Eriochloa Kunth

Eriochloa is a relatively small genus with ca. 30 species that are mostly found in the tropics and subtropics (Shouliang & Phillips 2006). Several species are weedy and now occur outside their native distribution range, also in warm-temperate or even colder regions (for instance in Canada; Simard & al. 2015). Several species formerly were reputed wool aliens, also in Belgium (see overview below; also Ryves & al. 1996). An additional species, E. villosa, was recorded in recent times.
Most species of Eriochloa are very characteristic in having a peculiar bead-like swelling just below the spikelet. The genus otherwise closely looks like other panicoid genera like Urochloa (incl. Brachiaria) and, to a much lesser extent, Paspalum. Species of Eriochloa and Urochloa were shown to share molecular synapomorphies and belong to the same monophyletic groups (Torres González & Morton 2005). Eriochloa, in its current circumscription, is polyphyletic according to Salariato & al. (2010).

Additional aliens: Eriochloa australiensis Stapf ex Thell. (Aus., wool alien), E. cf. crebra S.T. Blake (Aus., wool alien), E. procera (Retz.) C.E. Hubbard (syn.: E. ramosa (Retz.) Kuntze) (trop. As., wool alien) and E. pseudoacrotricha (Stapf ex Thell.) J.M. Black (Aus., wool alien).


Arriaga M.O. (2000) Austral South American species of Eriochloa. In: Jacobs S.W.L. & Everett J. (eds.), Grasses: systematics and evolution. Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO: 141-148.
Clayton W.D. (1980) Eriochloa. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 262.
Ryves T.B., Clement E.J. & Foster M.C. (1996) Alien grasses of the British Isles. BSBI, London: XX + 181 p.
Salariato D.L., Zuloaga F.O., Giussani L.M. & Morrone O. (2010) Molecular phylogeny of the subtribe Melinidinae (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae) and evolutionary trends in the homogenization of inflorescences. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 56(1): 355-369. [available online at:
Shaw R.B. & Smeins F.E. (1981) Some anatomical and morphological characteristics of the North American species of Eriochloa (Poaceae: Paniceae). Bot. Gaz. 142(4): 534-544.
Shaw R.B. & Smeins F.E. (1983) Additional observations of the callus in Eriochloa (Poaceae). Iselya 2(2): 15-19.
Shaw R.B. & Webster R.D. (1987) The genus Eriochloa (Poaceae: Paniceae) in North and Central America. Sida 12: 165–207. [available online at:]
Shaw R.B., Webster R.D. & Bern C.M. (2003) Eriochloa. In: Barkworth M.E. & al. (eds.), Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 25. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 507-516. [available online at:]
Shouliang C. & Phillips S.M. (2006) Eriochloa. In: Zhengyi W. & Raven, P.H. (eds.), Flora of China, vol. 22: 524-525. Science Press, Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis. [available online at:]
Simard M.J., Nurse R.E. & Darbyshire S.J. (2015) Emergence and seed production of woolly cupgrass ( Eriochloa villosa ) in legume forage crops. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 95(3): 539-548. [available online at:]
Simon B.K., Weiller C.M. & Webster R.D. (2010) Eriochloa. In: AusGrass2. Grasses of Australia. Available online at:
Thompson R.A.J., Tyrl R.J. & Estes J.P. (1990) Comparative anatomy of the spikelet callus of Eriochloa, Brachiaria and Urochloa (Paneae: Paniceae:Setariinae). Amer. J. Bot. 77: 1463–1468.
Torres González A.M. & Morton C.M. (2005) Molecular and morphological phylogenetic analysis of Brachiaria and Urochloa (Poaceae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 37(1): 36-44. [available online at:
Webster R.D. (1987) The Australian Paniceae (Poaceae): 322 p. J. Cramer, Berlin and Stuttgart.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith