
as the bamboo with long, hollow stems. Ornamental grasses are
those that have beautiful flower clusters. They are used in flower
gardens, parks and other landscaped areas.