Common wallaby-grass Austrodanthonia caespitosa, from here.

Belongs within: Poaceae.

The Danthonioideae is a clade of mostly Southern Hemisphere tussocks and pampas grasses, though the type genus Danthonia has a Holarctic distribution. The genus Pentaschistis is found in Africa, while Austrodanthonia and Chionochloa are Australasian. Danthonioideae are distinguished from other grasses by the presence of haustorial synergids in the ovule. The pampas grasses of the genus Cortaderia have been widely grown as ornamentals, and have become significant invasives in some parts of the world.

Characters (from Grass Phylogeny Working Group 2011): Plants perennial (caespitose, rhizomatous or stoloniferous) or less commonly annual, herbaceous or rarely suffrutescent, of mesic to xeric open habitats in grasslands, heathlands, and open woodlands. Culms solid or very rarely hollow. Leaves distichous; abaxial ligule usually absent (sometimes present in Cortaderia, Karroochloa and Pentaschistis); adaxial ligule a fringe of hairs or a fringed membrane; blades relatively narrow, without a pseudopetiole, venation parallel; sheaths not auriculate except in Pentameris thuarii. Inflorescences paniculate or less commonly racemose or spicate, bracts outside of the spikelets absent (but the subtending leaf more or less spatheate and disarticulating with the inflorescence in Tribolium pusillum). Spikelets bisexual (but sometimes without bisexual florets in Cortaderia) or unisexual (Cortaderia, Lamprothyrsus), glumes 2 and usually equal, female-fertile florets 1 to 6(to 20), with apical reduction and a rachilla extension usually present, laterally compressed, disarticulating above the glumes and between the florets, less commonly below the glumes; lemma lacking uncinate macrohairs, awn single and from a sinus; palea well developed, sometimes relatively short; lodicules 2, free (rarely joined), fleshy or rarely with an apical membranous flap, glabrous or ciliate, often with microhairs, sometimes heavily vascularized; stamens 3; ovary glabrous or rarely with apical hairs (Pentameris), apical appendage absent, haustorial synergids present, only weakly developed in a few taxa, styles 2, the bases usually widely separated, stigmas 2. Caryopsis with the hilum short or long-linear; endosperm hard, containing compound starch grains (simple in Prionanthium); embryo large or small, epiblast absent, scutellar cleft present, mesocotyl internode elongated, embryonic leaf margins meeting (overlapping in Danthonia decumbens). Basic chromosome numbers: x = 6, 7, 9. Foliar mesophyll nonradiate, an adaxial palisade layer absent, fusoid cells absent, arm cells absent; Kranz anatomy absent; midrib simple, usually with one bundle, an arc of bundles in Cortaderia; adaxial bulliform cells present or absent. Foliar stomata with domeshaped or parallel-sided subsidiary cells (rarely high dome-shaped or slightly triangular); bicellular microhairs present, panicoid-type, sometimes absent; papillae usually absent but often present in Chionochloa and Merxmuellera.

<==Danthonioideae [Danthonieae]
    |--Merxmuellera macowanii GPWG01
    `--+--+--Karroochloa purpurea GPWG01
       |  `--Austrodanthonia GPWG01
       |       |--A. caespitosa OS04
       |       |--A. laevis GPWG01
       |       |--A. occidentalis GK00
       |       `--A. setacea OS04
       `--Danthonia GPWG01
            |--D. archboldii C78
            |--D. australis W27
            |--D. buchanani A27
            |--D. cachemyriana O88
            |--D. californica GPWG01
            |--D. compressa PHK96
            |--D. crassiuscula A27
            |--D. cumminsii O88
            |--D. cunninghamii A27
            |--D. decumbens GPWG01
            |--D. domingensis J87
            |--D. flavescens A27
            |--D. nuda A27
            |--D. pilosa CA27
            |--D. pungens W27
            |--D. raoulii A27
            |    |--D. r. var. raoulii A27
            |    `--D. r. var. rubra A27
            |--D. semiannularis CA27
            |--D. setifolia (Hooker) Cockayne 1921 [=D. semiannularis var. setifolia] CA27
            `--D. spicata GPWG01

Danthonioideae incertae sedis:
  Cortaderia [Cortaderieae] GPWG01
    |--C. araucana D03
    |--C. jubata AC93
    |--C. pilosa D03
    `--C. selloana AC93
  Pentaschistis GL06
    |--P. airoides GL06
    |--P. caulescens GL06
    |--P. clavata Galley in Galley & Linder 2006 GL06
    |--P. eriostoma GL06
    |--P. horrida Galley in Galley & Linder 2006 GL06
    |--P. juncifolia Stapf 1899 GL06
    |--P. pallida GL06
    |--P. pictigluma GL06
    |--P. pusilla GL06
    |--P. rigidissima GL06
    |--P. rosea GL06
    |--P. trifida Galley in Galley & Linder 2006 GL06
    `--P. triseta GL06
  Pentameris thuarii GPWG01
  Tribolium pusillum GL06, GPWG01
  Lamprothyrsus GPWG01
  Prionanthium GPWG01
  Chionochloa GPWG01
    |--C. australis G01
    |--C. conspicua W91
    |--C. flavescens W91
    |    |--C. f. ssp. flavescens W91
    |    `--C. f. ssp. lupeola W91
    |--C. oreophila W91
    |--C. pallens WH02
    `--C. rubra W91
         |--C. r. ssp. rubra W91
         `--C. r. ssp. occulta W91
  Chaetobromus GPWG01
  Joycea GPWG01
  Notochloe GPWG01
  Notodanthonia GPWG01
    |--N. caespitosa RL06
    `--N. setacea RL05
  Plinthanthesis GPWG01
  Pseudopentameris GPWG01
  Rytidosperma GPWG01
    |--R. nigricans W91
    `--R. setifolium W91
  Schismus GL06

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[AC93] Atkinson, I. A. E., & E. K. Cameron. 1993. Human influence on the terrestrial biota and biotic communities of New Zealand. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8 (12): 447-451.

[C78] Clunie, N. M. U. 1978. The vegetation. In Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 1 (J. S. Womersley, ed.) pp. 1-11. Melbourne University Press: Carlton South (Australia).

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[PHK96] Prescott, L. M., J. P. Harley & D. A. Klein. 1996. Microbiology (3rd ed.) Wm. C. Brown Publishers: Dubuque (Iowa).

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