Poales, part 2

Poaceae - grasses

The plants on this page belong to the family Poaceae.  They are flowering plants classed with the monocots, and represent the fifth largest plant family. 

The family Poaceae is the source of wheat, corn, rice, rye, oats, barley, and sugar cane. In the tropics and east Asia, bamboo is a major building material. Many grasses provide grazing, hay, fodder, and grain for Iivestock and many are used for turf and ornamentals. A number of alcoholic beverages are obtained by fermenting grains. A total of 8,000 species are in the family, and, in terms of individual plants, the family is the largest among the angiosperms. Members are annual or perennial herbs (or rareIy woody) with small, greatly reduced flowers. Stems are jointed and hollow, and the fruit is a grain. Sugar cane and several other members carry out C-4 photosynthesis. The distribution of the family is worldwide.